my Mac as source - audiophile 2496 - and USB ??
Mar 29, 2006 at 4:32 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

giovanni

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Hi guys,
I purchased the above card in order to have easy access to digital out from my Mac, which in turn would allow me to use any DAC.

The problem is that the card, while working w/o problems, makes my system unstable, which I cannot stand. My Mac never ever crashes, I could not even remember the last time I had to reboot, but since I inserted the card (PCI) I have some problems. So.....

So, I now figure I should either use an A/X (not my preferred solution though) or "ideally" a USB DAC. There are not many choices for the latter but the key question is, does anyone have experience with using a usb DAC with his Mac ? Is it at least worth the try ?

My Mac, btw, is a Powermac Dual 1.25 (OS 10.4.5).

best,
ww
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 4:34 PM Post #2 of 29

zatara

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I use a MicroDac via USB with my iBook and it sounds great. No skipping or static noises and no crashes.
I have also used a USB->TBAAM -> TOS/SPDIF -> Scott Nixon TubeDac+ and this sounds great as well.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 5:13 PM Post #4 of 29

zatara

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Well I have only had the TubeDac+ for a couple of days so these are only preliminary.

My configs are:
Airport Express -> SPDIF/TOS -> TubeDAC+ -> RSA Hornet -> Senn HD650
TBAAM -> SPDIF/TOS -> TubeDAC+ -> RSA Hornet. -> Senn HD650
OR
Airport Express -> SPDIF/TOS -> MicroDac -> RSA Hornet. -> Senn HD650
TBAAM -> SPDIF/TOS -> MicroDac -> RSA Hornet. -> Senn HD650


I also swap the Hornet with my RSA SR71.

To begin with I find the MicroDac a tad bright and fatiguing with my Hornet
but listenable and I cannot listen with it connected to my SR71 at all. The
cymbals just sound to shrill and fake to me.
This is why I was looking for a new DAC to begin with.

I find the TubeDAC+ with the Miniwatt PC88 tube preferable to the MicroDac
in just about every way. I guess the only area where the MicroDac has the
upper hand is in the amount of bass which is available. But is a different kind
of bass and I really like the bas on the TubeDac+ as well.


The MicroDac seems a bit forward and congested to me at times where the
TubeDac+ seems open and spacious developing me in its sound. What I am
trying to say is with the TubeDac+ the sound feels like it is 3D and all around
me. I feel like I am in it upfront and personal. Versus the MicroDac where I
always feel I am at arms length and I just want to reach out and move just a
little more into the sound.

I just love the sound of the cymbals and high hats with the TubeDac+ it is
Just the sound I was looking for. I was listening to a new Buddy Rich CD
Called Blues Caravan and the positioning of the drum kit was exceptional
With the TubeDac+ everything seemed to be perfectly separated and the
Sound was just so easy to sit back and relax to. I really felt I was there with
Them in the studio.

Any way I find myself going back and listening to CD’s I have not used in
years just to hear how they sound with the TubeDac+. Event my cheap
portable DVD player with SPDIF out sound great. I just want to keep listening
for hours at a time.

I do love the bass on the MicroDac but all in all it is just not for me.

I hope this helps.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 5:41 PM Post #5 of 29

giovanni

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oh well, it does help indeed !!!

You know, in my own little head (unexperienced), my fear with a "tube dac" was for things to get too soft, since I have a MPX3 with hd580. But that might not be the case at all.

thx very much.

gio
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 5:45 PM Post #7 of 29

zatara

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I did not know what to think either but it is anything but soft and mushy.
I cannot say enought about the cymbols they sound soooo good.

I am using the A/X wireless. It is also connecting my upstairs network
to my down staits network via WDS.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 1:07 PM Post #8 of 29

rocktboy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by giovanni
Hi guys,
I purchased the above card in order to have easy access to digital out from my Mac, which in turn would allow me to use any DAC.

The problem is that the card, while working w/o problems, makes my system unstable, which I cannot stand. My Mac never ever crashes, I could not even remember the last time I had to reboot, but since I inserted the card (PCI) I have some problems. So.....

So, I now figure I should either use an A/X (not my preferred solution though) or "ideally" a USB DAC. There are not many choices for the latter but the key question is, does anyone have experience with using a usb DAC with his Mac ? Is it at least worth the try ?

My Mac, btw, is a Powermac Dual 1.25 (OS 10.4.5).

best,
ww




Hi Giovanni,
Sorry to hear that you are having problems with the system stability after installaing the card. M-audio has specific drivers for each iteration of Mac OS. You might want to contact them, tell them about your problem. They have decent customer support for their products. I would think that instability is definitely a driver issue. Or maybe it conflicts with your existing audio driver. Hopefully you will sort thru this problem soon.

Jack
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 2:01 PM Post #9 of 29

RockinOut

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Hey zatara,

Thanks so much for your comparison of TubeDac+ and MicroDAC. Very, very informative.

I was looking for a tube amp or dac myself as I also have a MicroDAC iBook rig.

I'm looking into HeadRoom Millett Hybrid to smooth out some harshness so I can listen for longer periods of time.

Your input is much appreciated, and as much as I'm in love with my iBook/MicroDAC/Xin SM3 setup, I'm trying to make it better. I'll probably start by rolling opamps first.

Again thanks so much with sharing your experiences and comparison.

Very much appreciated
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Mar 30, 2006 at 3:02 PM Post #10 of 29

giovanni

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rocktboy
Hi Giovanni,
Sorry to hear that you are having problems with the system stability after installaing the card. M-audio has specific drivers for each iteration of Mac OS. You might want to contact them, tell them about your problem. They have decent customer support for their products. I would think that instability is definitely a driver issue. Or maybe it conflicts with your existing audio driver. Hopefully you will sort thru this problem soon.

Jack



Thanks Jack, I appreciate.
This is something that was not entirely unexpected.

M-Audio cards are known to be not 100% reliable in the Mac world, particularly since OS 10.xxxx. I decided to give it a try nonetheless.

Also, for completeness, and others who might be interested, the exact problem I have is that my Mac cannot "sleep" with the card installed (which I consider a major problem, others may not); otherwise the card works w/o problems.

Tube dac usb seems to be the solution
smily_headphones1.gif

I think I am going to give that a try and if not happy I will get a Lavry.....

gio
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 1:05 PM Post #12 of 29

zatara

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I have never had a problem with USB on my iBook it just sounds good. On my PC is another story.
I am constantly fidgeting with ASIO and Kernel Streaming and there are always
Clicks when the CPU is busy and sometimes things just do not work right and
I get a lot of static and have to reboot.
Mac's just work and are just designed to do audio better out of the box.
Hope you enjoy your new toy please let us know how you like it.
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 4:17 PM Post #13 of 29

giovanni

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zatara
I have never had a problem with USB on my iBook it just sounds good. On my PC is another story.
I am constantly fidgeting with ASIO and Kernel Streaming and there are always
Clicks when the CPU is busy and sometimes things just do not work right and
I get a lot of static and have to reboot.
Mac's just work and are just designed to do audio better out of the box.
Hope you enjoy your new toy please let us know how you like it.



thx man ! I count on it, after all that is why I only have had Macs at home since, oh well, the Apple IIe
smily_headphones1.gif


I actually am looking forward to sharing with you guys my impressions.
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 4:23 PM Post #14 of 29

giovanni

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zatara
I have never had a problem with USB on my iBook it just sounds good. On my PC is another story.
I am constantly fidgeting with ASIO and Kernel Streaming and there are always
Clicks when the CPU is busy and sometimes things just do not work right and
I get a lot of static and have to reboot.
Mac's just work and are just designed to do audio better out of the box.
Hope you enjoy your new toy please let us know how you like it.



thx man ! I count on it, after all that is why I only have had Macs at home since, oh well, the Apple IIe
smily_headphones1.gif


I actually am looking forward to sharing with you guys my impressions.
 
Apr 27, 2006 at 4:22 AM Post #15 of 29

giovanni

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Zatara that is interesting. I had troubles with my iBook. In fact I had brought it to the meet to use with the USBTD, and it was horrible, the noise out of the USB port was just unbearable. I had not tested it before unfortunately. Anyhow, my iBook is a pretty old G3 (700mhz) so who knows.

I have no problem at home using my powermac, provided I don't use the 2 USB ports available on the Apple flat screen - unusable for music. The ports on the actual Mac are clean. Fortunately !
 

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