Optical Out and AMP w/ SR-80
Mar 21, 2006 at 5:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

lekun

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Posts
15
Likes
0
Hey, I listen to music while using my iMac which comes with an optical out with my Grado SR-80.

I was thinking of getting an AMP to improve my listening experience. Its just gonna be for desk use. I liked the look of the Gillmore Lite - and aesthetics are important - but it only has analog in.

My question is how much of an audio loss am I hearing by using my iMac's built in DAC versus getting an AMP with a high quality one. I could get an Airhead amp, and save up for the DAC later, but I really don't like the look of Airhead amps.

It may be worth noting, that I listen to compressed music ranging from 128 AAC that I purchase from iTMS to 384 LAME mp3 which I rip if I bought the CD.

Thanks.
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 5:45 PM Post #2 of 3

TheSloth

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Posts
2,377
Likes
13
AirHead and Gilmore Lite - apples and oranges. You may have means getting the Micro and the Micro DAC later. Or you can get a Desktop with DAC built in. Though that is more expensive than the Micro Stack.

I feel you lose a lot by using your inbuilt sound. As it's an iMac, there is no way to improve the rather nasty inbuilt sound circuitry except to bypass it completely with the optical out. I'd say that some sort of DAC is a must if you are going to spend good money on an amp.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 1:52 AM Post #3 of 3

lekun

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Posts
15
Likes
0
Thanks, that was my sense. No one has every raved about Apple's built in sound cards, but its tough to know what will actually make a difference without being able try something out. Often equipment is supposed to make a difference, but in reality it doesn't.

Its a bummer that my iMac comes with this very useful feature of optical out, but it will cost me an arm and leg to get a decent DAC and Headphone AMP.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top