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Which cables to use?

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I fell upon this site about a month ago after I put my Accuphase DP65 redbook player in the shop for a sticky drawer and skipping problems. During the time it was being serviced I purchased a used Aluminum PowerBook G4 and a new Paradisea 3 with USB input to give a twirl. The Paradisea 3 is very pleasing to listen to with about 70 hours on it and not fully broken in.


The questions I have:

1. Is there another output on the PowerBook G4 besides USB that I can use to go into the Paradisea 3 that will give me comparable or better sound?

2. If there is another, what is it called and who makes it (web links, etc)? Please be specific as possible.


If there isn't such a thing I plan on trying the Kimber USB just to compare it to the USB I stole off an idle printer.


I use Itunes in Lossless and auto correction. My associated equipment: Aronov LS9000 tube monoblocs, Aronov LS9100 tube pre, ProJect Perspective TT with Grado cartridge, and Essence Topaz loudspeakers. I listen to all types of music as long as it's a good recording.


Thanks and please stay on topic


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"1. Is there another output on the PowerBook G4 besides USB that I can use to go into the Paradisea 3 that will give me comparable or better sound?"


Comparable? Absolutely -- fire wire or optical. Better? That is a subject of great dispute and controversy.






I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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The Paradisea 3 appears to have 1 x USB input, 1 x Coaxial input, 1 x Toslink optic input. The Powerbook G4 only supports the USB connection I believe, though I may be wrong.


If I've got the above right, then go ahead and try the Kimber and see if it gives an improvement (to your ears) over your current cable. I know Chris liked it. You can read his review of the Kimber here, http://www.computeraudiophile.com/node/207.





Intel iMac + Beresford TC-7510 + Little Dot MK III + beyerdynamics DT 231 = Computer audiophile quality on the cheap! --- Samsung Q1 + M-Audio Transit + Sennheiser PX 100 = Computer audiophile quality on the go!

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Presumably your power book is like my Macbook Pro so will have an optical digital output as well as wi fi.


For two channel audio there are no sonic benefits of one digital interface over the other. All have plus and minus points that are dealt with. For the consumer Market the Industry has probably standardised on Optical digital because it avoids electrical connection between the chassis of the units involved, which is good if you're not sure what your customer is connecting to.


The advantage of using USB if you don't mind plugging things into the computer (I use Airport Express and Apple TV to avoid it) is that you've a good choice of less expensive high quality DACs from the Pro Audio Sector. The Edirol UA25 and equivalents from M-Audio< Digidesign and EMU. All very good big companies, so can offer better value through economies of scale.


If you like what you have, it's probably good to keep.




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Go to the Apple logo in the Finder (top left) and select ABOUT THIS MAC, then click on MORE INFO.

This will call up the System Profiler. Select HARDWARE and AUDIO (BUILT IN) and if you go down the column you should see if it has a S/PDIF output listed. If so, you can use a Toslink cable from the headphone socket (you may need an adaptor). This avoids cable controversy and a direct electrical connection to your DAC.


Early Titanium G4 Powerbooks didn't have the optical out. I'm not sure if it came in with the aluminium model or not. Mine is the last of the G4s and I'm using the optical output right now!


I bought a 5m cable from an eBay dealer for about £5, including adaptor.


Good luck.


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If you want an Optical output for and reason, you can buy an M-Audio Transit for £50 or US equivalent which provides one as well as a surprisingly okay DAC. It's a useful little gadget. You can also wireless to an Airport Express and use its Optical out to a DAC near the rest of the hi fi if it helps.




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Ash and darrenwm,


Thanks for the comments!

I should have mentioned that I have all of my music stored on an external hard drive hooked up to a Belkin N+ USB wireless router streaming to my PowerBook, I guess it's the same principle of an Airport Express (without the optical). I'm also using my Ipod Touch as a remote.


I'm happy with the sound of my setup but like almost everyone in this "hobby" I'm looking for that last 3% and I thought maybe there was another output that I could use to get me 1.5%.




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