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A solution beyond Airport Express to connect my Mac Book wirelessly. And other stuff...


handyman
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Hi to all. Due to my ignorance this may be a bit convoluted so please bear with me; and please feel free to correct me if I am not understanding something. I need some learnin'!

 

What I want to do is use my Macbook Pro (using iTunes with lossless files) as a second source and wirelessly connect to my 2 channel system. Simple enough.

 

I have ordered a Consonance Droplet 5.0 CDP to be custom built with an RCA digital in.

What I want to do is output wirelessly from my Macbook Pro to the Droplet's DAC which has a fully balanced tube output stage I want to utilize. I have been told a jitter reduction device before the Droplet would need to be added to achieve very good sound.

 

I had thought of using an airport express but have today learnt that it does not do hi-res.

I have seen that a unit like the logitech Transporter supports hi-res and allows me to use the iTunes interface but it costs

Aus $3300 compared to the Express at Aus $250.

 

My questions are -

1) Is the DAC in my Droplet considered hi-res? (please see specs below), and if so...

2) Is there something on the market priced more like the Airport Express than the Transporter, that transfers bit perfect data up to hi-res that I can use with the Droplet?

3) What jitter reduction device would be recommended? Do I need it?

4) Would the signal entering the Droplet DAC come out balanced?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Handyman.

 

 

Droplets Specs -

 

DAC resolution: 24bit 192KHz multilevel sigma-delta with synchronous upsampling

Clock Jitter: Less than 14ps directly distributed to DAC

0dBFS signal output: 2.3V RMS

Output Terminals: Gold plated Tube RCA unbalanced and gold plated XLR balanced

Frequency response: Less than +/- 0.1 dB deviation 20Hz-20kHz

Phase response: Less than 2 degrees deviation 20Hz-20kHz

Signal-to-noise ratio: More than 115dB (XLR output)

Signal-to-noise ratio: More than 100dB (Vacuum tube RCA output)

Crosstalk: Less than -100dB

Distortion (XLR): Less than 0.002%

Distortion (RCA): Less than 0.015%

Intermodulation: Less than 0.002% (19kHz + 20kHz)

Remote Control: Philips RC-5 compatible IR system 36kHz modulation frequency

Vacuum tube: Sovtek 6H30 x2

Dimensions: 51cm x 43cm x 14cm (WxDxH)

Weight: 30kg

 

 

 

 

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... this may be the blind leading the blind since i'm new to this myself, but why can't you use airport express?

 

Apple lossless is 16bit, AE is 16 bit then straight into your dac.... or am i missing something?

 

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Hey there. There is no reason why I can't use the airport express but I would like to play hi-res music which is 24 bit and the express will only transfer 16 bit. As I understand it 16 bit is CD quality and therefore 24 bit is something better again.

Added to this I am told that although you can input straight to your dac as most people do without a problem, there may be an issue with jitter that will show itself on a system that is highly revealing. I am trying to build a system that is analog sounding as I can get with digital as the source.

 

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It's not a wireless solution, but the simplest is usually the best ... probably your best bet is to get a USB or Firewire interface supporting coax output (such as the Tascam US-144). Obviously this would need a USB cable back to the laptop.

 

Your other option (which should be a little cheeper than a Transporter) would be to get a MacMini and connect that direct to the digital input - if it's coax only you'll still need a Tascam US-144 or similar device.. Your MacMini can then be controlled via MacOS screen sharing and your laptop. With this solution, the actual music files will be stored on the MacMini (or a network device) and just the control will be via the laptop.

 

You could add a jitter reduction device between the MacMini (or Laptop) / Tascam Interface and the digital input, but to begin I would recommend you try the simplest solution.

 

Eloise

 

P.S. I don't know how it sounds ... but that CD player LOOKS stunning.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hey Eloise.

Thanks for the kind words. The appearence of the Droplet seems to divide people pretty evenly. Some love it and some absolutely hate it. Go figure!

More importantly, thanks also for the suggestions. I like your idea of using the Tascam and having using a mac mini. It would solve some issues with storage that are fast approaching but ideally I would like to try my laptop as a source mainly because it runs off a battery and hopefully quieter. I will follow your suggestion to try without the jitter reduction device first but having said that is there one you are familiar with or would recommend?

Cheers,

Handyman

 

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handyman asked... "I will follow your suggestion to try without the jitter reduction device first but having said that is there one you are familiar with or would recommend?"

Well personally I've never tried any jitter reduction / re-clocking device ... however the device most often mentioned here is by Empirical Audio but costs significantly over $1000 USD depending on the options you need. Steve the manufacturer posts here. It all depends on how much your DAC rejects jitter and how much you notice the effects of jitter. I'm unsure if Steve is able to arrange any kind of home demo of his Pace Car re-clocker.

 

Eloise

 

P.S. I missed your 4th question the first time round, but yes the output from your CP player will be the same (balance or unbalanced) whether you use the internal drive, or an external SPDIF interface.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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