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newbie - imac g5 audio out


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Hello,

 

Please forgive the basic nature of this query - I'm a complete novice. My question is how to play music from the imac through an old (-ish) nad amp.

 

I gather there is something called a toslink cable that would then need to be pugged into a digital to analogue converter. Is this correct?

 

Alternatively there are usb or firewire possibilities. Is this also correct?

 

Anyway, if someone could recommend a simple solution together with suitable equipment, I would be very grateful.

 

Thank you

 

Pete

 

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Peter ... first question ... what is your budget?

 

Also, do you have any HiFi Equipment already as you'll need amplifier and speakers too.

 

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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Around that budget, you have a few options...

 

(1) Musical Fidelity V-DAC - this can be connected either via optical cable or via USB and gives good sound for the money - it's about £170 in the UK not sure exact US costs.

(2) Cambridge Audio DAC Magic - similar to the V-DAC, slightly more expensive £225 ($425 in US I think), reports are mixed on if it's an improvement on the V-DAC.

(3) DevilSound DAC Cable - this is basically a USB to Analogue phono connectors cable which has a built in DAC along it. Good reports on sound quality for the money (see reports in the forum including Chris's own review) - can't remember cost but much less than $400 IIRC.

(4) EMu 0404 USB2.0 - this is moving into the "pro-sound" arena and is a full function audio interface primarily designed for recording environments, but works very well as a computer audio interface. Cost is £180 (sorry not sure of US cost) - for more information there is a long thread written about it on the forums.

(5) Apogee Duet - this is a firewire interface, very similar to the EMu USB interface. Higher cost IIRC but probably worth it.

 

There are many more options of course, but these are 5 that are well reviewed.

 

Eloise

 

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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The digital output on the iMac is via what is known as a Mini-TOSLink connector which is part of the headphone connector. You'll ideally need a cable that has the mini-connector at one end and a standard connector at the other end.

 

Different DACs work best with USB or FireWire, others work best with optical connection. USB or FireWire tend to be easier to configure, but with DACs such as the V-DAC and DACMagic it's worth trying both to see which you prefer.

 

The main thing to do to get the best quality sound is (if at all possible) is to ensure the files you are playing have been copied from CD using a Lossless compression (or no compression) method - i.e. Apple Lossless or AIFF rather than AAC or MP3.

 

Eloise

 

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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