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Newbie Brainus Crampus


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Apologizing in advance for my lack of knowledge...

 

I bought a Rega DAC-R yesterday thinking I would use it to stream music into my tube amplifier. My CD player is teetering, so I called the audio dealer and he said... get rid of your CDs and go digital. I've been reading lots of posts and trying to figure out a game plan. Here's what I have.

 

MacBook Pro (2011)

1 TB Time Capsule (latest version of old flat model)

Apple Airport

Rega DAC-R

Nexus 7 (2013)

Old iPod Touch

An amp and speakers that the DAC will plug into.

 

I don't want to cable up the MacBook Pro as the interface as it is my daily laptop. I do want to use iTunes as my library/app. I'll rip my remaining CDs into it.

 

If I need to buy a computer, I'm thinking a Mac Mini to run iTunes. Should I use the Time Capsule (which has lots of room) as the file server or should I go straight from the Mac Mini into the DAC? (If I use the TC, I can buy a Mac with a smaller drive.)

 

I also want a remote of some sort to run the app. I'm an Android guy, so that may be a problem. What kind of wireless device/remote can I use to run the iTunes app? Should I get an iPad Mini or something?

 

Can I plug the Airport into the DAC and stream music from my MacBook? MacBook>Airport>DAC>Amplifier.

 

Thanks.

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I don't want to cable up the MacBook Pro as the interface as it is my daily laptop. I do want to use iTunes as my library/app. I'll rip my remaining CDs into it.

 

If I need to buy a computer, I'm thinking a Mac Mini to run iTunes. Should I use the Time Capsule (which has lots of room) as the file server or should I go straight from the Mac Mini into the DAC? (If I use the TC, I can buy a Mac with a smaller drive.)

 

I recommend the mini going into the DAC.

 

I also want a remote of some sort to run the app. I'm an Android guy, so that may be a problem. What kind of wireless device/remote can I use to run the iTunes app? Should I get an iPad Mini or something?

 

Any VNC-based remote display program will work.

 

Can I plug the Airport into the DAC and stream music from my MacBook? MacBook>Airport>DAC>Amplifier.

 

Thanks.

 

Yes. You need an optical toslink cable to do this, with a "mini" plug at one end.

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Agree that you'll save yourself some grief and annoyance in the long run if you get a mini and hardwire it in -- just as you would if you got a new CD player.

 

Do make sure that your music collection is backed up! Really!!

 

In the beginning you'll have physical backup on your CD discs... but over time you may come to enjoy the instant gratification of downloaded files from eClassical, Hyperion, CD Baby, and the rest. Also the pain of having to re-rip a thousand CDs is something to consider.

 

Once you have everything set up to your liking, you may want to experiment with 3rd party player software. Pure Music, Audirvana, and others can directly read your iTunes library. They offer free evaluation periods and won't muck up what you have already established. So no problem to remove them if you decide not to go in that direction.

 

I do believe you're in for a lot of fun.

 

p.s. It is certainly possible to use your MacBook Pro. I put a small table in front of my stereo rack, and I plug in my DAC when ready, and then just play from there. Not such a big problem as I have the cable all hooked up on the stereo side of things and just connect my laptop when ready.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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