Jump to content
IGNORED

Need a little advice. An opinion might do.


Recommended Posts

I'm converting my CDs into a digital library using iTunes (Apple Lossless). I expect about 150GB of music. Of that, I'll probably "Uncheck" about 15-20% because I'm undecided and not so interested in listening to them in a Shuffle (and may ultimately delete them).

 

I have a new Rega DAC-R and Apple TV connected to my old school tube amp. I also have a Time Capsule with plenty of room and a MacBook Pro. I'm trying to decide on how to front-end everything. Right now I use the MB and Airplay (realizing it limits the playback). I need to remove the MB because it is my primary computer and I need a way to have a dedicated music system/library.

 

I am considering either an iPod Touch or iPad Mini 2/3 as a front end. I know I can buy a 128GB unit which would store all my music. But... can I put my library on my Time Capsule and point a 16GB iPod or iPad to that library using AirPlay? Also, if I use AirPlay, I realize I limit playback. If I hardwire the iPod/iPad from the headphone jack to the DAC, will I get the full Apple Lossless playback?

 

Thanks.

Link to comment
I'm converting my CDs into a digital library using iTunes (Apple Lossless). I expect about 150GB of music. Of that, I'll probably "Uncheck" about 15-20% because I'm undecided and not so interested in listening to them in a Shuffle (and may ultimately delete them).

 

I have a new Rega DAC-R and Apple TV connected to my old school tube amp. I also have a Time Capsule with plenty of room and a MacBook Pro. I'm trying to decide on how to front-end everything. Right now I use the MB and Airplay (realizing it limits the playback). I need to remove the MB because it is my primary computer and I need a way to have a dedicated music system/library.

 

I am considering either an iPod Touch or iPad Mini 2/3 as a front end. I know I can buy a 128GB unit which would store all my music. But... can I put my library on my Time Capsule and point a 16GB iPod or iPad to that library using AirPlay? Also, if I use AirPlay, I realize I limit playback. If I hardwire the iPod/iPad from the headphone jack to the DAC, will I get the full Apple Lossless playback?

 

Thanks.

 

Here's another thought... why not purchase a used mac mini or macbook for the purpose? You can find either for about the price of a new ipad mini.

Link to comment

Mansr is correct—you'll be using the iPods internal DAC, and not getting any value from the Rega. I'm pretty sure that the same would be true with the iPad. Getting a "real" computer to run things would yield better sound. While you're still using the MB, try a little experiment: move a few songs that you know are well recorded to it, and play the songs from that, rather than AirPlay. To get a real improvement, it will take a bit more work—download a free trial of a music application that will give you better sound still.

 

since you are used to iTunes as a library, Audirvana can be used in "iTunes integrated mode" which lets you use iTunes for all the song selections, etc. But (and a big but!) it's not hard to configure Audirvana so that even when you're using it this way, it will really improve the way your Rega sounds. There might be other software that runs using an iTunes she'll, I'm not that familiar with any that do though.

 

in any case, you're going to want a second computer to front the system. Mac or PC. Mac minis are popular, but you'd need a monitor (I use our tv for this, or run it through an iPad). Something used is fine—this doesn't take a lot of computational power.

 

This is is a good place to ask and learn about how to do all of this. It can get complicated, but there are many here who will be glad to help you sort things out.

Link to comment

Not sure about the Rega DAC-R, but with some DACs (e.g., the iFi nano iDSD), you can go iPad/iPhone -> Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter -> USB cable -> DAC, and that works well. There are also playback apps (e.g., Onkyo HF Player) that will let you play high-res files (including DSF, if the DAC is DSD compatible) using this setup.

 

The biggest drawback to this approach, IMO, is that it's a bit cumbersome having the iPad/iPhone tethered to a cable.

 

—David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

Link to comment

Thanks! This is beginning to make some sense (either that or I'm hopelessly confused).

 

How old a Mac Mini can I use? I looked on the Audirvana site and they say Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM which seems to suggest anything after early 2009. You also say you use an iPad as a monitor. (I read up a little on this and it seems to work.) Can I buy an old Mac Mini and a used 16GB iPad Mini 2 to use as a monitor and have this all work? Connect Mini with iTunes library on it to DAC and front-end it with the iPad? There's something in Audirvana about an A+ remote for iPad. I'm a little sketchy on that.

 

Here's what I (think I) want as an end result... The Mac Mini optically connected to the DAC with iTunes library on it. The iPad as the iTunes/Audirvana interface. So I sit on the couch and control the music on the Mac Mini through the iPad. Drinking a beer.

Link to comment
Thanks! This is beginning to make some sense (either that or I'm hopelessly confused).

 

How old a Mac Mini can I use? I looked on the Audirvana site and they say Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM which seems to suggest anything after early 2009. You also say you use an iPad as a monitor. (I read up a little on this and it seems to work.) Can I buy an old Mac Mini and a used 16GB iPad Mini 2 to use as a monitor and have this all work? Connect Mini with iTunes library on it to DAC and front-end it with the iPad? There's something in Audirvana about an A+ remote for iPad. I'm a little sketchy on that.

 

Here's what I (think I) want as an end result... The Mac Mini optically connected to the DAC with iTunes library on it. The iPad as the iTunes/Audirvana interface. So I sit on the couch and control the music on the Mac Mini through the iPad. Drinking a beer.

That's pretty much how it works.

 

If you get a mini, I rather go for 8GB of RAM to be future proof if you plan to play highres files.

 

The idea of using ipad as a monitor would be a screen sharing app like Splashtop or other VNC clients, which would only be needed for maintenance, and Audirvana these days offers a €10 Ipad or Iphone remote app that works really well that allows day-to-day control of playback.

Link to comment
Can I buy an old Mac Mini and a used 16GB iPad Mini 2 to use as a monitor and have this all work? Connect Mini with iTunes library on it to DAC and front-end it with the iPad? There's something in Audirvana about an A+ remote for iPad. I'm a little sketchy on that.

 

Here's what I (think I) want as an end result... The Mac Mini optically connected to the DAC with iTunes library on it. The iPad as the iTunes/Audirvana interface. So I sit on the couch and control the music on the Mac Mini through the iPad. Drinking a beer.

 

That's all doable, and you're correct that there's an iOS app that lets you control Audirvana from the iPad. This is basically the setup that I use currently.

 

My only question is why you want to go optical from the Mac mini to the DAC, as opposed to USB. I believe you're limited to 24/96 PCM if you go this route.

 

—David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

Link to comment

For the mac mini, I would say as long as it's a Core 2 Duo or newer you should be fine. I have a 2009 model that works just fine for this purpose. Some say the best mac mini ever is a 2012 model, some claim that the 2009 is and yet others claim the latest is the best. Everything before the 2014 has the ability to upgrade memory. The 2014 is soldered in.

Link to comment

Better way purchase computer most power as possibly (by optimal price/power ratio). Audio player software can work in different modes for adjusting sound to your DAC (future DACs). It demands significant resources.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

Link to comment
Better way purchase computer most power as possibly (by optimal price/power ratio). Audio player software can work in different modes for adjusting sound to your DAC (future DACs). It demands significant resources.

 

True, but a very powerful machine will be difficult to keep reasonably quiet. A bunch of noisy fans are far more annoying than a slightly inferior DSP algorithm.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...