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How to use my macbook pro with my Rega system


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I have the following

 

macbook pro 13"

Rega Brio Amp

Rega Planet Cd Player

Rega Jura Speakers

 

 

Instead of constantly burning different cds, I was contemplating hooking my macbook up to the amp somehow.

 

I'm not that technically inclined and don't want to spend a fortune but from reading different posts it seems I have a few options.

 

1. get a cable (stereo jack -> rca) and hook the MBP directly to my Amp. Cheap option & would probably sound crap

 

2. Put a DAC in between and connect the MPB to it via usb/firewire or optical. Then connect that to the amp with RCA? (The brio I have doesnt have optical)

 

Perhaps I could sell the cd player and amp and get something more integrated? like a DAC & Amp in one ?

 

 

Forgive my ignorance :)

 

 

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The Brio is a fine little amp. If you fundamentally like the sound of your system (I've never heard those Rega speakers) then a very practical solution is your #2. You have many choices for price-appropriate DACs to complement this system. You can get very good sound from the MBP for under $500. I'll let others suggest DAC brands, but would throw the Cambridge Dacmagic into the ring among others. I'm using a Keces USB DAC myself with very solid results.

 

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Your third option would be quite expensive, and I suspect would also limit your choices - off the top of my head I can only think of one of the Cyrus amps, the Naim Supernait, the TACT amps (?). I suppose there's also the various surround sound receivers with ten million (no exaggeration!) connections round the back, but I haven't read anyone making massive claims for their dac qualities. Quite possibly you'd end up swapping your entire system if you go this route, because you'd likely want speakers that were well matched to your new amp.

 

I agree with the above that a sub £500 dac would be a good move, it will be a fabulous step up from the analog output of the macbook, and will, I suspect, raise your computer music to a level that has you wondering about whether to keep your cd player or not.

 

One additional thing to consider is how you like to browse through your music. It's a really big part of the appeal of computer music for me and many other people. If you choose a hard wired dac then you could use an ipod touch running Apple's Remote app to browse iTunes. Alternatively you could stream wirelessly from the laptop to an Airport Express, which would be connected via optical toslink to the dac (rules out usb dacs). Obviously you can get up of the couch go over to the computer to switch tracks, but hey, where's the fun in that? :)

 

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Thanks guys. Ok, getting a DAC and keeping my Brio seems like the way to go.

 

I live in Christchurch New Zealand and there isn't too much choice here of things I can try out first. I found this locally:

 

HRT Music Streamer (cheapest)

http://www.soundline.co.nz/store/product_info.php?products_id=248

 

I could order these in:

Cambridge DACmagic

Apogee Duet (http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet.php)

KECES DA-151 Mk2 (ebay)

 

The HRT music streamer seems to have mixed reviews. The last three would end up costing me about the same. I like the look of the Duet because it will allow me to record stuff if I need to in future but I'm not sure it's really intended for use with a hifi amplifier.. wheras the other 2 clearly are for this purpose.

 

Anyway, I think you've put me on the right track. I guess I just need to look round a bit more and make a choice.

 

Thanks

 

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