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Macbook Pro 2 USB Ports and no place for the ILOK

Guest Claude

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I have two high end usb cables (Transparent Cable, Aqvox) and both take too much space for the Ilok Key (Dongle for Amarra) to be placed right beside them. A USB hub can't be an alternative - buy software for a thousand $, usb cable for another 100$ and then connect everything via a usb hub? Or is this the solution?

Anyone heard of FW800 to usb connector? Or maybe mini pcmcia to usb? Any other possibilities?


Chris, how do you connect the Ilok on your Macbook?

Is there enough space on the back of a macmini (I want to buy one as an music server quite soon)?

I would be very grateful for any helping comments.



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Thanks for the prompt reply. They have a photo on their website (Ilok Extension) and it looks like a "normal" usb extension. At least it looks, as if this does not solve my problem.

By the way, any plans on distributing your DACs to Germany? We still seem to be something like "Computer Audio backland or is it badlands ;-)" but there already is a publication solely about Computer Audio ("EinsNullNull" - OneZeroZero).



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I think the only solution is to use a USB cable with a smaller sized plug. The Apple MBP ports are spaced to allow a good space around them for standard sized plug (as, I think, as written down in the USB specification). They don't take into account "Audiophile" USB connectors as the computer manufacturers belief is that different cables will not affect sound quality. The "dongle" cable may also help you as there will be more flexibility as opposed to the dongle itself.


Having said that - a MacMini will not have that problem as their ports are in a row rotated by 90 degrees so you can just use port 1 and 3 (or similar) which should allow enough space for any cables required.




PS. I just re-read and realised you have the MBP with Express Card - you could ty using something like this Express card giving 4 additional USB2 ports. Sorry this is a UK site but unsure where you are located. Usual caveats apply that I have no association with this website and no information over their reliability - just found the link on Google.




...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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I think he's just missing the 4" (or so) USB extension that (I thought) came with the iLok, and is trying to plug the iLok directly into the port. The iLOK form factor is slightly larger than standard USB end I believe. although not by much. I wouldn't think is would be an issue in a side by side configuration though.




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I am not at home, so I cant re-check right now.


Yes exactly Clay,

but at least for me it was not possible to put both side by side.



it sure looks like a standard termination on the photo and it makes me wonder, if I have two left hands, as we say in Germany. If you can put the dongle right beside a standard cable, than I must be doing something wrong. If the extension solves the problem for the transparent than this will help a lot but only solves one of my problems. The Aqvox cable is much thicker. Actually I just looked at it and didnt even try.


Allthough on their picture it seems like standard they changed the termination to some huge type.

(If someone uses Asio, then they should try the new AQVOX Asio Driver, I am very interested in soundimpressions. They will actually do a driver for MAC as well and told me on the phone, that it might support Itunes?)


I will check tonight.

Thanks to all for the support. I hope, i was not overacting.



thanks for the link. I will check later on. A PC Card will shure solve the problem.

Greetings from Germany



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Clay you're spot on. The Transparent is a little wider, but there is enough room for the extension. One should check what one's got at home! I was so worried, that I would not be able to listen tonight, and only made a quick check this morning, that I overlooked a little something. I have to apologize ladies and gentlemen!


With the Aqvox cable it does not work though (Eloise thanks for the tip, I found an express card). But so far the cable does not really impress me. Do USB Cable need break in time?

I remember (how many years ago?) that people started to talk about the different sound of interconnects and speaker cables (voodoo!!!), then they started to talk about different sounding digital interconnects (how can that be!), then some crazy guys found out, that clean power and power cables make quite a difference and can change the sound of a system completely, today cables have the price and status of components... pretty soon we will talk about the benefits of ultraexpensive USB and Firewire Cables. I am looking forward to it!


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