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Mcanaday
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A friend of mine has been gifted with a nice collection of WAV files. She is hoping to get a Halide Design HD DAC to run between her MAC book and her Rega Elex amp.

 

Our question...does she need special software like Amarra to optimize the sound? If so, what would be best for WAV files played through a MAC laptop?

 

Also does she need to be concerned about jitter? Would a couple of jitterbugs be a good investment?

 

Any other basics she should know in terms of settings etc before getting started?

 

thanks!

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My friend as a Halide dac... he is on PC with JRiver. They (JRiver) are on mac also... Audirvana Plus software (that i know) also is pretty good (mac only). I'll start with the dac alone and see how it sounds with your system, then think if you should put more money in :-)

 

i think WAV files are not the best to be tagged... but if you are not into building a list of your songs, just dropping them in, maybe it is ok, or you should just put them in flac instead to better tagging after.

If You Got Ears, You Gotta ListenCaptain Beefheart

 

MacMini, 4xi3 3.6GHz, SSD, 20Gb, macOS 12.0 > Audirvana Studio 1.6 >

Wyred DAC2 DSD Special Edition > Proceed AMP2 > Focal Cobalt 826 Signature Series >

Audirvana Remote > iPhone 11

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A friend of mine has been gifted with a nice collection of WAV files. She is hoping to get a Halide Design HD DAC to run between her MAC book and her Rega Elex amp.

 

Our question...does she need special software like Amarra to optimize the sound? If so, what would be best for WAV files played through a MAC laptop?

 

Also does she need to be concerned about jitter? Would a couple of jitterbugs be a good investment?

 

Any other basics she should know in terms of settings etc before getting started?

 

thanks!

 

The Halide is asynchronous, so you don't need any anti-jitter devices. Just plug and play.:-)

 

JRiver Media Center is a good, affordable all-around player for all types of files. Even though I use HQ Player most of the time, I keep JRiver handy for locating files on my hard drive. Plus with JRiver you can stream files to your portable devices anywhere in the house for listening. But be sure your friend buys a portable USB drive to back up her files.

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If the WAV files are only CD rips (i.e. 44.1 kHz 16 bit resolution) then she just imports the files into iTunes, inserts the dac between the Mac and the amp and that's it. I don't think she should worry about jitter as the Halide uses its own clock - it is a low-jitter device.

 

If the files vary in resolution, she can still use iTunes for managing and playing her collection but it is advisable to get the BitPerfect app, which works in the background (think of it as an add-on in iTunes), optimising audio performance and allowing the appropriate automatic switch between resolutions.

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The Halide is asynchronous, so you don't need any anti-jitter devices. Just plug and play.:-)

 

JRiver Media Center is a good, affordable all-around player for all types of files. Even though I use HQ Player most of the time, I keep JRiver handy for locating files on my hard drive. Plus with JRiver you can stream files to your portable devices anywhere in the house for listening. But be sure your friend buys a portable USB drive to back up her files.

 

1.The Halide is a good unit and simple to use. I'd recommend you friend try it and see if she feels any improvement is needed before she spends more money.

2. Backup is important.

3. Jitter is a word thrown around way too much. Every issue in computer audio is said to be caused by "jitter", even when the person using the term has no idea if there is a jitter issue or some other issue. There is no necessary connection between a DAC being asynchronus and it having very low jitter. The amount and type jitter in your stream depends on many factors, not just the type of USB implementation.

 

Again, the Halide is a good device - use it and see if your friend is happy. If she is, you are done. If not, you can worry about other tweaks. But people here will be quick to suggest tweaks that cost more than the Halide.

 

The Jitterbug, in spite of the catchy name, isn't a jitter reducing device per se. It reduces noise, etc. so it may indirectly reduce jitter.

 

Personally, for a new user I'd try free software first. Then if the person feels the need for something more, you can investigate commerical solutions.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Given that she is on a MacBook, and may want to be portable and use headphones, I would look at a DragonFly or iFi Nano DAC vice the Halide, though the Halide is very good. The DragonFly has an analog volume control that adds to the sound. Be sure to look at the latest version. The iFi Nano also has an analog volume control, and processes everything you can think of - including high res music. Obviously, I prefer these two to the Halide, but again, the Halide is plenty good enough. :)

 

The problem with WAV files is they are devilishly difficult to tag and once tagged, not every application will display their tags. Might consider using JRMC for a player, or converting the files to AIFF or FLAC if this is the start of an online library. Else, just plugging them into iTunes will work quite well.

 

Again, please take the above with a grain of salt- it reflects my preferences, which may or may not be the same as you or your friend's preferences. :)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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