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I have searched this forum after lurking for some time and I hope someone is willing to help. I have found what I think are bits and pieces of what I need to know but nothing that puts it together in a way I understand (I am not the most technically savvy).


I am looking to add the ability to play music on a 2 channel system from my Imac. I have begun to rip my CD library to my this computer. I know I will have to add an external hard drive to store my over 2000 cds. My question...


What is the easiest, quality method to bring music stored on my Imac to an integrated amp. My amp only has 2 channel RCA inputs, or balanced input. The amp is in the same room however hard wiring would be very difficult to conceal. I do have a home wireless network using an airport.


Oh and I would like to accomplish this for under $1000 if possible.


Thanks in advance for any help.


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If hard wiring your iMac to your integrated amp is not possible why not just connect the audio out from an Apple Airport Express to your integrated's inputs? Less than $100.




Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Mac Mini->Roon + Tidal->KEF LS50W

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Personally I prefer to hardwire than add streaming, but many stream successfully. As said above the airport express could be ideal. If you connect the airport express directly to your amp, you will use the low quality DAC in the airport express. You can of course easily try it out first for awhile and see if its okay. If not, you can easily add a DAC, but it will need to support Toslink inputs to match the Airport Express digital out which is Toslink. There are a lot of DACs available in the $300 - $900 range that will fit the bill. (I picked $900 based on $100 for the AE and your budget of $1K)


Some Options

1) Imac >> wireless >> airport express & tsolink>> DAC >> amp

2) Apple TV sitting next to your amp wirelessly synched from the Imac periodically and hardwired via toslink to a dac >> amp. But you have 2000 CDs so that might not work so well....


Note Options 1 and 2 are limited to 16/44.1 khz redbook CD quality


3) Mac mini next to your Dac & amp - by the far the best future upgrade flexible. If you extended your budget to say $800 for the Mac mini and $500 for the DAC, this could work.

4) Hardwire the Imac to a DAC (e.g. create the cable run and hide it somehow). You could get more DAC with this option.



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These are some good suggestions. As I said I am not too tech savvy...


1 - Will the airport express work in tandem with my existing Airport?


2 - You are suggesting the larger Mac mini, should this hold all of my music on Itunes in lossless? Have I made a mistake by ripping my music in that format? If so can it be converted to another format and what would you suggest?


3 - Any suggestions for inexpensive DAC's?


4 - Will your suggestions 3 & 4 provide higher quality reproduction?


5 - One last question. My son has a PS3 that sits close to my system. can this be used to stream lossless audio to my amp? I suppose I would need a method to connect it to the RCA inputs.




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