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External HDD - does firewire have any benefit over usb 2 for sound quality?


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Iam running a Mac mini into a Benchmark DAC using a Van den Hul glass toslink cable. I have an outboard toshiba HDD and am wondering whether there would be any sonic benefit to changing drives to a firewire drive? (I am playing lossless and AIFF files from the stored drive. )

 

Any insights are appreciated in advance.

 

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Hi TSW,

 

Provided that you continue to use a TOSLINK (Optical Cable) connection between your Mac Mini and your Benchmark DAC, I would not be too concerned about upgrading to an external firewire drive. A USB connection between your Mac Mini and your external drive should be fine for audio files, including AIFF.

 

However, if you decide to use a USB connection between your Mac Mini and your Benchmark DAC, then a firewire drive is recommended. Please see the following thread for further reading: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/asynchronous-USB-DAC-external-USB-HDD-Problem

 

Aside from sonic considerations, you may find a firewire connection to be faster when moving a large library or performing a back-up. Personally, I connect to my external drive via FW800. It works very well.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best regards,

Chris

 

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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Firewire and USB between disk and computer are equal and equivilent (in terms of sound quality) unless they aren't...

 

One factor which **may** affect SQ is that (at least in theory) a USB connection uses more processing than a FireWire connection. Also power and grounding issues may affect the SQ. Also, as commented, USB drive with a USB DAC may cause troubles if both are using the same logical USB connection.

 

Though for my purposes I would consider them the same.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...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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This is all very helpful. I will stick with the USB drive for now.

 

Another random question on the off chance someone knows an answer: my USB drive will not mount to my Mac unless it is unplugged prior to start up, and then I plug it in afterward. Is there any way to fix this? I assume it is because the drive is powered from the USB drive too.

 

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I think we read (and dismissed your suggestion) the first time you said it - repeating it doesn't make it any more true!!

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...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 we read (and dismissed your suggestion) the first time you said it - repeating it doesn't make it any more true!!

 

Aaahhhhh, Groupthink at it's best. I suspect you are the mouth of the organism you call "We".

 

Getting old in the tooth I hadn't realized I already said it though, and being too lazy to check all the posts before I posted didn't help.

 

Ok, carry on.....

 

Oh BTW, power cords affects the sound of most DAC's, Pre's and Poweramps....has the collective agreed upon and accepted this at least?

 

:-)

 

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