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Question on Whether a Firewire Hub Would Solve a Potential Problem


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I have a Mac Mini as my music server. It has only one firewire 800 port. I have an out board hard drive using that port but want to eventually use a firewire DAC. I understand that firewire is a client to client connection, but if I installed a firewire hub would I be able to connect both the out board drive and the firewire DAC to the Mini? If so, is there any "trick" to setting up the configuration?


Thanks for any help you can provide.



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briefly, my current setup is a mac mini with one FW800 connected to Weiss AFI1 using a FW400 adaptor as the weiss can only accept FW400 connections. I am using a WD My Book and it is connected to the other weiss FW400 port using the same adaptor. In short, this daisy-chain connection of mac->weiss->WD has no problems in music playback. But when i do a mac->WD->weiss, playback is flawed with garbled signals when playing hires audio especially 96kHz and above. anything below is fine.


i have previously used a macbook pro that has two FW ports of 800 and 400 and both were connected respectively to weiss and WD and had experienced the same playback issue. the problem went away when i daisy-chain as mentioned above.


someone in this forum mentioned that it is best to use outboard USB with FW DAC or vice versa depending on one's flexibility. just sharing my experiences.


thanks plenty



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  • 3 months later...

On another forum (Audio Circle) there is a user that is shouting the wonderful benefits of going FW (Oyen Digital) with his external drive vs the switching wallwart powered USB external drive he was using (as am I). He, however, is using a USB DAC. I do not have that luxury, in that my DACs (Weiss DAC2, evaluating LIO-8) are FW and I have only one FW port on my MAcbook (SSD) server, thereby assuming I need to use USB for my external drive. One AC forum poster recommended I use a FW hub since my Weiss is not using FW power, thereby giving the power to the FW drive. But as stated here, and I think Eloise or someone else stated elsewhere, "sharing" a FW hub may very well be detrimental to the sonics? Any advice is helpful, even suggesting a clean USB drive solution. It's not like my sonics are suffering, but the gains that the poster was claiming by going FW were pretty nice.


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"May be we could all write Apple and tell them to give us two fw ports."


Actually "dual" FireWire ports are just single FireWire interface with a built-in hub. Only if you have a separate PCIe card(s) do you have multiple interfaces.


So long as you don't exceed the overall bandwidth, there should be no problem daisy chaining FireWire devices (ensure FW800 devices are closest to computer) or using a hub. Out of preference I would still use USB drive with FW DAC though to completely eliminate any conflicts, etc. Just makes life simpler to my mind - I've read of interfaces working with some shared configurations and not others for example.






...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 had similar experience as sukmano with regards to daisy chaining a Weiss DAC2 and WD HDD to a MacBook Pro. I had issues when the chain was MB Pro > WD HDD > DAC2 in that the DAC2 would not lock onto the MB Pro at times. I did not try the MB Pro > DAC2 > WD HDD configuration because that would have put the slowest device (DAC2 - FW400) in the middle of the chain. So, I ended up just connecting my WD HDD to the MB Pro via USB port and everything works as advertised.


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