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Ive set my Mm, and Channel D up to where it plays the native sample rate. I have tried using the upsampling function and find that using the native sampling rate sounds better.

 

-e

 

McIntosh Mc2300 Preamp, Wyred4Sound SX1000 Monoblocks, Wyred4Sound, DAC2,2011 Mac Mini 2.5Ghz, Pure Music Software, 2TB Firewire G-Drive, 10TB Drobo FS, Tascam CD-RW5000 as transport, Denon Dp-30L Turntable, Grado Gold Cartridge, Totem Forest Speakers.

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USB will be your best bet, but this will need a converter of some kind to take USB to either SPDIF or I2S.

 

It your DAC can take I2S this should be better than SPDIF which is a legacy format.

 

Next up would be 'optical' or Toslink which uses SPDIF. It is a popular route.

 

Headphone will already be Analogue and uses the DAC inside the MacMini, so makes an external DAC redundant. It is convenient but not as good as the above two for SQ.

 

Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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jmstpierre, I2S compared to S/PDIF is the preferred output for the following reasons: The digital signal can remain in its native format; four distinct digital streams, bit clock, word clock, master clock, and audio signal are sent separately whereas with S/PDIF they are combined (read condensed) and then when the Dac receives the signal the Dac has to separate the four streams. The advantage is less jitter (plus importante). Forgive the aside, but I2S and HDMI are not the same, you know that, right? Therefore you need a compatible I2S output to the Dac's I2S input, for example PSAudio's PWT to PWD or a converter such as Empirical Audio's OffRamp to a Wyred 4 Sound Dac2. There are other examples, just offering two with no emphasis on what you might choose.

Hope this was helpful.

Best,

Richard

 

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Hi Richard. I have a Mac Mini which I currently connect to my Wyred4Sound Dac2 via USB. I would like to try out the I2S on my Dac2. Other than the Empirical Audio Offramp, are there any other options out there?

 

Oyen Digital Mini-Pro 1TB HDD->Wireworld Starlight USB cable->Auraliti PK90->W4Sound USB cable>SOtM dx-USB HD USB to SPDIF Conv.-> Black Cat SilverStar 75 digital cable->Wyred4Sound Dac2->Cardas Quadlink XLR balanced cables->Anthem 225 integrated amp->Straightwire Rhapsody S->PSB Imagine T speakers

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Renerator, please understand that there are I2S and I2S. Meaning not all I2S are the same physically. The port on the OffRamp 4 is not compatible with the Wyred 4 Sound Dac2's I2S. The W4S is compatible with the I2S port that PS Audio uses. However, the OffRamp 5 I2S is now compatible with PS Audio style I2S and therefore W4S. I am only mentioning OffRamp and PS Audio and Wyred 4 Sound, because, I am not familiar with which brands carry which architecture of I2S. In truth, I have not researched what brands carry I2S and which architecture they conform to. But now that you ask, I am thinking about just doing that. Perhaps starting with Wiki first.

Sorry about this limited answer.

Best,

Richard

 

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More: From Empirical Audio's website as I Googled and found nothing specific that would further this discussion:

"The I2S interface is generally superior to the AES/EBU and S/PDIF. The I2S is compatible with Empirical Audio DACs, Perpetual Technologies P-3A, Northstar DACs and the Stello DA100."

More, more: "I2S output, I2S is a more direct D/A interface than S/PDIF. It was developed by Philips when Philips and Sony created the CD format and the S/PDIF interface specification. I2S is a three or four-signal interface that includes clocks. This is the native interface for most D/A chips. Therefore if one can drive I2S directly and avoid S/PDIF translation, there is the opportunity to reduce jitter even more. Empirical Audio standard I2S interface uses 4 signals and 4 returns and the RJ-45 connector. It is compatible with I2S on several other manufacturers DACs, including Stello, Perpetual Technologies and Northstar.

That's it for now.

Richard

 

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In order to get full audio capabilities out you need to use HDMI, which the latest mac minis have. If you have a mac computer without HDMI and it has display port then you use an adapter from a place like mono price that converts the mini display port to HDMI with audio.

 

That is the only way you can get the full audio signal out. That will allow you to output up to 7.1 PCM (at least). If you use SPDIF you will be limited to 2.1 PCM or 5.1 DTS/DD.

 

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Thanks for the research and advice Richard. I too, went to the Empirical Audio site and noticed that the I2S used a RJ-45 connection. Oh well. I'll keep looking for a solution.

 

Thanks again.

 

Rene

 

Oyen Digital Mini-Pro 1TB HDD->Wireworld Starlight USB cable->Auraliti PK90->W4Sound USB cable>SOtM dx-USB HD USB to SPDIF Conv.-> Black Cat SilverStar 75 digital cable->Wyred4Sound Dac2->Cardas Quadlink XLR balanced cables->Anthem 225 integrated amp->Straightwire Rhapsody S->PSB Imagine T speakers

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Renerator, again, for the sake of clarity, PS PWT & PWD which I know you are not interested in (?) has the compatible I2S port. In a couple of months Empirical Audio which I am not promoting at all is coming out with a new version that comes stock with I2S that is compatible with W4S Dac2 & you can for an up-charge add a Hynes (well regarded) HDMI port as well that your Mac Mini can connect to from the HDMI port on the back of the Mini. And there should be more brands with I2S ports from source or converter to Dac. Now that I have clarified and given you advance notice of what is coming down the pike, I feel that I have partially taken care of any confusion about the specific items I wrote to you about.

Good fortune with your build.

Best,

Richard

 

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Hi Richard and all the rest of you that answered.Lots of useful advice.

Last night i was doing a bit of googling about it all and how to best connect the macmini to my W4S dac2 and noticed that W4S wll be releasing a music server with 3Tb storage and built in ripper and controllable via ipad.That will solve all my problems and will mot be using the mac mini as a media server but move it to study.

As such i will be able to use the I2S input on the dac and output from the server.I ve been looking for something like that for ages.finally...can t wait for it to come out.

I am one of those guys that likes having everything the same brand, so having the dac,server and amps from W4S is a great bonus to me..

Thanks again to all.

sincerely

john

 

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jmstpierre, you are correct. Presently, there's only a photograph and it's not yet available, though I have read some information about it. I am waiting for more detail. Glad there is a Wyred 4 Sound answer for you that matches your criteria. I, too, prefer when components "match" especially when they are affordable. Before discovering Wyred 4 Sound, my system was calculated to cost by a factor of 10 what I actually spent. I am referring to Pass Labs, Bryston, etc. And, while I don't have the benefit of what that might have sounded like (I know what it would cost), I am very, very pleased with Wyred 4 Sound, which has been well reviewed and personally performing highly satisfactory.

 

BTW: I have spoken to Clint at Wyred 4 Sound several times inquiring if Wyred will offer upgrades to their Dac2. Nothing definitive. Doubt I am planting a seed. The company is slowly developing good products at a price point that is more comfortable for me to reach. And hopefully modify with enhancement in performance when offered. I did that with my Oppo players.

 

Good fortune with your build,

Richard

 

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