Jump to content
IGNORED

Before mac os 10.6.4 sample rates beyond 96kHz were not supported - is it true


drjimwillie

Recommended Posts

In the stereophile article "The best $33 I ever spent, by Art Dudley he says "Although class-2 USB capabilities have existed on Macs for a number of years, it wasn't until OS 10.6.4 that sample rates beyond 96kHz were supported."

 

I was just about to buy a refurbished mac mini to use the USB to install a new MF vdac ii to my stereo system when I remembered this quote. The mini has a G4 processor and a OS 10.4 tiger. Does this mean that it would be a waste of a good vdac to use this USB connection?

 

What is the sample rate of the OS 10.4?

 

I was told that I need a mini with an Intel processor to upgrade the OS to 10.6, which is newer than I can afford.

 

I only need the mini for its usb port because my iMac is about 25 feet away from my stereo. I have an ethernet connection at my stereo so I can use my verizon router, I do not want to go wireless. If I stay mac she can control it with her iPad.

 

This all started because my wife only plays Pandora on her iMac because "I don't have any music from the 20th century", but I have a Conrad Johnson preamp and Altec A7 voice of the theater speakers, so it kills me to listen to the iMac. This is my first foray into computer audio. I have been working on this for weeks and now it looks as I am going to miss this as a Christmas present for her.

 

Any advice would be great. Thank you

 

 

 

Link to comment

The guys at Musical Fidelity said that if a computer is involved a usb connection is your best bet. I can get the mac mini for around $250 and use the iPad2 as the interface to play iTunes or decibel (I think), I am so new at this....

 

I don't think that the squeeze box has a usb out, does it and I would be using the dac in the squeeze box.....

 

Link to comment

Does this mean that the highest speed that the usb will transmit is 48 kHz. Is there a solution with the older mac mini? mac tech support had never heard of the issue, it was the sales person at the refurbish site that said that I would need a mini with the intel processor to install the OS 10.6.4, is she correct.

 

I was told by apple tech support: Apple TV has a usb but it is only for diagnostics (read-only); Airport express has a usb but it is only for printing, not streaming audio.

 

I was hoping to use the router to send a signal to the airport express with my ethernet cable and use its usb out for audio. (I don't want to use the wireless)

 

I started out thinking I would use the HRT II and the airport express and "get on with my musical life" for $250. The Musical Fidelity guys said that guts in the vdac II are the same in dads costing 10x to 12x more (convincing sales pitch). So with the vdacII $350 and the refurbished mac mini $250 I'm up to $500 (my wife is going to kill me), is there another solution I can plug my ethernet cable into that will sound as good.

 

 

 

Link to comment

Is your music from CDs? Or do you have or want to get higher-resolution downloads or DVD-Audio discs? If it's from CDs, those have sample rates of 44.1kHz, so no need for anything above that.

 

Re the Airport Express and the Apple TV, if the V-DAC II will take Toslink (optical S/PDIF) input, and I think it does, just use the digital optical output from either the Airport Express or Apple TV and you're done.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Link to comment

Given that you're streaming Pandora (MP3's) I would agree with Audio Doctor--get a Squeezebox Touch. It's $300 and will stream from many internet radio stations, and will connect wirelessly to your router and no need for a computer at all. (or anything else for that matter) You would get better performance from a USB port + separate DAC but then you'd lose it all with the Airport Express. I have this setup and it's OK, but you lose any advantage of the USB's better functionality once you send it all through the Airport Express.

 

Ray

 

Ray[br]Viola Player| Parasound HP-850, Acurus A100, Technics SL-M3, Velodyne SPL-II, Mirage Omni 250, Musical Fidelity V-DAC

Link to comment

Honestly, it will be $250 down the drain.

 

Better to wait, save, and get at least an Intel Mini with 4GB of memory.

 

Not sure if you've already coughed up for the VDAC, but there are floating about some cheaper firewire audio interfaces that will get you 96 kHz on an older Mac running 10.5.8 (my card maxes out at 96, so not sure if even higher rates are possible). But USB's much more consumer friendly, so a reasonably recent Intel machine's without doubt the safest bet.

 

Also, if you want to improve on iTunes, of all the currently available sound engines only Pure Music will run on 10.5.8. The others (Audivarna, Fidelia and BitPerfect) need 10.6.

 

One last thing, $350 + $250 is actually $600! So your wife may mutilate your corpse as well.

 

 

 

Mac G5 PowerPC > iTunes[br]MIND:[br][Pure Music] > APOGEE Duet > AKG K702[br]BODY:[br]--- cheap USB --- XITEL Hi-Fi Link (with Russ Andrews PowerPak mod) --- stock toslink --- SONY MDS-JE510 MiniDisc (used as DAC) --- RADIO SHACK --- SONNETEER Alabaster ----- bell wire ----- ELTAX Millennium Minis[br]SOUL:[br]www.radiolab.com

Link to comment

I don't know the max sample rate for 10.4.

 

I think it safe to assume it is at least 24/96. That is currently the limit for Toslink on the Mac and if you assume that was the limit for USB on 10.4, then you can ask yourself are you okay with a limit of 24/96? I am currently limited to 24/96 by my DAC and frankly when I run into a 24/192 file I am astonished at how long it takes to download and deal with because they are so damn big. I think 24/96 is not so bad...

 

Go ahead with the Christmas gift! You can always Ebay it later if needed.

 

Edit: I think the real issue is USB 2.0. You need USB 2.0 to get to 24/192. OSX 10.6.1 added native support (driver not needed) of USB 2.0. You might be able to get USB 2.0 with a driver for versions of OSX between 10.1.5 and 10.6.

 

 

Link to comment

"The mini has a G4 processor and a OS 10.4 tiger. "

 

Do not buy this. It is a dog-slow piece of junk. I actually avoided mac minis for several years after buying this thing, because I thought it was the singularly worst computer I ever purchased.

 

I am surprised it still works at all.

 

The highest version of OS X that will (technically) work on this machine is 10.5.9. 10.7 and 10.6 only run on intel macs. Probably none of the software we care about will run on this. Don't buy this unless you want a white plastic box of hurt.

 

Link to comment

I'm nt sure anyone has directly answered your question so I'll take a stab at it...

 

Mac OS X 10.6.4 introduced support for Class 2.0 USB Audio which is required for "driverless" (or more technically OS provided drivers) USB devices with support for greater than 24/96 audio. Prior to this devices were available (such as M2Tech HiFace) which provided 24/192 (and possibly greater) support but these required proprietory drivers.

 

As pointed out, the MacMini G4 only supports up to OS X 10.5 (Leopard). This will support higher than 24/96 sample rates provided your device supports it with suitable drivers. Generic USB drivers only support Class 1.0 Audio limited to 24/96.

 

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.

Link to comment

You guys are incredible. Thank you very much!!

So many of the comments were absolutely informative.

 

It has been an interesting. Next I thought that an optical out of one of the apple devices might be the thing, but it seams that there are limitations on the bit rate over these. And, as I was told, usb from a computer, but optical from other audio devices is good. I tried to bully the apple people into telling me that I could have the ethernet feed the airport express and use the usb out. I got them to infer, that there is no way, that it might not work.....but, its not designed to work like that. I read about how you can write new code to make the usb on the apple tv work, I'm not sure I want to go there. There had to be a solid solution.

 

I have the ethernet to use off of the verizon router, so I asked a sales person about server like things, and, I bought a Marantz NA7004. (I got a refurbished one for $450) It is a network audio server, no devices to play, disks or as a storage device. It plays every type of digital source, but not some prime file types. It dosent play AIFF files but it loves FLAC (don't know what to do there, how to use with a mac). It plays Internet 14,000 radio stations and pandora. You can send a signal to it almost any way you want. They said "that your grandmother could use it. Messed up thing is for some reason Pandora one doesn't work on it, looking forward to firmware updates.

(PS if you want you can use an optical out to your upgraded DAC)

 

Now, I have to figure out to set up a NAS, and get FLAC to work with I tunes, with something like Decibel as a front end?? This is all very ambitious. First I have to figure out how too rip flac files, nothing like starting from scratch.

 

Thanks for all your help

 

Link to comment

The Marantz uses what is known as UPnP. You can't (as far as I know) use any of the regularly mentioned applications (Decibel, iTunes, Amarra, etc) to control it. You need a specialised UPnP server and control point.

 

One possible solution for you (as a server) would be a VortexBox device. This includes all the server side you need. Add a iPod touch or iPad running PlugPlayer for control.

 

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.

Link to comment

All you need is a UPnP server on your Mac. Eyeconnect is the one that I have had the most luck with and it will play your Apple Lossless just fine. It is limited to 24/96 but might be a bit better sounding than simply using the fantastically easy AirPlay functionality that is built into your Marantz NA7004.

If you want simple 16/48 playback from any of your Apple devices (or computers) all you need to do is make sure your NA704 is on your network, open up iTunes, look down at the lower right corner for the AirPlay symbol, click it and choose the Marantz 7004 and voila, press play. Total control from your computer, the Marantz remote, simply using Apple's own Remote app on your iTouch or iPhone and off you go.

 

PS. Pandora should be working on that, are you sure you have typed in your passward and all correctly? It works a peach with all the Marantz networked pieces.

 

David

Link to comment

Have your wife use her iPad and play Pandora right on it and simply AirPlay it to the Marantz. Simple and then she has control of volume for it also.

 

Or........get the free Marantz Wizz app for her iPad and she can see everything that is can be played on the Marantz, internet radio stations lists, Pandora, your music server, etc.

 

David

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...