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Connecting Bryston BDA-1 to MacBook Pro


chilest
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Folks,

I just received my new Bryston BDA-1 DAC. I have it hooked up to a new MacBook Pro laptop via a Toslink cable (Monster). I am however, having trouble with the Audio MIDI Setup. First, I am assuming the only important item to focus on is the Audio Output panel and not the Audio Input (I have not added a sound care to the mac). Audio Input is set as follows:

 

-Default Input = "Built-in Microphone"

-Properties for: = "Built-in Output"

 

Importantly, what should the settings be for the following (upper right had panel on Audio MIDI Setup window):

-Default Output: ?

-System Output: ?

-Under Audio Output (lower right hand panel), I have formatted to 2ch-24 bit and 96000 Hz

-Under "Source" what should be selected? Currently the default setting is "Internal Speakers" ????

-There is also selectable line that reads "Master Stream", what should be selected here?

-As for Volume, should I be able to adjust the volumes sliders for Ch 1 and 2? What about the Channel marked "M"?

 

-Finally, is there somewhere that I am supposed to specifically select the Bryston DAC? Does is come up somewhere as indicating the computer is connected to it properly?

 

Sorry to sound dumb, I just want to make sure everything is configured correctly.

 

tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Tom - Glad to hear you finally have the BDA-1, it's a great unit. I've put a photo of Audio Midi Setup here in this thread so we are on the same page. For your specific situation you can disregard anything to do with input.

 

"Importantly, what should the settings be for the following (upper right had panel on Audio MIDI Setup window):"

-Default Output: ? This should be your BDA-1 via USB or Built-in Digital Output

-System Output: ? This should be Built-in Output (Not Digital), so any system sound goes out through the laptop speakers and not your audio system.

 

 

-Under "Source" what should be selected? Currently the default setting is "Internal Speakers" ????

Make sure you have the correct device selected Properties for: box. Source isn't relevant for the BDA-1. Internal speakers will never be an option if the correct output is selected in the Properties for: box.

 

 

-There is also selectable line that reads "Master Stream", what should be selected here?

Just leave it alone and don't think about it. Currently nothing to change here.

 

 

-As for Volume, should I be able to adjust the volumes sliders for Ch 1 and 2? What about the Channel marked "M"?

Don't worry about these. No need to change them right now and you likely won't have the ability to change them in this scenario. Use the volume on your preamp.

 

 

-Finally, is there somewhere that I am supposed to specifically select the Bryston DAC? Does is come up somewhere as indicating the computer is connected to it properly?

If you use USB I think Audio Midi will say Bryston USB otherwise there isn't any indicator. This is where the DAC indicator lights come in handy. The Bryston will let you know if it's locked in on the Mac signal. The Mac side is much easier than you might think.

 

 

Sorry to sound dumb, I just want to make sure everything is configured correctly.

 

No worries Tom, you are the only one to ask the questions. Meanwhile many many readers are very happy because they now have some answers :-) Let me know if i can help further or if I caused more confusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio Midi Setup

 

am-45.png

click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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I have been lurking around and gathering info so I can get started in this musical realm. Tom is a step ahead as he knew what questions to ask.

 

My components are rather long in the tooth besides being in storage. In a mission to get them out of storage and upgrade the speakers I ended up coming home with a new Simaudio Moon i1 integrated amp, DALI Lektor 6 speakers, and a Musical Fidelity V-DAC. I have a five year old Macbook Pro -- 1Ghz PC chip -- which is going to be the signal director. I figure it's good enough to run iTunes and direct traffic.

 

As I sat looking at the boxes I was pondering where to start with the iTunes set-up. And then Tom spoke up. Much appreciated.

 

I plan reripping my CDs to AIFF and then see if I can get some bits and bytes to move through and come out the speakers as sound.

 

Will check in when or if I get it running. Thanks for creating this site -- absolutely what is needed.

 

Regards,

 

-Scooter

 

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Hi Scooter - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. Thank you so much for the kind words. Please let me know if you need any help with system setup. Once you have it working you will never turn back to the traditional audiophile ways of music playback. This is all much easier that it may first appear.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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  • 3 months later...

I have a MHDT Paradisea, connected via USB.

 

My "Properties For:" is set to C-Media USB (the only choice aside from "Built-in..")

 

For format, I am only seeing 48 and 44.1; and 2ch 16bit.

 

I was under the impression this DAC supported 96/24

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Tom,

 

I am a little late to the party here but I just noticed your post:

 

"Under Audio Output (lower right hand panel), I have formatted to 2ch-24 bit and 96000 Hz"

 

Try setting the 96000 Hz at 44.1 - leave the 24 bit alone and see what you think. The way you have it now the MAC is upsampling all the input which is 44.1 (itunes) to 96000 using the computers upsampling feature. With the 44.1 setting you can then use the upsample circuit in the BDA-1 by pressing the button on the BDA-1's front panel to do the upsampling and also compare the upsample signal to a non upsampled signal.

 

james

 

 

 

James Tanner[br]Bryston

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Hi Tom. Would you mind giving me your thoughts on you Macbook Bryston combination? It is a path I am considering.. How does the dac compare with your previous source? Does it sound digital? Aside from your earlier questions, are there any glitches connecting to the macbook?

 

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By way of background, I took about 12 months to decide on a DAC. I listened when possible, talked to a lot of people (like Chris), and read many a review on DACs before I decided on the Bryston. I am extremely happy with the Bryston. I have a McIntosh C2200 pre-amp, MC275 amp and B&W704s speakers. My analog set up is a VPI Scout turntable and PS audio pre-amp and my CD player is a Rega Apollo. My first love is vinyl; however, since purchasing the Bryston, I now listen to digital more and more. Overall, the sound staging and imaging via the Bryston are outstanding and it is dead quite!. You will immediately hear more detail from red book CDs. Surprisingly, I now use my MacBook Pro/Bryston BDA-1 as the primary digital source over my Rega Apollo CD player/Bryston combo. The MacBook Pro is connected to the Bryston via a mini-Toslink cable and I also have it linked via the USB port (linked via a BelCanto 24/96 USB link). Both inputs allow 24/96 directly into the Bryston. For most CDs ripped onto the hard drive as AIFF files, the computer/Bryston sounds better than my CD player/Bryston combo in terms of sound staging and detail. Although some CDs, such as Arvo Part's Lamentate, seem to exhibit greater low level detail from the Rega CD player vs the MacBook Pro. There are no glitches in the set up, very easy to use. Beyond red book CDs, the Bryston (in combination with the MacBook Pro) has allowed me to download and listen to 24/96 files from Linn Records, HD tracks and Itrax for example; once you have listened to files at 24/96, there will be no turning back to red book 16/44.1 CDs. Perhaps the most enjoyable element of the MacBook Pro/Bryston DAC comb is that I have re-discovered radio--notably, internet radio via iTunes, Shoutcast, and Listenlive.eu has me listening to radio stations in the US and Europe now more than ever. Some stations stream at 320 kbps and many at 192 kbps--sounds as good if not better than FM in most cases. And of course, there is Pandora on the internet.

 

In sum, the Bryston was about $500 more than I wanted to spend on a DAC, I am not disappointed, it was well worth the extra cash.

 

Hope this helps

 

tom

 

 

 

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James, by the same notion, should I leave the audio output on the MacBook Pro at 16 bit and let the Bryston perform the 2 ch-24 bit function? I imagine the Bryston 24 bit capacity is superior to the MacBook Pro circuit????

Tom

 

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Hello Tom,

 

I'm also a recent owner of a BDA-1 and I'm loving it. I use a Mac Mini with toslink connection mainly because USB will not let me play 24/96. I see you're using a BelCanto USB Link, in your experience is it worth it? How would you compare high resolution audio quality from the USB/BelCanto combo versus toslink?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

 

Mac Mini => Pure Music => Perfectwave DAC => Cary SLP 03 Pre=> Cambridge Audio 840W Amp => Odyssey Lorelei Speakers

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  • 1 year later...

I know this a bit late in post's but I am wondering if there is a way to adjust the output (volume) level coming out of the DAC? I have the remote control and using balanced out outputs to my preamp (Accuphase).

 

The problem I have is that the volume level is very high (approx 3db) compared to all of my other inputs including my other DAC. I almost damaged my speakers when changing inputs from tuner to my computer because the volume difference was so great.

 

I read in an other forum that the output can be adjusted but I failed to do this, no where in the manual states this as well.

 

I would love to be able to fix this otherwise I may sell the DAC just out of the connivence factor.

 

Appreciate any help that can be offered.

 

Cheers

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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Have you considered using Rothwell (or similar) passive attenuators?

 

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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With the remote:

 

Code - 250 for 0dB change

Code - 251 for minus 1dB change

Code - 252 for minus 2dB change

Code - 253 for minus 3dB change

 

Regards

 

Mac Mini => Pure Music => Perfectwave DAC => Cary SLP 03 Pre=> Cambridge Audio 840W Amp => Odyssey Lorelei Speakers

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I went ahead and entered the codes but unfortunately my estimate in the difference in dB between sources was drastically low. I entered the 253 code and I was able to hear the difference but it was not nearly enough to match my other sources. The Bryston DAC is still very loud compared to other inputs.

 

The difference to all my other sources is that the BDA-1 volume is 8 o'clock and my other sources to match volume is 9:30 o'clock. I can never exceed 10 o'clock with the BDA, the neighbors would call the police.

 

By any chance, Are there any other codes to reduce the output level even more?

 

Cheers

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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I'm pretty sure there is no option to attenuation the BDA-1 more than 3 dB.

 

However, I suggest you post your question to the Bryston forum on AudioCircle. James Tanner moderates the forum and responds to all questions.

 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=57.0

 

Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give audiocircle a try.

 

Cheers

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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James did get back to me quickly and stated that 3dB is the most that can be adjusted without lowering quality.

 

Lyngdorf TDA2200 int.\ Accuphase E-211 int.~ Totem \Mani's & "The One\" monitors~Bryston BDA-1 DAC~Halide HD DAC~Micromega Transport~AnTi cables & Synergistic Research cables~JohnBlue JB3~(mod) Totem orig. Model One monitors[br]Mini Mac,1.8ghz Core 2 Duo

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