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Old 30th July 2012, 11:35 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jack Caldwell View Post
To be sure, there are other more expensive usb to spdif converters which may be a tiny bit better, but you have to spend about 10x more to get the extra 2% improvement.
Or just skip the sp-dif part completely, getting a Firewire or USB DAC.

Pure Music is an alternative to Amarra, also a couple others highly rated i haven't tried.

dave
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Old 31st July 2012, 04:30 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Or just skip the sp-dif part completely, getting a Firewire or USB DAC.

Pure Music is an alternative to Amarra, also a couple others highly rated i haven't tried.

dave
Hey Mark, that's a classy looking system.

Dave: Yes, Pure Music is good also. With both on the same Mac, I think Amarra sounds more liquid and closer to the real thing on original live acoustic recordings where I was there during the recording. But PM isn't far behind, it sounds really transparent and refined, just not as liquid. It's nice to have both, but I still prefer liquid, so Amarra it is for me.

About DAC w. built-in USB you may have a point, with some dacs at least.... but while DACS have been getting better really fast the last 3 years, my experience with their internal USB sections vs the v-link would point strongly in favor of using the v-link.

Here's why:
In the process of refining and tuning the sound from my Behringer DEQ2496 mods, I've had a chance to listen to a bunch of really good DACS with my speakers: Antelope Zodiac and Zodiac Gold, Metric Halo LIO-8, Anedio, Burson HDA-1, Eastern Electric, various mods I'm doing on the Behringer DEQ2496, Wyred for Sound and a bunch of other dacs not worth mentioning due to less than stellar sound.

In every case, the v-link presented a distinct improvement over direct optical feed from the Mac.
To be honest, I was little surprised at how much better the USB dacs I heard sounded with the v-link rather than their internal USB connection.
Next I'd like to try one of the Metrum Octave dacs. Anyone got one they can lend out for a week?

I find it a little strange that even though the DACS have gotten much better in general, and the dreaded digititis is gone from many of them, when listening with their internal USB some of the digi-nasties creep back in. I'd still vote for the v-link as a must have.

If you don't believe me, try it for yourself!. You can do it at no risk: Crutchfield carries 'em and they have that great 60 day money-back guarantee.

And no, this not a paid ad, nor am I affiliated with anyone else, this is just an audiophile heads-up for a product that deserves more exposure than it's getting. With the high resolution of those MarkAudio drivers, it's almost a necessity.

Oh, hey, another cheap but worthwhile enhancement comes from using a Behringer SRC2496... it's pretty dang remarkable for the money. Further improved the sound on almost every DAC I've tried. No idea why.
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Old 31st July 2012, 04:42 AM   #33
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Here's why:
In the process of refining and tuning the sound from my Behringer DEQ2496 mods, I've had a chance to listen to a bunch of really good DACS with my speakers: Antelope Zodiac and Zodiac Gold, Metric Halo LIO-8, Anedio, Burson HDA-1, Eastern Electric, various mods I'm doing on the Behringer DEQ2496, Wyred for Sound and a bunch of other dacs not worth mentioning due to less than stellar sound.

In every case, the v-link presented a distinct improvement over direct optical feed from the Mac.
To be honest, I was little surprised at how much better the USB dacs I heard sounded with the v-link rather than their internal USB connection.
At least one of those is a Firewire DAC abd doesn't have USB in. That the inbuilt optical got beat is no surprise.

dave
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Old 31st July 2012, 05:11 AM   #34
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At least one of those is a Firewire DAC abd doesn't have USB in. That the inbuilt optical got beat is no surprise.

dave
Yeah the Metric Halo is Fire-Wire. That is a great dac! A bit on the pricey side but a great A/D and DAC.

But I guess the point wan't so much about the built-in optical on the MAC, as it was about the comparison of the internal USB dacs vs the using the USB w. the v-link to feed the same dacs. V-link won pretty convincingly.
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Old 31st July 2012, 05:40 AM   #35
EUVL is offline EUVL  Europe
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4.4 x 7.2m in Hong Kong !!!!!
Business must be extremely good.




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Old 31st July 2012, 06:47 AM   #36
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Yeah the Metric Halo is Fire-Wire. That is a great dac! A bit on the pricey side but a great A/D and DAC.
That is the one i would have liked to have gotten, but budget kept me to an Edirol FA66 -- which certainly hits well above its price class. I wanted to stay away from USB.

dave
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Old 31st July 2012, 07:49 AM   #37
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I thought Fire-Wire was being phased out. Evidently not -shows how much I keep up with the computing industry these days...
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Old 31st July 2012, 07:59 AM   #38
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I thought Fire-Wire was being phased out. Evidently not -shows how much I keep up with the computing industry these days...
If Intel has its way, THE I/O standard will become Thunderbolt. Firewire, USB, DisplayPort, PCI Express are all subsets of Thunderbolt.

All the Firewire guys are validating Thunderbolt to FireWire breakout cables for their stuff. Eventually we will see native Thunderbolt on them. Apple has already deployed Thunderbolt on all their hardware. At least some cards are available for PeeCees.

dave
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Old 31st July 2012, 05:15 PM   #39
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Back to Mark's situation - good luck resolving the HDMI connectivity issue - the Onkyo looks to be a fine enough machine to not require additional & possibly more expensive hardware to "simplify" things.

It's worth noting that for folks who may not yet be in the market to spend more on a DAC than the Mini - even just the standard Toslink into a garden variety Chinese DAC (in my case CityPulse) and using bone stock iTunes as the player is a substantial improvement over AirTunes / AEX Toslink combo into the same DAC.


Sound better than my $900 Jolida "tube output" CD player- or any zoomy transport / DAC combo costing many times that? likely not, but sure as hell a lot more convenient.

This system resides in upstairs living / dining room area, and is primarily for wife's music - mostly for now streamed internet radio, until she gets the hang of remote control of the Mini via screen share from her MBP - but of course it's just as easy to access the various iTunes libraries. Were I to get enthused enough over the potential for high resolution downloads, etc, etc, then it might be time to throw some more time and money at it, but eventually you just wanna relax and "press play".
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Old 22nd January 2013, 04:40 AM   #40
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I have to hook my TV through my computer. I have a Yamaha RX-V467. Since I don't have a 1080p TV yet the screen goes off the TV when I use it as a monitor through the receiver. The processor in the receiver won't compensate. I have a 32 inch TV. Also have to get a 1080p computer monitor for surfing the net while listen to TV if I want. Because everything has to be the same resolution. I don't know that much about Onkyo or Mac but you might be having the same problem.
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