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NV&H 22nd February 2010 07:00 PM

iTunes/computer feeding an external DAC: The iTunes Equalizer
I have an external Musical Fidelity (V-DAC) USB DAC that's fed from a Mac computer via iTunes. I've noticed that the equalizer within iTunes can still be turned on running this way. I was very surprised by this because I just assumed that the equalizer operated in the analog domain. And I assumed that, for "purity of signal" reasons, this feature would be locked out when a lossless digital stream is being pulled out.

I don't yet have the speakers to fully evaluate the quality of the equalizer, so, can you share your opinions about any signal degradation caused by the equalizer operating this way?

Crossblade 26th February 2010 04:43 PM

Do you need it? Of course it can work (as can the in-iTunes volume control), but better don't use it :)

human.bin 26th February 2010 05:19 PM

no application will comunicate directly with the dac i think, as far as i know all audio apps on mac realy on the coreAudio which then routes the signal to the hardware devices selected. for sure it's how itunes works.

compared to a 64bit linear phase VST equalizer i found that it is really degrading... also on it's own, before i was able to compare it seemed to suck life out of the drivers, but then maybe it was me doing wrong-exagerate equalization. to route the signal to a VST equalizer you need something like:

the free (i don't know how to use it) Jack OS X - a Jack implementation for Mac OS X
or the shareware very easy Rogue Amoeba | Audio Hijack Pro: Record Any Audio On Mac OS X

then just use the VST you prefer, there is one 32-bands built-in osx for pro-audio but to me it didn't sound as good as a 64-bit ultra-powerful-presets shareware i can't recall the name (there is a thread about DSP in the fullrange section of this forum)

also as suggested i would keep the digital volume control from itunes at its 100% position

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