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Apple Airport Express query

skyliner34

Active Member
I've had a Apple Airport Express(firmware 7.6) for Christmas. I have it plugged in via optical Sony STR-DH820 with B&W 601 S3 speakers with Apple lossless music on my MacBook Pro.

Im reading on here people buying dedicated DACs. Is there any point for me to do this? as I've connected it directly to amp via optical.

Also I have the express connected via wireless. Would I get better quality if I plug it in via Ethernet cable? My talk talk router is upstairs and the hi fi downstairs in the lounge. so I'd have to buy a Ethernet homeplug to have a wired connection.

Thanks
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
The limiting factor is the audio quality of your amp. You would gain little from a adding a DAC and to really make it worth while you would be spending more than you paid for your AV amp. I would carry on using the DACs in the amp as you as you are now.

If you are not having a problem with dropouts over the wireless then you would not necessarily gain by hard wiring - you would have to try it in your installation to know if it would be an improvement. Try and borrow some homeplugs to test it before spending the money.

Have a read of the section on i-tunes in this pub to make sure you have it setup right for the best sound quality.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/dCS_Guide_to_Computer_Audio(2).pdf
 
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larkone

Distinguished Member
It works fine from my PC - can your i-phone handle pdfs?
 

beanoir

Novice Member
I'd say you certainly would benefit from an external DAC as the onboard DAC in your Sony is not the best.
 

skyliner34

Active Member
Many thanks :)

The PDF worked swell :)

Which external DAC would you recommend?

Also do these mains conditioners help sound?
 

beanoir

Novice Member
A cheap one, like a beresford, cambridge audio dacmagic or something of that ilk, and probably seconhand form eBay or the like.

I'd personally say that a mains conditioner would be a bit much though, they are a good idea, but wouldn't have anywhere near the same effect on the sound as an external DAC would.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Dacmagic can only be had second hand atm

Maybe consider the V-Dac, thought admittedly not very "hi-fi rack". Sound wise though it is the equal of the DM based on a non-scientific test at a head-fi meet
 

beanoir

Novice Member
Dacmagic can only be had second hand atm

The DacMagic is still in stock in more than a handful of richer sounds stores, it can be bought new still quite easily. The dacmagic plus will be available very soon if not already.
 

skyliner34

Active Member
Thanks again guys :)

I think speaker cable is my first upgrade. At the moment Im using some cheap Argos speaker cable (I brought it when I had a cheap system and have never upgraded).

So I've brought QED Silver Anniversary Bi-Wire cable.

This will improve my sound a lot I'm guessing?
 

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