Help Needed with Audiolab M-DAC Plus

Davy

Active Member
Can anyone with this DAC answer this for me. I have this DAC connected to my amplifier and stream Apple music from an iPad. Music quality is set at ‘Hi-Res Lossless’ on the iPad settings. The iPad is connected to the DAC using a lightning to USB A lead into the dedicated Apple input on the DAC (this is the one specifically for Apple iPads/phones).

However, whatever music I play through the DAC it only displays PCM 44.1kHz, although the Apple Music says it is being output at for example 24/96 or even higher.

I’ve tried emailing Audiolab but my emails just get bounced back and the retailer didn’t have an answer.

If I connect my laptop using the other connection (USB type B) the DAC display shows the maximum that I have set the laptop output to, say 192 kHz. Oddly it doesn’t show the actual streaming level coming into the DAC from the computer. The iPad cannot be connected to this input on the DAC as a warning message pops up on the iPad saying the device (DAC) uses too much power.

Bottom line is, whilst everything sounds nice, I have no idea what ‘level’ of music I am listening to.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
As far as I know, you need to get the camera adapter for the iPad so it can be fed power as well.

Then use a lightning to USB Bcable into the Audiolab.
 
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MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Yup. The only way to get digital out of an iPhone/iPad is with one of the camera kits.
 
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Davy

Active Member
Thanks both but I am getting digital out of the iPad its just not showing the higher resolution that the iPad says its outputting at and whatever the Apple Music source is it only shows up as PCM 44.1 kHz on the DAC screen.

Do you think it may be a limitation of the lightning to USB lead?

I was under the impression that the camera adapter was just a means of converting lightning to a female USB to allow a DAC like the Dragonfly to be plugged in. The Audiolab actually charges the iPad using this dedicated output, so I guess power to the iPad isn’t a problem.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Something that says ‘made for iPhone/ipad’ Or something similar is usually restricted to 44.1 and will chop down anything higher than that.

I’ve got one of these.


When I had my Meridian Director it also claimed a lack of power either way to my iPhone, but the above solved it and all was well.

I’m pretty sure you’ll have to use the USB B input with the Audiolab to get better than 44.1 though.
 
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Davy

Active Member
Thanks Paul, the Audiolab does say made for iphone/iPad so that may well be it and it’s restricted to 44.1. The other USB B input does deliver the higher resolution so I”ll try and get one of the adapters you’ve shown and see how that goes. Thanks again.
 
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Davy

Active Member
Well I purchased the adaptor that Paul recommended, connected the iPad to the DAC using the USB B input but got the same warning message on the iPad ☹️Cannot Use Accessory. AUDIOLAB USB 2.0. This accessory requires too much power”.
This is the same as before and shows up whether the charging side of the new adaptor is plugged into a USB wall socket or Apples socket adaptor.
So it seems, that you cannot use this DAC to get hi-res music from an iPad/iPhone.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
My apologies Davy. I was pretty sure it would work as it did for my Meridian.

I’m also puzzled because a MacBook/laptop usb output is only one volt, so hardly a huge dollop.

My only other thought is did you have the iPads volume at full output?

Also, do you have a high current charger, one greater than 1A, usually either 2 or 2.2 amps?
 
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MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
You need an iPad with USB-C to be able to get more than 44.1. Anything with lightning (so all iPhones for example) is limited to 44.1kHz

Maybe with this DAC but not generally true. Definitely not true with a Mojo.
 
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FLKehT

Member
Maybe with this DAC but not generally true. Definitely not true with a Mojo.
Since this isn't a hill I want to die on, I remember reading on Apple's website/forum that iPads with USB-C are the only sure way of getting hires lossless out of out of iOS device. That said (having googled it now) it seems that with lightning it's more of a hit or miss than "definitely not". Hence I stand corrected, to a degree.
 
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TB Rich

Active Member
I remember reading this exact problem on the Audiolab group on Facebook a while ago....
Screenshot 2022-01-26 at 10.41.11.png


@Davy, buy a genuine adapter it should work.
 
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Davy

Active Member
Hi All, well I’ve finally cracked it. Well actually you’ve all cracked it for me and its using an iPad Pro with USB-C.
To sum up; my DAC is an Audiolab M-DAC Plus, originally being fed from an iPad Air 2 using a lightning to USB-A lead direct into the dedicated Apple input on the DAC. This only gave me 44.1kHz showing at the DAC.
Adding an Apple adapter so the iPad could receive power as well, made no difference. (No worries Paul it was worth a try).
Connecting the iPad to the USB-B input on the DAC brought up a “Cannot Use Accessory” error on the iPad, saying that the Audiolab USB requires too much power.
However, changing to my iPad Pro and using a USB-C to USB-A adapter then a USB-A to USB-B lead (gosh it all gets confusing doesn’t it) into the USB-B input on the DAC. (Thanks FLKehT to tell me about the iPad Pro and Paul for telling me to use the B input on the DAC) all works as it should and the DAC now displays that it is getting the hi-res up to 192kHz that the Apple Music is outputting.
It does seem that it is hit and miss as to whether or not certain iPads/DAc’s work but thats life isn’t it.
A big thanks though to all who contributed to this thread.
 
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TB Rich

Active Member
Pad Air 2 using a lightning to USB-A lead direct into the dedicated Apple input on the DAC. This only gave me 44.1kHz showing at the DAC.
Adding an Apple adapter so the iPad could receive power as well, made no difference. (No worries Paul it was worth a try).

Satisfy my curiosity please, is the camera kit adapter genuine Apple or not?
 
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Davy

Active Member
Satisfy my curiosity please, is the camera kit adapter genuine Apple or not?
Hi TB Rich, yes it is but because of the length of the USB lead required, this is not a genuine Apple lead, which may have had some bearing on it not working.

I’m not a Facebook but I wonder if the guy you quoted who said the genuine Apple adapter worked was connecting into the USB-A (dedicated Apple input on the DAC) or the USB-B Computer input.
 
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TB Rich

Active Member
Hi TB Rich, yes it is but because of the length of the USB lead required, this is not a genuine Apple lead, which may have had some bearing on it not working.

I’m not a Facebook but I wonder if the guy you quoted who said the genuine Apple adapter worked was connecting into the USB-A (dedicated Apple input on the DAC) or the USB-B Computer input.
Thanks, and yeah no idea I'm afraid - I just knew I'd seen the issue and it was down to the adapter.
When I was researching to buy an adapter myself ages ago, it seemed the genuine ones were far more reliable and 3rd party ones were hit and miss (and that was for basic hooking up to a PC/Mac let alone trying to use for audio!).
 
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