iMAC to NAD C320BEE with M/A BX1 speakers - Which DAC?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by peritus, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. peritus

    peritus
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    Now that I've got my NAD C320BEE connected to my iMAC (just by a 3.5mm to phoni cable currently) along with some M/A BX1 speakers I want to get a DAC to help improve the sound quality


    I DO NOT want to fork out a fortune so around £50-£100 MAX ideally but which DAC and also how do I connect it up?


    I've got spare USB sockets on the iMAC and obviously yhe headphone out socket but that's it; no digital/coaxial etc...


    Please advise :?
     
  2. beanoir

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    If it's a recent Mac then the headphone socket is also a digital optical out.
     
  3. peritus

    peritus
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    I bought it in November (it's an i5 so it's the latest model)

    How is it a digital out; looks just like a standard 3.5mm socket to me
     
  4. beanoir

    beanoir
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    Yes...trust me :)

    Ive got an iMac, MacBook, airport express and they all incorporate both from the same socket.
     
  5. peritus

    peritus
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    Ah right... Just there's no red light being emitted from the socket and I thought that digital out's always had that red light...

    Is that right or wrong?
     
  6. beanoir

    beanoir
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    If I'm honest I've never looked for the red light myself but it would make sense.

    If you go into your System Prefs/Sound/Output you should be able to check that optical output is or can be selected.
     
  7. peritus

    peritus
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    It just has headphones or internal speakers... :(

    It does state on the specs though that it is a digital output...

    Confused :facepalm:
     
  8. beanoir

    beanoir
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    You may have to have the optical lead plugged in for it to show up in the preferences actually.

    On the Airport Express it just switches between either analogue or digital optical automatically depending on what you have plugged in. If i'm honest I haven't plugged a digital optical into any of my macs for a while so I can't exactly remember the process. But I know it should have the facility to provide both.

    Have you tried plugging an optical in to the iMac to your DAC and seeing it registers?

    I need to figure this out as i'm doing a similar thing as you if you remember, and i've not decided on whether to go digital op or usb yet...preferably i'll get a DAC that does both again.
     
  9. peritus

    peritus
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    I haven't as I don't have one but can soon sort that

    I'll report back later :laugh: :smashin:
     
  10. Member 410254

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    I would personally say try and get yourself a Musical Fidelity VDAC click here. A little bit more than the £100 you wished to spend but well worth it in my opinion. an extra power supply can be purchased at a later date too to improve the sonics again.

    Regards
     
  11. peritus

    peritus
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    Thanks

    Seen that and the MkII already but decided that for what the system is and how much it'll be used properly; too expensive

    Very interested in one of these though: USB Digital to Analogue Audio Converter & Headphone Amp | Audio | AV | Adapters | LINDY UK
     
  12. beanoir

    beanoir
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    If you're looking at things like that, the the FIIO E10 DAC/Headphone amp may be worth a look, I know they tend to be highly regarded by the headphone brigade and retail a lot less than the £100 mark.
     
  13. peritus

    peritus
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    How would I connect that to the amp; just via the 3.5mm to phono cable I've already got?

    It looks like it's a USB in only; I assumed digital would be better
     
  14. beanoir

    beanoir
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    In that instance i'd use USB, especially as the USB on this unit processes at the higher bit rate (on the off-chance that you have high res audio files), apart from that it's a digital connection so won't be any different to using optical.
     
  15. peritus

    peritus
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    Well all my music is on iTunes and at the highest rate

    I can always get both cables and see how it goes etc...

    In no mad rsh but it's something I'll sort soon enough so watch this space :smashin:
     
  16. beanoir

    beanoir
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    In that case, you'll be fine with anything iTunes is playing.
     

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