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Author Topic: iMac to stereo: DAC or optical out?  (Read 855 times)

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Offline vwmule

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iMac to stereo: DAC or optical out?
« on: November 19, 2016, 01:50:44 PM »
I have a newish iMac that I've connected to my stereo via optical out (the headphone jack doubles as such). But I recently picked up an Audioengine D1 DAC, which uses USB to bypass the Mac's internal system and sends signal to my stereo via RCA.

I'm having some trouble with the DAC as it produces a hum/buzz - a ground loop issue, I think.

While I work on a fix, I'm wondering if the DAC route is indeed superior. Doesn't sending a digital signal via optical simply use the DAC in my Cambridge Audio receiver? If so is the D1 even an upgrade?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 01:53:16 PM by vwmule »

Offline kindms

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Re: iMac to stereo: DAC or optical out?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 02:46:10 PM »
I have a newish iMac that I've connected to my stereo via optical out (the headphone jack doubles as such). But I recently picked up an Audioengine D1 DAC, which uses USB to bypass the Mac's internal system and sends signal to my stereo via RCA.

I'm having some trouble with the DAC as it produces a hum/buzz - a ground loop issue, I think.

While I work on a fix, I'm wondering if the DAC route is indeed superior. Doesn't sending a digital signal via optical simply use the DAC in my Cambridge Audio receiver? If so is the D1 even an upgrade?

you are correct that optical > is going to use the digital to analog converter in the cambridge.

RE: upgrade. depends on the specs and if you prefer the "flavor" of one DAC over the other.
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Offline vwmule

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Re: iMac to stereo: DAC or optical out?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 06:43:51 PM »
Thanks, what I thought. The Cambridge Audio is a very nice unit.

Audioengine sounds great but that buzz is unacceptable. Oddly enough it doesn't occur when I use a different Mac.

 

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