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twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 08:01 AM
I've recently tried to switch my Mini from analog output to digital using a mini-optical to toslink cable, but I'm not getting any sound through the amplifier. When I plug the cable I can see the output changing from Internal/Headphones to Digital Output, so I know the cable is connected/seated properly. I've also checked Audio MIDI setup and it's set to 48k for Digital Output. This is on a 1.83ghz Core Duo, which I've checked is capable of outputting digital.

I also know the optical works fine on my receiver (Pioneer VSX-D912) as I have one other optical component and two coaxial digital components working fine.

I'm a bit concerned as I would have expected light to shine from the output jack on the Mini when the mini-optical adapter is inserted (without the toslink plugged into the adapter), but no light is visible. Can anyone confirm if you're able to see light from the jack on your Mini? Or is there anything else you can suggest short of taking it in to Apple? (Incidentally I don't believe it's under warrany - obtained from eBay about a year ago).

Thanks,

Tom

Forgot to mention, it's running Leopard 10.5.2.



LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 08:48 AM
I got a Mac Mini Core Duo 2 for ALL I'm using is Monster Cable mini to Standard Optical out to Logitech Z-5500 THX 5.1 Speakers. Go to System Preferences now got to Audio. Do you see Digital Out or Analog out because you should see Digital Out. :apple:

Actually I see your Signature since you got a MacBook Pro try using that cable on the optical out of the MacBook Pro to see if that works if it don't then it may be a bad cable.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 09:03 AM
I see Digital Out when the cable is connected. Sadly I can't check with the Macbook Pro as it's in for Applecare at the moment. I also have a Macbook Air but I don't believe the Air does optical. :confused:

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 09:21 AM
I see Digital Out when the cable is connected. Sadly I can't check with the Macbook Pro as it's in for Applecare at the moment. I also have a Macbook Air but I don't believe the Air does optical. :confused:


OK go to iTunes and play music. Then go to to your receiver change input to make sure you got the right one selected. I'm jamming Korn right now. :D

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 09:24 AM
That's the point - I see it's selected Digital Out but there is no sound reaching the amp.

CWallace
Mar 30, 2008, 09:39 AM
Probably a bum cable then.

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 09:41 AM
That's the point - I see it's selected Digital Out but there is no sound reaching the amp.

Are you playing music now? Then go to input select on the receiver. If nothing still then restart your Mac Mini. I know it got to be something simple.

Probably a bum cable then.

Yeah no crap I would suggest a Monster Cable. :D

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 10:52 AM
It's on the correct input, and the cable is fine, so we can eliminate those two as issues. IMO spending a fortune on an optical cable is pointless - optical is optical and you can't improve the quality of an optical signal with an expensive cable.

Can either of you confirm whether or not you see light coming out of the output jack on your mini?

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 11:00 AM
It's on the correct input, and the cable is fine, so we can eliminate those two as issues. IMO spending a fortune on an optical cable is pointless - optical is optical and you can't improve the quality of an optical signal with an expensive cable.

Can either of you confirm whether or not you see light coming out of the output jack on your mini?

Well you need to buy another cable to see if it's not the cable. I'm trying to help you with best I know how. My Mac Mini is working fine with optical cable and it has been since day 1. I don't know what else to tell you but go to www.apple.com got to Support then type the issue then go through their troubleshoots.

jdavtz
Mar 30, 2008, 11:01 AM
Light comes out of the Toslink cable plugged into an iMac and it must also do that on a Mini (otherwise how will the data reach the receiver..?)

Are you 100% sure the cable isn't dead? That's the most likely place for a problem and the easiest to fix.

Your receiver can do 48khz can't it? Are you outputting 16 bit or 24 bit data? Though you should still have light coming through the Toslink cable anyway.

Edit: I see you're talking about it shining out of the adaptor; I don't know about that (it's got kinda jammed...) but it definitely glows red at the other end of the optical cable.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 11:02 AM
I've tried all of that - searched apple.com, searched Apple discussions, searched most of the forums I know and tried every suggestion. Before I go tearing everything apart again, can you just tell me please if you can see light from the output port on your Mini? If you can, then there's a problem with the port on mine and I know then that there's no point in messing around with it.

I've tried all of that - searched apple.com, searched Apple discussions, searched most of the forums I know and tried every suggestion. Before I go tearing everything apart again, can you just tell me please if you can see light from the output port on your Mini? If you can, then there's a problem with the port on mine and I know then that there's no point in messing around with it.

Problem is I don't know if the light is always on on the Mini. It was on my MBP, but I'm not sure if it should be or not with the Mini. I think the only way you'd be able to tell for certain would be for someone with a mini-optical adapter to insert and check. My thinking is that the mini-optical adapter being inserted switches the Mini into digital mode rather than analog. When it's in 'digital' mode there should definitely be light emitting (and on mine there isn't).

CWallace
Mar 30, 2008, 12:56 PM
It has been my experience with toslink optical outputs that they are always on (shining) if the unit has power. This applies to computers, cd players, receivers, portable digital audio players (DAT/MiniDisc), etc.

So if your Mac Mini's optical output is not putting out a light, then it is likely inoperative - either because it's not set to be active or it has suffered a failure.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 12:59 PM
It has been my experience with toslink optical outputs that they are always on (shining) if the unit has power. This applies to computers, cd players, receivers, portable digital audio players (DAT/MiniDisc), etc.

So if your Mac Mini's optical output is not putting out a light, then it is likely inoperative - either because it's not set to be active or it has suffered a failure.

Thanks for posting. I had a feeling that might be the case. I'm going to try opening the Mini (again) to double-check that the cables are seated properly (though I doubt analog optical would be working if not). If that doesn't improve the situation it looks like a visit to Apple will be the last resort. :(

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 01:13 PM
Thanks for posting. I had a feeling that might be the case. I'm going to try opening the Mini (again) to double-check that the cables are seated properly (though I doubt analog optical would be working if not). If that doesn't improve the situation it looks like a visit to Apple will be the last resort. :(

Dude buy a new cable if doesn't work first. Optical out is either on or off since you say on. Then IT REALLY sounds like the cable. I think 4 people posted and said it's the cable! BUY A NEW CABLE! If you can't get this working my next advice put it on eBay for $100 I buy it! :D

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 01:15 PM
Appreciate your advice, but if there's no light from the optical port then spending hundreds on cables won't make any difference! I'm not wasting even more money on cables if I know the port isn't working in the first place.

flopticalcube
Mar 30, 2008, 01:21 PM
No reason to spend more than a couple of bucks on the cable:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 01:34 PM
The cable has been tested on another optical device and works perfectly.

Surely it wouldn't be that difficult for someone else with an Intel Mini to simply unplug theirs and confirm if light is visible from the port on the back of the Mini. From mine there is no light, which I believe suggests that the port itself is faulty.

Incidentally I've also now opened and checked the ribbon cable. It's firmly in place so I don't think that's the issue either.

Anyone?

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 02:33 PM
The cable has been tested on another optical device and works perfectly.

Surely it wouldn't be that difficult for someone else with an Intel Mini to simply unplug theirs and confirm if light is visible from the port on the back of the Mini. From mine there is no light, which I believe suggests that the port itself is faulty.

Incidentally I've also now opened and checked the ribbon cable. It's firmly in place so I don't think that's the issue either.

Anyone?

You opened your Mac Mini? :eek:

I guess Warranties are overrated anyway.

Appreciate your advice, but if there's no light from the optical port then spending hundreds on cables won't make any difference! I'm not wasting even more money on cables if I know the port isn't working in the first place.

I unplugged mine I didn't see a light. I plugged it backed up and playing music from iTunes it works fine for me.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 02:36 PM
It's already out of warranty anyway as it's a 2006 model. Even then, most info I can find on the web suggests that upgrades to the Mini won't void the warranty.

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 02:37 PM
The cable has been tested on another optical device and works perfectly.

Surely it wouldn't be that difficult for someone else with an Intel Mini to simply unplug theirs and confirm if light is visible from the port on the back of the Mini. From mine there is no light, which I believe suggests that the port itself is faulty.

Incidentally I've also now opened and checked the ribbon cable. It's firmly in place so I don't think that's the issue either.

Anyone?


Not to make you look dumb but you don't have the Mac Mini on mute do you? Volume Controls shouldn't be working also.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 02:38 PM
No - it's not muted. As I've said I can start a track playing in iTunes with a normal stereo cable plugged in, then swap in the optical cable (switching the amplifier to digital of course) and there is no sound.

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 02:56 PM
No - it's not muted. As I've said I can start a track playing in iTunes with a normal stereo cable plugged in, then swap in the optical cable (switching the amplifier to digital of course) and there is no sound.

Changing your computer’s sound output device
You can choose to hear sound played through your computer’s built-in speakers, or through external speakers, headphones, or stereo equipment that you connect to your computer.

To hear sounds from your computer played through an external device:


Make sure the device is properly connected to your computer.


Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Sound.


Click Output, and then select the device you want to hear sound through.


To listen through your computer’s built-in speakers, select “Internal speakers.”


To listen to external speakers or headphones that are connected to the headphone jack, select Headphones.


To listen through external USB speakers, select your speakers in the list.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 03:03 PM
The output automatically changes when the cable is switched from the stereo to the optical. I've checked and double-checked the Sound preferences to ensure that Digital Output is enabled/selected.

dops7107
Mar 30, 2008, 03:03 PM
Jeepers. It's like the OP's posts just aren't being read at all.

a) the cable is fine
b) analogue works fine
c) please can someone with an Intel Mac Mini see if 1) there is light coming out of the port when no cable is present (there isn't on my MBP so I doubt there would be on the Mini) and 2) when a cable IS present, you can see a glow at the other end of it - and surely there must be.

Enough of the new cable business. Sounds to me like the port's dead. :(

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 03:09 PM
Jeepers. It's like the OP's posts just aren't being read at all.

a) the cable is fine
b) analogue works fine
c) please can someone with an Intel Mac Mini see if 1) there is light coming out of the port when no cable is present (there isn't on my MBP so I doubt there would be on the Mini) and 2) when a cable IS present, you can see a glow at the other end of it - and surely there must be.

Enough of the new cable business. Sounds to me like the port's dead. :(

Thanks. ;)

Interesting that you say you don't see any light on your MBP. Another poster above says he can see light from his, and I'm certain on my MBP (in service at the moment) also *always* has visible light coming from it.

In any case, even if the optical is only enabled when an optical plug is inserted, inserting the mini adapter on it's own should cause light to be visible (it clearly activates digital output as I can see it in the Sound pane). I'm still leaning toward a bad port, but I'd love to hear otherwise.

There was mention on the Apple discussion forum about a 'Leopard bug' related to digital out on a Mini, but I've been unable to find any other mention or further details on it. Sadly I never used the optical when the Mini was running Tiger, so don't know if it worked previously either.

Cave Man
Mar 30, 2008, 03:13 PM
please can someone with an Intel Mac Mini see if ... when a cable IS present, you can see a glow at the other end of it - and surely there must be.

Yes, my 1.66 Core Duo mini always has the illuminated cable and it provides digital audio to my Onkyo receiver. I'm using 10.5.2.

dops7107
Mar 30, 2008, 03:16 PM
Thanks. ;)

Interesting that you say you don't see any light on your MBP. Another poster above says he can see light from his, and I'm certain on my MBP (in service at the moment) also *always* has visible light coming from it.


Weird. Mine's the latest 15 inch MBP, at the minute I'm on battery but I'm sure I haven't ever seen light coming out even when plugged in (I remember looking, because I have an old Sony CD player whose optical output is permanently on). I don't have any way to test it though - no cable and nothing to plug it in to!

Raises an interesting point though - how does the socket know an optical cable has been plugged in when there is no electrical connection? Or is there? - I don't think I've ever seen a 3.5 mm optical cable.

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 03:16 PM
Seems pretty definitive to me then. The only other possibility I can see aside from a faulty port would be some other software disabling the audio out, but I don't think this is likely (and I'm not running anything else that I can see would do this.

Weird. Mine's the latest 15 inch MBP, at the minute I'm on battery but I'm sure I haven't ever seen light coming out even when plugged in (I remember looking, because I have an old Sony CD player whose optical output is permanently on). I don't have any way to test it though - no cable and nothing to plug it in to!

Raises an interesting point though - how does the socket know an optical cable has been plugged in when there is no electrical connection? Or is there? - I don't think I've ever seen a 3.5 mm optical cable.

I believe the mini-optical is slightly longer than a standard 3.5mm, which triggers something inside the port indicating a digital cable. It's unclear whether or not the light is visible when an optical cable isn't inserted (responses above are variable).

Cave Man
Mar 30, 2008, 03:25 PM
I believe the mini-optical is slightly longer than a standard 3.5mm, which triggers something inside the port indicating a digital cable. It's unclear whether or not the light is visible when an optical cable isn't inserted (responses above are variable).

Does your cable have an integral miniconnector, or is it one that attaches to a conventional Toslink connector? If the latter, when you tested it, did you have the miniconnector attached?

twynne
Mar 30, 2008, 03:28 PM
It's a standard toslink with a mini-adapter (removable). I don't have any other components that use the mini-adapter so I can't really test that bit, but looking at it you can see that it does nothing but adapt the cable to the port itself (you can look straight through it).

The mini-adapter also supports my theory that the port is bad, as inserting it by itself activates digital out on the Mini, but no light is emitted.

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 03:33 PM
Only thing I can think that would be helpful is send me the Mac Mini then someone needs to put you out of your misery. Then that's that! :D

Leon Kowalski
Mar 30, 2008, 07:40 PM
Appreciate your advice, but if there's no light from the optical port then spending hundreds on cables won't make any difference!
If System Preferences > Sound is showing "digital out" you should see
a red light in the miniToslink adapter and at the the end of any toslink
cable connected to the adapter.

The red light should be visible even if the audio output is "silent" or
idle. If no light is visible, the optical output is busted.

If there is a light but no response from a "known-good" receiver, the
toslink cable is probably too long. Apple's digital-optical outputs tend
to be wimpy, and often have problems with cable runs over 10-15 ft.
(You'll still see the red light plainly even when it's too weak to satisfy
the receiver).

Monster Cables are extremely effective at alleviating cash gluts and
evoking convulsions of hysterical laughter from electrical engineers.
OTOH, for transmitting optical or electrical signals, you'd be far better
to stick with www.monoprice.com.

LK

LEStudios
Mar 30, 2008, 11:20 PM
If System Preferences > Sound is showing "digital out" you should see
a red light in the miniToslink adapter and at the the end of any toslink
cable connected to the adapter.

The red light should be visible even if the audio output is "silent" or
idle. If no light is visible, the optical output is busted.

If there is a light but no response from a "known-good" receiver, the
toslink cable is probably too long. Apple's digital-optical outputs tend
to be wimpy, and often have problems with cable runs over 10-15 ft.
(You'll still see the red light plainly even when it's too weak to satisfy
the receiver).

Monster Cables are extremely effective at alleviating cash gluts and
evoking convulsions of hysterical laughter from electrical engineers.
OTOH, for transmitting optical or electrical signals, you'd be far better
to stick with www.monoprice.com.

LK

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Leon Kowalski
Mar 31, 2008, 12:59 AM
How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Alle Nexus Sechsen werden Brüder....

...Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt,

LK

twynne
Mar 31, 2008, 03:34 AM
If System Preferences > Sound is showing "digital out" you should see
a red light in the miniToslink adapter and at the the end of any toslink
cable connected to the adapter.

The red light should be visible even if the audio output is "silent" or
idle. If no light is visible, the optical output is busted.

If there is a light but no response from a "known-good" receiver, the
toslink cable is probably too long. Apple's digital-optical outputs tend
to be wimpy, and often have problems with cable runs over 10-15 ft.
(You'll still see the red light plainly even when it's too weak to satisfy
the receiver).

LK

Thanks.

The cable is only 1.5m, Sound preferences definitely show as Digital Output when the cable is inserted, and no light is visible from the bare port or at the end of the cable when inserted.

Unless it's possible for software (or the OS) to have somehow disabled the optical out, I'm still leaning toward a faulty port. Shame it's no longer under warranty or I'd have just popped it into Apple for a look. Any guesses how much they'd charge for the port alone (does it necessitate a full logic board replacement?)

Cheers,

Tom

SaSaSushi
Mar 31, 2008, 05:53 AM
Thanks. ;)

Interesting that you say you don't see any light on your MBP. Another poster above says he can see light from his, and I'm certain on my MBP (in service at the moment) also *always* has visible light coming from it.

If it helps you any I use the digital out on my 24" aluminum iMac and see no light with the cable plugged in or not. The sound is working fine.

twynne
Mar 31, 2008, 06:01 AM
If it helps you any I use the digital out on my 24" aluminum iMac and see no light with the cable plugged in or not. The sound is working fine.

Are you sure you're using an optical cable? I can't imagine it working without any light being emitted. :confused:

SaSaSushi
Mar 31, 2008, 06:32 AM
Are you sure you're using an optical cable? I can't imagine it working without any light being emitted. :confused:

It's a TOSLINK to Mini-TOSLINK cable and the audio is working fine. Just so I know what it is I am supposed to be looking for and don't confuse you with misinformation you're referring a light on the socket itself on the Mac end, right?

If so I see no light with or without the cable inserted. I turned off the screen and all lights in my room and I'm sure there is no light being emitted.

SaSaSushi
Mar 31, 2008, 06:40 AM
UPDATE: OK, sorry, I think it is my stupidity just adding adding confusion to this thread. I have now confirmed that when digital audio data is passing down the cable (as in iTunes is playing a song) when I remove the digital cable from my home theater amp then indeed the light at the end of the optical cable (at the amplifier end) does indeed shine red.

But keep in mind just having the cable plugged in to the back of my iMac it is dark (at the amp end) unless data is passing through.

I'm sorry for misleading you. For some reason I was thinking that there was a light on the Mac end of the cable in the jack.

twynne
Mar 31, 2008, 07:04 AM
UPDATE: OK, sorry, I think it is my stupidity just adding adding confusion to this thread. I have now confirmed that when digital audio data is passing down the cable (as in iTunes is playing a song) when I remove the digital cable from my home theater amp then indeed the light at the end of the optical cable (at the amplifier end) does indeed shine red.

But keep in mind just having the cable plugged in to the back of my iMac it is dark (at the amp end) unless data is passing through.

I'm sorry for misleading you. For some reason I was thinking that there was a light on the Mac end of the cable in the jack.

Actually it is still of interest that no light is visible when nothing is playing. Though I'm reasonably certain iTunes was playing when I checked it yesterday, I'll try again tonight checking the amp end of the cable.

Of course, if the amp turns out to be the problem it'll probably cost more than the Mini to sort out! :rolleyes:

flopticalcube
Mar 31, 2008, 10:08 AM
Actually it is still of interest that no light is visible when nothing is playing. Though I'm reasonably certain iTunes was playing when I checked it yesterday, I'll try again tonight checking the amp end of the cable.

Of course, if the amp turns out to be the problem it'll probably cost more than the Mini to sort out! :rolleyes:

My mini puts out red light through TOSlink whether audio is playing or not. (same mini as CaveMan)

twynne
Mar 31, 2008, 10:12 AM
My mini puts out red light through TOSlink whether audio is playing or not. (same mini as CaveMan)

Doh! :D

Well thanks for posting anyway... seems experiences are definitely varied on the forum!

Leon Kowalski
Mar 31, 2008, 01:28 PM
My mini puts out red light through TOSlink whether audio is playing or not. (same mini as CaveMan)
My iMac does the same. When there's "nothing playing", the optical output
transmits "silence" -- which my external receiver detects and locks-on at
the data rate (44.1kHz or 48kHz) selected in AudioMidiSetup.app.

A "silent" digital output is entirely different than no digital output.

Also, my digital-optical output continues to transmit the red "silent signal"
even when I redirect all audio outputs to an external USB audio interface.
There doesn't seem to be any way to "disable" it (on a white C2D iMac).


Any guesses how much they'd charge for the port alone (does it necessitate
a full logic board replacement?)

If the optical-digital output is defective, I suspect an external USB audio
interface would be much less expensive than an out-of-warranty repair...

...and much more versatile, too,

LK

twynne
Mar 31, 2008, 02:15 PM
My iMac does the same. When there's "nothing playing", the optical output
transmits "silence" -- which my external receiver detects and locks-on at
the data rate (44.1kHz or 48kHz) selected in AudioMidiSetup.app.

A "silent" digital output is entirely different than no digital output.

Also, my digital-optical output continues to transmit the red "silent signal"
even when I redirect all audio outputs to an external USB audio interface.
There doesn't seem to be any way to "disable" it (on a white C2D iMac).



If the optical-digital output is defective, I suspect an external USB audio
interface would be much less expensive than an out-of-warranty repair...

...and much more versatile, too,

LK

Thanks for that. I had considered getting a USB or firewire audio interface but don't know much about them and have no idea where to find one. Any recommendations? (As a side note, it would be nice to use the FW400 port for something as my USB's are full!) :D

twynne
Mar 31, 2008, 05:05 PM
Anyone have any experience with the M-Audio Transit audio interface? It looks like it would give me an optical digital output (toslink) for about £50.

Failing that, anyone used a different device that they would recommend?

SaSaSushi
Mar 31, 2008, 07:12 PM
Doh! :D

Well thanks for posting anyway... seems experiences are definitely varied on the forum!

After reading these replies I decided to do a little further experimentation. With no audio playing I removed the toslink cable from my amp and the light was off. Once I start to play a song in iTunes the light comes on but I noticed that even stopping the song does not cause the light to go off again. Once the light is on it seems to stay on.

But just plugging the cable into the back of my iMac does NOT cause the light to come on at the amp end of the cable. It does not come on for me until I start playing audio.

Leon Kowalski
Mar 31, 2008, 09:34 PM
Anyone have any experience with the M-Audio Transit audio interface?
Sorry, no experience with Transit, but I've been happy with other
M-audio products. Be sure to check the M-audio site for drivers;
they've been slow in releasing Leopard support for some products.

Also take a look at the Edirol/Roland UA-1EX. I don't know 'bout
UK availability, but US street prices (amazon.com) are about the
same for either Transit or UA-1EX.

LK

twynne
Apr 1, 2008, 03:31 AM
Thanks everyone for your advice. I've reached the conclusion that the port is just faulty. It may have always been that way, but there's not much that can be done short of a repair (probably expensive) or an external interface.

I'm likely to go the external route for now as adapters are approx £40-50. I'll probably give the M-Audio Transit a go as it provides an optical output and I won't need to buy (yet another) cable as I would with the Edirol/Roland interface. I've checked the M-Audio site and they have a driver for 10.5.1 (which I'm going to assume will work fine on 10.5.2!)

I'll post back the results.

Cheers,

Tom

fishhead
Mar 25, 2009, 03:21 PM
1. you said that it works fine with the mini plug to stereo rca. make sure to disconnect this as your receiver might default to rca if both rca and optical are plugged in on the same input.

2. go to your receiver set up and select digital/optical or such...

you are welcome!:p

robotartfashion
Mar 25, 2009, 07:15 PM
No reason to spend more than a couple of bucks on the cable:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229

i agree, Monster cables are a gimmick. Not that they aren't quality, its that the quality nowhere near justifies the price markup

monoprice is the bestest!