High quality connection to home stereo?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MrVegas, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. MrVegas macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2005
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    Columbia, Md.
    #1
    I'm turning my G5 and itunes into an audio jukebox in my living room. What is the best way to feed the signal from my G5 to my home stereo receiver for a high quality signal / sound?

    p.s. all my MP3's are encoded at high bitrates.
     
  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #2
    Stereo 1/8" (3.5mm) jack to stereo phono (RCA) plugs.

    Come out of the line output on the rear of the G5 (don't use the headphone socket on the front, the impedance is wrong) into a spare input on your amp.

    Watch the output levels from your G5 and remember all your system sound will be played as well.

    You'll hear a difference in quality if you have the original CD's of the iTunes tracks, especially if your hi-fi is decent.

    You can get a cable cheaply from Radio Shack or Dixons (UK) or go mad and get a Monster Cable interconnect. Won't make much difference, but it looks good. :D
     
  3. AtHomeBoy_2000 macrumors 6502a

    AtHomeBoy_2000

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    Feb 3, 2005
    #3
    depending on where the computer is located, is AirTunes an option?
     
  4. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    #4

    you must have forgotten that the G5 powermac has and optical out!! the best would be to hook the optical out on the G5 to the opitcal in on the home stereo, assuming you have a high quality home stereo reciever with an optical input. that would give you the highest quality. if you want wireless then go for the airport express, when using an adapter, the express has an optical audio output. so you could just hide the airport express behind your stereo equipment and hook it up with the optical audio connection then wirelessly stream from your powermac whereever you have it. then for slightly lower quality step down to the above mentioned analog connection.
     
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    San Francisco
    #5
    I think the Airport Express is the sleekest option if you don't mind buying the unit. It has 48khz range, which is more than enough for "great/superior quality". Otherwise, yeah use the optical output on the G5.
     
  6. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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  7. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    #7
    The quality of the interconnect will make an enormous difference. Most everything from Monster is crap. They are an overpriced consumer marketing company, kinda like Bose. Neither brand is taken seriously in the audiophile world.
     
  8. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    #8
    toslink
     
  9. JW8725 macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #9
    Go digital out to DAC. Hit the DAC with a nice pre/power combo. Recommended DACs are, Bel Canto DAC2, Benchmark DAC1 or if ur crazy like me a Chord DAC 64 (not cheap at £2000). Google is your best friend!
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #10

    A world in which you presumably live in?

    BTW, WinterMute is a highly-regarded recorded engineer.

    Somebody please please show us some neutral and objective lab tests on these glorified interconnects please, not some subjective mutterings about 'slam' and 'presence'.

    What's the point in spending a fortune on top-line interconnects for the reproduction of MP3s anyway? The critical interface is speaker and room -- no amount of cable-wankery is going to eliminate that huge resonance at 100 or so hz and all its harmonics created by the size and shape of your room itself.
     
  11. scarlco macrumors member

    scarlco

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    Ossining, NY
    #11
    Agreed. The only reason i use optical is to try and reproduce 5.1 from my dvd's. Other than that, the interface is really uneccessary, in my opinion. The signal-to-noise ratio is well below my acceptable threshold in my setup, and wouldn't make a darned bit of difference when playing back mp3's anyhow. What's the old saying... garbage in, garbage out? I love my mp3's, but they are what they are. At the highest bitrate, they're still compressed.

    Stick with the 1/8" to rca adaptor. It's cheap, easy, and you most likely couldn't tell the difference if you tried. (unless you want to go airtunes. Always a possibility.)
     
  12. NicP macrumors 6502

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    #12
    totally agree, top of the line interconnects are a waste of money
     
  13. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    #13
    Have you tried the tests yourself, because I have. It is not a subtle difference, it is night and day. I don't say this stuff to start a war. Just try it before commenting, please.

    And the Pivot I recommended is not expensive! It's about $30 or so on ebay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Zu-Cable-PIVOT-...ryZ14965QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  14. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #14
    I don't agree. I use the cheapest crap I can find at radio shack and it sounds just as good. It's all snake oil garbage if you ask me. Monster stuff isn't necessarily crap, just overpriced. I do agree with your assessment of Bose though, it's crap and overpriced.
     
  15. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    #15
    I'd definitely take advantage of the optical out on the G5 if your stereo system has an optical input. Musically, nothing will really matter (not much music is encoded in 5.1 anyway), but then you'll get Dolby Digital and DTS when you are watching, although I'm not sure if Apple's DVD player even has a DTS decoder yet.
     
  16. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    #16
    Also don't put your new music in MP3 but encode them in AAC. It sounds much better and your music will get more body and liveliness. I just can't take you serious that you want the best connection between your G5 and audio system if you are just playing things in MP3, if you only play MP3 then it does't matter if you use 3.5mm to RCA cable or a toslink (nor the money you spend on this cable).
     
  17. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #17
    Unless you're using Apple Lossless, WAV or AIF ripping, I wouldn't touch the TOS-link. All it will do is bring all the encoding issues and compression issues right forward to where they sound most obvious, played with fantastic detail through a great system. I use mega cheap run of the mill cables between my MacBook Pro and my hifi, and I can hear the compression much less than if I connect it directly with my QED cables. I prefer listening like that, it's much more comfortable to listen to...
     
  18. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #18
    That is such audiophile BS. C'mon MP3 and AAC are very similar algorithms. And the real difference is that AAC is a newer format and not necessarily better.
    http://www.xciv.org/~meta/audio-shootout/

    Here's a real good one:
    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&ct...wiRHpRa1JvRxijCY=&sig2=-4yJOzjUJN6-4CA4QPRrIA

    Your music will get more Body and Liveliness? Sorry but that doesn't make any sense.
     
  19. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
    With an ultra cheap cable, you don't know whether it's constructed properly or not. By going for something with a brand you have the assurance of reliable build and recourse to usually a fairly decent warranty. Higher-end cables are total BS in terms of audio - even at the Zu level - unless they're specifically engineered to alter the sound in some way by engineering the cable to add electrical properties. Cables like this are few and far between and for the most part (including the several thousand dollars worth of cable I own) sound the same if you're honest with yourself. I ended up repeatedly buying ultra-high-end cables firstly because I can and secondly for the assured construction quality as well as visually balance out my hi-fi rig. Garden hose diameter cables = teh pwnage visuals to round off a killer looking hi-fi rig. I think it's stupid but I do it all the same because it looks good. Same reason why I've kept buying Macs this year I think :p

    AAC is better than MP3. It's a superior codec which means you can enjoy higher quality at equivalent bitrates.

    But the level of general audio improvement from any system if you devise a cleaner way to deliver the source material to it even if it is compressed, or if you take the entire system upmarket, will sound better irrespective of the compressed signal. True, you're not maxing it out with a compressed signal but what you get is better. And if you can feed it optically through a better DAC stage than the Mac has (which is not stellar), this counts as well - and a decent receiver is likely to be thus equipped.

    Assuming the receiver is decent and has optical inputs, Airtunes fed to the receiver optically would be more flexible in terms of where you can put the computer, and it's also delivering a better signal to the receiver. Alternatively a decent-quality external soundcard + analog connection would also be a good solution. You could also consider siting the Mac elsewhere and using something like a Squeezebox.
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    You sound like a typical audiophile.

    AAC and mp3 encoding isn't going to be much different except in file sizes.

    There is little reason to use an optical cable with lossy encoding formats, except for convenience.

    A good quality analogue cable as mentioned by WinterMute will do just fine. Most people can't hear the difference unless they see the price.
     
  21. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #21
    No. It's not.
     
  22. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #22
    Commiserations for your ears, headphones, whatever it may be. It's pretty obvious.
     
  23. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

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    Aug 25, 2006
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    NE Hoosierana
    #23
    Curious what the recommendations would be if this was a 24" C2D iMac?
    Same as what WinterMute mentioned above?
     
  24. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    #24
    AAC and MP3 are invented by the same institute: Fraunhofer. AAC is much more lively, didn't listen to it on big speakers yet, have you? If you convert a number from a cd in mp3 and aac (in the same bitrate) that you know well and which has lots of low bass and vocals, connect your Mac to your audio system and listen to it with your eyes shut. Don't take my word for it, try it out yourself!
     

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