how to connect 2 BX8a to my imac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by lad1509, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. lad1509 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #1
    Hello guys, this is my first post.
    i would like to connect my BX8a speakers to my iMac, I really dont want to use the mini audio input just cause i heard its bad quality.
    is there a way (or what is the best way) to connect them to my imac?
    thank you in advance
     
  2. vgoklani macrumors regular

    vgoklani

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    i don't know. surprisingly (and sadly), there's not actually that huge a difference between the analog audio out on my g5 powermac and the d/a stage of my digi 002r.

    i've got a benchmark dac-1 tied to both the p'mac optical output and the s/pdif output of the 002r. that makes a very big difference.

    i think $300 for a 410, just for the d/a stage, would be a waste of money. just my opinion.

    well, did you listen to it? what do you think?
     
  4. lad1509 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #4
    thanks for all the help, do u think i should get the DAC-1 and connect the speakers to it and connect the DAC to the optical out in the imac?

    P.S: apple says the the imac has an optical output, all i have is the mini output, is apple confused or whats going on?
    thanks
     
  5. lad1509 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #5
    Holy mama! the dac1 is 1000 buks.. is there a cheaper way.
    thanks
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    couple things. first, you get what you pay for. second, small differences in the performance of gear is really difficult to hear in an untreated room.

    so, you could drop $300 on a dedicated d/a, but i don't think you're going to hear much improvement, for both reasons.

    instead, spend $400 on a pair of 2'x4' minitraps and then at least you'll get a head start on hearing what you're supposed to.

    i've got only 4 in my room (the more the merrier), but the biggest difference a single panel made was the first one i put in. the sound in my room immediately tightened up. highly recommended.

    a lot of people seem pleased with their GIK acoustic panels, but i've not used them. same idea, cheaper price. and i believe the specs are different.

    once your room is treated, when you do spend money on a better d/a, you'll actually be able to hear the difference.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    lad, you need to give SOME kind of context to the question.
    What sort of listening do you do?
    as Zimv pointed out, do you have an acoustically-good listening envoironment?
    What sort of money do you have to spend?
    Do you have a stereo system in this room? Do you want one?
    Do you have a clear idea of what the quality difference is between a dedicated D/A and your built-in D/A? Or are you operating simply on rumour?
    What are your listening habits? Are you happy with the sound quality of your home stereo? Or MP3's and Apple AAC from iTunes though headphones or on an iPod?

    Your M-Audio speakers are fine entry level monitors, but by no means audiophile quality (or price). Matching them with a $1000 D/A (or even a $500 D/A), and in an average room, would be a waste of money.

    Your listening experience is not 100% limited by the weakest link, but there is some validity to that idea. The marginal improvement in one area, such as D/A conversion, will go unnoticed if there are other more gross deficiencies in the system that mask it.

    Plug the M-Audios in to the mini-jack out and live with them for a while. Try them plugged into an AUX or Tape out on your home stereo, and play the same CD. Do you hear a difference?
     
  8. lad1509 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #8
    thanks for all the responses guys, very nice of you to take the time to explain this stuff to me.

    I am using mostly reason 3.0 to make beats, bass lines and other instruments, I use a Midi guitar (brain moore) with the Gi-20.
    I then send it to garage band for vocals and live instruments.

    I am definitely a beginer hence why my question seemed missing a lot of info.

    so I connected the speakers with 2 XLR to mini cables both cables are connected to a mini spliter, sound good to me.
    problem: when I put some tracks on right or left speaker they still come out of both speakers... I can't seem to be able to have it come out from the desired side.
    any help would be appreciated.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Sounds like your splitter isn't stereo... and it's sending the same signal to both speakers.
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    stereo's dead, anyway. half the mix engineers are going back to mono and the other half has moved to 5.1. I suggest you keep your splitter, put one speaker directly in front of you and the other directly behind you, so you can mix in "surround mono".

    :D

    just kidding, of course.

    going back to your original question, now that we know you're also recording live signals, now i do think it's worthwhile for you to get some kind of interface box, even if it's not the highest quality. not only would that solve your dual-mono problem, but you will probably see some gains in a/d performance vs. what's built-in to the mac.

    what preamps are you using now? something from a mixer? something outboard? what's built into the mac?
     
  11. lad1509 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #11

    Am not using any pre-amps, the only thing i am using is a Midi input GI-20, I haven't yet gotten into vocals and i figured i would cross that bridge when i got to it.
    No mixers yet either, the Mac is the 20"intel mac... dont think thats what u meant, i dont know whats built into it.
    so to get left and right i have to get either:
    1-a left and right splitter unlike the one i have?? where do i buy such thing? does it even exist?
    2-a an interface box that uses USB to plug into tha mac and outputs left and right XLR, can you guys recommend something.

    sorry about these questions, i know they seem stupid to some of you but i really have no clue, i thought this would be the least of my worries.. i mean common, its 2 speakers.. left and right! who would of though i have to jump through hoops to get it hooked up!
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #12
    you'll need a pre-amp. there's one built into the mac, but you need a special apple plug to use it (or maybe to access the phantom, i forget).

    you need a y-cable, stereo on the single end going to the two mono ends. if you can't find one at guitar center or wherever, or don't feel like getting all the adapters together, contact chris@redco.com . They do custom cables and they're not that expensive.

    there's a bunch listed here. i've got experience only with the mbox and a 2-channel m-audio one (i can't even remember the model #), so i won't be much help recommending one over the other.
     
  13. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #13
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!:D

    The iMac has a combined digital optical/analog output jack, it switches depending on the cable you plug into it.

    Your speakers would be better driven from the unbalanced jack input, as the output from the iMac is unbalanced, try a standard 1/8" stereo jack to 2 1/4" mono jack cable (Tandy's or Radio Shack dirt cheap). This should solve your stereo problems.

    The M-audios are nice little speakers, they should sound OK out of the iMacs output, but be aware that all built in audio from computers suffer from noise to one degree or another, putting an interface in the chain will help, but there are cheaper alternatives to the 410, you only need 2 outputs and USB will handle that well enough. Do get a mains powered unit though, not a USB buss powered one, they suck.
     
  14. lad1509 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #14
    I see, so witch way would you recommend, the standard 1/8" stereo jack to 2 1/4" mono jack cable or an USB interface?

    what you mean by "mains powered unit"

    thank you
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    they're not really equivalent solutions, just a means to your specific end.

    the y-cable will get you your stereo back. consider an interface the next step, so the questions you should be asking yourself are:
    1. do you want to take that step now or later?
    2. do you want to make a small or large leap forward in quality? (which relates directly to cost)

    for example, you could decide that someday you'd really like the metric halo uln-2, which is > $1000. do you buy a $400 USB interface in the meantime or stick with your y-cable? it's up to you.
     
  16. lad1509 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    #16
    I want a "large leap forward in qualit" I would like to get the most out of my speakers even if it means spending $1000 but some posters said that I would not hear and noticeble change.
    I am just gonna go to guitar center and see how they hook these speakers into their macs.
    thanks agian
     
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #17
    OK then, you will need to investigate an external audio interface. Please search this forum for several comprehensive discussions of interfaces that are already on line.
     
  18. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #18
    that was me. what you hear is based on:
    1. the room
    2. your ears
    3. the gear

    it's a weakest chain in the link sort of thing.

    what i'd said was, without a treated room, the difference between the mac analog out and a cheapy d/a converter will be hard to hear. as quality increases, the differences are easier to hear.

    $1000 will get you nearer that quality gear.
     

Share This Page