ATV3 high quality audio stream - how to?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Giuanniello, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Giuanniello macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #1
    Hello everybody,

    I just realised that I like the audio quality of CD played through a dedicated CD player but also that I like to arrange my compilations better through iTunes, best of the two worlds would be to stream the audio from iTunes to the AppleTV3 and then to my vintage hi-fi system (Audio Research SP9 preamplifier, Adcom GFA535 power amp, JBL4311B speakers), I was wondering which route to get the best quality, most of my music is mp3 320 bit rate, a pity iTunes can't play FLAC but I wonder who could hear the difference between high quality mp3 and FLAC.

    I think it's a matter of converting the optical output of the ATV to analog so I can stream the audio flow to the preamplifier which only has line inputs (besides the phono stage), wondering how to get the best quality, I guess it will take a DAC to convert from digital to analog but don't want to spend a fortune, any suggestion?

    Grazie
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
  3. Giuanniello thread starter macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #3
    Good suggestion, grazie, if I could only find something reasonably priced with two optical inputs so I could throw at it both the TV and ATV3 audio that would be great.

    Just think that my old CD player, a glorious Sony CDP-X 505ES doesn't work properly and am now using my son's PlayStation3 to play both CD and DVD and whose audio am taking off of it's analog output so I can throw it at the preamps... I wish I could gather all of the toslink outputs and give them to a single DAC but if it had at least two I'd be really happy.

    Grazie ancora for the suggestion
     
  4. priitv8, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016

    priitv8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #4
    Even though iTunes does not support FLAC, it does support Apple Lossless. So you can for example use xAct to convert your FLAC-s to Apple Lossless (ALAC) inside the m4a container and iTunes will love it.
    AirPlay will reencode any audio file into ALAC anyway for transmission over the wire.
     
  5. HDFan, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016

    HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #5
    If you are listening to a high quality recording on good equipment there is a huge difference between a lossy format such as mp3 and a lossless recording. Apple Lossless and FLAC are audio coding formats that work on the original source file. You can't assume that a FLAC or Apple Lossless recording that someone else made is high quality, although they usually are. It depends on the recording provenance. Garbage in garbage out.
     
  6. Jackintosh, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016

    Jackintosh macrumors 6502a

    Jackintosh

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    As others have said, a good quality DAC would be needed for your vintage but quality system. But if you ever wanted to retire your preamplifier and amplifier, a quality modern receiver with optical inputs would serve well. Many come with highly rated built-in internal DACs. Examples would be receivers from Onkyo and Yamaha.
     
  7. Giuanniello thread starter macrumors regular

    Giuanniello

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Location:
    Capri - Italy
    #7
    The original idea was to discard the preamp and power amp and replace them with an AV receiver to simplify it all and to make it a hub for both the HDMI and optical sources but since I got the chance to buy the Audio Research and a Michell turntable plans changed and as such the only option to play the music from the TV, ATV3 and PS3 is through their optical output and being converted to analog and be thrown at the Audio Research.
     
  8. giampablo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    #8
    Ciao Giovanni, my audio setup is very similar to your. iTunes, ATV3 and a good vintage Hifi Cambridge amplifier, with no toslink digital input.
    I bought a FiiO D03K DAC and surely it does a really good job converting digital-to-analog audio. It is really a simple and inexpensive solution. An "audiophile" friend says you can really compare the cheap FiiO to high-end DACs.
    You should rip your CDs to ALAC and you can easily convert your FLAC files to ALAC with XLD, a free Mac app. In this moment I am streaming music from my iMac to ATV3, with CD quality. You can stream your mp3s and get a good audio, but your Hifi system, and you, will appreciate lossless audio, believe me.

    Hope it helps,
    saluti da Arezzo,
    Giampiero
     
  9. JeffPerrin macrumors regular

    JeffPerrin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    #9
    Given the low price of hard drive storage ($50 for a 1TB external drive, for ex.), I wonder why folks don't just skip the compression altogether and rip their CDs as raw PCM wav files? That's what I do for my favorite tracks...

    1TB drive = (approx. 1400 CDs)
     

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