Best Sound Output!!!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by bzollinger, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. bzollinger macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005

    Searching has revealed little so here's a post. I'm looking to get the best possible sound quality from my digital jukebox. I understand that MP3 sound quality can only go so far. 80% of my library has been encoded @ 256kbps. I've currently got the optical line running directly into a Harmon Kardon H/T receiver, then it's sent to a pair of Kef tower speakers.

    What are your opinions on the best possible sound solution? I don't need to record, however at least one digital input and to be able to mix and/or pass-through a dolby and DTS signal from that input is required.

    I've looked into a sound cards from M-Audio and the revolution looks good.

    Can anyone speak on this?

    Pretend that $$ is no object, and that the only source is the MP3 library........
  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    I'm afraid you are never going to get good audio quality when using MP3 as your source, even 320Kbps sucks.

    You are already going the right way for the connection however, a digital link from the Mac to the receiver is as clean as it's going to get, as there is no AD-DA going on till the receiver gets the digits and throws the signal at the amp.

    The more levels of conversion you have the more chance for audible errors to creep in.

    I think you need to review the way you encode your music, if you own the CD's then I suggest you buy a huge external HD and re-rip all your tracks to Apple Lossless for home listening, if you don't own them, then go buy them first... ;)

    This is not a good idea with an iPod however, for all sorts of reasons.

    Source is everything, that's where you'll make the big gains.

    Which KEF's do you have? I have 105.4 Reference speakers, they are excellent.
  3. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    So I hear ya on the mp3 encoding. I guess my house has really crappy acoustics because I had a listening test between AAC @192, MP3 @ 256, Apple's Lossless, and the CD. They all sounded really close, could hardly tell a difference. The lossless and the CD seemed brighter, and clearer, but not a huge difference. I've been thinking about re-ripping but the time vs. the gain......

    Now I'm considering the digital signal that is being sent by the G5. According to the system profiler, it's sending either a PCM 16 or 24 bit @ 32KHz, 44.1KHz, or 48KHz.

    In lieu of that, the G5 is doing some digital conversion from MP3 to PCM at aforementioned rates. Do you think that a 24 bit 192KHz signal from m-audio's 7.1 revolution would sound better? If I had to guess, I'd say yes. What d'ya think?

    BTW I'm running a pair of Kef 103/4s and they are great! They only cost me $300!!
  4. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    Does anyone have any experience with a high quaility sound card vs. the stock G5 optical output?

  5. IxisMG macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2004
    I'm using an RME Digi96/36 PCI card in my G5 dual 2.7 and I love it. It sends 16 channels of pure digital signal out to my Yamaha O1v digital mixer and has SPDIF to boot. Compared to my old M-Audio Delta 1010 set-up with analog cables and all that, the RME all-digital thing is incredible. I personally know several people who are using RME stuff and we all cant say enough about it.

    If anyone has questions about setting up computer audio systems with regards to both hardware and software, just ask. I have many years of professional experience... especially with Macs.
  6. katrinag macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2005
    Good value sound-card for G5

    Hi thanks for the offer!

    My husband has just bought a Mac Dual G5 with Logic 7. He is currently running reason and cubase on PC with a Terratek ewx/24/96 sound card to study music technology and create tracks/sound effects. We are on quite a tight budget, is it critical to get a new sound-card for the Dual G5 to run Logic and create music/sounds to semi-pro level? If so, can we get a good quality one that won't cost a fortune but meets basic needs - like the Terratek? Thanks
  7. IxisMG macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2004
    It depends on a few factors... does he have any outboard gear he'd like to interface with the computer, such as a mixer, FX, sound modules, microphone, digital recorder, etc.? Would he like the ability to record more than one external source it the same time or is he mostly working with samples and virtual instruments? What's he using for monitoring (speakers)?

    Give me a little more info regarding his current assets as well as anything he's likely to add to his studio in the near future. Also, tell me the primary type of music he's creating. Understanding all this will help me advise you properly.
  8. spoploski macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2008
    I hope to use some of your knoweledge and experience, please help! My mom has been a kj/dj for the past 8 years and I have been her behind the scenes person the whole time. Well, she's finally ready to update and make the switch to a laptop, which is ballsy for my mother, but money is not really a problem. So, I have decided on a macbook pro. (Which is much cheaper NOT on the apple site) K-jams is seeming like the best software for her so far and I'm thinking of buying 4 extra GB of ram for it (total 6GB). Is that too much? And the soundcard is killing me! We are converting over 800 discs into wp3 format. Do you have any suggestions, criticism, or help to offer?
  9. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    4 GB is the most you can put into the Macbook Pro. To get there, you have to remove the standard 2GB modules and replace them. Or buy 4GB from Apple right from the start, but that's probably more expensive than getting 4GB from a third-party vendor.

    As for the sound card, there are a LOT of good FireWire audio interfaces out there. Maybe USB is also a choice; the higher-end ones seem to be FireWire, though. It just depends on what your budget is, and what your technical requirements are. I have an Echo AudioFire8, and I can't say enough good things about it (audio quality, build quality, technical spec, Mac driver support, ...). But then, for a DJ, it might be overkill in terms of the number of inputs and outputs.

    - Martin

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