Bose companion 5 with DAC ?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Madasafish110, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Madasafish110 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #1
    I really love my music. I have 27" iMac i7 connected via usd to Bose companion 5 speakers. I want to get into lossless formats (how do I get them ) but I read a lot about dacs. Can I use a DAC with the Bose speakers ?

    What would be the best sound quality of files. I currently buy loads off iTunes but also by CDs and put them on with music match.

    Look forward to some advice.

    Thank you.

    Kevin
     
  2. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #2
    BOSE Companion 5's already have a DAC - that's the USB connection. It's a solid, quality DAC as well. I'm currently using the C5's - and while I'm currently looking to move onto studio monitors (again) - the C5's are phenomenal. There's literally no point in getting a DAC for them and bypassing the built in DAC.
     
  3. Gofre macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #3
    As mentioned above, your speakers already have a DAC built in given that they accept a digital signal, there's no need to get another one.

    The simplest way for most people is to buy their music as CDs and rip the files into a lossless format- iTunes can do this easily by going preferences>import settings and choosing a lossless format. You can also buy lossless audio from a few digital stores but they tend to have more limited selections and higher price tags than simply buying an album on CD. There's also lossless streaming services like Tidal (I'm not sure if there are any others of note actually).

    I would personally take an album you have on CD already, ideally one you're familiar with and listen to often, rip it to lossless and do some A/B testing against a rip you already have. A friend or family member who can play you tracks back to back so you don't get to see the file types would also help. If you can hear a difference then great, start getting yourself some lossless stuff. If not, there's no reason not to keep getting music through your current avenues.
     
  4. Madasafish110 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #4
    Thank you very much. I will have ago

    ----------

    It's so confusing.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    If you can hear the music, it has already been run through a DAC.

    The simplest and cheapest upgrade is speaker placement, make a stand out of a concrete block and move them so distance out from the walls and experiment with this. This has a low cost and a high payout. I actually use cinder blocks that are wrapped with brown kraft (shipping) paper. Looks ugly but works well.

    After this is room treatments. It has a big payoff but costs a bit

    With your USB connected system the next upgrade would require your to replace the entire system because it is all built-in. That Bose system has the USB interface, DAC, amplifiers and speakers all in the same box. You'd need to trash it all to upgrade. Likely not an option for you.

    The best place to get loss less music is the used CD store. Sometime Amazon has used CDs (I don't think we are allowed to talk about pirate download sites as a source of loss-less music.)
     
  6. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #6

    Using cinder blocks or any kind of decoupling setup with the BOSE Satellite speakers is unnecessary - they're already on high quality pedestals that have rubber feet that decouple them from any desk surface they're already on.

    Room treatment can def. have an affect though. Speaker placement is by FAR the biggest factor. The BOSE sub (Acoustimass module) sounds unbelievable - rivals subs I've owned that cost as much as the whole setup - when corner loaded in a spot in my apartment. When setup elsewhere, still sounds superb, but some sub-bass info isn't as pronounced (due to the lack of corner loading the Acoustimass module).

    And yeah, geting 100% lossless is ripping the CD in a lossless file format. I personally think 320KB's and up is just as good, and I doubt most people can really notice the difference unless they're listening to a truly reference grade setup - think JBL reference, Neumann or Genelic monitors.
     
  7. ChrisA, Apr 1, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    I did not mean to "decouple" but to adjust the height if required. Just saying he can improvise and offering one idea. Who knows what he really needs he has not given us a diagram.


    The different is not constant over time. 99% of the time you really can't hear the any difference between lossless and 320K. But for a second or two every few minutes you can. For example a one drum hit or a short electric keyboard solo might badly distorted. Not on every song. When it happens it is not subtle. But I agree is is rare at 320K. Happens a lot at 128K

    This is why listening to short A/B samples is not enough, the MP3 artifacts are rare and not very predictable. Also, I think MP3 works best on acoustic instruments and fails mostly on the electronic sounds from synths or drum machines
     
  8. msh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #8
    The priorities in music reproduction should be:

    - Recordings: Buy quality recordings and never buy lossy, always lossless. If you need to transcode for a mobile device or space considerations you can do that with a lossless source file but not the other way around. Also with lossless you can EQ the recordings without quality loss if you ever want to;

    - Room Acoustics/Treatment/EQ The room is a significant contributor to sound; bad acoustics can make even great speakers sound bad or at least subpar. And don't be afraid to EQ speakers to mitigate speaker errors and room shortcomings not to mention recordings themselves.

    - Speakers/Monitors Along with the priorities above, concentrate your resources here. Focus on frequency response linearity, both anechoic and in-room. There are good speakers for every budget.

    Electronics (DACs, amps, etc), while important, are of lower priority compared to those above.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9

    Good advice. The old rule when everyone had separate amps and speakers and turn tables was to put HALF of your music system budget into speakers. But now days all the electronics is so cheap I'd say put 2/3 of the total budget into speakers.

    Then what you say about " There are good speakers for every budget" still applies. Even if you can't spend over $100, there are still good sounding speakers. With $100 speakers and my "2/3rds rules" you can do very well for $300.

    Then it gets worse. It turns out you have to about double the budget to get a noticeable incremental improvement. Each step doubles the cost. $300, $600, $1,200 and so on.
     

Share This Page