Connecting Mac Products to Amps

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Rounder44, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Rounder44 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2017

    I just bought an NAD C368 and the BluOS module that allows lossless wifi connections. Unfortunately $100's of iTunes purchase won't play through it.... Bluetooth defeats purpose of a good system so for now looking to optimize my connections

    NAD has a lack of documentation and a lag in responding so I'm here!

    The amp has USB inputs in the back. I surmise I can probably just plug iPhone in and see what happens but I know the iPhone has a DAC and this would be redundant and possibly interfere with quality (I know I'm being an audiophile snob wanna be but please bear with me!)

    I can plug in mass storage devices but no way to browse music.

    Perhaps a mac mini.....

    Considered n iPad for dedicated storage and control but surmise iPads are not optimal for music...

    Anyway I'm sure a common issue and I've not found a clear cut answer or at least where to start!


    Rounder44 (extra points if you can GUESS, not google, my handles meaning!)
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Rounder44 (extra points if you can GUESS, not google, my handles meaning!)"

    You like J.D. Crowe, Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas and Bobby Sloane.
    (I remember that band from back in 1975 and have the original LP copy)

    $900 for an amplifier and it doesn't give you any way to browse and select via USB? :(

    You didn't tell us which Mac you have now.
    If it's a desktop, just connect via a USB cable (a longer one if necessary).

    Otherwise, I'll guess that you need to buy a cheap Mac desktop or laptop to serve as "the controller" which will live nearby the amplifier.

    Another possible solution:
    Buy a small portable music player with enough storage capacity to hold the music library.
    BUT... it may not offer the sound quality or connections you want.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    iTunes quality also defeats the purpose of a good audio system, really.

    To consider your options it might be good to know what other equipment and devices you currently have.
  4. Rounder44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2017

    I have an NAD C368 with BluOS module that allows wi-fi streaming. There are optical, co-ax, and usb inputs available. Powering Elac speakers. Macbook Pro and iPhone 6s as well as an iPad 2 air that is out of the loop so far.

    Trying Audirvana but not too thrilled with it so far...
    NAD manual just explains connections very briefly with no discussion of quality, more about ease and pushing the BluOS.

    Now I think the BluOS is close to lossless; think SONOS system. But like SONOS older iTunes DRM won't play...

    As for browsing catalog via amp, very small display and at best would use clunky button approach and now way to see all albums like an iTunes window.

    Kudos on having New South vinyl! I'm ready "Still Inside" the Tony Rice book and just at the point where they recorded that. He is less than enthusiastic about that record!


  5. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    airport express -> toslink --> NAD.
    the appletv 3 (obsolete) also has a optical out.

    both of those support airplay.
  6. Rounder44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2017

    I don't think Airplay offers much more than what I have with BT if that.

    I'm just trying to determine the BEST to se if I can hear a difference. So far BluOS has been stellar and I doubt I'll invest much more.


  7. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    ok, bluOS sounds like like it offers high resolution lossless audio, unlike ordinary bluetooth.



    so that leaves the DRM issue. I found this thread on the Bluesound forum.

    I-Tunes DRM Protected Files

    which points to this solution on the apple boards...

    it involves deleting the protected AAC files and downloading them again. (make a backup first?)

    hope that helps
  8. Rounder44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2017


    There's no guarantee that will work and generally it DOESN'T.

    One option that "could" is iTunes Match but if there has ever been a train wreck of a program this would be it!

    I tried a couple years ago and ridiculous results such as labelling ALL y Waylon Jennings albums as "Tribute to Margaret Thatcher!" I kid you not! Danged funny and lucky I had a back and for the record I do not own a copy of any of Margaret Thatchers hits!

    I'm in the process of editing my iTunes and getting a separate catalog of DRM'd files, make that my iTunes folder and THEN using Match and see what happens.

    I'm trying Roon right now too. Kinda cool but not perfect, DRM issues but files play incredible! Not sure its worth $119/yr or $400 lifetime... Synced with iTunes and NAD instantly though!

    I gotta say the way iTunes performs concerns me about apple. If they can't handle these simple industry standard labeled files what are they doing with MY files? Makes me really think it won't be too long before iTunes is shelved and only Streaming offered then those prices will rise.



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7 September 16, 2017