Mac Mini to Cambridge Audio AV receiver by TOSLINK / SPDIF.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by robdrums2097, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. robdrums2097 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have a Cambridge Audio 650R AV receiver, into which I plug my Panasonic Blu Ray player / PVR by coaxial SPDIF directly, and I intend to buy a Mac Mini which I will connect by mini TOSLINK optical from the Mac's digital audio out.

    The 650R had many issues that plagued it upon release, that were never resolved by firmware or other updates. On CD playback, I lose the input when a track finishes if there's a gap longer than about a second. I'm not even talking a brief 'unlock' / 'handshake' delay, I mean it loses it and the only way to re-establish the connection is to select the input again. I assume this is because the PVR pauses the output briefly when there's no signal, and the receiver gets confused. A real shame for a unit so ideally designed for multiple digital inputs with its decent on-board DACs. HDMI doesn't quite do this, but I lose the first two seconds of every track. I know it's not a problem with the source as my separate DAC had no problem detecting and maintaining the digital signal with no drops.

    Anyway, c'est la vie, and I now just use the PVR's analogue output and run on Analog Direct.

    I have no such issues with the SPDIF connection from my PC (presumably because this is a constant, uninterrupted stream once Windows starts).

    My question is this: Any idea if this will be the same with a 2014 Mac Mini as I intend to connect one by TOSLINK as my main audio source to the 650R and hope that the connection will be stable & reliable? This or HDMI are my only choice unless I decide I can be bothered again with the separate DAC route.

    Anybody got any experience of audio (iTunes mainly, might experiment with Plex etc) from a MM this way straight into a (preferably Cambridge Audio) receiver? Will I likely get the Panasonic experience or the PC experience, again once OSX has loaded? Would it 'reset' the digital output when the track finishes or after a period of audio inactivity? Or would I be safe to assume that the MM outputs a constant signal, even if it's silent, when on?

    Thanks

    Rob
     
  2. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    #2
    I go from a Mac Mini into a Marantz AV amp, and I get uninterrupted 7.1 Audio, with no issues whatsoever. Using HDMI I too got a second or so of no audio, so looks like a PCM handshaking issue over HDMI that does not occur over SPDIF.

    I know this is not the same amp, but similar as in from a Mac Mini via SPDIF.
     
  3. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    #3
    Oddly, it also works with an HDMI splitter that takes SPDIF audio from the HDMI feed.... which is odd, perhaps it somehow buffers
     
  4. robdrums2097 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    #4
    Cool, thanks Dave. Sounds promising. I've just ordered the Mini, so fingers crossed it will all work well. Worst case I will have to use the separate DACMagic again.
     

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