surround sound amp for mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by madrone26, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. madrone26 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    I'm looking for an amp that will take either a usb, firewire or toslink input and drive 5 speakers plus a subwoofer. All the usb to surround sound converters are for powered speakers. I know home av receivers will do this, but I don't have the space for one - the amp has to fit in a small cabinet that is about 12" deep. Any suggestions?
  2. liquidh2o macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2004
  3. FastEddy macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2007
    North Californie
    " ... a usb, firewire or toslink input ... "

    Well, that is a big controversy among audiophile types, and professionals have their opinions too.

    My system:
    The FireWire Digital Analog Converter [DAC] = Echo Digital AudioFire4 = 24 bit / 96K, four channels (Dolby 5.1 X 2), bi-directional in and out = rip and roar = record/capture and playback. (The AudioFire2 is perfectly good enough for home use.) $400, no sweat.

    The Pre-Amp = BottleHead ForePlay III Tube Stereo Pre-Amp with the new power supply upgrade. Esoteric, but really smooth tunes, man! (Note that this gadget does not decode Dolby, but puts out stereo only to the amplifier ... us audiofools love tube amps.) $600 plus hours of sweat.

    The Amplifier = A hand made, Stereo 150 Watt per channel, DIY amp. ... of course anyone can just go buy an amplifier ... $400 plus hours of sweat.

    The Speakers = Flat Panel speakers. I plan on adding a sub-woofer, either store bought or DIY. $400, no sweat.

    ... just add an Apple ... I play all my iTunes radio feeds through this ... I set the equalizer to a modest loudness contour to make up for the slightly anemic bass of my system. I have an almost new iMac = nothing else comes close except maybe an Apple MacBook. Note: all the neighborhood garage bands come over to my house to preview their stuff and to listen to my collection, so it must be decent if not better than average ...

    " ... and drive 5 speakers plus a subwoofer. ..."

    If you absolutely have to have five channels (Dolby 5.1, etc.), then you might consider something like those Panasonic '55's or '57's. I tried one of these and it was just fine and drove those flat panel speakers with out difficulties, but I like my "pure" stereo system above better ... (The Panasonic and many other makers will accept the TOSLink, but not the FireWire or USB feeds. These Panasonic and similar "receiver" / pre-amp / amplifier combos WILL accept the output of a USB or FireWire DAC like the AudioFire4 above ... you connect it just like a tape recorder/playback.)

    "Truth is one, paths are many ..." - His Holiness the Dalai Lama :D

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