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Woodchippie's picture
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Computer music improvements or not

Hi There, I have music on my Mac mini and have Audioengine A2 speakers pluged in through headphone socket.

I am thinking of getting audioengine D1 Dac plugged into USB and then phono leads to speakers. I have already upgraded speaker cable.

Do you think a DAC and connecting Phono leads would make significant improvement? Over the headphone socket and no DAC.

Also are there any tweaks I could do to the mac Mini?

Thanks 

 

Overdose's picture
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Prior to my ADMs I was using

Prior to my ADMs I was using a variety of DACs into studio monitors. The DACs didn't seem to vary much in quality, if at all, but the differences were in functionality of the equipment.

I would leave as is and save the money for a speaker upgrade down the line.

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RE: Computer music improvements or not

I tentatively agree. You'll see from my signature I have a HRT II+ DAC which was £300. It was bought for me by my employer in March 2012 as a long service award.  It was/is reviewed very highly both here and elsewhere, and sure enough, it does sound better than the Mac Mini's built-in DAC, but not game-changingly so, imo, and had I known that, I think £300 spend elsewhere on my system would have reaped greater benefits.

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Thanks guys for response. But

Thanks guys for response.
But I don't want to get bigger speakers, I want to keep the system compact.
Also I will probably take the A2s on holiday.
I just want to get the best possible sound out of a small system.

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RE: Thanks guys for response.But

Woodchippie wrote:
Thanks guys for response. But I don't want to get bigger speakers, I want to keep the system compact. Also I will probably take the A2s on holiday. I just want to get the best possible sound out of a small system.

By 'upgrade', I didn't mean bigger, but better.

Genelec do some very nice small monitors, but they are significantly more expensive than the A2s. If the A2s work for you however, then there is little need to change.

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RE: Woodchippie wrote:Also are

Woodchippie wrote:
Also are there any tweaks I could do to the mac Mini?

Picking up on this last bit that I neglected to answer first time round, if you use iTunes then I’d highly recommend BitPerfect. It’s a tool that sits in the background of iTunes more or less transparently and takes over the playing side of things. You can buy it from the App Store. It does cool stuff like hogging your computer’s DAC so nothing else plays through it while you’re listening to iTunes, and loads the song into memory to reduce HDD access. Most importantly, if you have HD audio files it properly switches the bitrate and bitdepth of the computer’s DAC to match that of the song you’re playing, which iTunes does not natively do.

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