It seems worse than that on optical.
From Khetan Bharadia (WHF staff) on comments page of the rDac review....
"Just wanted to clarify the signals the Arcam rDAC will accept.
USB input: up to 24bit/96kHz
Optical input : up to 24bit/48kHz
Coax input : up to 24bit/192kHz
Wireless : 24bit/44.1 kHz"
Sorry, what I meant was the maximum output capability via optic from the Mac was 24bit/96Hz. Pretty sure you can magange higher vis asynchronious USB? In the real world though gievn the number of these types of files being played it probably won't be an issue.
But of course you're right, the DAC input capability will obviously be a restriction as well.
So what happens if say you send a 24bit/96kHz signal to the DAC via optic. Presumably the DAC is smart enough to down sample the signal before sending it on?
MF AMS-Primo / MF AMS-35P / Linn Akurate DS / Kef Reference 205/2 / Krix Epicentrix / Focal Dome 2 / JL Audio Fathom F110 & F112 / Yamaha RX-Z7 / Oppo Nuforce BDP-93 / PS3
USB is best for an rDAC, due to some clever thingy - aka "dCS asynchronous USB technology", whatever that is - which, in turn, is suited to OS X and iTunes because of their bit perfect-ness, I think...
Musical fidelity M6i Roksan caspian M2 cdp Atc scm 40s Tellurium Q black speaker cable chord chamelian xlr graham slee novo sennheiser hd598
With my MB Pro connected to a Beresford DAC, the USB sounds better than optical.
I am sure that it will be something to do with what people have said above but I am not fussed, just happy.
PS:- Optical cables aren't that expensive and you will probably have a USB cable lying around so try both and decide for yourself.
I have a rega dac and a MacBook Pro. What is the max quality my Mbp will output via optical/ using airport express optical and what about USB? Also I thought the rega dac can only recieve and manipulate a lower quality if from USB so I thought optical was better? I wanted to buy some 24-196 tracks but not if I can't output that resolution from the Mbp or preferably from my AE.
HIFI= Yamaha CDS300 CDP ----> Rega DAC-----> Yamaha AS500 Amp-----> B&W 684
Airport Express ------> Rega DAC-----etc..
Yamaha RX-673 ------> Q Acoustics 2050i
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