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RobGardner's picture
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Joined: 22/07/2008 - 21:16
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Best connection for a Macbook pro to a Cyrus Dac XP+

Hi - I have a macbook pro using Amarra with itunes connected to my Cyrus DacXP+ using a Van Den Hul optocoupler. This limits the sampling rate output to the DAC to CD quality (which may be all it will take?)  It does sound different to my Cyrus XT SE transport, and when I use Amarras advanced features it sounds better. I would like to extract the maximum sound quality from my Macbook and I would also like to play (if the DAC XP+ allows) the higher resolution files that Amarra supports using it's playlist facility.

I have two questions

1 - Would a Wireworld Supernova 7 optical cable sound better than my VDH Optocoupler, I would particularly like to hear from someone who has been able to do a direct comparison in a similar application.  Please don't bother to reply if you are only going to say all digital connectors sound the same unless you have actually done a A B comparison in a similar application. I know this will only produce CD quality, but having listened recently to a full DCS system, there's not much wrong with that.

2 - Has anyone used a USB/SP/DIF converter to conect their Macbook in a similar application and did using this connection result in an improved audio quality? Reading the online reviews to these devices several reviewers favourably compare devices like the £140 M2Tech Hiface 2/ Devilsound Audio halide Bridge £300 etc etc  to a DCS system and yet in the next paragraph say the more expensive £1000 converter sounds better! Anyone with first hand experience able to comment?

I look forward to your replies

RobGardner's picture
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Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 22/07/2008 - 21:16
Posts: 72
RE: Best connection for a Macbook pro to a Cyrus Dac XP+

I decided to try a M2Tech HiFace2 converter with a digital cable into my DacXP - It was a bit of a pfaff to get it going but I am now listening to Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Harmer's Child Ballads album and it definitely sounds more like their live performances than using the VDH octocoupler (so it should as it's much more expensive). The difference is more subtle details, eg more sustain on the guitar notes, more detail in defining the vocals and a better sound stage. The music still sounds like a hifi as opposed to a live performance, but it's now heading in the right direction.

It's early days but initial impressions are good. I am still not getting current DCS audio quality and I will do some back and forth comparisons between the converter and the optical cable to check there really is a sonic difference between the two forms of connection. 

 

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