quality audio output from macs: via usb with extra hardware or via just audio out plus well amped sp

Discussion in 'Apple' started by oliver, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. oliver

    oliver Guest

    hi there

    i want to have decent audio output of itunes:

    should i just stick to the audio out channel provided by apple and add some
    good amplifier and good speakers or are other hardware D/A converters
    preferable? does a good amp make no sense without a better D/A converter?

    and which hardware solutions are recommendable for audiophiles?

    thanks, olli
     
    oliver, Dec 14, 2004
    #1
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  2. I quit listening to external speakers some time ago and substituted a
    pair of high-quality earphones. They're sufficiently good enough to
    provide satisfactory reproduction of Charles Muench's Beriloz Requiem.

    Try the new Bose noise-canceling 'phones (the larger set that comes with
    a CD player). You might be pleasantly amazed at the quality.
    Alternatively, a pair of Beyer phones will do the job, but they permit
    external noise to creep in.

    If we want truly high-quality audiophile reproduction, then go into the
    living room and fire up your main stereo system.
     
    George Berger, Dec 14, 2004
    #2
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  3. That would make them music lovers -- only randomly related to
    audiophiles.
     
    Neill Massello, Dec 14, 2004
    #3
  4. The audiophiles would go to the jazz club and bitch about the
    acoustics.
     
    Matthew Russotto, Dec 14, 2004
    #4
  5. oliver

    buzz off Guest

    There is one important reason to use a add on audio output. That is
    that you can route system sounds differently than your music.. Having
    the start-up chime blare at you through the stereo speakers can be
    surprising, to say the least.
     
    buzz off, Dec 14, 2004
    #5
  6. No. A sound output device that have better specs will sound better,
    even if the source is imperfect. Take this example :

    What would sounds better, a vinyl LP recorded on a cassette or a vinyl
    LP recorded on a CD?

    The CD will be better, of course. The cassette will add its own noise
    and distorsion to the already imperfect source. On the contrary, the CD
    will at least preserve what is on the LP.

    Other example : a cassette will have better sound on a pair of B&W
    speakers than on a boombox, even if the cassette's flaws are readily
    audibles.

    That being said, Macs have good sound quality out of the box, as you
    pointed out. I use them since 1997 to playback soundtracks and sound
    effect in live shows. They surpasses even the pro open-reel analog tape
    decks they replaced.

    If the original poster insist on even better, there are several semi-pro
    unit available. I fetched a M-Audio Duo used on eBay and I'm thrilled
    about it's quality. It'll do 96 kHz/24 bits in and out, as well as
    having a nice dual channel mic pre-amp with XLR connectivity. I paid
    162 USD and they often go for less than that.
     
    Eric Desrochers, Dec 15, 2004
    #6
  7. I often listen to music from the computer at enthusiatic volume, hummm!
    A couple of years ago, I sometime had a difficult time geting good sleep
    and wondered why.

    Turned out I had left the sound system cranked up before going to sleep.
    The computer was left running and every 30 minutes, Outlook Express
    chimed its "no mail" sound at full volume, in my case, in full range
    glory with several hundred watts, complete with dual 12 inches subs...

    The chime would wake me up before I could realise what shit was going
    on, all night long!
     
    Eric Desrochers, Dec 15, 2004
    #7
  8. oliver

    abuse Guest

    Well, one can load AIFFs into it, if one has the disk space and source
    material. You won't be getting that from the Apple store tho.. 99 cents
    doesn't buy a whole hell of a lot these days.

    Billy Y..
     
    abuse, Dec 19, 2004
    #8
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