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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Sound cards for Mac Pro (extra outputs)

Sound cards for Mac Pro (extra outputs)
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all2ofme
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Feb 6, 2011, 04:58 AM
 
Hi all,

I've got a Mac Pro running pretty much all of my music and films. I have two out-board DACs (one headphone amp, the other a digital streamer/amp), and I'd rather use either Toslink or Coaxial to drive them both.

Until I bought the streamer, I had the headphone amp hooked up via Toslink, but swapped it to USB when the streamer arrived. I don't think it sounds as good now, and read that USB won't let me play 192kHz/24bit files at full resolution.

What options do I have for getting an extra output for the Mac Pro? I don't need anything clever, just a high quality output that won't restrict what I can play. No need for inputs, mixing etc.

Thanks for any help!
Ben
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 6, 2011, 05:10 AM
 
The sky is the limit.

What's your budget?

Also, the Mac Pro already has optical output, so why not just use that? Toslink is just another connector on the end of a standard S/PDIF cable.
     
all2ofme  (op)
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Feb 6, 2011, 01:29 PM
 
Thanks for the reply.

I'm already using the optical out (as far as I know there's only the one) to the digital streamer - OP says that.

I'm lucky enough not normally to need to limit my options because of price, but I guess I'd need to know what the extra spend would get me, given that I was happy as Larry with the Mac Pro's stock Toslink before.

What's out there on the way to "Sky"? As I say, I'm a fussy listener only - I'm not creating anything.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 6, 2011, 01:53 PM
 
You'll probably find good info here: Forums | Computer Audiophile

or here: Computer Audio Asylum

I have no affiliation or vested interest in either of those forums. Tread carefully, and beware of anybody who claims to hear a difference between lossless compression and WAV/AIFF files.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 6, 2011, 02:10 PM
 
Hah. Audiophiles can be fun. I once met some who were selling a floppy green kevlar disc to put on top of your audio CDs. It "reduced the transparency of the plastic CD" and therefore gave a "better quality signal" so you could hear things on the track that you couldn't hear before. Understanding digital music fail.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 6, 2011, 02:31 PM
 
Careful with the ridicule, though.

Some things that sound like complete bogus are actually true (witness Ca$h applying "conventional" analog-tech wisdom to his ridicule of digital cables - where there definitely ARE noticeable differences).

Audio CDs in most CD players are subject to jitter, and many commercial CDs especially in the early days were of such inferior quality that reflections and stray light within the CD medium might well have affected read reliability, increasing the amount of error correction (interpolation) taking place, or the amount of jitter or whatever.

Not saying this actually happened, or that this product made an audible difference, but there's an outside chance that there *might* have been merit to the claims made.

Generally, if there's a calculable difference, somebody, somewhere, is gonna be able to hear it.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Feb 6, 2011, 04:18 PM
 
I told my physics professor about it, he thought it was hilarious.
1s and 0s are 1s and 0s. There is no good and bad, it either gets them right or wrong.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 6, 2011, 06:22 PM
 
Told him about what?
     
reader50
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Feb 6, 2011, 08:09 PM
 
Amazon has a number of TOSlink splitters (1 to 2). No hubs that I could find, but they do have a bunch of 3-way switches.



     
   
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