How to getter better audio from Mac Mini, Yamaha RXV-2700 - External DAC?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PC (HTPC) & Media Servers' started by Cacophonix1984, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Cacophonix1984 Audiophyte

    Cacophonix1984
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    I have a 2010 Mac Mini running iTunes for a large library connected to a Yamaha RXv-2700 receiver - HDMI and digital audio out from the Mac Mini.

    I also use a Denon DVD-2930 for CDs and DVDs.

    I have B & W 704s, with a centre speaker HTM7, subwoofer and B&W DS1 home theater setup.

    I am keen to improve my audio performance for music.

    Do I need an external dac (been looking at reviews of the ARCAM rDac and the M1 DAC?

    Should I be happy with the DAC capabilities of the Yamaha receiver?

    Would appreciate guidance.
  2. Cacophonix1984 Audiophyte

    Cacophonix1984
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    Just found out that the Yamaha RXV-2700 had 192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown DACs for all channels.

    Should I still look at an external DAC?
  3. bikemig Audioholic Chief

    bikemig
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  4. ratso Full Audioholic

    ratso
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  5. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    To get better sound of this system you will need to change the speakers. Forget about adding another dime in any electronics
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  6. ratso Full Audioholic

    ratso
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    overall i would agree with that ^^^^. just pointing out to the OP that if those same burr-brown DAC's were offered in a separate box carved out of polished billet aluminum, everybody would probably be talking about how great it is. so no, i would not upgrade to a separate DAC. not to mention then you have to do a lot of audio source switching in your mac to go from two channel dac to hdmi audio.
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  7. Grador Audioholic Field Marshall

    Grador
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    The biggest issue I find people have with audio from a PC is not having the bit/sample rate of the output set to match that of the source. When they don't match the computer does resampling that degrades sound quality. I'm a windows user myself so I don't know where you would find these settings on a mac, but for CDs you'll always want the output format to be set to 16/44.1
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  8. mike c Audioholic Warlord

    mike c
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    what is your AVReceiver and speakers?


    this.
  9. Cacophonix1984 Audiophyte

    Cacophonix1984
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    I spent a lot of money for the B&W speakers. Do you think they are not good enough for home theater and audio?
  10. Cacophonix1984 Audiophyte

    Cacophonix1984
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    Would you recommend a better amp? Am thinking of adding a power amp and using the Yamaha as a pre-amp.
  11. Cacophonix1984 Audiophyte

    Cacophonix1984
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    Yamaha RX-V 2700 and B&W 704s, Rear DS1s, B&W Subwoofer, and B&W center HTM7
  12. bikemig Audioholic Chief

    bikemig
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    I like B&W speakers; I would be in no hurry to change them out. That said, the general rule of thumb is that if you want to upgrade your system, the most bang for the buck comes from upgrading the speakers. Your components look fine but it looks like you may have a case of upgraditis . . . . There are cures but you won't find any here since pretty much everyone here has had this disease at least once (some of us have never recovered, :). So if you want to deal with upgraditis, it is useful to listen critically to your system and figure out what is your weakest link. Then figure out how to improve it without driving your significant other batty over how much you are spending on your hobby.
  13. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    I totally understand you invested in expensive B&W speakers, but if you don't 100% like the sound - it's the speakers what will make VAST majority of the difference. Unfortunately expensive speakers not always better...
    One thing you could do for free is to position the speakers differently - farther away from the walls , play with subwoofer located etc...
    Yamammi also includes auto room cabirations - which could also help a bit
  14. ratso Full Audioholic

    ratso
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    i don't think anyone was trying to bag on your speakers. it was more just some good common sense advice, the kind that you won't get on many 2 channel "audiophile" sights. the truth is that amps, dacs, preamps, turntable cartridges etc etc won't really improve your sound much, unless what you own is so inferior that it is measurably degrading your sound. the 2 big things that really influence your sound is your room and your speakers. i think a lot of people want to upgrade not because anything is wrong with their system but because they have it in their head that it can be "better". maybe it can, maybe it can't and maybe it can only get a little better - not enough to make a big diff, or maybe not cheaply. try going to an audio show if possible. if not try finding a high end store by you. RMAF really opened my eyes, listening to setups that cost twice as much as my house and going "why doesn't this sound any better than my setup at home?".

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