Paulq

DAC/Amp for Mac?

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I regularly use headphones to listen to Tidal Masters through my iMac and have been using a Dragonfly Red and Meridian Explorer 2 both with good results.

I'd really like a more dedicated desktop DAC or DAC/Amp combo and have looked at the following:

Audiolab MDAC+
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus
NJC Audio DAC and Reference Amp (2 units)

Anyone any views as to which of these is the better performer and also if there are better options? Can I expect much improvement over the Explorer or DF Red? If not I'll leave as is.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.
 
 

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1 hour ago, Paulq said:

Active Member

I regularly use headphones to listen to Tidal Masters through my iMac and have been using a Dragonfly Red and Meridian Explorer 2 both with good results.

I'd really like a more dedicated desktop DAC or DAC/Amp combo and have looked at the following:

Audiolab MDAC+
Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus
NJC Audio DAC and Reference Amp (2 units)

Anyone any views as to which of these is the better performer and also if there are better options? Can I expect much improvement over the Explorer or DF Red? If not I'll leave as is.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.
 
 

Used an Audiolab M-DAC with my MacBook Pro.  Worked very well!  Would recommend you use Media Centre rather than iTunes for play back.Think when I downloaded Media Centre, it was a one off payment of around $28.  Money well spent.

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20 hours ago, Ron Hilditch said:

Used an Audiolab M-DAC with my MacBook Pro.  Worked very well!  Would recommend you use Media Centre rather than iTunes for play back.Think when I downloaded Media Centre, it was a one off payment of around $28.  Money well spent.

Thanks. I use Audirvana or the native Tidal app both with good results.  The Dragonfly Red is already pretty decent but I am curious enough to want to understand whether a desktop unit would be an improvement or whether the DF is adequate enough.

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45 minutes ago, Paulq said:

Thanks. I use Audirvana or the native Tidal app both with good results.  The Dragonfly Red is already pretty decent but I am curious enough to want to understand whether a desktop unit would be an improvement or whether the DF is adequate enough.

Like all of these things, the only sure way is to try it.  That's one of the reasons our hobby is so interesting.  There are no givens. The other week I was bragging about how good my MIT speaker cables were. The only item that's been in use for over 10 years.  Another contributor posted a review that said they could make things worse with some set ups?   Got some cheap speaker cable out of the shed, changed them over. The sound was a bit bright, but otherwise much better.  Bought some QED XT40 cables and have never heard it sounding better.  So more expensive kit isn't always a good idea.

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3 minutes ago, Ron Hilditch said:

Like all of these things, the only sure way is to try it.  That's one of the reasons our hobby is so interesting.  There are no givens. The other week I was bragging about how good my MIT speaker cables were. The only item that's been in use for over 10 years.  Another contributor posted a review that said they could make things worse with some set ups?   Got some cheap speaker cable out of the shed, changed them over. The sound was a bit bright, but otherwise much better.  Bought some QED XT40 cables and have never heard it sounding better.  So more expensive kit isn't always a good idea.

Wholly agree and that's the reason for gathering views and/or experiences of other bits of kit really.  I don't plan on adding something in for the sake of it and am rather fond of the DF Red - for the money it's quite a significant improvement.

Thanks again.

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