I suppose I could just go with LPs...
September 8, 2011 4:13 PM Subscribe
In the process of ripping CDs to a media server (Mac Mini mid-2010), I did an A/B test comparing the sound quality of the Mac setup with my CD player. It did not go well. Currently the line-out headphone jack is just connected to the stereo, but I'm pretty sure that the DAC should be done externally for the improvement in sound. But various reviews seem to indicate that the Mac has high jitter issues with it's optical out. What's the best way to turn my zeroes and ones back into music?
posted by hwyengr to technology (11 answers total)
All of the CD rips are into lossless formats, and I've turned off iTunes's Sound Enhancer and volume adjustments.
From what I understand, my 3 options for DACs are: TOSLINK, USB, and Firewire. From what I also understand, async Firewire is the only way to overcome the jitter issue. But those rigs seem to run in the thousands of dollars.
For comparison purposes, the CD player has a decent DAC (an early 2000s Sony ES SACD rig). I'd like to at least match the playback of that, while spending hopefully no more than $300. The rest of the system is solid mid-fi.
What is the best way to work this out?