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Mac Mini as a music server


rjinaz86323
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This is probably very basic information for most of you, but I am lost.  Do to my limited space I bought a pair of powered speakers for my computer room.  I want to use my Mac mini for my music server/streamer.  I purchased a cable (I admit a cheap one) just to try it out.  It is USB to RCA (only option with these speakers).  I can't get any sound out it.  If I use the headphone out to RCA it works fine, but not USB to RCA.  What am I doing wrong?

Thx

Rick

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You have to assign the audio output to the USB in settings

 think it’s midi/sound settings. 

Edited by zee9
Typo
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The sound setting only gives me internal speaker or headphone.  No USB option to choose

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do I need another device in the mix to get this to work, such as a DAC.

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I'm not a Mac user, but it sounds to me like you need to add a USB DAC. 

You can get these v low cost from AliExpress. Around £14 I think I paid.

By the way, I've put together a couple of enjoyable systems for my kids using a pc, a cheap usb DAC, Arcam alpha 6 amplifier and Linn index speakers. Cheap as chips and great fun. 

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I suspect you already have the answer above.  I have never come across a USB that sends analogue music signals, so presumably a DAC is required.  The only ‘Hifi’ ones I’m familiar with are the Audioquest Dragonfly series, but I’m sure there are others.  I should add that my interest/knowledge in computers combined with Hifi is minimal, but I do know there is a very thorough (and slightly aging) thread in the main forum you may be interested in…

Edited by Nopiano
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Looks like I will be ordering a DAC.  Since this is going in my computer room that is using a pair of Edifier speakers I won't be spending a lot of money.  I am looking at a Schiit Modi+3.  I think this will do the job for such a budget system.  I am currently running the audio out of the headphone jack into the speakers and it doesn't sound too bad.  Hopefully this will sound even better.

Thx for the information.  If this works well I might use the same DAC with my Classik and 5140's

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Looks like I will be ordering a DAC.  Since this is going in my computer room that is using a pair of Edifier speakers I won't be spending a lot of money.  I am looking at a Schiit Modi+3.  I think this will do the job for such a budget system.  I am currently running the audio out of the headphone jack into the speakers and it doesn't sound too bad.  Hopefully this will sound even better.
Thx for the information.  If this works well I might use the same DAC with my Classik and 5140's

For my bedroom system my MacBook Pro plays Qobuz to a Schiit modi3+ (dac). My bad I should have mentioned that you need a DAC. Foe the money I think this dac is fantastic.


Adsm/3 >> Akurate 4200/1 >> Akurate 242 (mark 1) Silvers/K200
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+1 on the Schiit DACs. I had the Bifrost for several years  - really excellent piece of kit. Mine went into a Schiit Valhalla Headphone  amp. I would still have them but I ran out of shelf space. The Fiios  are also OK but for the money the Schiit are a different league.

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I received my Schiit Modi3+ today.  Hooked it up using the USB output from the Mac Mini.  Only way to describe the difference..... WOW!!!!  I can't believe how much of my music I had not been hearing.  There are instruments playing very subtly in the background that I never heard before.  The bass is so much tighter and punchier too.  I am only using this on my desktop Edifier powered speakers, but it sounds absolutely fantastic.  Looks like I will be ordering another Modi3+ to feed into to my Classik and the 5140's.

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