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Mac Mini and external DAC advise please . . .

Pedro7722

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Hi everyone, I am new to posting here but I have read countless reviews this past year.
I have been looking at various DAC's and the Motu M2 Audio Interface.
I have considered Modi 3+
Topping D10s
Topping E30 ii
SMSL C200

I currently connect my MAC Mini M1 to a Marantz Integrated Amplifier via the headphone jack to RCA input on the amplifier.
Which DAC would show a marked improvement in sound quality by connecting the Mini via USB to the DAC and the finishing the
connection from the DAC to the amp with an RCA cable.
Would a DAC interface reduce the "Boominess" that happens when streaming videos?
Which DAC might give the best improvement in sound quality?

I included the Motu M2 Audio Interface on my list because I am an old school vinyl guy and the possible benefit
of audio input in a single device is an attractive feature.
How do I best up the sound quality of my MAC,

Thank you for any advise you may have,

Pedro

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gvl

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Any DAC in the higher section of the ASR DAC chart will sound about the same. Choose by price/features you need. The Topping E70 is the new champ it seems. As far as sound quality improvements over macs headphone Jack, you’ll have to find out yourself, reality is it unlikely to be that much different. As for boominess, it’s most likely your speakers or the room, you need to find ways to use EQ to control it, 99% it has nothing to do with the DAC in the Mac unless you have some sort of bass boost going on somewhere in the settings.
 

Marc v E

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Minidsp flex would give the possibility to eq, has a top notch analogue in and comes in an rca out version. Would be my top pick.


 
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gvl

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One DAC to mention for aesthetic reasons is the Centrance Dacmini 2. Likely decent with not a good performance/price ratio, but will stack nicely with the Mac.
 

Lionglzer

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As Amir hasn't measured any Macs I can tell you anecdotally my Macbook Pro M1 Pro was announced with their upgraded 3.5mm jack intended for high impedance headphones and that it certainly doesn't lack volume for my hd6xx. I've A/B tested a Topping e/l30 stack, a Qudelix 5k, and Astell and Kern's Dongle against my Macbook and found that all 3 drove my IEMS in a manner I could only describe as warmer and less rough. Definetely to the point where I could tell blindly. So if you find it at all helpful what I'm trying to say is that you can't really go wrong, anything in the 100$+ range in my experience outperforms the built in DAC.
 

KR500

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I have a Mac mini and NAD integrated amp and have logged many hours of listening time with both my Topping D10 DAC and my Schitt Bifrost and Schitt Modi 3 dac’s
So far I am most pleased with the sound of my recently purchased Schitt Modi 3e DAC.
The Topping DAC has tremendous resolution but the Modi 3E is more “musical”
It also sounds better than the earlier versions of the Modi 3.
YMMV.
Room treatment is important as suggested
 

Mal

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Just watched a Darko video on setting up Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 based system and he was saying much the same about the Topping and Modi Dacs. He recommends the Schiit for the Wharfedales because they have an unforgiving top end. I have the Topping 10s and it sounds harsh with my Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s... so new speakers or new DAC? Probably new speakers, pehaps Q Acoustic 3010 (?) Darko says Q Acoustic 3030i are warmer and go better with Topping 10s. I'm actually tempted to give up this quest - what a barrel of worms it is getting seperates to work well together! I have KEF LSX as my main system, and there are none of these problems.. expert engineers have matched the amp, DAC, speaker etc and stuck them in the same box!
 

NiagaraPete

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One DAC to mention for aesthetic reasons is the Centrance Dacmini 2. Likely decent with not a good performance/price ratio, but will stack nicely with the Mac.
Pretty sure he doesn't want to spend 1500 on a DAC
 

KR500

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The resolution on the Topping DAC is intoxicating and you love it...... at first
 

NiagaraPete

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Okay I'm out of this conversation. DAC's don't sound different, if they do, it's your imagination, or the DAC is broken.
 

Mal

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The Topping 10s sounds better, to me, than my $30 Nobsound Dac/amp and my computer's DAC. Isn't it generally accepted that, below a certain price/quality point DACs dn#t sound the same. That said, I could belive that Topping 10s and Schiit sound the same... maybe Darko is suffering from subjectivity,... any blind tests? Meanwhile, I'll concentrate on fixing my speakers rather than buying more DACS!
 

Mal

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The resolution on the Topping DAC is intoxicating and you love it...... at first
I'm not loving it, I think it's revealing the flaws in my speakers! That said, the resolution is there - I'm hearing stuff I haven't heard before... distorted... I'd rather have muddy & comfortable than resolved & shrieky.

(Why "at first"? What happens later?)
 

KR500

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DAC's don't sound different, if they do, it's your imagination
Must be, my first entry level Sony CD Player with it's simple onboard DAC has been sitting in a closet ever since the first affordable outboard DAC's appeared for consumers.
 

NiagaraPete

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Yeah well. The golden ears have spoken.
 

kiwifi

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Hi everyone, I am new to posting here but I have read countless reviews this past year.
I have been looking at various DAC's and the Motu M2 Audio Interface.
I have considered Modi 3+
Topping D10s
Topping E30 ii
SMSL C200

I currently connect my MAC Mini M1 to a Marantz Integrated Amplifier via the headphone jack to RCA input on the amplifier.
You don't say which model Marantz AVR you are using. Can you use HDMI or SPDIF output from the Mac to the AVR? That would eliminate the Mac DAC completely.
 

Snoopy

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Why not just use a usb output from the mac? Wouldn't the Marantz have a usb input? I imagine it has a usb input for its DAC.

I even connect my PS5 that way to my setup. :)
 
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