Update 03/05/2009: USING MACBOOK to play back HRx: We are still working on optimizing the MacBook Pro system. We are using either Itunes or professional mastering software (Sonic Soundblade or Amarra) for playback. We use a fireware to AES interface, either the Weiss Vesta or the Sonic model 303. From there, any 176.4 capable DAC with an AES interface will take the music out to your sound system. We have also used a solid state external drive on the MacBook with good results (E-SATA), which gives us a lot of storage space and does not compromise the sound. We think, in fact, we prefer the sound from the external solid state drive rather than the internal solid state drive in our MacBook Pro.
Does HRx work with Mac? Yes, although Reference Recordings has less experience with Mac systems so far. Please consult a computer music specialist. UPDATE MAY 27, 2008: We have successfully tested the following Mac playback system and achieved bit for bit resolution with sound that was equal to our PC system detailed on the previous pages:
Computer: Mac Pro 2 x 2.66 GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon/OS X 10.5.2
Audio Card: Lynx AES 16e PCIe card/Version 1.0/Build 45
iTunes: Version 7.6.2
DAC: We used Berkeley Audio Design's Alpha Dac
There are settings needed in the Lynx card and in iTunes to correctly play the files. My tester says: "I think we opened the Lynx adaptor and set it to 176.4, then checked the core midi settings in the Mac OS to 176.4 as well. We closed iTunes and relaunched. Finally, we made certain the Lynx card was “locked” in the Lynx adaptor. Professional studio systems almost all use Macs, so it is definitely possible."
Here is a MacBook system one tester is trying (RR doesn’t guarantee this will work):
"MacBook with 2.4 gHz core 2 duo, 2 gb RAM, running the latest OS X (10.5.2, I think). The soundcard is a RME Fireface 400, this hooks up to the computer via Firewire, and outputs SPDIF electrical via an RCA. From this the digital signal goes to a modded PS Audio DL-III DAC.
Nothing in my setup is fully optimized, as I am learning a lot through setting up this system. For instance, although many people have told me the Fireface is a great way to go, it has a rather poor jitter spec (by audiophile standards) and I suspect far better performance is possible with a different converter.”
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