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  • mac mini sound output question

    well ive basically decided that im going the mac mini route, and ive been trying to do my research but my only question is that i currently have an alpine 9886 deck running to an alpine 4 channel and an separate mono block amp running my speakers and sub. my only worry is that since the audio out on the mac only uses the standard audio out jack, is will my sound quality be cut down at all? I will be running the mac through my aux RCA inputs on the rear of the alpine to control other functions.

    what are my options otherwise? id prefer not to spend a bunch of money on a different sound card, but what else is there?
    thanks.

    dont think it makes a difference or not since Im not running anything factory, but this will all be in my 2002 subaru WRX.

  • #2
    there are a variety of usb sound cards that you can buy that will help the sound output from the mini. there are some that start at $40 (griffin imic) and just climb from there. i know a lot of people like the m-audio which is a pro grade usb sound card
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

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    • #3
      ok cool thanks, i guess im looking for something that will produce a clean signal but does not have to be a full blow eq or anything like that.

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      • #4
        yeah. i personally use the imic works pretty good for me.
        Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

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        • #5
          Originally posted by natedawgg View Post
          i know a lot of people like the m-audio which is a pro grade usb sound card
          Or firewire...

          I've found most of the solutions in the $100 or less range sound like poop on a shingle. Be it poor sound quality or ground loop interference.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Machinehead View Post
            Or firewire...

            I've found most of the solutions in the $100 or less range sound like poop on a shingle. Be it poor sound quality or ground loop interference.
            thats what im worried about, i dont want to have this awesome setup with good components only for it to sound like poop.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lesac View Post
              thats what im worried about, i dont want to have this awesome setup with good components only for it to sound like poop.
              I would recommend trying the on-board sound first. It's a zero cost option. If that sounds good enough, then you're good to go. If not, start looking into options.

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              • #8
                The onboard Mini sound is reasonably good. Try it first.
                Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                Want to:
                -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
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                • #9
                  Sorry, don't know what country your from, but if it's UK I have a Griffin Firewire card that I don't use anymore. You'd be welcome to buy it and try it before. However it is a surround sound card so I feel would be no use to you.
                  My two cents though... As long as you use well sheilded cable you should be fine with the Headphone socket and as far as ground loops go I dont think you would experience them, if you did.... just don't ground one end.

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                  • #10
                    I use the onboard 1/8" minijack and I find the sound quite good running to my two amps for speakers and sub. Unless you have a special need for usb audio I would suggest the same as Machinehead and Bugbyte for you to try out the built-in audio.
                    Any day is a good day for golf.

                    Mazdaspeed6 Carputer Progress: Gone
                    (Check Speedy's Install)

                    Speedy was traded for a 2004 350z - Install complete except for permanent screen installation.

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                    • #11
                      I have heard this works great

                      http://store.apple.com/us/product/TR...1&s=topSellers

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CX92ENVY View Post
                        That's just a software upmix package, it uses more processing power to do what a surround sound card does anyway.

                        If you want quality then use 198k resolution or even better a lossless codec, however, this thread was about quality between the output of the mac and the input of the amp.

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                        • #13
                          I am new to carputers as well as macs so any advice you have I would gladly hear it... I didnt know that you could use a sound card with a mac?

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                          • #14
                            The only advice I can think of is keep trolling these forums, there's a wealth of information on there!
                            Also make sure you create a REASONABLE budget, the majority that I have seen have cost in excess of 400!

                            As far as macs go they can more or less be understood in the same way as a PC with the exception that they are not as easy to upgrade parts. However, external peripherals can still be purchased for example a firewire/USB sound card.

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                            • #15
                              At home I use an M-Audio Firewire Audiophile for linking my laptop to the hifi, the sound quality is great. It has 2 x gold plated RCA outputs for connecting two amps and also has Mac drivers, the sound quality on this card is great. I don't think they are in production any more but you might be able to find a bargain used one on ebay?!

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