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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,


I just got a 2011 2.3 GHz Mac mini and would like to set it up as the home theater PC. At the same time, I want to use it for 2 channel music listening. I'm thinking of using Plex, HDMI output to a marantz AV7005 and Emotiva amp to drive Adam Audio speakers.


At the same time, I'm looking for a Toslink digital output to listen to my iTunes music. My questions are:


1. Any advantage of going this route. And would a DAC be useful. I would have a separate 2 channel amp driving my old Dali Piano speaker to listen to music.


2. Any recommendation for a reasonably price DAC to work with the mac mini


3. With the HDMI connected, would the digital out port still work or would it be de activated.


Thanks for all your help.
 

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Are you pursuing this strategy because the home theater will be in a different room from where you plan to listen to music?
Quote:
3. With the HDMI connected, would the digital out port still work or would it be de activated.

In Audio MIDI you can create something called a "Multi-Output Device" which will allow you to send audio over both HDMI and optical simultaneously.
 

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Quote:
No. Both are in the same room.

Then you aim to needlessly over-complicate things. No need for an external DAC or optical, run everything through your Marantz, it should serve nicely, switch between a 2 channel and a surround configuration depending on the source, assuming your main L + R are good enough. Use your second system in a bedroom, kitchen, etc.


Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup, not that it is needed now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newHTowner  /t/1469219/mac-mini-hdmi-dac-set-up#post_23227664


Hi Guys,


I just got a 2011 2.3 GHz Mac mini and would like to set it up as the home theater PC. At the same time, I want to use it for 2 channel music listening. I'm thinking of using Plex, HDMI output to a marantz AV7005 and Emotiva amp to drive Adam Audio speakers.


At the same time, I'm looking for a Toslink digital output to listen to my iTunes music. My questions are:


1. Any advantage of going this route. And would a DAC be useful. I would have a separate 2 channel amp driving my old Dali Piano speaker to listen to music.


2. Any recommendation for a reasonably price DAC to work with the mac mini


3. With the HDMI connected, would the digital out port still work or would it be de activated.


Thanks for all your help.

There are quite a few options


1)The simplest and cheapest is to enable the secondary zone on your Marantz and connect it to your amp, use HDMI for sound output.


2)Apple Airport Express ($100) or similar Airplay device, connect the Marantz or Emotiva to this, iTunes will pick up the AEX automatically,iTunes will send stereo audio to Airplay without affecting the default multichannel setup, Airplay shows as a separate audio device.


3)Low cost USB Mac friendly DACs

Audioquest Dragonfly ($200) http://www.audioquest.com/usb_digital_analog_converter/dragonfly-dac

M2Tech Hiface DAC (approx $300) http://www.m2tech.biz/hiface_dac.html

Meridian Explorer ($300) http://www.meridian-audio.com/en/collections/products/explorer-1000/4/

HRT Family of streamers (from $150 up) http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/


4) Conventional USB DACs

The sky is the limit here such as the Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, Benchmark , Exa Sound etc etc


If you are using iTunes with option 3) or 4) consider getting a decent audio player addin for iTunes such as Audirvana http://audirvana.com/


Try the simple route with the Marantz and if you like the result perhaps consider the other options for a separate 2-channel setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys!!


Those are all great suggestions and points. I think I will try the Marantz route first before investment in a DAC.


Also, I jut got the UMIK-1 mic and REW so will try to optimize my room acoustic treatment as well. For those thinking about REW, it works great with the OS X environment.
 
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