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Cable for music from laptop to amp

popjac11

New member
Oct 18, 2009
8
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Hi everyone,

I would like to run music from my Apple Macbook white through my Arcam Alpha 7r amplifier and do not know the best way of doing it. The macbook does not have an awful lot of outputs so do any apple fans out there know the best way of doing this? Any help on a cable choice would be appreciated!
 

Binman

New member
Aug 22, 2008
56
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0
I think the Macbook headphone socket is a combined 'Optical Digital Out'. Not sure what your amp is, but if its for AV, you should be able to connect the Macbook to it via a optial cable. Or if your amp isn't compatible, you could use buy a decent 3.5mm jack to RCA lead.

Or, if it were me I'd buy an Apple Airport Express, which would allow you to stream your music straight to your amp wirelessly (apart from a wire from the Airport Express into your amp)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Agreed.

AirPort Express lets you play music from iTunes out of the box, and from any other application (including Finder) with the help of Airfoil (a very inexpensive application). Same thing for Windows.

APE has two limitations:

There's a small delay, which will mess up sync if you use it for video sound. If you want to use it with video, you'll need to do some tinkering in a not too user friendly media player app -- or use the Airfoil player.

The other limitation is that it only support 'CD quality' sound. If you want to play 24bits sound files, you'll have to use a cable. It's easy to convert 24bit files to Apple Lossless though, and few (if any) mortals are able to hear any difference.

The APE is also a wireless router, that might provide a wi-fi netwoork by itself, or be set up as an extension of an existing network. Set-up is very easy. There's an RJ45 port that let you connect to a LAN or a modem, or to wire other equipment to the wireless network. There's also an USB port that lets you connect a printer, but nothing else.

With cables you have two options:

An analog minijack to twin RCA cable (or minijack to minijack, if your amp has a minijack input), or a digital optical minijack to TOSlink cable.

The latter will be superior. Besides both the DAC inside most A/V receivers and almost any separate DAC will probably be better than the one in the Mac, the non-metallic cable will isolate your computer from your hi-fi system and thus eliminate any grounding/noise problems.

The AirPort Express has the same analog/digital combo output as your Mac, and will equally benefit from a better DAC than the one that's built in.
 

popjac11

New member
Oct 18, 2009
8
0
0
Thanks guys, I had considered the airport express, but I'm not so keen on the delay as I use my tv as a screen for streaming content from the internet. I couldn't tolerate delayed lip-sync! My macbook only has a minijack output and my amp is about 10 years old so I think it would have to be mini-jack to RCA or toslink. Any recommendations of where I can buy a quality cable?
 

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