MacBook Pro to Nakamichi A/V 8 question.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by seal.rock, Feb 14, 2018 at 12:58 AM.

  1. seal.rock

    seal.rock Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Francisco, cA
    I have a great Nakamichi A/V unit (AV 8) I got on the cheap - I have been able to get very good sound going from my MacBook Pro via Toslink from the headphone jack, for a direct signal. I had been looking into DACs like the V90-DAC to give another big boost, though. But I had always been confused about processing/re-processing of signal. If I'm going straight out of the USB to the V90, say, my understanding is that the signal is only processed once it gets to the V90. But if I go out of the V90 into the Nakamichi, I understand that I would want an analog bypass option (to bypass that unit's reprocessing of the signal) which I think maybe I can get, but am not sure, nor how I would do it. Anyone know if there is a true analog bypass option on this kind of old higher-end A/V unit, and how to utilize it? It has optical inputs and RCA inputs.
     
  2. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    Tried to research it online, but hard to find a manual for that model. If you have a copy, it should explain any method by which to defeat the internal DSP. What does it really matter, though? Connect the DAC to the Nak's "Aux" in. If you like the sound better than what you already have, keep it. Try both the S/PDIF (headphone optical out) and USB methods of connecting to your MacBook. I don't expect you'll hear a difference, but you never know.
     
  3. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Even if the Nak has a pure direct/analog bypass mode, it doesn't mean it will sound better. My experience with these modes suggests they quite often sound bad. Another thing I've had mixed results with is connecting a mid-priced DAC to an A/V receiver and expecting it to better then built in DAC. I generally found it wasn't worth the extra complexity/more cables/etc.

    So in other words, you might already be getting the best sound out of your setup without adding/changing anything.
     
  4. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I use a Behringer UCA222 to go from my MacBook Pro to my Yamaha AV receiver (using the Toslink/Optical input). Very cheap, and sounds absolutely fine to me:righton:
     
  5. seal.rock

    seal.rock Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Francisco, cA
    Guys, thanks for these great responses. Has taken me until now to find time to read and respond b/c of life stuff.

    @Apesbrain - Thanks, yeah there is a manual for AV-10 at HiFiEngine, but haven't been able to find anything in it about bypass. Don't own a DAC yet, but could buy one and test it, I suppose. My original mission was to make the CD-quality streaming coming out of my MacBook sound as good as my Marantz CD5001 does playing CDs, by investing in a better DAC instead of a standalone streamer like Node 2. It sounds pretty good right now (headphone optical direct to Nak), but don't think it matches that Marantz unit. Someone suggested throwing a DAC in between the MBP and the Nak, and here we are.

    @Rolltide - Thank you - yeah, it really does sound quite good how it is.

    @Shak Cohen - Thank you. I go direct optical, too. Only DAC I have tried in between the MBP and the Nak is a HRT Music Streamer II, and I thought the MBP direct to Nak sounded better.

    Very informative - thanks much for the replies!
     
  6. Shak Cohen

    Shak Cohen Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I should add that the Behringer UCA222 is 16-bit/48khz, in case you're mostly using hi-res files. The converters are nice sounding Burr-Brown ones, however.
     

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