Beolab 5 and Macbook Pro

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  • #6838
    mihnea
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    What is the easiest way to connect a pair of Beolab 5 speakers to a MacBook Pro that only has Thunderbolt ports?  I want to use the digital coax audio inputs on the Beolab 5s, not the line or proprietary B&O inputs, which are not digital.  Thanks!

    #6844
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    There are several options…….some are very expensive, but not necessarily better.

    I’d go for a USB DAC like this:

    https://www.tpdz.net/productinfo/505000.html

    I used (the analog outs on) one of these untill recently in one of my setups.

    Also see:

    http://archimago.blogspot.com/2021/07/measurements-topping-d10s-inexpensive.html

     

    MM

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Millemissen.
    #6852
    mihnea
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    Thank you, Millemissen.  All I could see from the pictures are outputs.  Does this thing have a digital coax audio input, so I can connect the speaker cable directly into it?  I assume that it has an USB output to connect into the MacBook, right?

    If not, how did you connect Beolab 5 speakers to it?

    #6855
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    Actually it is a USB input (since the data comes out of e.g. a Macbook and into the Topping).

    In your case (when you want to use the coax-in on the BL5’s), you use it as a converter USB to (coax) S/PDIF….so yes, it has an outgoing coax.

     

    I used it as a pure DAC – with the analog out into my Beomaster.

    It is in general a very good device at a resonable price (please read the review in the link).

    I do not have BL5’s here, but I would not hesitate to use the analog outs for the analog PL-in on the 5…….in fact I’d prefer connecting the Topping to an Aux-in on a Beomaster/sound/center and use the PL connection there for the 5’s.

    Using the coax-in of the BL5’s can be a hassle because of the volume controlling (that has to be done with a B&O remote directly to the 5’s).

    I do not, however want to start a discussion here about the pros and cons of  using the digital-in on the 5’s!!!

     

    My point is, if you want to use the digital-in of the 5’s for sound out of a Macbook, you’ll need a USB to coax converter….since the Macbook has no S/PDIF-out (unless yours would have the combo headphone/optical out).

     

    MM

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Millemissen.
    #6860
    mihnea
    BRONZE Member
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    Millemissen – great!  I do use a B&O remote for the volume, it doesn’t bother me.  I did read the review, and it’s a little bit over my head (!), but I understood the main points.

    Presently, I use a digital coax to optical converter, and then I plug the optical into a CalDigit dock, which I then connect via Thunderbolt with my Mac.  Your solution is much more elegant, and it’s one box versus two boxes, and it might have other uses, too, like headphones, etc.  So I’m going to go ahead and buy one and try it.

    Unless you tell me there are better DACs…

     

    #6861
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    ‘Unless you tell me there are better DACs…’ 

    First we would have to define what ‘better DACs’ would mean.

    There are different DACs, yes – but generally the DACs of today have reached a ‘quality’ (whatever that means), where you do not have to invest a lot of money.

    In your case – since you use a USB to coax/S/PDIF conversion – your focus point would be the ‘DAC-solution’ inside the BL5’s/the way that the incoming data are processed.

    I can only recommend to experiment with different solutions – but be sure to have playback at the same SPL (messured volume level), when you compare.
    Even a small difference in the level may fool you to think one is better than the other (that is how human perception of sound works).

     

    Anyway – enjoy your BL5’s….and do remember that the most important part of music listening is the quality of the recording/mixing/mastering of the files/the music.

    MM

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Millemissen.
    #6867
    mihnea
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 3
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    Agreed!  These days, I only listen to ECM Records albums.  It’s hard for me to tolerate any other.

    Thank you so much for the info!

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