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Author Topic: Using MC with Denon Piccolo  (Read 4473 times)

marcusturle

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Using MC with Denon Piccolo
« on: August 21, 2014, 10:44:25 am »

I use MC in two ways: either direct on a Mac Book Pro, or to push music to a Denon Piccolo.

I've noticed that a lot of functionality (basically, everything under Tools > Options > Audio) isn't available when pushing to the Denon.  On the other hand, using the Mac Book means no amp, which obviously affects sound quality.  

So I'm wondering whether there's a better set up?  What I really want is something which allows for all the MC functionality but also allows me to play through the Denon.

Any suggestions?
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Mikeau

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Re: Best way of using MC
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 12:44:23 am »

If the Denon has analog inputs, which im sure it would, you could always use an external DAC and then just use the amplication of the Denon. Of course that means another box and more $.
However it would give you more flexibility too. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve and how you listen. I use a MAC mini in my system to feed the DAC>Pre Amp>Power Amp and then speakers and I am as happy as a pig in mud!
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Arindelle

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Re: Best way of using MC
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 06:53:22 am »

Your Denon is really made for being a wireless system.

However I looked at their websitre and their is an optical in. If you have an optical out, it looks like you could use JRiver as a renderer which if possible is the way to go first to see if it would work. Of course you lose the wireless capability. The also have USB input but don't know if it is an asynchronous DAC (probably not), so optical might be the way to go.

As Mikeau said, in this way you could get a higher quality external DAC out put through optical.

However, better check with Denon to make sure that their internal DAC doesn't reprocess the signal otherwise an external DAC would just get reprocessed by the internal one.



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marcusturle

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Re: Using MC with Denon Piccolo
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 12:18:46 pm »

Mikeau,

Thanks.  So would the DAC connect to my MacBook? 

I like the Mac Mini suggestion - I've been considering one for a while, but I'm waiting to see if Apple upgrade it as the current version has been around for a long time.  How does that work though?  The Mac Mini uses MC to push music to a DAC, which then pushes the the Denon's amp?



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marcusturle

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Re: Using MC with Denon Piccolo
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 12:19:32 pm »

Arindelle, thanks.

So if I used an optical in, what would that connect to?  My MacBook? 

What are the advantages of optical v USB?
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Mikeau

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Re: Using MC with Denon Piccolo
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 07:25:00 am »

Hi Marc,
yes that is correct. I use MC for Mac on my Mac Mini. This is connected to my dac via USB cable. I control MC using JRemote on Ipad. In my case the DAC  outputs to my pre amp then to my power  amp and then speakers. You should be able to connect a DAC to the Denon (optical will work fine). Although as Arindelle says it depends on if the optical input will by pass the DAC inside the Denon. So you need to research this too.
As for USB vs optical, I use USB , I could use optical out of the Macs "head phone" socket, but USB works fine for me. When I  have some time I might do a comparison - but its not something Im too worried about. Most of my music is FLAC files with the odd MP3 thrown in here and there. If you are listening to lossy compressed files, it may not make a big difference going to an external DAC, however if you are listening to lossless files then there may be some significant divedends for you.
If I was you I would first be clarifying is the optical in, actually by passes the internal DAC in the Denon. If not then you may need to investigate another solution.
Cheers Mike
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Arindelle

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Re: Using MC with Denon Piccolo
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 05:15:27 am »

Arindelle, thanks.

So if I used an optical in, what would that connect to?  My MacBook? 

What are the advantages of optical v USB?

Mac Pro Optical Out (if it has one, I presume it does) => Denon Optical IN; if not USB (see below); Regardless you want to use MC as the renderer and not push to the Denon via DLNA

Simple answer : ) If the DAC inside the Denon uses an asynchronous connection - its (probably) better to go USB as asynchronous cnnx (tend) to reduce jitter. As this is an "all-in-one" unit, and in their specs async is not indicated (which would be a selling point), I'm presuming this is a normal USB connection which is jitter prone - call it "dirtier". So I'd say that optical would be a better "cleaner" choice. I've heard that Macs are cleaner than PCs, but I imagine it works generally on the same principals (don't have a Mac ;) )

If the DAC is half way decent, the cost of an optical cable is not much compared to an external DAC, so you might want to try this first. If the DAC inside is accetable to pretty good - you might have to spend pretty much the cost of the Denon to make it appreciably better.

What you could do is find a shop that sells your Danon and some external DACS and compare them using your mac/music. If the DAC in the Denon is really bad however, there are some very reasonable DACs on the market starting at about 100USD.
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