MacBook Pro Output to NAD Amplifier: Need DAC?

(Robert Connors) #1

I have Roon Core installed on the latest MacBook Pro (core i9, max RAM). Next step is to output to my NAD amp in living room. I can do this through Apple TV, but would rather try a direct connection. Should I buy a DAC and connect to NAD amplifier, via USB connection to MacBook Pro? Or simply output via USB to HDMI input on NAD amplifier?

(Mike) #2

Apple have removed S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output on the new models, so your choice will depend on the NAD’s other inputs. USB is probably the best choice.

(Henry) #3

Which NAD amp is it?

(Robert Connors) #4

T 758. Home Theater

(Henry) #5

To use direct you can connect via HDMI from the core if it has it. A NUC or Nucleus certainly has but I don’t know about your Mac.
Second option is a media converter that will take USB and deliver it as SPDIF optical or coaxial. Finally you can use a USB DAC into your analogue inputs.

(Robert Connors) #6

Henry: Thank you for your reply.

Yes, the latest MacBook Pro has 4 Thunderbolt/USB-C outs. With adapters, I can achieve HDMI out, and then HDMI into the NAD 757. However, I don’t know if this is the optimal solution. Most of my music files were ripped as 24 bit/192 files. Not sure if HDMI supports that high resolution, or whether USB is the only standard accepting that resolution.

I can also achieve USB out from MacBook Pro to a legacy NAD DAC 1050 that I own. I can then output NAD DAC 1050 to the NAD 758 with RCA connections. The NAD DAC 1050 supports incoming 24 bit/192 files.

To my knowledge, there is no optical out on the latest MacBook Pro, unless there is some sort of adapter to convert the available USB out. The NAD 758 has optical in.

I think I have it figured out…will experiment with best connections.

(Robert Connors) #7

Correction on above: I have a NAD 758 Home Theater amp. All references to NAD 757 should really be NAD 758.

(Rudi) #8

I’d try to keep the setup simple and go for HDMI first.

I have no problems feeding 24/192kHz PCM to my Onkyo AVR through HDMI (even multichannel). The HDMI input will probably not limit you in this regard.
As long as you don’t want to stream 24/352.8kHz PCM or DSD, you should be fine.

(Robert Connors) #9

Thanks, I have connected now to NAD 765 HDMI input, from MacBook Pro. My MacBook Pro has the core Roon components. Works nicely, and sends the audio and video to my NAD, and the video onto my TV. However, when I try to control the core remotely from my iMac, and choose HDMI output, only the audio plays. I can’t get the video display of information to show up on my TV. Only when I control from the MacBook Pro core can I get the HDMI video to show up on my TV.

(Robert Connors) #10

I should note that when I used to control the core from my remote iMac, and chose Apple TV, I could send both the audio and video to my NAD, and have the video show on my TV.