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I have been lurking around CA for a few weeks before posting my first question (iTunes/Amarra related) on the Software forum. Everyone was extremely helpful and as such I thought I would post describing my environment in the hope that someone will comment and advise me on the best way forward.


I have been "properly" turned on to the digital audio world in the past few months when a friend alerted me to the (massive) benefits us using lossless audio formats. Up to now I have been a fairly immovable analog guy, wedded to my old (30 year!) Linn Sondek based environment. I had previously digitised my CD library and stored them on an Imerge server as mp3's at (I think) 256k.


So I set to work re ripping all of my music into ALAC format, this is now complete and the music is all stored on a 2011 Mac Mini.


I have three listening "zones", my living room, bedroom and kitchen, sound distribution is controlled by a Crestron controller (irrelevant to this discussion). My music in on my Mac Mini. For music in the living room I take the optical out of the Mac Mini into an AV Receiver (Yamaha RX-V2700) and from there to my living room speakers (fairly decent B&W's). For the bedroom and kitchen, I am using a USB output on the Mac Mini into this cheapo Maplins DAC and from there two RCA cables run to two Rotel amps powering ceiling speakers in bedroom and kitchen. Some clever Crestronny stuff handles the switching of the Mac's audio outs so that I don't have to do it manually every time I want to listen to a different zone.


I guess my question is, where should I focus any upgrade attention? Clearly the DAC could be better, but how about something like a HiFace adapter from the MacMini's USB port into the Maplins DAC? Is that like running a Linn Sondek into a boombox? Is the Yamaha amp an acceptable piece of the jigsaw?


Help on the above and any other comments would be very welcome indeed.


Thanks again


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There have been a few threads on using AV receivers as a dac. If you like the sound, I'd stick with it. I have a very similar set-up in my living room. Insofar as the set-up for your other zones is concerned, I'd upgrade the dac before getting the hiface adapter.

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