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Topic: Preamp from Mac Mini to old Stereo Cabinet? (Read 2721 times) previous topic - next topic
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Preamp from Mac Mini to old Stereo Cabinet?

I use a MacMini3,1 as my HTPC.  It does not have HDMI out, so I use a Displayport to HDMI adaptor, which as no audio of course. 

I use an old (very old) stereo cabinet as my speaker for my TV (it looks like this) I have a 1/8" cable running from the Mac Mini, which splits out to stereo RCA into the old cabinet.

I have to pump up the volume on the cabinet almost to the max to get an acceptable volume level from the Mac.  However when I take the audio out from my HDTV (which is receiving audio by HDMI from my PS3) to the cabinet with a stereo RCA cable, the volume is fine.  My guess is that the HDTV provides much better amplification of the audio signal than the Mac Mini does.

Any recommends on some kind of amplification solution for this? I really like using the old stereo cabinet.  Basically some kind of cheap-ish preamp, between the Mac Mini and the old stereo cabinet would be nice.  I have tried using an old phonograph preamp for it, but it distorts the audio and sounds terrible.  So I'm not sure what kind of amp is required for this.

The better solution would be to get digital audio from the Mac to the TV, by HDMI or optical cable.  But I cannot get that to work at all.

Preamp from Mac Mini to old Stereo Cabinet?

Reply #1
DisplayPort most certainly can carry embedded audio, so if you're not getting it from your HDMI adapter, it's a fault of either that adapter or your settings in the Audio MIDI Setup and/or Sound control panels.

Also, all Mac minis had S/PDIF digital out on the combo mini-TOSLink/headphone-out connector, so that would be another option for digital audio out.
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."


Preamp from Mac Mini to old Stereo Cabinet?

Reply #2
The displayport on the Macs will not carry audio and i doubt Apple will ever change their mind.

If you can use the S/PDIF out otherwise when using RCAcables you have to turn the volume on your mac mini up to full.