Mac vs Windows, now we know.... (BD-Design)

by GC @, Netherlands, Sunday, April 10, 2005, 20:32 (4666 days ago)

Hi all,

Being a Mac-user since 1987, and being owner of a pair of DIY Oris horns with AER MD1 drivers, I followed all topics about Mac vs Windows on this forum with more than normal interest. So when Bert asked if someone would like to come and compare, I thought it would be a nice reason to go to Bert, listen to his new things and compare my Mac to the Windows system Bert uses. Problem was that my Mac (Powerbook G4 titanium 400 MHz, 2001) does not support USB2.0, needed for the twindac. I bought a PCI card with 2 USB2.0 outputs (59 euro) to solve this little problem.
More things I arranged in advance: I downloaded the latest version of iTunes, made some space on the only 10 gig harddisk and ripped 3 CD's to AIFF format
Last friday I drove to Bert to compare. Bert's laptop had a broken USB port, so he ripped the CD's I took there on his Windos PC in a few minutes. We made the same playlist on both the Mac and the PC
and started listening to the PC. Not new for Bert, but I was surprised by the sound, being clear, transparant, with a wide and deep stage, things I can reach at home only with certain vinyl records.
after about 20 minutes we switched to the Mac. Soon we were sure that, although the sound was not bad at all, it did not reach the level of the PC. It sounded a bit dull, flat. Bert suggested to try an other format, so I put some tracks on the Mac in WAV format. Listening again. Although better than the AIFF format we still could hear the difference very well. The soundstage being not as wide and not as deep as the PC. You could hear less of the environment on the Mac, the voice of the singer comming from below in stead of from the middle, it missed the feeling of being there.
To make a real fair test we finaly put my PCI card in Bert's PC laptop, so this computer could be connected to the twindac. Listenig again made sure that the PCI card was not the bottleneck. It even sounded a little better than the PC we started with. So, sorry for me and all other Mac-users:
Mac with iTunes does not sound as good as a WIndows PC configured the way Bert did.
The promblem seems to be that there is no way to configure the Mac/I tunes. Window-users can ajust the amount of memory used, overrule the volume adjustment and so on. On a Mac I at least am not able to. Maybe someone can write/program a Mac-application that lets you configure these things. (What you want in fact is a player that uses as much memory as possible and sends the digital data direct to the USB2.0 port without any interference). Maybe linux offers a possibility ?...

cheers, Werner


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