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Rosetta 200 and Mac Pro Toslink Monitor Controllers
Old 17th December 2010
Here for the gear

Rosetta 200 and Mac Pro Toslink

Hi there

I've been looking for a high end DAC and the Rosetta 200 seems to be appropriate for my needs.

Can i just connect it via the Toslink ports of my MacPro ? (Considering i only need 2 channels)

Or should i just get that X-Firewire card ?

thanks for your advices
Old 17th December 2010
Lives for gear
twotonbrick's Avatar

While you certainly can use toslink, it won't give you very much flexibility in this scenario.

Without the x-firewire card, you won't be able to take advantage of the excellent D/A on the Rosetta (since you will have to use the line out on the Mac Pro's sound card for D/A).

You will still need to purchase an attenuator for the Rosetta (i.e. Presonus Central Station, Dangerous Monitor, ect)....not to mention preamps, etc.

I'm not sure what your budget is, but given the price point of a Rosetta 200, X-Firewire card, and Presonus Central Station, you may be better served by picking up a second hand Apogee Ensemble (they are going for $1400-1500).

It's a great 'all-in-one' solution that can get you up and running for much less (assuming you don't have the other aforementioned equipment at this point).

Old 17th December 2010
Gear Nut

You might want to consider the Apogee Duet. It's also 2 channels of AD/DA and includes two very useable mic pres - which can be bypassed.
Old 17th December 2010
Lives for gear

You can use the optical on a mac both IN and OUT.

I am doing this with my AD and Lavry Black DA. Round trip Latency is much less than the Firewire drivers on my Ensemble. If I remember right, on my system, Logic reports the round trip latency when using the optical ports at about 4ms @ 64 sample buffer, and 7ms round trip for the Ensemble via Firewire @ 64 sample buffer (on my iMac i7).

Of course you don't have a no-latency mixer such as maestro when using the optical ports as you would with the firewire card, but if you can keep your buffers low it doesn't matter. I think latency is only 3 ms round trip at 32 if your computer will run your projects at that. That is almost as low as an HD system.

I also have a cheap line mixer (and preamps that have two outputs) so if I don't want to drop the buffers I can monitor headphone sends 'old-skool' through the mixer.

If I understand things correctly, the plus side of getting the firewire card is, in addition to the maestro mixer that handles monitoring latency, the firewire drivers compensate for recording latency (where the tracks are placed on the timeline of your project).

The system works fine for me for now. My biggest complaint is that the Lavry does a weird 'sizzle-pop' sometimes on shutdown or when closing itunes or something. I also have a behringer convertor that I hook up this way sometimes, it does not give me any problems.

Best of luck!
Old 22nd December 2010
Here for the gear

Well thanks for the replies

I already have a Duet for my laptop, but i'm looking for a really top notch DAC.
As far as i know Ensemble is the same as Duet, only bigger but with the same converters.

So yes getting that card for the Rosetta should work fine, plus it comes cheap on Ebay.

Old 26th December 2010
Lives for gear
I tried optical with mine and ran into all kinds of issues. I can't remeber but either the ad or da would not work right nor would it stay synced right. I use a spdif but I'm sure the card is great also... The R2 is a pricey little box new but used it's a great price and remeber their is a soft limit. It's saved me a few times and is nice to have around! Get a sm pro m-patch to save you some money with it!
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