Connect MAC to Integrated Amp that does not have USB In

I have a Sprout100. I use the USB In on the Sprout100 to connect to my MAC where I play music using Audirvāna Origin. I like this setup but I am also interested in upgrading my amplifier. Truthfully the PSAudio Steller Strata is more than I wanted to spend but I have not made a final decision. Many good integrated amplifiers on the market do not have a USB In connection. Some do, so I could just buy one of those, but…. Is there a good alternative way to connect my MAC to an integrated amplifier that does not have USB In? My MAC presently has USB A, USB C and HDMI connections. Thank you for any advice.

Somewhere along the line you’ll need a DAC. For the MAC it will likely need to be a USB DAC. That could be built into your next amplifier or standalone. Something like an Audioquest dragonfly, ifi zen or Schitt modi+ with a suitable RCA cable will be good inexpensive DACs to get input into an amp without a built in DAC.

BTW, if your only source is the MAC then you can rely on the software to control the volume and just buy an amplifier.

Probably best look at one of the ifi Zen products. Well suited to computer audio.

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A DAC is the way.

You might look here:

Good quality, very reasonable prices.

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Welcome to the rabbit hole. Your first DAC purchase! One of many I hope.



No matter what you choose look on usaudiowest and hifishark for one used.

You can take care of replacing the Mac, and get a DAC and a streamer and a server for under $900 by picking up a Zidoo DMP-A6. It will work excellent with ANY amplifier and do all those things right out of the box. A power cord and a pair of interconnects is all you will need.


The main issue is you’ll have to change you screen name if you replace the sprout! :slight_smile:
But trading in your sprout on a stellar s300 and picking up one of the three dacs I listed would be a nice step up. Later you could consider replacing the Mac with a streamer.