Ripping CDs from Gain Cell DAC

I’ve got an Audiolab CD transport connected to my Gain Cell DAC, and I’d like to rip CDs to my MacMini. But the Mac can’t see the Gain Cell as an input choice, only an output option. I read somewhere that one way to address this problem is to run a cable from a DAC’s analog output to its analog input, but I’m hesitant to try that for fear of screwing up the GCD. Does anyone know a) whether this approach is safe with the GCD and b) whether it would work.

If this isn’t a good idea in terms of safety or efficacy, does anyone know a good way for me to set things up to rip CDs with my rig?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

I dont know about feeding the GCD with it’s own output but a cheapo external CD drive and dbpoweramp software will get the job done for not much money.


Plus 1.

My Apple USB disc drive connected to my iMac with dBPoweramp software is a great combination.

Go read about dBPoweramp. I think you will be impressed.

Good luck.

Thanks, Scotte1. I tried using dBPoweramp, but it’s not seeing the GCD, either, and the transport only has SPDIF or optical outputs, which the Mac Mini has no ports for.

AFAIK, you will not be successful with your disc spinners and DACs.

They are not designed to copy files to storage devices.

What you describe is not CD ripping but CD recording which is something you want to avoid.

The data layer on a CD is not encrypted and can be ready by a number of software programs (I suggest dbPowerAmp) and that will give you a bit-perfect copy of the data which is what a “rip” is. Just buy a sub $20 USB CD/DVD drive for your MINI or spend a little more on something with error correction. Read through some tutorials (especially learn about AccurateRip) and away you go.

Good luck.


It won’t. dBPoweramp wants access to a data CD/DVD drive connected to the Mac. It will access the drive directly to read the data off the CD and write that data to files. CDs don’t contain files. They contain a continuous track of a digital bitstream (redbook Compact Disc Digital Audio - Wikipedia). Within that bitstream are the tracks you’re trying to capture as files.


Thanks, ipeverywhere, for the very helpful advice.

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Yeah DAC device is not a CD drive to a computer. This is funny because my cute neighbor gal just asked if I could dub a CD that her Ex has. I volunteered these connections:

In case he wanted to argue that it was not SOTA, here’s what this drive was called back in the day:

“Hot Buttered Super Combo”, yo

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Love it!

Customer: “What interfaces does your CD writer have on it?”
OWC: “Yes.”

:stuck_out_tongue: Leave it to OWC to just overkill about every product that doesn’t need it. Very nice bit of kit for the museum though. I bet that 12v / 5v power brick is just as impressive.

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Ironically/coincidentally been having a Computer Hell day, with various peripherals and so on not working with the latest computers.:man_shrugging:t2:

It is an average brick, but the connections are all Raiders of the Lost Ark at this point. Well, I still may have some mini-whatever-USB-that-is. That is a Blu-Ray Disc burner, BTW😝