Any Mac hardware experts? Weird problem

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by TimeSnow, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    Hi all,

    I recently bought a older (2011) MBP - top of the line at the time I think - to use as a media server.

    Anyway.

    It works fine for that, but it has a really weird and annoying issue I'd like to resolve if possible.

    Low impedence headphones work fine from the headphone jack and an USB DAC (Dragonfly Red) but all high impedance cans have extremely distorted low end bass, even with the DFR. Like it makes the headphones rattle and crap out below a certain frequency.

    Plug the same headphones into other macs, perfect, plug the DFR into other macs, perfect, try and use either with this Mac, super gross low (about 60hz and below) bass. Unlistenable.

    So it's not the dac in the Mac, and it's fine with low impedence headphones.

    What could it be?

    Weird huh?
     
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  2. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    No one?

    I guess it is a pretty weird problem.
     
  3. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    I'll try one more time then give it up.
     
  4. time2kill

    time2kill Member

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    I'm no expert, but I would start by updating the drivers.

    From Mac support:

    To check if any updates are available please do the following: Click on the Apple in the upper left corner of the screen. Select "Software Update..." Any updates available will be listed and able to be downloaded or you will be told your software is up to date.

    To update USB drivers:
    Use the System Information utility:
    1. From the Apple () menu, choose About This Mac.
    2. Click System Report.
    3. Under the Hardware heading on the left side of the System Information window, click USB.
    Easy and free to try this solution. Hope this helps. :)
     
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  5. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    Thanks, but the same issue happens when I just use the analog headphone jack. And its up to date.

    I do appreciate the reply though!
     
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  6. muffinman

    muffinman Member

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    May be just an impedance issue with that older Mac. Try getting an impedance converter; found a few on Amazon and elsewhere
     
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  7. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    The problem still occurs with a DAC that changes the output impedance.

    I think it's got a physical defect somewhere.
     
  8. Babaji

    Babaji Member

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    ...I've had a lot of used Macs over the last few years, and some of them had broken headphone jacks(perhaps the reason they were gotten rid of). Using a USB dac is one solution. My first Mac (G4?) had the sound portion of the motherboard die...They wanted $800. for a new MB. I picked up another one(G4) that was fully functional for $100. and swapped the drives/cards over. Macs are great...But sometimes there are issues that Apple won't address or own up to...Try googling your issue...It may take a search, but there may be others with the same problem.
    Bill
     
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  9. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    I spent like four days google it. Couldn't find anyone with this exact problem.

    The USB dac has the exact same problem. I also just tried a thunderbolt soundcard with a headphone amp. Same problem.

    So it's something happening BEFORE the USB, Thunderbolt and internal DAC.

    Something that would probably cost more than the computer to fix.
     
  10. Babaji

    Babaji Member

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    ...OS software upgrades are another problem...Older hardware may not be(is often not) supported. Your motherboard may have had an issue like mine. If this is an older Mac, try to find that model used. All computers are the sum of the parts/price point/entry level/mid level/power user designation. Mac's use better components than PC's, but they are not infallible. Explore your DAW, software, hardware cards interactions online(you may have already done this). Just for the heck of it...Some contact cleaner sprayed on your headphone plug and inserted multiple times might be a simple fix...Or not! The USB and Thunderbolt issue points to bigger problems...Good luck!
    Bill
     
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  11. TimeSnow

    TimeSnow Member

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    Thanks.

    The issue is that it sounds the same out of all ports.

    I believe it's something before it gets split out to the separate outputs. So to speak.

    I appreciate the advice though!
     

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