Mac OS 9 Discussion > Hardware

G4 fw400 MDD: Can I get Digital Audio output?


sorry for another newbie question

please i would like to get digital audio output from my G4 running OS 9.

and i want to use the open firmware trick to boot 8.6 also so i definitely want a card/device that could work with that system also.

are there any options for this that can still be found online to purchase?

i only know of soundcards and USB devices that can do this?  i thought maybe macsd could but it seems like it only works for analog output of cd audio?


To be honest, I do not really understand your question. What DA do you like to output? As you tell a soundcard is no option and later talk about macSD (are you talking about the CD-ROM drive emulator  ?) I am wondering if you just talk about DA from CDs? If so why no using you CD drives DA output? Or CD-DA transfer over SCSI with an SCSI drive?

Also I do not understand why a soundcard is no option for you? There are some good FireWire interfaces, even if they are technically also soundcards, just "external" means at the FireWire bus instead of PCI.


  i didnt say soundcards arent an option?  i have only used PC soundcards and PC USB DACs, i dont know anything about those types of hardware on apple.

  i just dont know any specific models and from reading the forum i have learned that usually with old mac hardware there are some models that can be difficult and some that can be preferable.  especially if you must have support for specific OS versions.

  soundcard or firewire, if you know anything good, i welcome your suggestions please?

to try to be more specific, i am trying to get all the sound from the G4 MDD (from programs and from CD/DVD and from disc images) to digital output so i can use an external DAC for better quality.   ...unless there is a good soundcard for a reasonable price with good EMI resistance and SNR over 100db?

  some of the old hardware can be really expensive now ($600 for nvidia 4600 ti) so i thought it would be better to just get digital output than try to get an old soundcard, but i could be wrong?


maybe i should have named this topic "soundcard advice" 

Ah, sorry for getting you wrong. But thats why we are talking in a forum ;)

I´d say; get an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI card (see ). It is old, rock solid and reliable and dirt cheap in the meantime. It has a dynamic range of 104dB, DACs and S/PDIF, as well as good analouge I/Os, onboard. You can get it for below 30 bucks.

Anyways I would be interrested what you meant by macsd?

thanks for the suggestion

macsd is a scsi hdd replacement

the soundcard you linked seems great except:
with that card, do you think there's any reason it wouldn't work with OS 8.6?

there are a few programs i want to run that some people post have trouble with OS 9 (tho i haven't tested this myself yet, i just assumed they're right) so if their rumors are true i will want to openfirmware 8.6

also one more question:
let's say a game or multimedia disc uses redbook audio read thru the optical drive

  in windows there is an option to pass this data as a digital signal to the soundcard output (either soundcard DAC-to-lineout or on through the digital output to an external DAC) instead of the older way from DOS-era PC's where you route analog off the optical drive's built-in dac to an analog input on the soundcard.

does the G4 with that card still use the DOS-style routing or is there a way to keep redbook digital all the way to an external DAC, or at least to the soundcard's DAC instead of the analog audio-out of the optical drive itself?

thanks again


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