MUSIC STREAMER MEDIA PLAYER & DAC SUGGESTIONS TO USE WITH NX STUDIO'S

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WGH

I think the possibility of an old Mac Mini getting hacked is slim to none, but better to understand the possibility before you start than say "why didn't anyone tell me".

The WPA2 encryption keeps everyone out of your wireless signal, without some sort of encryption your 12 year old neighbor would be using all your wireless bandwidth sharing music on Napster.

But WPA2 encryption does nothing to keep you safe from malicious files or websites. I could send you a friendly email with an EICAR attachment that would freak out your computer and be hard to remove.

https://www.eicar.org/download-anti-malware-testfile/

I do a lot of research on a computer and sometimes end up at questionable websites plus my old business email still gets malicious attachments every few days. It's a scary world out there if you know where to look.

Eset Antivirus Log


Malwarebytes Professional Threat Log 09-22-2022
The IP addresses are probably from embedded website ads but I don't want what they are selling



For over a year I have been running Windows 11 on two computers, both are used all day every day and neither has had a lockup or blue screened. Networking has improved too, the 2 computers, Blu-ray player, Pixel 3 phone and Android tablet always connect and stay connected.

Nick B

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  • Posts: 844
I think the possibility of an old Mac Mini getting hacked is slim to none, but better to understand the possibility before you start than say "why didn't anyone tell me".

The WPA2 encryption keeps everyone out of your wireless signal, without some sort of encryption your 12 year old neighbor would be using all your wireless bandwidth sharing music on Napster.

But WPA2 encryption does nothing to keep you safe from malicious files or websites. I could send you a friendly email with an EICAR attachment that would freak out your computer and be hard to remove.

https://www.eicar.org/download-anti-malware-testfile/

I do a lot of research on a computer and sometimes end up at questionable websites plus my old business email still gets malicious attachments every few days. It's a scary world out there if you know where to look.

Eset Antivirus Log


Malwarebytes Professional Threat Log 09-22-2022
The IP addresses are probably from embedded website ads but I don't want what they are selling



For over a year I have been running Windows 11 on two computers, both are used all day every day and neither has had a lockup or blue screened. Networking has improved too, the 2 computers, Blu-ray player, Pixel 3 phone and Android tablet always connect and stay connected.

I appreciate the information. When I was using Windows, I used Kaspersky and a couple of other antivirus programs on my laptop and desktop. Now I just use Malwarebytes and CC Cleaner on my Macs to keep things tidy. I’ve had personal info distributed and my email hacked thanks to the Target breach and a healthcare system as well. I finally signed up with another email service so I can leave Go Daddy and MS 365 or whatever it’s called…. It’s nasty in the cyber world. Thank goodness music and dealing with audio enthusiasts is (mostly) a safe haven

JackD

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Not sure with all the current technology available in the streaming market why anyone would want to dredge up a decade old an non-supported Mac Mini to put into their system. Until the OP decides what his budget is and what actual pieces he needs then actual useful suggestions are really not possible.  Something like the Auralic Altair G1.1 will give him a streamer, DAC and internal storage for ripped music all in one package with a well thought out app for one price but it may be over his arbitrary price limit.  So again total budget for all three pieces is important.

db audio labs

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Hello Fellow AudioCircle members, Eric Hider here from dB Audio Labs

Here is an overview of the Mac Mini and how it still remains one of the most amazing sounding servers when you understand it's true capabilities, etc.

The discovery and history of the Amazing 2012 Mac Mini -

- The Mac Mini Quad Core circa 2012 was shown years ago in blind listening comparisons to preserve more musical decay, more high frequency air and more fluidity than other computers and servers even at triple it's price (when compared directly even to "audiophile dedicated servers". This is why I had been recommending it for years to my Tranquility DAC customers. In a nutshell, for those who wanted the "most analog sounding" digital front end, it was the best recommendation I could give my customer base.

- After a year of my recommendations to my DAC customer to use only a Mac Mini, i dug deeper into finding additional tweaks, settings and hardware configurations to massively further extend the analog like fluidity and depth and air. Of these tweaks, one of the largest improvements came about with the removal of over 200,000 lines of code running on Apple's then Mavericks Operating System. Hence, the computer code reduction was a dramatic discovery for much better delicate overtone delivery to the DAC itself. This was then the sole Server demonstrated in RMAF shows that I did with Danny that won me "best digital system 3 years in a row for the money" and by the third year of our showing actually winning "best digital system cost no object".

What is it about Mac Mini's electrical design is actually unique for a computer that give it a more analog overtone extraction?


- Designed to be ultra compact, which led to serious over engineering in using very low noise components, board layout and parts.
- Use of many low noise parts instead of using higher voltages to "run the digital data" through noisy points in computer.
- No use of "noise reduction" filters such as Ferrite filters, which do actually reduce overtones when utilized within computers.
- Mac Mini Milled Aluminum enclosure actually acts as a Faraday shield from outside RF and EMI noise entering the computer.
- Built and designed around Apple's use of Linux code, which is more elegant and efficient in moving musical data.

What do I do to make the Mac Mini *circa 2012" much better than a stock Mac Mini that I started offering to my DAC customers?

- Streamlining the actual Mavericks operating system of lines of code that have nothing to do with audio playback. I actually had to hire a Senior Linux program to work on this for months to remove the 200,000 plus lines of code. And, to the user, I wanted the Operating System to still function and look exactly like the Apple system and the same operating structure to the user. This code removal is the largest sonic improvement by far of everything that can be done to a Mini. I am the only one offering this custom code software in the audio marketplace.

- Removing the entire switching power supply and replacing it with a full battery system. Battery is special design as well. Second largest sonic improvement about 1/3 the improvement of the code removal - special software.

- Playback third party sofware added such as Amarra or Audirvana.

- Storage of the ripped music files themselves on a specialized FW external hard drive. Almost equal in sonic improvement to the battery power.

- Lastly with a bit less improvement than the other things listed above are many various hardware tweaks such as Firewire cord type, full 16 gB of memory, FW enclosure brand and type, internal SSD HD addition and type and isolation methods.

Why the need for going to an older Quad Core 2012 Mac Mini as my recommendation?

- Mavericks Operating System was more elegant with less underlying code running the audio date than newer Apple operating systems.  Hence, the newer Mac Mini models won't run the older Maverick Operating System nor can I do the removal of the 200,000 lines of code which is paramount.

What about running the custom Mac Mini Server with newer OS to use current programs and streaming for things other than ripped CD's

- For these customers, I partition the HD to have both my custom Mavericks OS and a newer Apple OS when they need a newer OS available.

Why would anyone want to rip CD's when they can just stream music?

- In actuality, the Mac Mini server as configured with everything outlined above will give the customer the MOST analog sound as compared to anything streaming. More fluidity, more air, best depth and overtones. Think "analog sound" signature.

Does everyone really want this "analog sound" from their digital front end?

- Actually no. If you grew up learning how to listen to music via digital, you may not really care about this "sounds more like analog" digital construct. I have talked to many younger perspective customers over the years who don't get whats wrong with "the sound of digital" nor really value their music to have a more relaxed, fluid and improved decay which are sonic attributes easily found in analog playback.

As to company dB Audio Labs, Mac Mini mods and my shut down until near Winter

- Currently I am full of many orders which I cannot do anymore since my mother recently passed and I am handling her Estate to be emptied and sold. Once I finish these personal family responsibilities, I will put my website back up and be doing more Mac Mini build up projects again.

- I will NOT have time to answer phone calls or emails for the next few months. I am currently in shut down mode due to my mother's recent passing.

If anyone is interested in starting by getting a Mac Mini for future modifications

- I seriously recommend finding a 2012 Quad core as they are now down to the low 300 dollar price point used (these Quad cores used to cost almost $900!).

- Mini's are built to last a lifetime and the 2012 Quad Core is the best model to do all the above outlined modifications. Should you purchase a NEWER Mac Mini, I cannot do the 200,000 code line removal which is the singular largest sonic improvement for a Mac Mini.

Happy Listening  :D

Eric Hider - dB Audio Labs




wgraft5

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  • Posts: 109
Thank You Eric.

This is what everyone need to here. :thumb:

Nick B

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 844
Hello Fellow AudioCircle members, Eric Hider here from dB Audio Labs

Here is an overview of the Mac Mini and how it still remains one of the most amazing sounding servers when you understand it's true capabilities, etc.

The discovery and history of the Amazing 2012 Mac Mini -

- The Mac Mini Quad Core circa 2012 was shown years ago in blind listening comparisons to preserve more musical decay, more high frequency air and more fluidity than other computers and servers even at triple it's price (when compared directly even to "audiophile dedicated servers". This is why I had been recommending it for years to my Tranquility DAC customers. In a nutshell, for those who wanted the "most analog sounding" digital front end, it was the best recommendation I could give my customer base.

- After a year of my recommendations to my DAC customer to use only a Mac Mini, i dug deeper into finding additional tweaks, settings and hardware configurations to massively further extend the analog like fluidity and depth and air. Of these tweaks, one of the largest improvements came about with the removal of over 200,000 lines of code running on Apple's then Mavericks Operating System. Hence, the computer code reduction was a dramatic discovery for much better delicate overtone delivery to the DAC itself. This was then the sole Server demonstrated in RMAF shows that I did with Danny that won me "best digital system 3 years in a row for the money" and by the third year of our showing actually winning "best digital system cost no object".

What is it about Mac Mini's electrical design is actually unique for a computer that give it a more analog overtone extraction?


- Designed to be ultra compact, which led to serious over engineering in using very low noise components, board layout and parts.
- Use of many low noise parts instead of using higher voltages to "run the digital data" through noisy points in computer.
- No use of "noise reduction" filters such as Ferrite filters, which do actually reduce overtones when utilized within computers.
- Mac Mini Milled Aluminum enclosure actually acts as a Faraday shield from outside RF and EMI noise entering the computer.
- Built and designed around Apple's use of Linux code, which is more elegant and efficient in moving musical data.

What do I do to make the Mac Mini *circa 2012" much better than a stock Mac Mini that I started offering to my DAC customers?

- Streamlining the actual Mavericks operating system of lines of code that have nothing to do with audio playback. I actually had to hire a Senior Linux program to work on this for months to remove the 200,000 plus lines of code. And, to the user, I wanted the Operating System to still function and look exactly like the Apple system and the same operating structure to the user. This code removal is the largest sonic improvement by far of everything that can be done to a Mini. I am the only one offering this custom code software in the audio marketplace.

- Removing the entire switching power supply and replacing it with a full battery system. Battery is special design as well. Second largest sonic improvement about 1/3 the improvement of the code removal - special software.

- Playback third party sofware added such as Amarra or Audirvana.

- Storage of the ripped music files themselves on a specialized FW external hard drive. Almost equal in sonic improvement to the battery power.

- Lastly with a bit less improvement than the other things listed above are many various hardware tweaks such as Firewire cord type, full 16 gB of memory, FW enclosure brand and type, internal SSD HD addition and type and isolation methods.

Why the need for going to an older Quad Core 2012 Mac Mini as my recommendation?

- Mavericks Operating System was more elegant with less underlying code running the audio date than newer Apple operating systems.  Hence, the newer Mac Mini models won't run the older Maverick Operating System nor can I do the removal of the 200,000 lines of code which is paramount.

What about running the custom Mac Mini Server with newer OS to use current programs and streaming for things other than ripped CD's

- For these customers, I partition the HD to have both my custom Mavericks OS and a newer Apple OS when they need a newer OS available.

Why would anyone want to rip CD's when they can just stream music?

- In actuality, the Mac Mini server as configured with everything outlined above will give the customer the MOST analog sound as compared to anything streaming. More fluidity, more air, best depth and overtones. Think "analog sound" signature.

Does everyone really want this "analog sound" from their digital front end?

- Actually no. If you grew up learning how to listen to music via digital, you may not really care about this "sounds more like analog" digital construct. I have talked to many younger perspective customers over the years who don't get whats wrong with "the sound of digital" nor really value their music to have a more relaxed, fluid and improved decay which are sonic attributes easily found in analog playback.

As to company dB Audio Labs, Mac Mini mods and my shut down until near Winter

- Currently I am full of many orders which I cannot do anymore since my mother recently passed and I am handling her Estate to be emptied and sold. Once I finish these personal family responsibilities, I will put my website back up and be doing more Mac Mini build up projects again.

- I will NOT have time to answer phone calls or emails for the next few months. I am currently in shut down mode due to my mother's recent passing.

If anyone is interested in starting by getting a Mac Mini for future modifications

- I seriously recommend finding a 2012 Quad core as they are now down to the low 300 dollar price point used (these Quad cores used to cost almost $900!).

- Mini's are built to last a lifetime and the 2012 Quad Core is the best model to do all the above outlined modifications. Should you purchase a NEWER Mac Mini, I cannot do the 200,000 code line removal which is the singular largest sonic improvement for a Mac Mini.

Happy Listening  :D

Eric Hider - dB Audio Labs



Thank you!    Very helpful! 👍

wgraft5

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 109
So I don't know what the OP ended up with, but I just received my HAL MS-6 today (recommended in this thread) and it completely upgraded my system in every way possible.

I am now experiencing everything everyone is talking about with my NX Studio's. Fantastic and WOW!

The best part is you can buy it. It is not unobtainium like the MiniMac. And the thing is very quiet and freshly built.

I have only had it running a few hours, but still a major upgrade.

I am in the process of building my system up from the cheap china set up.

My system at this point,

NX Studios with Path resistors,foil inductors,Sonicaps w/Miflex bypass caps. tube connectors.

GR solid core internal speaker wire for speaker cables.

Odyssey Audio Stratos Mono Extremes amplifiers.

Cheap amazon WBT RCA IC's.

HAL MS-6

FX Audio D01 Dac with the cheap USB cable that came with it.

Next upgrade Hapa Ember USB cable,a better Dac and so forth.

Wayne in Oregon

nlitworld

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  • Strange things are afoot at the Circle K
Wayne, it's good to hear you're enjoying your new toys. When I demo'd the Hapa USB cables I was still using my gaming PC as the source and it blew me away. Now that I'm using the HAL MS-6, I could only imagine the quality in sound. That is also one of my next purchases. I'd also suggest you look at his Ember RCA as well, but farther down the line. Definitely worth price of admission.

-Lloyd

Tyson

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  • Audio - It's all a big fake.
If anyone is interested in a pair of Hapa QS cables I know a pretty good seller with a pair for sale here on AC ;)

HAL

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Wayne,
Glad the HAL MS-6 is working well with your music setup!  :D

Best,
Rich

wgraft5

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 109
Wayne, it's good to hear you're enjoying your new toys. When I demo'd the Hapa USB cables I was still using my gaming PC as the source and it blew me away. Now that I'm using the HAL MS-6, I could only imagine the quality in sound. That is also one of my next purchases. I'd also suggest you look at his Ember RCA as well, but farther down the line. Definitely worth price of admission.

-Lloyd

Thank You Lloyd. Yes I am thinking Ember IC's, will switch to Balanced, throught.  And I'm floating on air about my new toy's.

If anyone is interested in a pair of Hapa QS cables I know a pretty good seller with a pair for sale here on AC ;)

Tyson, thank you.  Those may be out of my budget but I will keep that in mind.



Wayne,
Glad the HAL MS-6 is working well with your music setup!  :D

Best,
Rich

Rich, Thank you the most.

You really do have an excellent product here.

Wayne in Oregon