MacMini USB output - which one sounds best?

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johndoe21ro

MacMini USB output - which one sounds best?
« on: 17 May 2020, 09:01 pm »
I have a 2012 MacMini and I'm using it for audio output to a DAC. This is a short description of my system:

Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ NRG-1000 < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 < AQ NRG Wild < SOtM tX-USBultra w 75Ω Master Clock Input & Paul Hynes SR5-12 Turbo XL w AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Ansuz Darkz D2, Stillpoints UltraSS, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid

I use PCM (only wav, no compressed FLAC files), DXD and DSD. The thing is I hear (big) differences between the 4 USB outputs! The better sounding ones are no.1 and no.4 (the extremes). I consider no.1 (the one near the Thunderbolt port) to sound best! What is your opinion on this matter?



Russell Dawkins

Re: MacMini USB output - which one sounds best?
« Reply #1 on: 17 May 2020, 09:09 pm »
Have you determined that differences exist through blind testing or have you been doing the swapping yourself?
Expectation bias is a very powerful influencer.

zoom25

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Re: MacMini USB output - which one sounds best?
« Reply #2 on: 17 May 2020, 10:02 pm »
I know people have commented something similar about Macbook Pros and iMacs in the past about which USB separate bus is the best. You can look this is up in System Report -> USB.

With my iMac and NUC, I use the one that makes the most sense with respect to cable management and routing. I do have AQ Jitterbugs on both NUC and iMac's USB outputs to feed my DACs in both systems. That makes far more difference than USB ports or USB cables.

2bigears

Re: MacMini USB output - which one sounds best?
« Reply #3 on: 18 May 2020, 01:28 am »
 :D i thought Eric at DB said 3rd one ,, also forget from which side,,,haha . Big help hay ?   :D

johndoe21ro

Re: MacMini USB output - which one sounds best?
« Reply #4 on: 22 May 2020, 10:54 pm »
I know people have commented something similar about Macbook Pros and iMacs in the past about which USB separate bus is the best. You can look this is up in System Report -> USB.

With my iMac and NUC, I use the one that makes the most sense with respect to cable management and routing. I do have AQ Jitterbugs on both NUC and iMac's USB outputs to feed my DACs in both systems. That makes far more difference than USB ports or USB cables.

Thanks! I'll look for the information you have provided.
You should try a reclocker like SOtM tx-USBultra or UpTone ISORegen! Jitterbugs have a limited effect compared to the gear I mentioned!