Apple Mac mini system descriptions

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Thunder240

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #80 on: 18 May 2013, 05:15 am »
Hi all,

I just purchased a late 2009 Mac Mini (2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 160 GB HDD, 2 GB RAM, Snow Leopard) for which I have two intended uses:

(1) Play music to my home theater via either optical or possibly a USB to SPIDF converter

(2) Serve music to a separate digital stereo system, which includes a set top box that is DNLA enabled.

I'll probably either use XBMC or JRiver for music playback (I haven't decided which, although since XBMC is free, I'll probably try it first and see how I like it before I pay money for JRiver).

The Mini will connect to my wireless network (the base station is a latest-gen Airport Express, 802.11n dual band). Other devices on the network include two other Airport Expresses (one which is connected to a PS3 by ethernet, the other which is connected to the DNLA-enabled set top box by ethernet), an Epson printer, a Macbook Pro and an iPhone 5.

I plan to buy an external hard drive to store my music, which leads to my questions for you all. First, what are the advantages of setting this external drive up as a NAS and connecting it by ethernet to the base station versus buying a Firewire enclosure and connecting it to the Mini directly? My instinct is that the main advantage of going the NAS route is that my Macbook Pro can access it over the network, as can the DNLA-enabled set top box, while I'm guessing the main advantage of going the firewire route is that it will improve the Mini's performance. If I go firewire, what would be the best way to configure the Mini to serve this music so that the DNLA set top box can see and stream the music that resides on the HDD? If I go the NAS route, will playback performance (on any of the devices) be substantially worse than if it is connected to the Mini by firewire? Finally are there other tradeoff's I'm not considering?

Thanks!

jarcher

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #81 on: 18 May 2013, 06:51 am »
I"m gonna guess that the only disadvantage of using an external firewire HDD to the Mac Mini vs NAS is that the Mac Mini would have to be on all the time (or perhaps set up for "wake up on LAN").  Then again, a Mac Mini hardly consumes much power - though perhaps a bit more than a NAS.

The disadvantage with a NAS - might be slightly more cost vs the external HDD, depending on what model you go with.  Some NAS also allow web access - so if you're away from home a lot & don't have other ways to carry or access your music, that might be a consideration.

I do a Mac Mini w/ a firewire 800 external HD.  I can remote control it w/ the apple Remote app on iphone & stream it through various devices (apple tv's / etc).  When I got a squeezebox & loaded the squeezebox server software on the mac mini, that was able to access the music on the external HD as well without a problem & stream it. 

Lastly, my Marantz receiver / processor that has network capability (including DLNA) and I've been able to stream music w/ the above set up.  I'm not sure if it's seeing / using the squeezebox server software, or accessing the HD via the mac directly, but in either case it works.  So if your DLNA device cant see the mac mini's external HD, loading & using the free squeezebox server software may resolve that problem

Also I think theoretically it doesn't matter to your DLNA devices if it's an external HD off a mac or a NAS -  they are both "network drives" for all intents & purposes. So you'd just have to point the DLNA device to the right address.

As for performance, I haven't noticed substantial lags - but I guess I'm used to a bit of a pause as I used Pure Music in memory play mode when I'm playing direct from the Mac Mini, and that has a small lag.  So I'm used to not have immediate nano-second gratification.

Hope that helps.......

P.S. I'd use iTunes w/ Pure Music vs XBMC or JRiver, particularly as you have an iphone to use as a remote w/ Remote App. Itunes + the app are free.  Pure Music isn't - but it helps to make itunes sound a lot better.

P.s.s.  In case you have an XBOX360, I've also been able to stream music / video / photos to an XBOX 360 using a low cost ($20) program called Connect360, which you load on the Mac. See : http://www.nullriver.com/products/connect360

Thunder240

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #82 on: 18 May 2013, 11:43 pm »
Ok, since I already own a 250 GB USB external hdd (which I bought probably 7 years ago), I'm gonna run a test and put some music on the drive, connect it to the Mini, and make it a shareable. If my set top box can see the drive and play its music (either with or without Squeezebox Server), then I'm gonna go the FireWire route. If it can't, then I'll go with a NAS. The reason I'm opting for FireWire is that I already get momentary drops due to interference (there are several other wifi networks in the building), and I am planning to build my hi-res library, so bandwidth counts. If I can reduce the extent to which I am relying on my network to play music, that's a good thing. Also, it occurred to me that I might eventually want to use the mini as a HTPC, and if I do, it will help to have videos stored locally. So hopefully the Mini passes my little test and I can buy a FireWire drive!

On another note, it was my understanding that both JRiver and XBMC have iphone remote aps. Is that not the case? If they do, why do you prefer PureMusic's remote? Are there additional reasons you'd go with PureMusic?

Many thanks for sharing your experience!


I"m gonna guess that the only disadvantage of using an external firewire HDD to the Mac Mini vs NAS is that the Mac Mini would have to be on all the time (or perhaps set up for "wake up on LAN").  Then again, a Mac Mini hardly consumes much power - though perhaps a bit more than a NAS.

The disadvantage with a NAS - might be slightly more cost vs the external HDD, depending on what model you go with.  Some NAS also allow web access - so if you're away from home a lot & don't have other ways to carry or access your music, that might be a consideration.

I do a Mac Mini w/ a firewire 800 external HD.  I can remote control it w/ the apple Remote app on iphone & stream it through various devices (apple tv's / etc).  When I got a squeezebox & loaded the squeezebox server software on the mac mini, that was able to access the music on the external HD as well without a problem & stream it. 

Lastly, my Marantz receiver / processor that has network capability (including DLNA) and I've been able to stream music w/ the above set up.  I'm not sure if it's seeing / using the squeezebox server software, or accessing the HD via the mac directly, but in either case it works.  So if your DLNA device cant see the mac mini's external HD, loading & using the free squeezebox server software may resolve that problem

Also I think theoretically it doesn't matter to your DLNA devices if it's an external HD off a mac or a NAS -  they are both "network drives" for all intents & purposes. So you'd just have to point the DLNA device to the right address.

As for performance, I haven't noticed substantial lags - but I guess I'm used to a bit of a pause as I used Pure Music in memory play mode when I'm playing direct from the Mac Mini, and that has a small lag.  So I'm used to not have immediate nano-second gratification.

Hope that helps.......

P.S. I'd use iTunes w/ Pure Music vs XBMC or JRiver, particularly as you have an iphone to use as a remote w/ Remote App. Itunes + the app are free.  Pure Music isn't - but it helps to make itunes sound a lot better.

P.s.s.  In case you have an XBOX360, I've also been able to stream music / video / photos to an XBOX 360 using a low cost ($20) program called Connect360, which you load on the Mac. See : http://www.nullriver.com/products/connect360

neekomax

Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #83 on: 19 May 2013, 12:01 am »
I have no experience/opinion on the networked drive thing, as I just use the local drive in my Mac Mini for my server.

But I do have an opinion on JRiver vs. Pure Music. I've tried both (and others), and I am very happy having settled on JRiver. The main reason is that it's incredibly feature-rich compared to any other player software I've tried. The DSP studio is awesome, and you can use VST plugins, for example. Very powerful. I also like the organizational aspect of it. It's still in Beta, so there are some glitches, but it plays music beautifully.

The only caveat being that if your system is headless or you really need to control everything without being able to see your monitor, I'm not sure there are good apps yet for controlling JRiver Mac with an iPad, for example. With PM/iTunes, of course, you can use the excellent Remote app for iOS.

jarcher

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #84 on: 19 May 2013, 12:27 am »
I haven't personally used JRiver, so can't really comment, nor on the app or the phone / tablet remote options.  I choose Pure Music (vs Audiovarna or Ammarra) for two reasons:

(1) Works on top of / with iTunes - and I just had all my digital music in an iTunes library & got used to using iTunes.  I.e. I didn't really want to move to a different media library management software - which I would have to do with e.g. JRiver (which at the time I don't think had a OSX version).

Pure Music is operationally almost transparent - you can still use the free apple Remote app on the iphone / ipad / etc, it has a "playthrough" mode for radio stations, etc.  There are a lot of options available w/ Pure Music, but they are mostly ones I don't need / use, so once I set it up with the parameters I needed / wanted, I can run it in minimized mode & almost don't notice (visually) that it's there.

(2) In "Memory Play" mode in particular there is a notable improvement in sound quality over stock iTunes.  Any alternative to iTunes as a music player in my opinion needs to have that option, and that option should be used.  There's something about placing the track in memory vs being read in real time off the HD that really helps to clean up the sound.

Lastly, it's nice that the license is usable on unlimited computers (if you own them, one at a time, blah, blah which they can't monitor or enforce). I think Audiovarna & Amarra offer the options mentioned above as well, but either they were more expensive or there was something else uncompetitive about them.  I did the trial & can't recall a big sonic difference among the three.

Last minor suggestion on external hard drive - Pure Music among other recommends for optimal playback that if you use the USB port to stream music out, that you use Firewire for the HD, and vice versa (though Firewire DAC's are rare).  So I did just out of audio nervosa (USB out to USB / SPDIF convertor, Firewire 800 for external HD).  The firewire 800 HD (a portable WD unit that has the same snazzy aluminun case cosmetics) has snappy performance.  Don't really notice any delay vs when I had the files on the internal hard drive (now no longer big enough).

Another "lastly" - wifi - even slower versions - typically has enough speed for simple audio files.  There's the possibility of interference from other wifi - in which case changing the default channel (or going to a higher frequency if possible) on the router might help.  In my case I only got what sounded like drop outs when I used an Apple Airport Express via the optical out, but the problem I think was that the Mac (an Imac) had too many programs running in background & the AE perhaps didn't have (or not enough of) a buffer.  Never had that problem with the squeezebox duet (or come to think of it with an Apple TV2).

Best of luck.


poseidonsvoice

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #85 on: 19 May 2013, 01:47 am »
I have no experience/opinion on the networked drive thing, as I just use the local drive in my Mac Mini for my server.

But I do have an opinion on JRiver vs. Pure Music. I've tried both (and others), and I am very happy having settled on JRiver. The main reason is that it's incredibly feature-rich compared to any other player software I've tried. The DSP studio is awesome, and you can use VST plugins, for example. Very powerful. I also like the organizational aspect of it. It's still in Beta, so there are some glitches, but it plays music beautifully.

The only caveat being that if your system is headless or you really need to control everything without being able to see your monitor, I'm not sure there are good apps yet for controlling JRiver Mac with an iPad, for example. With PM/iTunes, of course, you can use the excellent Remote app for iOS.

There is a way to control JRiver headlessly:

http://www.jremote.net/

Best,
Anand.

Thunder240

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #86 on: 19 May 2013, 11:49 pm »
Quick update:

The test was passed -- no issues streaming music from XBMC via a USB external. To do so, I had to configure XBMC's built-in UPnP server. So I am going to go with a FireWire HDD.

The test revealed a problem with XBMC however. Namely, XBMC for Mac OS X won't serve hi-res WAV files (although it will play them locally). And the ONLY hi-res format that my stupid set top box will play is WAV (it won't play hi-res FLAC or ALAC). So, either I wait for XBMC to get fixed (I'm sure it'll happen but probably not very quickly), or I replace the set top box with something that's more flexible (very tempting), or I give PureMusic or JRiver a try. 

I have several questions about PureMusic and JRiver, but I recognize that this isn't the purpose of this thread, so rather than ask them here, I'll post a new thread or find another that seems to be more on point. Thanks to you all for the helpful advice.

lextek

Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #87 on: 19 Jan 2015, 06:45 pm »


My Mac Mini Audio System Description:

Mac mini processor model:2014 base model 1.4 cDual Core
Operating system version: Mavericks
Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID):  internal 500 gig
Internal memory installed: 4 gigs

Monitor/keyboard: Visio TV.  No keyboard.  I use Remotix with an iPad.
Wireless hardware: Appple mouse
Software music player(s):Audivarna
Other method of controlling the mac mini (VNC, custom remotes, etc): Remotix with iPad or Remote app

Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated): NAD 316BEE integrated
Pre amplifier:
External DAC: Audioquest Cragonfly 1.0 or Cambridge Audio DACMagic
Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers: None yet.  Thinking about adding an Ifi Itube
Speakers in this system: Paradigm Atoms v.1 and Paradigm sub.
Interconnect types between mac mini and X: Kimber
Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet): Small spare bedroom/music room

Looking to upgrade speakers next.

davidavdavid

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #88 on: 15 Aug 2016, 03:34 pm »
Tha Mac Mini late 2012 has been and continues to be my saviour, so much so that I have stocked up on 3 of them, all configured exactly the same, so if and when one dies, i have another waiting to be swapped in.
My hard drives are mirrored - 2  8TB Seagate drives - are housed in a 2 drive ICY DOCK enclosure available from OWC

No problem running El Capitan at all and am running Audirvana + 1.5x software for playback
XLD for dealing with cue files
MAX for dealing with format conversions
METADATICS for dealing with metadata
VLC/QUICKTIME for video content

DAC = exaSound e22 connected to the Mac Mini via USB, Fosgate via USB, CentranceDX via USB
AMPLIFIER = Parasound Halo 2.1 with its own 32/384 PCM - 64/128/256 DSD   DAC

I have wifi, spotlight, and all unnecessary system software shut down.

LarryMagoo

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #89 on: 15 Mar 2017, 10:16 pm »
Mac mini processor model:  Late 2012 2.6Ghz i7 Quad Proc. Outboard P/S with stock P/S removed. Total Black Silence during quite passages
Operating system version: Mac OS Sierra 10.12.3
Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID):  1TB SSD and 1TB HDD for Time Machine both internal
Internal memory installed:16 GB

Monitor/keyboard: Wireless Apple
Wireless hardware: older Apple Airport Extreme
Software music player(s): Roon
Other method of controlling the mac mini (VNC, custom remotes, etc): Roon or Apple

Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated): Sunfire Signature 5 channel
Pre amplifier: Marantz 8801
External DAC: Oppo HA-1
Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers: Jitter Bug, Oppo HA-1 Headphone/DAC Looking into getting either a Schiit Gumby or Yggy I run my Roon Speaker Music through my Oppo 105's DAC...but again getting with the Gumby or Yggy for that as well.
Speakers in this system:Monitor Audio Golds (5) and Velodyne HG-12's (2)
Interconnect types between mac mini and X: AQ Pearl USB Cable
Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet): Stacked on top of my DDRC Dirac Live Room Calibrator with the stacks of my gear in my Theater Room

tarquineous

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #90 on: 11 Jun 2017, 08:09 pm »
How is your Apple Mac mini set up as a music server or part of a digital music system?  Let's see your configuration whether you have a straight forward mac mini to integrated amp to bookshelfs or you have the mac mini connected to an external hard drive and connected into a distributed network to many systems. Please provide brands and models of the specific hardware, cabling, etc. used:

My Mac Mini Audio System Description:

  • Mac mini processor model:
  • Operating system version:
  • Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID):
  • Internal memory installed:

  • Monitor/keyboard:
  • Wireless hardware:
  • Software music player(s):
  • Other method of controlling the mac mini (VNC, custom remotes, etc):

  • Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated):
  • Pre amplifier:
  • External DAC:
  • Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers:
  • Speakers in this system:
  • Interconnect types between mac mini and X:
  • Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet):

Also provide comments on these:

a. If applicable, what is custom in this mac mini system?
b. What feature or function would you add to the mac mini if you could (keeping the system within a similar price range?
c. The part of your mac mini system that gives YOU the most satifaction/enjoyment ?
d. Other comments:

I use a 2011 Mac Mini, modified by Mojo Audio. Version 10.8.5. 4GB memory.
Has outboard power supply. Great improvement when using a Synergistic Atmosphere 2 power cord.

I use two outputs : USB to Lampizator DSD DAC. Firewire cable to Weiss converter which has AES/EBU output to second DAC. Second DAC is Northstar Extremo DAC.

Accessories which improve the USB connection are : 1. Lessloss USB Firewall (better than Audioquest Jitterbug). 2. USB Disruptor ( 5 volt power supply inserted at DAC input). 3. Audioprism Waveguide ( a two piece magnet assembly which attaches over USB cable).

I like using the MAC equalizer function. I do not hear degradation of the sound, like we usually get with external equalizers.

I use iTunes and plan to investigate Audirvana and others. Any experienced suggestions are welcome !

My MAC Mini rests on an Atomic Labs anti resonant base. I've tried a few different footers under the base, but did not get a sonic improvement over the small cones supplied with the base. I even tried Stillpoints with no improvement.

The firewire cable I use is made by Oyaide. Have not tried other brands yet. I find a 1" clamp on ferrite works to improve the Firewire cable. I generally avoid ferrites, but do try them.

For ripping, I use the small MAC unit place on top of the MAC Mini. I experience no interference with this placement.

To operate everything, i have an HP screen, a MAC wireless keyboard, and a wired mouse.


paulg

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #91 on: 2 Apr 2018, 02:32 am »


How is your Apple Mac mini set up as a music server or part of a digital music system?  Let's see your configuration whether you have a straight forward mac mini to integrated amp to bookshelfs or you have the mac mini connected to an external hard drive and connected into a distributed network to many systems. Please provide brands and models of the specific hardware, cabling, etc. used:

My Mac Mini Audio System Description:

  • Mac mini processor model:
i5 2.6 GHz 2014
  • Operating system version:
High Sierra 10.13.3
  • Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID):
La Cie 8 Terrabyte
  • Internal memory installed:
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
[/list]

  • Monitor/keyboard:
Sony 55"/Apple wireless kb/Apple CD drive
  • Wireless hardware:
Apple Magic Pad
  • Software music player(s):
iTunes Library
  • Other method of controlling the mac mini (VNC, custom remotes, etc):

  • Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated):
multiple SS stereo pairs, all Parasound Halo A23, except bass which is Samson MXS300
  • Pre amplifier:
SS, Parasound Halo P3
  • External DAC:
using selectable Toslink inputs on CD player, Cambridge 840C
  • Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers:
active crossovers configured 4-way, dbx 224xs and 223xs
  • Speakers in this system:
each channel:Cetec Gauss 18" sub below 70 Hz SQB3 aligned/10" Dynaudio bass-mid below 700 Hz x 2/Morel soft dome upper mid below 3500 Hz x 2/ Heil Elite AMT tweeter/no passive crossovers are used/all enclosures designed and built by me
  • Interconnect types between mac mini and X:
Toslink to DAC (AudioQuest Cinnamon)/RCA to preamp (AudioQuest Chicago)/all other XLR balanced, custom wired by me using Neutrik connectors and hi-quality mic cable/speaker wires are just really large OFC
  • Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet):
listening room
[/list]

Also provide comments on these:

a. If applicable, what is custom in this mac mini system?
b. What feature or function would you add to the mac mini if you could (keeping the system within a similar price range?
c. The part of your mac mini system that gives YOU the most satifaction/enjoyment ?
d. Other comments:
This library contains only rips of CDs. All files are ALAC (Apple lossless). No lossy files (e.g. MP3 downloads). All music is purchased as CD. ALAC files on this system are indistinguishable (by me) from the CD. So one of the things I like about this setup is that I can navigate the entire library and immediately play anything using the Magic Pad.








9

kevinahern1

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #92 on: 6 Apr 2019, 04:23 pm »


My Mac Mini Audio System Description: Late 2012
Mac mini processor model:Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz
Operating system version: Sierra 10.12.6
Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID): 3 TB USB Stand Alone
Internal memory installed:16 GB

Monitor/keyboard: None
Wireless hardware: Built-in
Software music player(s): Roon
Other method of controlling the mac mini(VNC, custom remotes, etc): Screen Sharing

Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated): NuPrime IDA-8 SS (Integrated)
Pre amplifier: N/A
External DAC: N/A
Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers: Allo USBridge
Speakers in this system: Tekton Design Lores
Interconnect types between mac mini and Allo USBridge:Ethernet cable> home network
Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet): Adjacent room


Also provide comments on these:

a. If applicable, what is custom in this mac mini system? Nothing
b. What feature or function would you add to the mac mini if you could (keeping the system within a similar price range? Faster processor
c. The part of your mac mini system that gives YOU the most satifaction/enjoyment? Simplicity
d. Other comments: This configuration has been extremely easy to implement and sounds absolutely terrific.

JLM

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #93 on: 7 Apr 2019, 10:47 am »
Just purchased source system used:

Mini: mid 2011
operating system: High Sierra 10.13.6
processor:  2.7 GHz i7
memory: 16 GB
internal drives: 256 GB SSD (operating software, stripped down to audio essentials) & 1 TB SSD (music)
external drives:  Oyen RAID with (2) 1 TB SSD connected via a 1.0 meter AQ Carbon Firewire 800 cable

monitor/keyboard/mouse: none (use VNC software to control from my MacBook Air)
control/internet connections: wireless from MacBook Air to hardwired ethernet to mini
signal connection to DAC: WireWorld Silver Starlight 7 1.0 meter USB cable

DAC/preamp:  PS Audio DirectStream Junior
Left/right subwoofers: PreSonus T10 connected with 15ft XLR cable
Third subwoofer: CSS 10 inch XBL^2 sealed cabinet with SD300 plate amp
Monitors: JBL 708P connected via 10ft XLR cable

room:  8ft x 13ft x 21ft (Cardas Golden Cuboid - Fibonacci ratios), well insulated
set up: mid-field (roughly 75 inch equilateral triangle), 64 inches from front wall, 40 inches from side walls
electrical service:  (3) cryo'd hospital grade duplex receptacles, each on a dedicated 12 gauge/20 amp circuit, and grounded together independent from the rest of the house, house has it's own transformer
treatments:  (10) GIK 244 panels (4 across front, 2 on each side, 2 on back wall) and (3) randomly filled tall side wall bookcases
rack/stands:  Timbernation, stands each filled with 50 pounds of sand, rack is 22 inches by 16 inches by 13 inches

planet10

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Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #94 on: 7 Apr 2019, 10:51 pm »
I haven’t updated my system description for awhile.

Mini: mid 2010 (with a DXD drive built-in)
operating system: High Sierra 10.13.6
processor:  2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo
memory: 8 GB
internal drives: 128 GB SSD (operating software, stripped down to audio essentials) & 1 TB Firewire (music)

monitor/keyboard/mouse: none (hooked to the TV but i typically use Screen Share  to control from my MacBook Pro)
control/internet connections: wireless
signal connection to DAC: AudioQuest Carbon USB cable (unlike the FireWire cable this made next to no difference)

DAC/preamp/amp:  Schitt Gungnir MultiBit, Rotel RC570/Firstwatt SIT3
Speakers:change often, Today it is our big MTM ML-TLs (with 250 Hz XO point)

room/set up::  house very much built around hifi litening (https://www.diyaudio.com/archive/blogs/comments/comment1028.html)
electrical service: boringly normal

dave
rack/stands:  custo Bernie built solid wood.

audioengr

Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #95 on: 8 Apr 2019, 12:49 am »
I have the same late 2009 Mac Mini and I added a Hynes supply, which I modded to speed-up.  I also replaced the HD with SSD and increased the DRAM.  Boots really fast now.  I use the fast peripheral connection to interface to an external RAID1.

I have compared literally all of the playback software available for USB output as well as Ethernet output (Jriver, Audirvana, Foobar, Linn Kinsky, Twonky, and many versions of Amarra.  The best is an older version of Amarra, which I can make available to you if you are using up to El Capitan OS and have an Amarra license.  The latest version is pretty good too.  You can load either one once you have the license.

If you want to use an Off-Ramp 5 USB converter or M2Tech Hyface, you will need to stay with Snow Leopard.  M2Tech has not released new drivers for Mac.  The newest version of OS that will work with your Mini is El Capitan. This is what I'm running on it in order to enable network playback.

The one thing that will make your USB sing from the Mac Mini, apart from the LPS is to add a SOtM tx-USBUltra:

[urlhttps://sotm-usa.com/products/tx-usbultra-regenerator][/url]

The best sounding USB port on that Mini is the second one in from the middle.

You should also get the best USB cable you can afford, like Wireworld Platinum or Audioquest Diamond.

My Ethernet renderer left USB in the dust, even my new Off-Ramp 6, until I added the tx-USBUltra.  Now, USB is king again.

Forget about Firewire.  Get a NAS or a Raid1 that attaches to the Mini for your music.  Just use wired Ethernet for your streaming and even local playback.  Your DLNA-enabled device is likely to have a LOT of jitter, so don't get your hopes up.  Music and movie audio needs low jitter to sound decent.

Try Linn Kinsky/minimserver/BubbleUPnP combination.  This is the best playback I have found for DLNA devices.  All free downloads.

BTW, If you have a Home Theater, you should get one of these, maybe 2 or 3:

https://www.amazon.com/IFI-iPurifier-Digital-Optical-Optimizer/dp/B01KKFTM5S/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1_sspa?crid=3FGF6ACO5YVLA&keywords=ifi+spdif+ipurifier&qid=1554685024&s=gateway&sprefix=iFi+spdi%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-1-fkmrnull-spons&psc=1&smid=A2763VQ7SN6URD

This will improve your digital feed from Blu-Ray player, set-top box, cable-box and Smart TV.  Connect it with this outstanding Toslink cable:

https://btpa.com/TOSLINK-XXX.html

The iPurifier lowers jitter from all of these devices to around 100psec.  Much better clarity for movies and TV.  Make it even better by powering from a SBooster at 5VDC.

Steve N.

Phoca

Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #96 on: 14 Jun 2019, 01:09 am »
Hahaha!  This thread has lived a long life.  So I'll keep it alive.  Here's my details:

Mac mini processor model: roughly 2005, don't know the model #, don't care
Operating system version: snow leopard
Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID): stock (don't recall)
Internal memory installed: Stock 4GB?

Monitor/keyboard:  None - I use a wifi connection and screen sharing or Apple Remote on my iPhone.  Both use wake on LAN.
Software music player(s): iTunes for now (don't have much time to figure out if anything else would work
Other method of controlling the mac mini (VNC, custom remotes, etc):  None

Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated):  DIY SET spud amp (13EM7 tube)
Pre amplifier:  Bottlehead Quickie (DIY kit)
External DAC:  LEAF Audio XMOS usb dac
Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers: Nothing
Speakers in this system:  DIY transmission line Pioneer "BOFU" designed by Nelson Pass, built by yours truly.
Interconnect types between mac mini and X:  generic
Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet):  Near, but not next to, system.  I had it much closer but would hear polling noises through the speakers when it was "talking" with the router.

I like using the Mini this way (and it has WAY outlasted it's rightful life this way).  I also like that the mini looks like another piece of gear, not a computer, yet I can use it just like a computer...remotely!  But it's limited.  A lot of my current music won't play via the version of iTunes I have on the mini.  And I generally don't like iTunes.  Maybe I'll search for a better way to serve up the music.

rushfan71

Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #97 on: 8 Jul 2019, 03:20 pm »
2014 Mac Mini  2.6Ghz Intel I5 Dual Core
8GB RAM
1TB HDD
Teradak external power supply
Mac OS Mohave
HP 22"er HD Display (Headless when streaming music)
Apple magic keyboard Logitech trackball mouse
Apple iPad

Metrum Acoustics Pavane NOS DAC
MQA module upgrade and I2S module replaces the USB input

Metrum Acoustics Ambre Roon End Point (In the mail from the Netherlands as of this posting)

Primaluna Dialogue Preamplifier NOS Telefunken ECC82's with NOS Amperex 5AR4 Rectifier tubes

Primaluna Dialogue HP Power Amplifier CBS Hytron 5814A's with stock El 34's

Vintage Advent Maestro 3 way floor standers restored and upgraded XO with Clarity Caps (currently looking for their replacement)

Power Cables: Pangea 14 SE MK (my first try with after market power cables. Didn't dive in just dipped a toe for now)

IC's: Mogami 2534 with Nuetrik RCA (same as with power cable experimenting)

IC for pre to power amp: Quicksilver pure silver RCA on the way, finally off back order. These were suggested to me seeing how I use tube power and preamps.
If anyone would like to add their thoughts to that please do.

Klipsch R120SW 12" subwoofer
SVS Interconnects

jtconte

Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #98 on: 13 May 2020, 01:33 pm »
Hello, I use a Mac mini in a Roon based music system. An iMac has the Roon Core and is connected via Ethernet to the Mac mini which the output via USB to an iFi Audio nano iUSB3.0 > iFi micro iDAC2 > Marantz SR6009 > Monitor Audio SoundFrame 2's and it sounds darn good. Especially after I replaced the stock Apple power cable of the Mac mini.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2020, 11:00 am by jtconte »

jeraldej

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Apple Mac mini system descriptions
« Reply #99 on: 2 Jan 2021, 05:29 pm »
My Mac Mini Audio System Description:

  • Mac mini processor model: mid-2012 2.5Ghz i5
  • Operating system version:] 10.15.7 (Catalina)
  • Hard drive type (internal only or external) size and type (stand alone or RAID): Internal 480GB SSD boot, Internal 2TB 5400RPM, External 1TB 5400 RPM
  • Internal memory installed: 16GB

  • Monitor/keyboard: Headless. Using NewerTech HDMI Adapter https://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php
  • Wireless hardware: Airport Extreme 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Software music player(s): JRiver Media Center, Pure Music, Pure Vinyl
  • Other method of controlling the mac mini (VNC, custom remotes, etc): Screen Sharing to MacBook Pro (VNC), iPad, iPhone

  • Amplifier, and type (eg. Solid state mono block, SET, Tube integrated): ASR Emitter I Exclusive https://asraudio.de/index.html
  • Pre amplifier: ASR Emitter 1 Exclusive
  • External DAC: LHLabs Geek Pulse X Infinity powered by their Pulse DC power-supply.
  • Other component(s) in chain between mini and speakers: WyWires interconnects and speaker cables
  • Speakers in this system: GoldenEar Triton I and various headphones
  • Interconnect types between mac mini and X: The Mini's USB connects to the DAC's power supply, which splits the audio signal away from the power and transfers the audio to the DAC in a cable separate from the power it provides.
  • Location of the mac mini (eg. in the listening area, other room, or closet): Audio system equipment rack

Also provide comments on these:

a. If applicable, what is custom in this mac mini system? I installed the RAM and 2nd internal drive. I'm using a WyWires power cable that plugs in directly to the Mini
b. What feature or function would you add to the mac mini if you could (keeping the system within a similar price range? Ignoring cost, I've considered https://www.mojo-audio.com/2010_mac_mini_upgrades/
c. The part of your mac mini system that gives YOU the most satifaction/enjoyment ? The mac mini is a component in my audio system. It's the music that gives me the most joy
d. Other comments: I'm familiar with computers and wanted to work with what I know rather than buy a turnkey system, although I can appreciate that an integrated digital music server and DAC would also be a good choice because there would be fewer components in my rack