Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers

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dmccombs

Mach2 Music

There has been a growing movement the last few years towards Digital Audio Servers, and the Mac Mini Computer is one of the best music server platforms.  The Mac Mini is small, quiet, has a low power draw, superior EMI rejection, and the Mac OS X core audio functions are superb.

While the stock Mac Mini provides the basis for an excellent music server, we developed a series of changes that make it sound much, much better.  By upgrading some of the hardware, performing extensive modifications to the operating system setup, and optimizing the music player software, we have drastically improved the soundstage, fine detail, dynamics, and greatly reduced the noise floor.

Our modified Mac Mini is a superb front end which can output to a USB DAC, Firewire DAC, or a Coaxial Input (i.e. Preamp or Receiver).  While we recommend using a USB or Firewire DAC, we have had terrific results using the coaxial output into a preamp. 

The modified Mac Mini provides stunning detail without harshness or a digital sound.  The bass is full and tight.  The soundstage is wide and deep.  Most impressive is the textures and realism in the voices and instruments.  The overall presentation has a realness to it that approaches vinyl.  Of course you get all of the conveniences that Digital Audio provides.  It's the ultimate blend of superb sound quality and a great user experience.

At Mach2 Music we offer a turnkey music server system that just needs to be plugged in to your favorite DAC, Preamp, or Receiver, and then turned on.  We provide the hardware, modified operating system, optimization scripts for the common music players.  You simply load your music files onto the hard disk and enjoy.

Our Introductory Price is $1495.00 which includes the shipping to your door (Continental US).  When paired with a quality DAC, this setup will outperform CD or SACD players at 2-4 times its price.  The sound quality is that good.

Best Regards,
Darrell McCombs & Kevin Burke of Mach2 Music
www.Mach2Music.com

dBe

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #1 on: 23 Oct 2010, 03:54 pm »
Mach2 Music

There has been a growing movement the last few years towards Digital Audio Servers, and the Mac Mini Computer is one of the best music server platforms.  The Mac Mini is small, quiet, has a low power draw, superior EMI rejection, and the Mac OS X core audio functions are superb.

While the stock Mac Mini provides the basis for an excellent music server, we developed a series of changes that make it sound much, much better.  By upgrading some of the hardware, performing extensive modifications to the operating system setup, and optimizing the music player software, we have drastically improved the soundstage, fine detail, dynamics, and greatly reduced the noise floor.

Our modified Mac Mini is a superb front end which can output to a USB DAC, Firewire DAC, or a Coaxial Input (i.e. Preamp or Receiver).  While we recommend using a USB or Firewire DAC, we have had terrific results using the coaxial output into a preamp.

The modified Mac Mini provides stunning detail without harshness or a digital sound.  The bass is full and tight.  The soundstage is wide and deep.  Most impressive is the textures and realism in the voices and instruments.  The overall presentation has a realness to it that approaches vinyl.  Of course you get all of the conveniences that Digital Audio provides.  It's the ultimate blend of superb sound quality and a great user experience.

At Mach2 Music we offer a turnkey music server system that just needs to be plugged in to your favorite DAC, Preamp, or Receiver, and then turned on.  We provide the hardware, modified operating system, optimization scripts for the common music players.  You simply load your music files onto the hard disk and enjoy.

Our Introductory Price is $1495.00 which includes the shipping to your door (Continental US).  When paired with a quality DAC, this setup will outperform CD or SACD players at 2-4 times its price.  The sound quality is that good.

Best Regards,
Darrell McCombs & Kevin Burke of Mach2 Music
www.Mach2Music.com
I can attest to the see through transparency and stunning audio quality of these modifications.  They are simply without peer in the computer/server realm.

We all know that this is the future of digital audio, at least for the time being.  You guys have got it figured out!

Great work, great sound.   :thumb:

<><

Dave

Danny Richie

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #2 on: 23 Oct 2010, 03:57 pm »
I not only highly recommend these guys. I am also a customer.  :thumb: :thumb:

BPT

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #3 on: 24 Oct 2010, 02:14 pm »
At RMAF 2010 in the Iris room, we replaced our 2009 Mac Mini with the Mach2 and the change was obvious from the first note. It improved every aspect of the sound (inner detail, soundstaging, ....). A great new product for Mac based audiophiles. I am looking forward to Darrell and Kevin working similar magic with a Windows or Linux based computer.
Chris H.

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #4 on: 24 Oct 2010, 02:28 pm »
Chris,

   It was great working with you and the rest of the guys in the GIK Acoustics/BPT, Empirical Audio/Salk room at RMAF.  You guys did a great job at RMAF.  Kevin and I  were happy to have helped with our Mach2 MacMini.

  We look forward to working on a PC based server.  It will provide some fun challenges.

Darrell

dBe

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #5 on: 24 Oct 2010, 02:56 pm »
Chris,

   It was great working with you and the rest of the guys in the GIK Acoustics/BPT, Empirical Audio/Salk room at RMAF.  You guys did a great job at RMAF.  Kevin and I  were happy to have helped with our Mach2 MacMini.

  We look forward to working on a PC based server.  It will provide some fun challenges.

Darrell
I can have mine to play with if you want!

 :D

Dave

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #6 on: 24 Oct 2010, 03:01 pm »
LOL, let us get these Mach2 MacMini orders out the door first.  Oh and I want to add more things to our website, and I need to...

We'll look at the PC side in a couple months...   :thumb:

dBe

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #7 on: 24 Oct 2010, 03:12 pm »
LOL, let us get these Mach2 MacMini orders out the door first.  Oh and I want to add more things to our website, and I need to...

We'll look at the PC side in a couple months...   :thumb:
I keep trying to get it "there" just for sport.  It ain't gonna happen, methinks.  It makes a really nice addition to the media system for the video end of things.  That'll do.

Dave

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #8 on: 6 Nov 2010, 06:25 pm »
I wanted to give the group here an update.  We have been quite busy with orders since RMAF and we've gotten to meet some really cool people here.  It's been hectic, but rewarding.

We got our website updated with a shopping cart and more Questions/Answers.  Feel free to check it out, buy some stuff, give us some feedback, whatever.

Thanks for your interest.

Darrell
www.mach2music.com

jrebman

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #9 on: 11 Nov 2010, 05:02 pm »
Folks,

I'd first like to say that I had the opportunity to meet both Darrell and Kevin at RMAF and these are both first-class gentlemen, and their modified Mac Mini is one absolutely amazing transport.

I was their first customer, taking delivery of my mini just before RMAF, and subsequently putting it through it's paces, and all I can say is that this machine is simply amazing.  Ok, the old cliche of I'm hearing things I never knew were there has to be dragged out once again, but I think that between this server/transport and my Tranquility SE dac, I had no idea how good the rest of my system actually was.

A few weeks before RMAF I had a tweaked Asus EEE Box with an after-market power supply, AQVox usb asio driver and foobar 2000 in kernel streaming mode, feeding the base model Tranquility,  Everybody who had the opportunity to listen to this setup was dumbstruck at how good it sounded, including some friends with far more expensive systems than mine.  I've since had a few of those folks back to hear the Mach 2 mini feedint the Tranquility SE, and to a person they were stunned at the improvement.  Then I put the original Tranquility back in the system and they said that it too was significantly better than with the XP box.  One guy didn't believe that a computer could make any difference at all -- afer all, it is just sending out a bit-perfect data stream, right?  Well, it was no big effort to put the Asus XP box back in place, and once that was done and music was playing again, he just sat there scrathing his head saying, "that can't be, that can't be...".

No, I haven't done everything possible to the XP box, but even at it's best I absolutely don't believe it will ever come close to the Mach 2 mini.

If you're on the fence about having these guys build a super mini for you, I'd just stop thinking about it and do it.

BTW, the mini with the SSD is absolutely inaudible in my 10' x 16' listening room, that is super quiet as the room was originally intended to be a recording studio, so I can here absolutely every noise the system make
Go for it!

-- Jim

joeling39

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #10 on: 15 Nov 2010, 04:26 am »
Thumbs up for the Mach2 Music Mini  :thumb:. I'm impressed.

Regards,
Joe Ling

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #11 on: 15 Nov 2010, 04:03 pm »
Jim and Joe,

   It was a pleasure setting you up with a Mach2 Music Server.  All the hard work becomes worthwhile when we hear how much people are enjoying the music with our setup.  We really strive to provide a turnkey setup that sounds GREAT!!!

Jim,

  It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife at RMAF.   Its great going to RMAF and hear the cool stuff, but the people we meet make it a special event.  It was great being able to hang out and chat a bit.   :thumb:

Darrell

jkelly

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #12 on: 20 Nov 2010, 11:49 pm »
Can you take a new Mac Mini already purchased and do your magic?

Jeff

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #13 on: 20 Nov 2010, 11:58 pm »
Jeff,

   We absolutely can.  We offer two options depending on weather it is stock or modified with 4GB of RAM and SSD.

   Please see our website at www.mach2music.com for more info on the options and cost.  IF you have any questions, please send us an e-mail.

Thanks,
Darrell

Danny Richie

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #14 on: 23 Nov 2010, 02:00 pm »
I have been running the new Mac Mini with Mach2 mods for several weeks now. I am also using the PI Audio MacSandwich. See full info on it here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=88100.msg863732#msg863732

I am really happy with this combo and highly recommend them both.

While at the RMAF we tried the Mach2 modified Mac Mini on Friday night and the improvement was pretty huge. We certainly didn't want to go back. So mine never even came home. I sent it home with the guys from Mach2 for the full mods. I am really glad I did. I am really loving it! I can't recommend this enough. I'll never be spinning CDs in my system again. This is way too good. 

zybar

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #15 on: 23 Nov 2010, 02:54 pm »
Silly question...

Can you connect multiple hard drives?

Are the recommended HD enclosures using firewire or USB connections?

I have more than 4TB of music and don't want to shuffle HD's.

Thanks,

George

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #16 on: 23 Nov 2010, 03:06 pm »
George,
Yes you can daisy chain the firewire drives, and the MacMini has 4 USB ports. 
Darrell
www.mach2music.com

jtwrace

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #17 on: 23 Nov 2010, 03:08 pm »
Silly question...

Can you connect multiple hard drives?

Are the recommended HD enclosures using firewire or USB connections?

I have more than 4TB of music and don't want to shuffle HD's.

Thanks,

George

Zybar

Yes, you can use external HD's.  The best way is to daisy chain them using the FW 800 ports.  I personally use the iomega MiniMax drives and SuperDuper! as my backup software. 

Of course you can use other drive but if you want to have a matched stack, this is the way to go IMO.  I also have my backup drive partioned so I can backup my SSD which is runs my OS.  SuperDuper! is able to create a bootable backup.  Very important as you know. 

Matching Mini HD's
http://go.iomega.com/en-us/products/external-hard-drive-desktop/ultramax-minimax/minimax/?partner=4760

Backup software
http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

Yes, I'd be glad to transfer your music to the new HD's.   :wink: 

dmccombs

Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #18 on: 23 Nov 2010, 03:49 pm »
Silly question...

Can you connect multiple hard drives?

Are the recommended HD enclosures using firewire or USB connections?

I have more than 4TB of music and don't want to shuffle HD's.

Thanks,

George

Sorry Zybar,

   I was at the Dept. Motor Vehicle answering your note on my phone when the surprisingly called my number in a timely manner.  I had to cut my reply short.

   Jason has kindly given you some excellent info.

   To answer your question regarding Firewire vs. USB enclosures.  We have found that the firewire enclosures sound better than USB, especially the enclosures with the Oxford 934 chipset.  At Mach2 Music, that is all we sell with our units right now.  USB enclosures are fine for backup purposes.

   We have also found that the enclosures that plug into the wall (vs. draw power over the firewire cable) sound better yet.

Darrell
www.mach2music.com

jtwrace

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Re: Mach2 Music - Provider of Modified MacMini Music Servers
« Reply #19 on: 23 Nov 2010, 04:02 pm »
We have found that the firewire enclosures sound better than USB, especially the enclosures with the Oxford 934 chipset.  At Mach2 Music, that is all we sell with our units right now. 
Which ones do you sell then? 

Quote
USB enclosures are fine for backup purposes.
See below bold print.  page 5 (link below)

USB drives cannot be used as a startup drive for PowerPC based
Macintoshes, regardless of the program used. On top of that, USB drives
have a large number of limitations regarding speed and – even if USB 2.0
Hi-Speed rated – can slow down to USB 1.x speeds when used in
conjunction with slower devices.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/com.shirtpocket/SuperDuper/SuperDuper.pdf



Also, it's important to not have anything plugged into the USB ports if you're not going to use them.  There is no need to "tax" them.  I know on the '09 Mini the right most port was the "hot" port so it did actually sound better.