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bobfa posted a topic in UpTone Audio (Sponsored)I have recently been working on my audio system to improve sound quality and to reduce the physical size needs of the system. I also wanted to have a Mac as the control computer. To that end I have an UpTone Audio JS-2 powering my Mytek DAC+ and a new 2014 Mac mini. I thought I would post a few pictures and some notes about my install. Thanks to @Superdad for the great products and support! The Mac mini is a 2014 model with 16GB of RAM and a Core I7 processor and 512GB of PCieSSD from Apple. If you have taken an older mini apart there are some subtle differences that are covered in the help from UpTone Audio. I took a bunch of pictures that should help others along with my own visual memory! To start with the 2104 model has a different base that you have to "pop" off instead of twist off: After you remove the bottom and take off the internal cover with the WiFi antenna the fragile antenna cable has to come off : Next you have to remove the fan. The little connector pops up from the board and there are three screws holding the fan down: Next you have to remove the IR and the PCIE connectors: (That PCIE thing looks scary so be careful): Now you have to remove the one screw holding the mother board and tray into the computer. You also need to disconnect the power supply connector from the motherboard. I forgot to get a picture of that but you can see it next to the PCIE connector above. Note that the first time you try to slide the mother board out it is HARD to move. You cannot take it off until the mother board is partly out of the Mac: Now it is time to get the power supply out. There is a single screw holding the power supply to the case. You can see it in the picture below. I did not get a picture of the little catch holding the connector to the case!! Follow the notes and the fixit docs. Also do not lose the rubber boot for the power supply AC connector you will need it if you ever reverse this process: NOTE: I forgot to put the washer and the screw back into the case to hold the frame down so maybe do that NOW!: Now it is time to get the new power supply interface board into the system. You need to hook up the power supply connector and the interface cable to the new fan controller: Check the tape on the bottom of the PS board and slip it carefully into the motherboard mounting frame: Following the interactions put the washer and the nut on the DC jack. I did not put the optional nut on the coax jack: WHEW we are getting close. Plug the power supply cable into the mother board and we are ready to CAREFULLY slide things back together: Since the Website will not let me upload any more files I will continue this with a second post...... -RJF
bobfa posted a topic in UpTone Audio (Sponsored)I have been reading a lot here and learning both from the forums and about myself. I have used my 2012 Mac mini in my system before and I have decided to jump back in for a winter swim! I have a new PCIE SSD based Mac mini on order and my JS-2 is on the way. I will have one side of the JS-2 wired to my Mytek Brooklyn DAC + and the other side to the MacMini. I have several idea threads to run through. Here is a partial list: Digital music delivery process ideas: USB direct between the Mac and the DAC and with an ISO-Regen + LPS-1 and maybe more.... Ethernet - USB with my SOtM SMS-200 ultra. (several threads of setup here to test) Test with the DC grounded NetGear GS105 switch to the network. Using an LPS-1 Start with High Sierra in the default Apple configuration and work through reducing processes. I want to listen to Apple Music with this DAC. I use Apple Music for discovery and mobile listening. I use Audirvana and Roon: How does optimization in Audirvana do before we even tweet the OS. I want to figure out voice control for music. "Hey Siri" or the like..... SOtM clock testing since I already have it! Other possible / probable testing and learning Do I play with Isolation transformers on the AC side? Do I make other cabling improvements? Will I l test with my Rotel power amp to see how it compares to the Mytek Amp? ..... more .... So in summary my music will be stored on a Synology NAS outside of the stereo system so there is no SATA stuff going on in the MacMini. Attached is the basic layout of the stereo system for reference. I am building a few more pages with test outlines. Eventually I want to make an FAQ/WIKI/KB of this as finding stuff in these threads on the forums is really time consuming and I want to make this simpler. So the goals are as follows: Reduce operating complexity. (I dare. you to teach a non- audiophile how to switch inputs on a Mytek DAC +) Improve sound quality Have fun and listen more ???Simplify??? the systems design (I am not sure if changing power supplies and edit Mac processes is simple) Share my experience to help others. Stereo Overview.pdf
Finally, about a month after receiving my JS-2 and MMK from Alex, I was able to be home, have the tools, and the time to do the installation. Here are some of my thoughts... THE GOOD 1. I've just turned on the Mac Mini (late 2014 PCIe Flash) plugged into the JS-2 and it does sound really good (I can't quantify the improvement, but it's definitely there)! 2. Fantastic service and support from Alex (Superdad). I had a few questions over the past few weeks, initially with the order, and then some clarification questions, all of which Alex responded very quickly to! 3. Really nice build quality on the JS-2 (see picture below). I personally would have preferred not to have any text on the front fascia, but no biggie. COULD BE IMPROVED 1. I consider myself reasonably "tech comfortable", but even so I have to admit that I put off the installation project more than a couple of times because of the rather scary-looking documentation - granted, probably every step needed is described nicely by Alex in the little booklet, but it's in very fine print (a tad challenging for my nascent presbyopia), and there are no pictures! Not one (well, except for the cover photo)! 2. Having said the above, Alex did very kindly send me emails with iFixit links, for the tear-down (first part) of the installation. However, one will still have to read the documentation very carefully to figure out the second part, as it (of course) isn't on iFixit... 3. What made it a tad more worrying was that the documentation was obviously prepared some years ago - the very first line says "Install this product only in a 2010, 2011, or 2012 Mac mini". Alex did clarify in an email that it would work fine on my 2014 Mac mini, and did also describe some of the differences between the documentation and what I would have to do for my newer unit, but it did add to my fears (and the complexity)! 4. Another problem was that the Torx 6 Security bit, which is required to open the late-2014 Mac mini, is not included in the toolkit that Alex sends out, so I had to purchase it from iFixit separately. 5. There is no documentation at all as to how to use the JS-2. At first I didn't worry because, after all, there aren't that many connections! However, for the first few minutes after turning it on my Mac Mini refused to start up, until I figured out that the "sense" cable was loose, and also that I had to have the little switch at the back set to "sense", and that the DC cable had to be connected to the DC-2 output (in hindsight it is obvious, since it is the output closest to the "sense" input)... SUMMARY In summary though, I have to say that the actual installation process is very, very easy to do - it just looks difficult to those of us accustomed to having pictures to follow-along to! The resulting sound quality improvement (at least to my "freshman" ears) also sounds pretty good! And again, Alex was fantastic in being very prompt and helpful with his email replies! I've provided some photographs of my installation below, as it may be helpful for others in the future (do note that in the second-last picture the switch/sense is set wrongly - I took that photo while trying to figure out what was wrong). Art p.s. As mentioned, for the first (teardown) phase, I used this guide from iFixit: