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Audio System

About Me

Found 39 results

  1. Dear All, I've just received my new FX Audio DAC X7. He's connect in USB on my Mac mini running under Sierra. The problem I have is regarding the Bits depth ... As you can see in the print screen below, the Mac don't recognize the DAC as 32 bits product. Do I use an XMOS specific driver or an FX Audio Specific driver to help the Mac ? I've sent a request to FX Audio in China. I'm waiting for the reply ... if it comes ! If you encounter the same problem and have a solution ... welcome !! Kind regards,
  2. I've built two different music servers a 2008 Mac Pro tower and a 2012 Mac Mini. Both systems are running Audirvana 2.3, bypassing core audio in exclusive access mode. All things are equal, cables, El Capitan, RAM, running processes, etc. My question is, why does a 2008 Mac Pro sound dramatically better than the later 2012 Mac Mini?
  3. I digitized my music library many years ago and have invested a ton of time and cash to this hobby. But all these years later I find myself at wits' end to find a music library solution that fulfills the promise of digital music. There doesn't seem to be a viable option that lets me: easily store, add and manage music files (including rating songs, editing metadata and creating playlists) integrate my library with a streaming service so that as I add new streaming music it can be integrated with existing library (ratings, metadata, playlists) easily playback my integrated library. I've used Roon for a couple of years - but the metadata/ratings/playlist library management capability is just not there to integrate my library with Tidal. Right now I'm back to where I was several years ago, using iTunes/Apple Music on a Mac mini as the source, managing (integrating) the library remotely from a MacBook Pro and feeding it to a mid-fi system that includes an Arcam A38 integrated, irDAC, Sonore microRendu and KEF LS50 standmounts. This option has forced a compromise in both sound quality and playback (the iOS Remote app is just terrible). So much here on CA is focused on gear and SQ, but I've never read much about library management. Playing an album at a time is fine, but shouldn't we be able to take advantage of database capabilities to easily rate, sort and group music from two sources? I'd be very curious to hear what others are doing...
  4. 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:
  5. Wanted to check to see what everyones consensus is on an HDMI cable for audio purposes. I am currently using a Mac mini ---> Marantz AV7702 for my surround sound, movies, all channel stereo listening. Its currently connected using a generic HDMI cable. Most often when I listen to 2 channel hi-fi I am running the Mac Mini out USB via a Curious Cable USB to a PS Directstream DAC directly to my Primaluna Dialogue HP. Which I find to sound amazing. Love it. However, due to some temporary issues with my 2 channel setup, I am forced to run everything through my Marantz, which is currently connected via HDMI for ease of use. Are people using high quality, more expensive HDMI cables for audio purposes only? Do you find it enhances the audio experience over generic cables? If so, any quality recommendations? Nothing ridiculous. Say less than $500 for under 2m. Thanks
  6. Nikko1960

    Configuration for new Mac Mini

    Hi folks For a little over a year, I have been using an entry-level Mac Mini (1.4GHz i5, 4GB mem, 500GB disk) as a music server that runs Roon & HQPlayer and stores 400GB of music. HQP plays across ethernet to a uRendu connected to my DAC with a bridge connection facilitating a direct link to the uRendu. Since the DAC is limited to DSD128, this setup has worked ok, although when I tried using Jussi's new polysinc-xtr filters, I've had to dial them down to the -2s variety. A local friend that I met through this forum kindly shared over a terabyte of superb music, so I've since invested in a Synology NAS, which works fine. Sadly, this weekend, the Mac Mini's HD died, leaving me bereft of music. Of course, such events are an upgrade opportunity but I have to be stealthy. The command bunker objects to me spending money on (in her eyes) "worthless hifi", so I went browsing on the Apple Store and found an incredible bargain in their refurbished store - a 2014 Mac Mini 3Ghz i7 with 8GB mem and 1TB disk, for just £812. It arrives on Friday and she won't know the difference from the old one which, with a new HD fitted, will be donated to the eldest son's university kit come September. I've read elsewhere that folks optimise their Mac Mini servers by creating an OSX boot disk on an SD card in order to dismount Mac Mini's internal HD & power down SATA in the quest for a quieter system. I have bought a Lexar Pro 2000x 32GB (300MB/sec) for this purpose, and have loaded OS/X Sierra onto it as a boot volume. The question I have is this. I know through the process of creating the SD boot card that it runs like a snail on Valium. This doesn't really matter for loading Roon & HQplayer into memory on system initialisation. But is it feasible to have the Roon database running on an SD card or is that also loaded into memory? Does anyone have any advice/guidance please? It wouldn't be the end of the world to run everything off the 1TB HD, but I'd rather optimise for quietness if its at all possible. Thanks! Nikko
  7. First... my system... Mac mini feeding music to KEF LS50w through USB cable. I need to run at least 30'. I have also been reading reviews of Regen and iFi 3.0, long usb cables, etc., etc. Has anyone done this ? Or does anyone have any recomendations?
  8. Hi ... Been creating playlists for weeks, until now. Clicking on 'create' playlist causes mac to crash. Tried uninstalling and reinstalling Audirvana to no avail. Any thoughts would be appreciated. This is my first post to this forum, hope I posted correctly. Thanks ... Fred
  9. Hi! Finally decided to try Audirvana 3.0 now that it unfolds MQA. I am using a 2011 Mac Mini i7 with 16GB of memory and a SSD, I am using my Marantz 8802a as the dac through HDMI. The Mini works just fine until I try to use Audirvana with the Marantz using HDMI; 1. If I try to use HDMI for both display and for audio (the HDMI cable goes out to the Marantz and then comes back to the display), the display blanks and resets every 5 seconds or so. 2. I then routed the video out to my display through the mini dvi port. But then the mouse acts up and twitches to a new spot on the screen every 5 seconds or so making using the mouse pretty difficult. Works fine if I do not use the Marantz as an HDMI doc, but that is my preferred choice and there isn't a problem using other music server software. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Peter
  10. I recently bought a BenQ SW2700PT Monitor. It is connected, via a Displayport cable, to a late 2014 mac mini. As you probably know, the headphone jack on the mac mini also doubles as an optical digital audio output. Before I purchased the Benq I had been using the headphone/digital optical output on the mini to connect, via Toslink, to a quality digital to analog convertor that is then connected to my audio system. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a way to bypass the Benq monitor's speakers and use the optical digital audio output on my mac. The only device for sound output listed in system preferences/sound or midi setup is "internal speakers" and it is now defaulting to the built in speakers in the Benq. Is there any way I can regain access to the mac mini headphone/digital optical output? Can it be added as a separate sound output device? Or is there any other work around? Since I have a large collection of high resolution digital music I like to listen to, this has been a huge disappointment. I should add that there are no useable controls for Audio on the monitor - they are currently greyed out. Any Help much appreciated!
  11. I'm looking at replacing my Mac Mini running JRiver & Raspberry Pi2 running Volumio2 with a dedicated music streamer. I've been looking at the SOtM SMS-100 , Aries Mini and the MicroRendu. The SMS-100 looks like it fits the bill, but the others have my interest as they are newer and possibly support more features, etc. The competitors look nice, but they are quite a bit more money compared to what I can buy a SMS-100 for currently. 99.99% of my music <24/192kHz so DSD isn't a high priority for me. I currently subscribe to Spotify, but I may be interested in the future to try other services. From what I've read here and elsewhere some are in the Mac Mini/CAPS camp and the other half are in the dedicated music server/streamer camp. Do I gain anything over my current players, ie. raspberry pi2 or Mac Mini running JRiver by going with one of the newer streamers?
  12. I have long been under the impression that the optical connections on Macs (i.e., the headphone jack) were limited to 24/96 and that if I wanted anything higher than that, I'd need to use USB. Using the optical connection of my 2008 iMac, this 24/96 limitation appeared to be accurate. I'm now using Audirvana Plus 2.5.3 on my new Mac Mini (2014) and have connected to my old Musical Fidelity V-DAC using the optical connection. If I enable "maximum rate upsampling" in Audirvana, the Audirvana window shows 24/192 but I get no sound at all. If I enable "power of 2 oversampling only," the Aurirvana window shows 24/176.4, and I have audio output. I'm not sure what to make of this since I thought optical wouldn't do higher than 24/96, and I am fairly sure that this old V-DAC maxes out at 24/96. Is this a bug with Audirvana Plus or do the optical connections on the newer Macs work differently from the old ones?
  13. My mid-2008 iMac just died, leaving me without computer audio for the first time in a long time. My music library is stored on an external drive that was connected to this iMac, and I use Audirvana Plus to feed speakers through my DAC. It was a very simple setup that I have enjoyed for many years. Now I need to replace the source, and I am thinking that a Mac Mini probably makes the most sense. I’m already heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, and I have little interest in streaming at this point in time. The plan would be to setup a headless Mini that will be used only for computer audio (mostly redbook, some 24/96 but no DSD). I plan to keep my music library on an external hard drive. In this scenario, is there anything you’d suggest changing about the following before I place the order: 2.6GHz Processor (I’m not sure if a faster processor would make a noticeable difference in audio quality, but I’d guess not) 16GB RAM (since it is not user replaceable, I figured it would be smart to get more than I probably need) 1TB hard drive (or should I consider a 256GB SSD for the operating system instead even though the music files will be on an external drive?) Thanks for your input.
  14. Timinla

    Mac Mini issues

    There are articles online and in print that discuss the joys of using a Mac Mini as a music server. Just plug it in, the articles say. I am here to tell you that it is substantially more difficult than it sounds. My aim is to run the Mini "headless" and control it with an Ipad. I thought I would share a few issues that I have encountered with you and get the thoughts of the learned many who read these forums. Wake up. My Mini is part of a TV and music system that is controlled by the RTI system. It's easy enough to have the RTI bring up the Mini. But at that point, the Mini is asleep. It only needs a mouse click or a carriage return to wake it up but how do you do that? Right now, there is a mouse on my coffee table but that just doesn't seem right. I know this is not an RTI forum but does anyone have any ideas? Audio connection. As I said, I am trying to run headless. But sometimes you need a screen, especially when you are getting things up and running. The screen in this case is the TV for the system but perhaps in the future it would be a small monitor. The problem is, how do you run separate video and audio signals from the Mini? If you use HDMI for audio, which works great, by the way, then the tv has to be on. If you turn off the TV, then the audio goes away. Can I use the Thunderbolt port for video? Would I be happy with using the mini Toslink port for audio? That's it for right now. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Tim
  15. I am setting up a Synology NAS to store music files. It will be accessed by my Mac Mini. Any suggestions on set up? I'll be using itunes and probably Jriver and Roon.
  16. I posed this question to a salesperson at an Apple Store and to a salesperson at an independent Apple dealer. Neither had any idea what I was talking about. So, I thought I would check with the real experts. I just bought my first Mac, a Mini. I have had an iPhone and an iPad for a while so I sort of understand the Apple operating system. My goal, based on what I have read here as possible, is to run my Mini "headless", that is without a monitor, keyboard or mouse, for running Spotify, Roon, JRiver, maybe even iTunes. I want to do all of the controlling on my iPad but have the Mini do the work of processing the stream and sending it to the analog components. I understand that I need to have the usual keyboard and mouse available for system maintenance, etc. The Mac Mini will plug into my Marantz AV8801 via HDMI. D/A will occur on the AV8801. So, on my Mini, under System, there is a place with a bunch of options, called Sharing. Looking at the options, it seems I am in the right place to configure my system. But being very new to Macs, I don't really understand all of the options. May I ask the help of the Mac computer audiophiles that frequent this forum? Thanks in advance. Tim
  17. My goal is to stream music via Tidal, Pandora and Spotify as well as play tracks from an NAS. Also, given the problems I have been having with Apple TV and Airplay of late (it just doesn't work anymore), I might use the Mac to stream video from non-mainstream sources. An example would be to watch the new Funny or Die movie about Donald Trump. Netflix and HBO Go work pretty well via Apple TV. I have read a bunch of strings regarding PC/Mac vs dedicated appliance and have decided to go the route of a Mac Mini. So, how should I configure the Mini? How much RAM? Do I need an SSD? Is processor speed an issue? The easy answer would be to buy what is most expensive. But the budget is not unlimited, of course. And with computers, I have found, buying more that you need is the same as throwing money away. Tim
  18. Using A+ 2.2.5 (without iTunes integration) > Late 2009 MacMini (4GB running Yosemite 10.10.5) w/library on 3TB Lacie Firewire 800 Drive > USB >Schiit Wyrd > USB >Oppo 105D > analog preamp. Just acquired many music files that lack art or some correct basic metadata needed such as ALBUM or ALBUMARTIST. Not that it should matter, but some the subfolders/files are different versions of the same album, e.g. one folder containing 8 files all with metadata ALBUM: The Nightfly (Needledrop MFSL) and another folder containing 8 files with same TITLE for each track but ALBUM: The Nightfly (DVD-A). When I edit ALBUM in Yate and save with all tracks in the folder I get green circle to the left of each track indicating that my changes have been saved. However, A+ doesn't show that I've made any changes and instead combines two different folders' tracks all into one album in album view with duplicates. When I view metadata for each individual track, I see the correct path leading to both versions of the track, but the updated values don't show in the ALBUM or ALBUMARTIST fields. I've tried manually syncing the A+>Preferences>Library> (Sync Folder), closed/reopened A+ but nothing gets the updates to view properly in A+. This trouble started around the time I updated to A+ 2.5.5 , but can't say for sure if that started my issue. FWIW, the MacMini is used only as a music server with Spotlight, etc. defeated, and A+ on "extreme priority", but A+ is slow to respond to typing, saving etc. Apple says can't add any more memory to this macmini(?). Others report okay results w/4GB mem Macs... So any ideas how to resolve my metadata issue, resulting in proper separate albums in A+ ? I am frustrated enough that I am close to bailing out on A+ and trying JRiver or Amarra instead in hopes of spending less time having to mess with everything all the time just to be able to find and play albums from my library. Thanks!
  19. OK, so I am a complete newbie to CA. I still listen to my large collection of CD's. But want to create different playlists/ mixes from my CD's. I do have a not-so-old Mac Mini sitting around at home, which, I believe, could be used as the brain of computer audio system. The thing is I do NOT want to have a computer in my Living Room. So I need something quiet and without a monitor like the Mac Mini. But the Mac Mini lacks the much-needed ripping ability. Would I get an external ripper? If so from where? The other option would be to get an Audiophile VortexBox unit from Small Green Computer. The thing is this machine costs some $1,099. Their standard machine is much cheaper, but horrendously ugly!! On top of that I would need to buy a USB DAC (HRT Music Streamer HD, $515). So I am looking at over $1,500+ worth of investment. I do want to explore computer audio. But $1,500 seems like quite a bit of investment. So I just want to get some much-needed advice here. Instead of replacing my CD player, I would want to have the CD player along side my new computer audio gear. My hifi system has the following components: 1). Audia Flight 3 Integrated Amplifier 2). Heed Enigma speakers 3). Sony CDX-5000 CD Player Thank you very much in advance guys!!
  20. RJSorensen

    El Capitan Beta

    Just a quick note to those whom use a Mac Mini for their music server (headless) as I do, to note that the graphics performance of the El Capitan Beta OS is working well for me. I control the headless Mac Mini from a rMacBook Pro laptop which I have also upgraded to El Capitan Beta. As a long time Mac Man, I think different and don't mind bleeding on the edge… As noted above, the graphics speed of scrolling through the 6,038 albums in my current iTunes library, is VERY fast. The new Metal part of the graphics performance upgrade seems to be quite a nice kick in the pants. As to sound quality and other such, I'll let you folks debate that. Most of you should wait until the 'official' release… but since I have upgraded two of my three rigs, and all seems to be working fine, I thought I would take a moment and add to my infrequent post count and share a bit of information that could perhaps be if interest to the Mac folks here. I'll wait for the fall release prior to upgrading my MacPro, I need to get actual work done with it. My mac's are all one generation old now, but are all top of the line models with max ram, the mini is a dual core i7. Your milage may vary, it goes without saying. But there is something worth having in the next Mac OS upgrade, which might be of use for many of us. Enjoy the music…
  21. Hello. This is a newbie question I'm afraid. I currently have a Quad CDP-2, 99 preamp and Quad 909 power amp. The CDP-2 can take a digital signal in (Toslink only). I would like to set up a relatively cheap and easy system to serve music to the CDP-2 and was thinking of a Mac Mini. I had imagined that this system could be: Mac Mini (iTunes, uncompressed files), data sent over wifi network to Airport Express, toslink out of Airport Express to CDP-2. (Some details: I would want to use the Mac Mini as a general computer (although not when listening to music). It would be in another room to the hifi system. I don't listen to high-res files (almost nothing available I would choose to listen to). I don't want to have to fiddle with seven different pieces of software to play a song. The point is meant to be that it's more convenient than using CDs.) This seems simple enough but there seems to be a lot of discussion regarding sound quality issues with wifi networks and the 'noisy' environment of a Mac Mini. I find this a little confusing as until the data gets to the CDP's DAC it's purely digital data and as such the file could just as easily be a word-processing or Excel file, or web page, or whatever. No other kind of data I use has problems being corrupted by the 'noisy' environment of the mac, nor being delivered in anything other than it's perfect, error corrected state, by a wifi network. I happily get web pages to served to me from the other side of the world through scores of routers, across multiple networks and down copper phone wires without any pages being delivered in a corrupted state. Why should it be different with a digital audio file? I also have no problem in getting HD video sent over a wifi network without any drop outs or need for special drives, so also confused about this. Any advice welcome. I'd just like advice on this topic - the Mac Mini - rather than suggestions for other solutions. Thanks! Aaron
  22. Hi folks! My system has been purely computer-based digital from the start - initially with iTunes tracks and more recently with hi-resolution files from HDTracks and the like. I don't think I've purchased any physical media in almost 10 years... However, I really like DSD, and given the dearth of sites selling DSD downloads (especially outside of the US, e.g. Acoustic Sounds' Super HiRez doesn't sell to customers outside the US and Canada), I've been toying with the idea of just buying SACDs and ripping them to DSD files. What's the best way and best equipment to use to do this? I already have a decent DAC (PS Audio Directstream), so if it's a transport recommendation I probably don't need a super-highend one with a built-in DAC... But I'm open to all ideas! Many thanks in advance for any advice. Art p.s. My setup is Mac Mini based (with an Uptone Audio LPS and MMK to be installed when I get some time!), with my current music files accessed via wired LAN from another Mac Mini with an external RAID.
  23. I'm in the market for a new source. I need it to play hi-Rez music 98% of the time and videos the other 2 %. I have narrowed my search down to a 2010 Mac Mini running headless using an IPad Air as the input device. I'd like to hear from those who've used an older Mac Mini. Is their enough power to serve up hi-Rez files to my DAC/Preamp? I'd be using something like JRiver as the software. I'm also open to another hi-Rez player as well. I'd be using my iPad Air to control the Mac Mini The 2010 Mac Mini available to me comes cheap at $370 including JRiver software. 2010 Mac Mini Specs 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo Proc 500 GB HD 4GB RAM
  24. Hey all. I feel like there's a lot of what they call tacit knowledge knocking around in these forums, and I'd like to tap into it. I'm building a Music Server that will feed via a USB magic box thing (probably the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha) directly into speakers that have a digital input. Here are the priorities: Sound Quality - Very Important (I am expecting bit-perfect redbook and HD at the speaker input) Convenience - Very Important (including remote control via iPad) Cost - Not So Important Appearance - Important (ie we don't want a bunch of boxes, and we don't want a monitor) My take on things from reading around is that a Mac Mini (configured as per Amarra's instructions) running Amarra and iTunes and not much else is the way to go. My concerns are: - gapless playback - 24/96 and 24/192 playback - remote control I'm looking for convenient, non-enthusiast usability for a widely varied iTunes library, including remote control. What are the things I haven't thought about? What will be the most difficult part of getting things working? I have some history doing computer config, etc., so I'm not overly worried about that part but I'm happy to hear about shortcuts and best practices. Here is the Mac Mini I will spec: * 2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 * 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB * 256GB Solid State Drive * Apple USB SuperDrive * Apple Remote Music library will be stored on a small, external USB 3.0 1 TB drive. Thanks in advance for any help or references to existing sources. Regards, Chris Toronto
  25. EdmontonCanuck

    PCM Upsampling to DSD in JRiver on Mac Mini

    Hi all When I try upsampling PCM to DSD64 I get horrible stuttering. I would have thought that my new dual-core Haswell Mac Mini (late 2014) boot camped with Win 8.1 would have enough horsepower to do this, but alas, that isn't what I'm seeing. When I run JRiver 20's benchmark tool I get a JRMark score of 3882. The specs of the Mac Mini are: • 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) • 16GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM • 512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage I've got an exaSound DAC and originally I thought I'd go for a homerun with trying to upsample to DSD512 but when that didn't work well I tried upsampling only to DSD64. Still, horrible stuttering, which suggests to me that I don't have enough oomph with the Mac Mini to do this. Still, with that 3000+ JRMark score, I would have thought it would be possible. Anyone have any ideas as to why this isn't working? Kind regards, Dave