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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. iam in the process of getting a compact computer for my living room and considering 2012 mac mini with SSD which will connect to ayre ab-9 DAC. i have heard that most thunderbolt drives are noisy and thunderbolt plus ssd is too expensive.can't use usb as i want to keep it for the DAC only. OWC offers option to add a second internal drive to mac mini.iam thinking if i add a second ssd (980gb) instead of regular drive and hence the noise will be compartively less. i wanted to know whether is this a great compromise with respect to sound quality or is it still fine to go ahead with this strategy. please share your opinions on keeping the storage drive inside mac mini.
  11. 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?
  12. I have a Mac Mini (mid 2010 model) with 8GB of RAM, running OSX 10.9.2 and the latest iTunes 11.1.5. I send audio out to a Wyred4Sound DAC-2 via USB; it then goes through my amp and into my headphones. I also use either BitPerfect or Audirvana Plus (in iTunes integrated mode). No problems at all, until installing Mavericks (1o.9.1 and 10.9.2) and the newest versions of iTunes. (probably the last two updates). What I'm hearing is right at the beginning of each new track as it starts to play. There are crackling, popping noises; not loud, but certainly audible. It sounds a bit like dropping the needle between tracks on a noisy vinyl record. Sometimes, the first couple of seconds of the tracks will stutter and repeat, as well. Once the track gets going, it's usually fine. Occasionally, I'll hear a glitch somewhere in the middle of the track as well. I've been through the manuals for both BitPerfect and Audirvana, and tried all of the different pref settings that are suggested to stop this sort of thing (i.e. stopping gapless playback,integer mode on/off, iTunes interaction, etc.) No combination of settings that I've found will eliminate these crackling noises completely. BitPerfect support has been excellent; they've even sent me an experimental version to try, which seemed to help somewhat, but the noises still appear now and then. The only way I can eliminate the glitches completely is to run iTunes directly without using either BitPerfect or Audirvana Plus. I don't hear a huge difference in audio quality with either program, but I enjoy the automatic sample rate switching. To get around that, I've just set my W4S DAC-2 to upsample everything to 192kHz, since iTunes alone can't do it. I would love to get either or both of these players back in the chain again, but right now the only noise-free listening I can get is when I am bypassing them. I know that a lot of people had many diverse audio problems with iTunes and other software when Mavericks first came out, but most people reported them solved with 10.9.2, or with the newest iTunes. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
  13. audiotastic

    Mac Mini Internal DC Cable

    Hello All I have just ordered a Linear Power supply for my Mac Mini with Paul Hynes. Can some one please advice where I can buy or how I can build a internal DC cable to replace the SMPS and connect to the Linear PSU, either directly or through a suitable Jack. Thanks very much in advance.
  14. 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.
  15. bluemark81

    sharing iTunes between Mac's

    I am setup on a wireless Mac system consisting of the following: Mac Mini using Snow Leopard; Macbook Pro using Lion; Mac Time Capsule; iPad Mini and iPod Touch. i use iTunes 11 on all. My Mac Mini is being used strictly as a music server and is connected directly to my stereo system. I use my macbook pro as my everyday computer but it also has my iTunes library on it. My music consists of uncompressed CD rips as well as hi-rez files. I have Home Sharing enabled on each computer/device. I like to keep the same library on each computer and looking for the easiest way to do this. Due to some issues I've encountered transferring files (copy and paste) through my home sharing network, I usually rip to each computer separately. This is a major inconvenience. It would be great to have a way of it automatically and wirelessly updating one computer as music files/CD's are added to the other computer much the way iCloud works. When I initially set things up, I had my iTunes library on one computer and copied the whole works over to the other using an ethernet cable connected between computers. This worked well, but I prefer not having to do that each time I add a new CD to my library. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  16. Following a successful insurance claim, I have an amount to spend on a new audio computer. I previously used a 2009 2.26 gHz Mac mini with SSDs, Mountain Lion & Audirvana+. I want a more family oriented HTPC this time (previously everything was stripped down for audio only). I can have a separate user account for audio if needs be, but I want the machine to be used by the family for streaming HD movies, and light gaming (minecraft etc). It should be fairly future proof. I would like to interface with it via Android tablet & phone (we have no other iThings at home). I am looking at i5 NUC builds & mini ITX builds which are low power, passive cooled SSD machines, or for the same money middle range Mac minis with spinning drives & SMPS. I don't doubt either either machine is more than capable in terms of hardware, but still, a mini ITX build appeals due to a sense of 'audiophile good practice', ie passive cooling, SSD, low power (optional LPSU) and possible PCI expansion. Yet a Mac would have OSX, which is great IMO. So although a modern Intel PC gives more hardware for the same money, I also have to decide between W8.1 and OSX. It has been suggested to me that the Mac will sound better despite the hardware differences, as "OSX is just better for audio". Has anybody any experience of comparing the two operating systems SQ? Or failing that, observations? My impression is this doesn't matter too much, but as I am waiting for the settlement to arrive I might as well ask the question.
  17. bluemark81

    Wadia Dock or Mac Mini

    What would provided the highest quality music playback? Wadia 170i dock + iPod Touch to Bryston DAC via digital coax or Mac Mini with Snow Leopard + iTunes/Bit Perfect to Bryston DAC using HiFace 1 USB/SPDIF converter + digital coax cable. Not that it has anything to do with the SQ, but in both cases, control of the devices would be via an iPad with apple remote. I am only interested in using the one that offers better sound, so I'm not interested in all the other things the Mini is capable of unless it improves the SQ. The mini is an intel based dual core, 8 Gig of Ram, 320 Gig HDD. My Touch is a 32 Gig version 4. Most of my music is ripped CD's but I do have some Hi Rez (92 to 192 kHz) music as well. Thanks
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. 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…
  23. 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
  24. Hey guys, Since I am new here and this is my first post I hope you bear with me. I have been reading this forum many times and figured I should finally register and get some advice and hopefully also contribute to something. In my quest of finding out what I could do to improve the sound quality of my system I have been reading and googling a lot this weekend. At first I was almost confident it would be Amarra Symphony 3 with IRC and Amarra SQ. My living room is open planned, lots of windows and tiled floor. This is where I have my setup, even though I know it is not the best room in acoustic sense. This is why I was tempted in reducing the negative effects with digital room correction. But then I found out about Auralic Aries, so I started to read everything I could find. Even though it was a lot of great info by you guys (thanks!) it kind of only made me less certain on where to go next. Let me start with my setup: Mac Mini (Non modified i7 from 2011 with 2xSSD) –> USB cable -> MSB The Analogue DAC (with upgraded power base) –> RCA cables -> Nagra VPA –> Marten Django XL I use WiMP HiFi on the Mac Mini often on AirPlay (via AirServer) and I have 1000+ albums in iTunes from CD Quality to DSD played with the help of Amarra or Audirvana. I guess that I should add that the Mac Mini also doubles as a media central a couple of times a week. A few scenarios: 1. Get a Auralic Aries and keep the rest as it is 2. Upgrade my Mac Mini with linear PSU (or just get something new like CAPS?) and also get Amarra Symphony 3 with IRC or similar. 3. Get that new "MSB Network Renderer" for my DAC and use the Mac Mini as a server (?) 4. Something else entirely or partially I will be really happy for just about any feedback. Everything from hunches to expert knowledge.
  25. I'm looking for a music server that can run both Mac OS and Windows. Not going to go the Hackintosh route so it would have to be a Mac Mini or Macbook Pro running both OS. n theory, what do you think would be better: a Macbook Pro laptop with the external power supply some feet away and the wall plug "cheated" or A Mac Mini (same chip and internal SSD) with its stock power supply pulled and replaced by an external linear power supply that could also be a few feet away and again, the lps wall plug also cheated? Has anyone ever done this comparison? I know Chris C still uses his MBP so I'd love to hear his take on the differences between it and his Aurender and Caps 2.0 in terms of SQ (eg, for his recent Meitner reviews) Thanks all. Mike
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