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Mac Mini burn in required/noticed?


jay
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Hi folks--

 

Just added an Ayre QB-9 to my system last week and on day 6 I can say it's been quite an improvement (with even more to come I hope if I can believe the burn-in claims on the DAC alone) over the original Benchmark DAC I've been using for the last 3 years or so. Until today I was running it on a 2 year-old Mac Mini 1.6 with a single core Intel chip. I ran into some issues with the demo versions of Amarra among some other apps, and the dealer where I bought the DAC also suggested that he heard improvements on a dual-core over an older single-core when doing extensive demos of the Ayre and with the series of Wavelength DACs he also carries. That was enough of a reason for me to justify a new Mac Mini (I wanted a second one for the house anyway).

 

I built the new one off of the Time Machine backup of the first and popped it into my system this morning after a previous hour or so of listening to the older one, and I have to say, the sound quality was quite dramatic (for the worse). Very bright and etchy on the high end with a very congested lower end. I tried all the USB ports and they were all the same sound. I verified all the settings were the same. Amarra didn't fix it, or really show any improvement.

 

8 hours of play later it's better (actually, much better), but not fully back to the sound of the older one.

 

Can I assume there is some burn-in necessary for a new Mac Mini? Anyone else experienced this?

 

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Just to follow-up on my own thread for those interested, the new Mac Mini 24 hours of play later is definitely back to where the old one was. However, for those on the Apple website ready to buy a new one, I'm not hearing any noticeable improvement (yet, anyway) over the old one despite 4G of RAM (vs. 2) and a dual-core (and faster processor) vs. single-core and slower.

 

I had read various threads suggesting "stronger" Macs (i.e. more memory, more/faster processors) may have been displaying better playback characteristics, including feedback from my dealer on the same. Between Mac Minis I'm not yet hearing an improvement (but darn, does it sound great paired up with the QB-9!). I don't have a Mac Pro loaded up to compare to, so who knows there. With an 8-core and 10G of RAM I can't imagine it would be worse.

 

In a week or two when my QB-9 is more fully burned in I'll switch back to my old Mac Mini and see if at that point I can hear any difference.

 

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