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MacMini and hires

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being on the market to buy a Metric Halo ULN2, I have to consider the buying (for the 1st time in 20 years) of a Mac product.


I'm so used to my PC gear, I can't seem to find my way to the right info.


Since I'm looking for a MacMini to act as a music server, I'd like to know:


- are all MacMinis capable of outputting hires music (24/192, 24/96) without resampling?


- do you need any special configuration (hardware, software) to accomplish this?


I still think I'm gonna use Parralels and JRiver Media Center, being in FLAC and having configured the software to my liking already. Still I want to be sure.





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If you want to buy a Mac, please stay on Mac OS X system, Parallels will run more or less OK, but you will be under Windows, then you will lose Mac Snow Leopard capabilities to output by USB, or FireWire (for Metric Halo ULN2) without problems, and you don't need special drivers.


As for the 24/192, 24/96 output you want, you need software (like Amarra) to do the job.


Mac (under Amarra an others) will handle FLAC files and another formats.


You will also need an external Hard Disk for your music library, if you want to share this library with Windows, you can format this HD with Tuxera-NTFS-3G, this way the HD music files can be read for both systems. Mac can read also Windows formated HD's.


With Mac Mini I'll sugest 8GB of RAM, to profit from programs that use the extra RAM, like the new version of Amarra (to be released this month) and Pure Music right now.


Please try the Mac environment, before to go to Windows under Parallels, if you don't to try it, please stay on a Windows PC, I can tell you this because I have the two systems, everything is easy on a Mac, and complicated under Windows.


You'll be happy!!!


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Elcorso... I agree that I'd you buy a Mac best to stick with Mac OSX audio software. Parallels won't give the best performance.


On the othe hand, iTunes will play high res audio, though you do have to manually set the bit rate in Audio MIDI. Though with a ULN2 you'll probably want to investigate software such as Amarra Mini and Pure Music.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Completely agree, got a 2010 macmini myself with indeed the 8gb ram and it works fantastic using xld to rip/convert cds/files and using Pure Music and AyreWave for playback both will like ammarra automatically adjust the sample rate. But prefer the sonic qualities of the former two above ammarra.


I swapped out the hard disk of the mini for a 120gb OCZ VERTEX2 SSD which was quite easy to do following some instructional videos from youtube.


Would certainly not use paralells if any would recommend using bootcamp and boot in windows all together. But no experience there.


Very happy with the mini on Snow Leopard.


good luck


Pure Music, I-Tunes, 2010 Mac-Mini (8GB) SSD ,Ayre QB9 DAC, Ayre K-5xe pre-amp, Ayre V-5xe poweramp, Diamond XLR + Reference MKII, Transparent Performance USB Cable, Isotek Multiway Gemini Orion, Isotek Optimum and Premium Power Cables

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I wanted to share what I received from Metric Halo tech support, regarding the use of Parallels.



Parallels uses a virtual audio driver that connects to the Core Audio layer running on the Mac. The heavy lifting is done by Core Audio on the Mac. In our testing, audio performance is not affected in any way under Parallels.


The one limitation (of Parallels) is that it is limited to two channels at this time, but if stereo is all you need, that's not an issue.


The excellent clock on the ULN-2 2d Expanded ensures low jitter performance through the DAC.



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You just need the drivers that should come w. the MH. There are people saying you need to buy this or that software (Amarra, Pure Music etc.) to play high resolution. I just want to clear this up. It depends on the device/DAC and if it comes with the drivers.


2009.5 base Mac Mini, 8GB, SSD, WD My Book Studio II via USB, SL, iTunes 10> Prism Orpheus>VTL 7.5>VTL750>Maxx IIs.

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