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Best USB port on Mac Mini ?

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2 hours ago, wgscott said:

Shouldn't the four ports on a computer be numbered 0 through 3?

 

I think it is enumerated at boot time, and "0" is always the buss. Even if there are three or four buss' involved.  

 

-Paul 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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12 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

 

I do not drink alcohol. If perceptions are highly variable (and they are) there is no reason to look for "better" port or "better" type of connection – perception will necessarily adapt to any.

 

there is a logical error in the above

 

variability in X does not mean that there will be accomodation to the best Xi

 

I suggest avoiding a discussion of adaptation here


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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14 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

there is a logical error in the above

 

variability in X does not mean that there will be accomodation to the best Xi

 

I suggest avoiding a discussion of adaptation here

 

Not to the "best", to any.

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same error


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Connecting my Mac mini to my DAC using a USB port on the mini that is not on a shared internal bus with other active/noisy devices is appealing to me, because it's free, it takes just a couple of minutes to figure out which port(s) are not being shared with Bluetooth (or whatever), and if it turns out I am connected to a port shared with Bluetooth, then the worst case scenario of switching to a different USB port is that the sound quality is no worse than before. Seems like a zero-risk proposition (as long as one doesn't go around asserting that certain USB ports on a mini will always or invariably sound better than others).

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5 hours ago, tmtomh said:

Connecting my Mac mini to my DAC using a USB port on the mini that is not on a shared internal bus with other active/noisy devices is appealing to me, because it's free, it takes just a couple of minutes to figure out which port(s) are not being shared with Bluetooth (or whatever), and if it turns out I am connected to a port shared with Bluetooth, then the worst case scenario of switching to a different USB port is that the sound quality is no worse than before. Seems like a zero-risk proposition (as long as one doesn't go around asserting that certain USB ports on a mini will always or invariably sound better than others).

+1

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9 minutes ago, Paul R said:

Sure, 2012 Macs have FireWire / Thunderbolt, and you can daisy chain it. 

 

Would you tell me how to do it? Sorry, I am not very savvy in computers...)

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32 minutes ago, AnotherSpin said:

 

Would you tell me how to do it? Sorry, I am not very savvy in computers...)

 

The easiest way is to buy a thunderbolt adapter like this and connect it to the thunderbolt port. 😉

 

There are other ways, like buying an Akitio external storage adapter, and just moving the HDs into it. 

 

Everything is moving toThunderbolt 3 or USB-C these days, so you can find good deals on older FireWire 800 or Thunderbolt2 external adapters too. 

 

I personally like the Akitio stuff, as it is very reliable. 

 

Check the the links above and feel free to ask questions. 

 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Well, here is more findings. Both ports #1 and #3 sounds better than #2 and #4, but #1 and #3 sounds different. #3 seems to have slightly more treble, but, at the same time, sounds little harsh in comparison with #1. #1 sounds soft and natural, this is the port most fit to my ears than others. I found out also that removing HDs to other bus is not enough. They should be disconnected and cables removed from ports. Also monitor, disconnected from HDMI and turned off – mac mini would be controlled through sharing screen from other computer. And, another HD which connected through fireware, should be removed too. With each step sound changes, becomes less harsh, and more soft, natural, and involving. Less disturbing to ears even on a very loud levels. Yes, this is very, very inconvenient to disconnect/reconnect everything, but the change is pretty hearable.

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31 minutes ago, AnotherSpin said:

Well, here is more findings. Both ports #1 and #3 sounds better than #2 and #4, but #1 and #3 sounds different. #3 seems to have slightly more treble, but, at the same time, sounds little harsh in comparison with #1. #1 sounds soft and natural, this is the port most fit to my ears than others. I found out also that removing HDs to other bus is not enough. They should be disconnected and cables removed from ports. Also monitor, disconnected from HDMI and turned off – mac mini would be controlled through sharing screen from other computer. And, another HD which connected through fireware, should be removed too. With each step sound changes, becomes less harsh, and more soft, natural, and involving. Less disturbing to ears even on a very loud levels. Yes, this is very, very inconvenient to disconnect/reconnect everything, but the change is pretty hearable.

 

Yep, all as detailed in my series of reports years ago... :D

 

 

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5 hours ago, Superdad said:

 

Yep, all as detailed in my series of reports years ago... :D

 

 

 

Read your old messages again. Some of the ideas I was trying, and while impressed initially, I was coming back to more easy end conventional solutions. My current sound system is very simple, includes one mac mini powered by external LPS, external HDs, DAC and active speakers. That's all. Removing everything but DAC from mac mini ports gives very good sound to my ears. Interestingly enough I prefer when files played from internal SSD rather than from SD card. Maybe because I use HQ Player and Jussi some time ago was suggesting to keep player and files on internal drive, if memory not fails me..)) So I remove SD card as well. The best possible way I see now is to copy some folders from HDs to desktop in the morning and have my day listening, control from other computer via screen share. It requires some extra actions but for such lazy guy as I am it would have some advantages too. I am slightly wondering is it perfectly safe to mount HDs back and forth each day with Disk Utility?

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7 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

Well, here is more findings. Both ports #1 and #3 sounds better than #2 and #4, but #1 and #3 sounds different. #3 seems to have slightly more treble, but, at the same time, sounds little harsh in comparison with #1. #1 sounds soft and natural, this is the port most fit to my ears than others. I found out also that removing HDs to other bus is not enough. They should be disconnected and cables removed from ports. Also monitor, disconnected from HDMI and turned off – mac mini would be controlled through sharing screen from other computer. And, another HD which connected through fireware, should be removed too. With each step sound changes, becomes less harsh, and more soft, natural, and involving. Less disturbing to ears even on a very loud levels. Yes, this is very, very inconvenient to disconnect/reconnect everything, but the change is pretty hearable.

 

Soooo..... at this point, you might find that turning your Mini into a server, and adding a small, low powered player to your system might be the ticket to audio happiness. Something like a microRendu.  A tad expensive perhaps, but oh so pleasing to the ears, and so easy. 

 

If you use Roon or JRMC, there are a lot of choices open to you as well. 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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My DAC was in USB slot #2, so I moved it to #1.  If it is better, it is subtle.  

 

I have a firewire-connected external SS drive.  2012 mini. 

 

I can't believe I am doing this, but the idea that it might be true was bothering me.  (I had no idea what # USB port it was plugged into, since it is at the back, and it is a lucky day when I have the damn cable in the right orientation.  The odds are 50/50, but rigged to be 90% against you.)


--

Do facts matter?

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4 hours ago, wgscott said:

My DAC was in USB slot #2, so I moved it to #1.  If it is better, it is subtle.  

 

I have a firewire-connected external SS drive.  2012 mini. 

 

I can't believe I am doing this, but the idea that it might be true was bothering me.  (I had no idea what # USB port it was plugged into, since it is at the back, and it is a lucky day when I have the damn cable in the right orientation.  The odds are 50/50, but rigged to be 90% against you.)

 

I followed @Paul R suggestion and have mini -> NAA endpoint now. Even though I do not use USB ports of mini 2012 to DAC anymore, I am still believing port 1 (from the corner) is better than others for connecting DAC. 

 

I use one of USB ports for connecting to router through cheap noname USB/Ethernet adapter. It was better for SQ than connecting to router through Apple own Thunderbolt/Ethernet adapter.

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I use the ethernet port to connect to my ethernet cable.  The sound is exactly the same as when I use wireless internet, or turn it all off.

 

Losslessly-streamed music that goes directly into my DAC sounds identical to what is supplied via USB, or via USB/coax converter, from my Mac Mini.  


--

Do facts matter?

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8 hours ago, wgscott said:

I use the ethernet port to connect to my ethernet cable.  The sound is exactly the same as when I use wireless internet, or turn it all off.

 

Losslessly-streamed music that goes directly into my DAC sounds identical to what is supplied via USB, or via USB/coax converter, from my Mac Mini.  

 

I also use ethernet port to connect ethernet cable to NAA endpoint. As I need second ethernet connection (to router) I use usb/ethernet adapter for this.

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On 5/29/2019 at 12:47 PM, Paul R said:

Soooo..... at this point, you might find that turning your Mini into a server, and adding a small, low powered player to your system might be the ticket to audio happiness. Something like a microRendu.  A tad expensive perhaps, but oh so pleasing to the ears, and so easy. 

 

+1 to audio happiness when I went down this road toward the end of last year. Now, with the recent addition of a Sonore High Capacity Micro SD Card to the mRendu the Mac mini is no longer serving music and the sound quality is wonderful. Funny, having the library on an SD card reminded me of @Superdad 's thread and my own positive experience back then.

 

Back to USB ports .. on both my 2010 and 2012 Mac mini any perceived difference between the ports was subtle but port #1 was my preference. Was there a clear difference? Not always. I drove myself nuts with this at one time. 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

 

I also use ethernet port to connect ethernet cable to NAA endpoint. As I need second ethernet connection (to router) I use usb/ethernet adapter for this.

 

Do you ever worry that all this needless complexity introduces noise?


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Do facts matter?

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2 hours ago, wgscott said:

 

Do you ever worry that all this needless complexity introduces noise?

 

Actually, two machines system (mini for server + NUC for NAA endpoint) brought SQ on a very different level.

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