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Mac Mini and NAS - does it work ?


emw
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Hello,

I'm new here and have read and learnt a lot in the last days - very good forum.

I'm planning to go pc audio, but it should be very, very good.

At present I still have a CD Transport and a DAC. Both are "semi-DIY" on a high level, based on Borbely Audio Kits.

I do like iTunes (which I have on my pc), but understood, that iTunes must run on a Mac product for best sound.

The USB route is possible from all Mac's, but I need to modify my DAC with a USB receiver.

But only Wavelength and Empirical use a better chip in their products. Most other USB-SPDIF or I2S converter use the PCM2707, which should limit the qualitiy, and good clocking is still an issue in this way.

An alternative should be the fire-wire connection with a Firewire DAC or a converter based on TC-Elec Dice II and Jet PLL for converting fire-wire to SPDIF/I2S.....and using my DAC.

 

Now my questions:

When I use a Mac Mini, connect a NAS via USB and connect a Firewire DAC via Firewire will these two connectors in the Mac Mine have different "boards", or are they on the same "bus", so that the signals may be influenced by each other ? (Hope someone understands the issue, since there was a topic on this forum regarding USB connections on one PC beeing internally the same.)

 

I want to have a very very quiet unit in my listening room. Is the Mac Mini quiet enough and how does it compare to MacBooks ? (Sofare I do not have any Mac products).

 

The Mac Mini should sit on the shelf beside my audio gear, controlled via iTouch and the USB connected NAS would be in an other room. In this configuration the firewire connections-cableing can be very short.

An alternative is a MacBook at my listening postion connected via 15 ft fire-wire cable.

How will this configuration compare to the Mini setup in terms of "noise" and audio quality (long firewire cable)?

 

When I connect the NAS wireless to the Mac Mini or the MacBook, will the above situation be different?

 

Your comments and help is appritiated - Thanks.

EMW

 

Best....EMW
Audirvana Plus ->15"MBP 16GB 1TB SSD -> USB-> Intona USB Isolator -> USB -> Chord DAC ->Borbely Balanced Preamp->Active X-over-> 4 Class A Monoamps->3 Way SpeakerHeavens SE

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Hi EMW - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. Don't worry about connecting USB and FireWire devices simultaneously. They both transfer data, but use vastly different approaches so they don't hare a bus. Everything goes back to the same board so yes they are on the same board but that's not a big worry. If your disk is connected via USB this is not a NAS. A NAS drive is connected via Ethernet (Network Attached Storage). This is advantageous because the disk can be located far from your listening room. The Mini is certainly quiet enough and so is a MacBook.

 

I wouldn't use the 15ft FireWire cable option. It will get kind of annoying in my opinion. I'm sure it will sound dang close or identical, but I don't think the long cable is practical. Connecting a NAS wirelessly won't change any part of the above.

 

Let me know if I've only confused the situation :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Chris, no you did not confuse the situation.

Thanks for your reply.

Is there any preference for a certain configuration of the MacMini, when it is used only for audio transfer?

ie. lower speed processor and smaler harddrive or vv.?

Best...EMW

 

 

Best....EMW
Audirvana Plus ->15"MBP 16GB 1TB SSD -> USB-> Intona USB Isolator -> USB -> Chord DAC ->Borbely Balanced Preamp->Active X-over-> 4 Class A Monoamps->3 Way SpeakerHeavens SE

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