Input for my new Mac Mini setup is appreciated...

Been a while since I have posted here, but after moving into a new home with an expanded family I have downgraded from two HT rooms to one and not much room or budget to a separate stereo setup. At this point I purchased a new mac mini to use as the heart of my music system with the rest of the main components consisting of Def Tech Mythos ST speakers and a Pioneer Elite SC-68 powering them. I am leaning towards Amarra as the software to run along with iTunes to keep most of the airplay and features of iTunes. My first step, and the one I am hoping for some direction and/or input, is what DAC route to go with?

Currently I am debating between going budget minded and using an iFi nano dsd dac paired with a wireworld usb cable. I like all the files the iFi supports and relatively minimal approach and focus on the usb option. The other option I was considering is tracking down a Wadia 121 DAC or 151 Power DAC and same wireworld cable. Obviously, this is a more expensive option with more room to grow later, and Wadia seemed to nail the USB route sooner than others.

Thoughts, suggestions, general banter?

Comments

  • stogiestogie Posts: 230
    I don't have any experience with the DAC's you mentioned but I am using a Mac Mini, running El Capitan, as a music server. I tried using iTunes, using Apple's remote app through an Ipad Mini, and didn't really care for the interface. Switched to JRiver and JRemote and am real pleased with the interface. I have not tried Amarra, so no comment there.
    My DAC is an EE MiniMax DAC Plus. If your Mac Mini is running El Capitan, I would not recommend this DAC. As of yet there is no USB driver released for this OS. So right now I have to use the optical out on the Mini but EE says a USB driver is being developed. (It's been several months and still no driver)
    Speakers: Polk SDA-SRS xovers rebuilt by David, RDO194's, Dynamat, BH5, glued magnets, new cloth, custom aluminum terminal plates with Cardas posts and Speakon interconnect
    Speaker Cables, Jumpers & Interconnect: DIY Douglas Connection
    Power Amp: Sunfire Architect's Choice Series II
    Preamp: Adcom GFP-750
    SACD/CD: Sony NS999ES
    Tuner: Sansui TU-717
    TT: Technics SL-MA1
    Phono Pre: Emotiva XPS-1
    Music Server: Mac Mini w/JRiver - iPad w/JRemote
    DAC: Eastern Electric MiniMax Plus
    Other Polks: SDA: 1A, 1C, 2B, CRS+ / Monitor: 10A, 5jr, 4 / RT5
  • blueboxerblueboxer Posts: 622
    I believe I am running Yosemite, but am not entirely sure, that might just be the last screen I recall on my older laptop. I have always enjoyed peachtree products as well, but the dac-it seems a little long in the tooth now and at 1K for their new mi-fi dac there seems to be some more alluring options from Chord, Wadia, NAD, etc.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,533
    I would go chord before wadia. Fantastic dacs.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Usher: CP-6311, Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15, RTA 15tl, Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, iFi LS3.5
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Altair, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 8,343
    ^^^^Chord
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures, Simaudio 780D DAC
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Modwright LS100, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers
  • blueboxerblueboxer Posts: 622
    I had a feeling that would be the end result, they seem to be phenomenal pieces for the coin, especially the Hugo. Although considerably more than some of the options more suited for my limited system, at least it offers the option to add a more substantial two channel amp later.
  • BlueBirdMusicBlueBirdMusic Registered User Posts: 255
    blueboxer, here is an interesting link that may give you some ideas and guidance. It is written by Paul McGowan of PS Audio.

    http://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-build-a-music-server/
  • blueboxerblueboxer Posts: 622
    That article is what initially peaked my interests. Just going with amarra instead and researching the dac portion. DSkip has been very helpful and I might have to take his parasound halo off his hands for it.
  • I know its been a while since this was all posted but was curious if you are still using this setup or if you've made any changes. Maybe went in another direction??
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 3,668
    Even though its his thread, he's more likely to get an email notification if you flag him: @blueboxer
    HT Rig:
    Yamaha RX-A1010; Parasound HCA-1000a; Arcam rDac; Mains: PSB Imagine Mini + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Def Tech Procenter 1000; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; Sony BDP-S390, FireTV gen 2

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Audiosource Amp Two, Dynaudio Emit 10, NHT Super One CI, ACI Titan subwoofer, FireTV, Arcam rDac; Bryson BPD-1
  • Ok thanks for the tip! I will repost and flag him.
  • Reposted with flag for blueboxer:
    I know its been a while since this was all posted but was curious if you are still using this setup or if you've made any changes. Maybe went in another direction??http://forum.polkaudio.com/profile/blueboxer
  • Ok I think I screwed that flag up I'll try again after work. LOL
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 3,668
    I already did in my post lol...
    HT Rig:
    Yamaha RX-A1010; Parasound HCA-1000a; Arcam rDac; Mains: PSB Imagine Mini + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Def Tech Procenter 1000; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; Sony BDP-S390, FireTV gen 2

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Audiosource Amp Two, Dynaudio Emit 10, NHT Super One CI, ACI Titan subwoofer, FireTV, Arcam rDac; Bryson BPD-1
  • OK thanks I'm not real up to speed on how to do some of this stuff on the forum. I know just enough to be dangerous. lol
  • mantismantis Posts: 14,626
    blueboxer wrote: »
    Been a while since I have posted here, but after moving into a new home with an expanded family I have downgraded from two HT rooms to one and not much room or budget to a separate stereo setup. At this point I purchased a new mac mini to use as the heart of my music system with the rest of the main components consisting of Def Tech Mythos ST speakers and a Pioneer Elite SC-68 powering them. I am leaning towards Amarra as the software to run along with iTunes to keep most of the airplay and features of iTunes. My first step, and the one I am hoping for some direction and/or input, is what DAC route to go with?

    Currently I am debating between going budget minded and using an iFi nano dsd dac paired with a wireworld usb cable. I like all the files the iFi supports and relatively minimal approach and focus on the usb option. The other option I was considering is tracking down a Wadia 121 DAC or 151 Power DAC and same wireworld cable. Obviously, this is a more expensive option with more room to grow later, and Wadia seemed to nail the USB route sooner than others.

    Thoughts, suggestions, general banter?
    What about this setup

    -Use the internal DAC of the SC-68. I use to have that receiver and it's internal DAC's are very good.
    -Run a dedicated HDMI cable from the Mac Mini to your display( You can't assign a HDMI input to the USB DAC which is stupid but there you have it)
    - Use a high quality USB cable from the Mac Mini to the USB DAC on the SC-68.
    - Y split the SUB OUT to both Mythos 10's for Sub info
    - Run the Mythos 10's in Large as well. This way when playing music you get your lower active notes from speaker level and not line level. The Mythos 10's work much better this way, I know I also have them.
    - Use high quality 2 conductor speaker wire and sub cables, Y adapter. I suggest looking into Audioquest.
    - Make sure you have a high quality surge protector / line conditioner. Dirty power and fluctuations in power hurt performance.
    - I have a very good dual sub calibration for the Mythos ST's, I posted it in here awhile back. If you need it, I can find it and post the link.
    - Running external DAC's can get pricey really quick and overall performance can be a lot better with the above suggestions. I did a lot of DAC shootouts and this is what I came up with for Dollar vs performance ratio's.
    - When your entire system is up to the highest standards( Yours) and you still want more then adding a high end DAC will help but very little. It would be more beneficial to get out of the SC-68 and start looking at separates. This is money better spent then on a DAC to better the internal SC-68's.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!