Best way to connect Mac mini to the DS via USB


#1

In my current setup, I use a Mac mini with external drive for music and movie files connected to a tv by HDMI for av and internet and connected to my DS via USB and Regen for stereo. Therefore, the mini is sitting beside the DS and amp so that I can use it as a computer and as a media player. I use Roon and Audirvana. My router is in an office in another room. Does it make sense to use a sonore or sotm renderer in this case, connected to my router via a long Ethernet cable to another room or is there a more sensible solution to optimize the setup? Any thoughts?


#2

I also use a Mac Mini (modified) with Audirvana+. Certainly there are alternative ways to configure your system, but hard to say which will sound best in your system. I am in the process of changing up my setup slightly so that I can connect to my DS DAC via i2S rather than coax, which is how I am currently connected to my Audirvana end point (Oppo UDP-205).

Here is how my system will be configured in the very near future…

Home ethernet signal > AQVOX SE audiophile-grade switch (located right next to Mac Mini) > GigaFOILv4 ethernet filter > Modded Mac Mini > Matrix X-SPDIF 2 (converts USB to i2S) > DSD DAC (i2S input)

My cable lengths from the AQVOX SE switch to the GigaFOILv4 and then the GigaFOILv4 to Mac Mini are the shortest I could get which is the 25cm Excel (Cat 7 with Telegartner connectors) Lan cables from AQVOX.

I am just waiting for my Matrix converter to arrive. So currently, I have my Oppo UDP-205 connected to the AQVOX with the GigaFOIL in between, which is also in close proximity to the Mac Mini and switch with short ethernet cable runs. I then run coax out of the Oppo and into the DS DAC. It sounds fantastic, but I am limited to 24/192 with the coax. With the i2S I can reach 32/768 and DSD512 (native). This doesn’t apply to your situation as you are already running USB with the REGEN so you are not resolution limited.


#3

Roon allows you to add a device (e.g. another computer) using the Roon Bridge capability.

Right now my setup is similar to yours:

— my MacMini is next to my DS Senior. The MacMini is my Roon Server. It’s connected to the DS Snr using a USB cable (no Regen needed, as the DS handles the cleaning). This is for my serious listening.

— the MacMini is on the same WiFi network as all other audio related gear.

— in my attic office, I use an old Win7 PC as the Roon Bridge. The PC is also on the WiFi network. It is connected via USB to another DAC and Amp. This is for my less-serious listening. The DAC is the Roon Endpoint (not the PC).

I think the Roon Bridge capability is often overlooked. But it’s a very nice and useful feature.


#4

I guess I really didn’t give you too much to work with on my last post. I guess the real question is, what will sound better? USB Out (Mac Mini) > USB Regen > DS Dac OR USB Out (Mac Mini) > Matrix X-SPDIF 2 (USB to i2S) > DS DAC (i2S input)?

This of course cannot be answered by me as I know nothing of the rest of your system, room acoustics or personal aural preferences. I will say from all that I have read, the i2S beats USB, generally speaking.

I can’t see a reason to add a Sonore or similar product, but maybe someone with greater vision can chime in as to how that would benefit your particular setup.


#5

I’m not saying this isn’t true, nor am I attempting to argue the point, but what did you read or hear to form this conclusion? Was it something @tedsmith or a PS Audio rep posted?


#6

I should correct my statement as I have no proof that the DS Snr does any “cleaning”. It’s more correct to say that the Regen does not add much value to the chain.

The Regen thing has been discussed extensively at ASR.