New Mac Pro sounds better than previous Mac Pro


This is just a preliminary report but after installing a new Mac pro cylindrical machine to replace my 8 year old Mac pro tower, I am noticing a nice upgrade in sound. It’s late as I fire up the system so I can’t play loudly, but from the very first cut, even with the tube preamp not warmed up I could tell there was something special happening. There just seems to be a greater ease and sweetness to the music.

The older machine had the audio drive mounted inside the tower, while the new Mac has the drive now connected via Thunderbolt, which is essentially pcie except external. My next test I will copy audio files to the internal 1tb SSD to see if there is a benefit from not playing off a spinning drive. I am using Jriver so I’m not sure if it actually caching the audio to the 64gigs of memory.

The old mac had 4 cores but a very hefty power supply that is half the size of the entire new machine. The new 6 core Mac is fan less I believe while the old one has 4 or more.

One thing I could’t control for is the cat cable going to the router. 6a is on on the old Mac while 5e is on the new Mac , but it looks to have gold pins? 6a goes from the router to the bridge 1 in the DS unit. The 6a provided an upgrade over standard cat5.

One curious thing is that playing a flac file and an aiff converted from the flac, the aiff sounds better. So just having this very powerful Mac uncompress the flac file on the fly seems to be taxing sonically, which doesn’t make much sense (even though I noticed this same effect with the Pwd even with transcoding on in elyric). I have been buying aiffs recently from HDtracks now that rhey offer that format.

The macs operating systems were quite different as well, one being a very old but stable 10.6.8 while the other is the very latest 64 bit os.

I’ll do more listening and comparing the two macs at full volume during the next day or two and report back, if anyone cares that is…


@emailists thank you for the report, just wondering how you connect Mac Pro to DS - via the USB?

And btw cylindrical mac pro has one huge fan at the top of the cylinder :) Normally it should rotate very slow, but once you will make the mac sweat it will increase the fan rpm


I still find AIFF files sound a little better than FLACs ripped at the same time by dBpoweramp (or converted from AIFF using Max on the Mac, or vice versa), whether playing over USB from a Mac Mini or Aries or using the Bridge (with the source being various Mac Minis or Win 7/64 PCs, including a Core I7 desktop). May be my imagination but I seem to hear a difference every time I’ve done the comparison over the years.

I’m jealous of your Mac Pro. Beautiful machines.