I have been waiting for the Octave for a while now. I fully intended to give is serious consideration to replace my aging Roon loaded Mac mini and was hopeful for a big jump in performance. But it was clear that the Octave was going to be expensive. I think the price point for the Octave was going to be $6k, which is a little above what I wanted to spend. Plus, it has become evident that there would be no support for Roon. I’m sorry but I love Roon and would hate to give it up. So I contacted Mojo Audio and talked to Ben Zwickel about the latest and greatest options. He assured me that the Mac Mini is way outdated and that a suped up Nuc is the way to go, especially loaded with a stripped down Linux optimized for audio. So I went with the Latest gen Intel chip (i7?) with a fanless design and no onboard speaker or wifi. Plus it has 16 GB of very fast RAM and 1 TB SSD HD. It’ll also be powered by Mojo’s excellent linear power supply. Maybe the best feature is that it has a dual ethernet port so you can hook up to the network with one and the other will run directly to an ethernet enabled DAC, in my case a DSD. I don’t think I have heard the Octave having dual ethernet ports, now that I think of it. The entire thing, including LPS and custom linux OS build is coming in at $3.5k, substantially less than Octave. I’ll be curious how this might stack up against the Octave but I’m certain this will be excellent overall, and hopefully much better than the Mac Mini which was super slow and bloated with the recent OSX upgrades. And did I mention that the entire OS will boot into RAM so the HD is inactive during normal operation?? So cool. I will have to keep the Mac Mini so I can rip my vinyl using Vinyl studio, but that’s the only down side I see so far. Anyway, it’s coming toward the end of the month and I’ll keep you all posted.
P.S. I don’t mean any disrespect to PSA at all by posting this. I’m sure the Octave will be an amazing piece of kit and probably worth the money, as their products usually are. I just couldn’t wait any longer and didn’t want to spend so much $$. I am a little bummed I’ll miss out on the I2S Octave will have to the DSD, though.