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Old 8th September 2011, 05:45 AM   #1
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Default Need recommendations on Mac Mini setup

Hi,
I am a new be in the realm of digital PC audio and need some suggestions.
I recently came across an inexpensive Mac Mini circa 2005-2006, I believe a G4 running at 1.4GhZ.

I want to use it as an audio server and wanted to get the best sound without breaking the bank.

I have a DIY DAC (DAC End2) with an SPDI/F input I would like to use but am willing to build another USB supported DAC if needed (suggestions on a budget build here? Or maybe adding a USB receiver to my DAC End2?)

Also, I understand there are many different audio players out there, all of which I know nothing about....I could use suggestions here too. I here FLAC is good (don't know what it means or what it is)

The rest of my system is very nice...I have several DIY high end speakers and some very nice amps I have built (SS and tube). Right now I am using a modified Parasound CDP with my DAC End2 switching between any combination of my amps and speakers depending on my mood.

I am interested in eliminating the CDP and switch over to the MAC Mini if indeed it can give me as good if not better sound quality than my current system.

Thanks in advance for the input.
Cheers!
Jeff
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Old 11th September 2011, 08:10 PM   #2
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Hey Jeff, hmmm, you are going to struggle finding any software other than itunes that will even run on a g4 these days to be quite honest. certainly the more modern players like puremusic, amarra etc wont. and afaik the native usb 2.0 hirez audio codec was part of the macOS 10.6 upgrade, which isnt available to you and this is how the latest usb convertors tend to run. so you would have to go with a device that uses a driver, perhaps a m2tech hiface, which will take usb input and output on coax spdif to connect to your dac END
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Old 11th September 2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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So what is the minimum Mac Mini I need to run the latest good stuff? I picked this one up for about $100 but I am willing to sell it and buy what I need to have a good Mac Mini music server. I don't want to go overboard, gist want to know what the minimum os I can use to really have a good sound system.....
Thanks!
Jeff
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Old 13th September 2011, 05:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmillerdoc View Post
So what is the minimum Mac Mini I need to run the latest good stuff? I picked this one up for about $100 but I am willing to sell it and buy what I need to have a good Mac Mini music server. I don't want to go overboard, gist want to know what the minimum os I can use to really have a good sound system.....
Thanks!
Jeff
Since you already have the Mac Mini just use it with iTunes. There is nothing wrong with iTunes. Make sure you're running the Leopard (10.5) operating system so you have iTunes 10. Unfortunately there is no S/PDIF output from the Mac mini so you will have to get a USB dac or a USB to S/PDIF converter.
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Old 13th September 2011, 06:33 AM   #5
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The biggest limitation will be the inability to upgrade the RAM to more than 1 GB. This is borderline for Leopard which is needed for PureMusic.

The USB limitations can be overcome with a FireWire DAC (i have Edirol FA66)

$100 is an OK price. Slightly slower 17" G4 luxolamp iMacs run about the same $$ (but can support 2 GB RAM, come with a screen, mouse & keyboard)

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