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Mac Mini vs Innuos Mini MK ll.
#21
RebelMan Wrote:
thumb5 Wrote:I think it's always worth bearing in mind that listening to music (audio) is a subjective experience.  If someone tells you they hear or do not hear a difference when they use <insert controversial system component of choice> then that is an unarguably valid statement of fact, irrespective of whether or not there are any objective or measurable differences.  On the other hand if they tell you that you will or won't hear a difference, that's speculation and debatable.

I see your point, but how do you really know what it is you are hearing (or not)?  What is your frame of reference?  Is it your memory?  The mind can play tricks on you.  Without a common frame of reference how can one truthfully say one thing sounds better than another?  Let's say you found the Roon Nucleus to sound better than the Mac mini.  Now let's say I found the Mac mini to sound better than the Roon Nucleus.  Which is it?  If all a person has to go by is just the opinions of others then how is that really helpful?  Since people's opinions are influenced by their own biases there is no way to know for sure what the truth is.  Don't you want to know the truth?  Have you ever been deceived by deceptive marketing?  How did it make you feel to learn the truth about it later on?

Taking measurements establishes a common frame of reference that is free of any bias.  If a claim is made that component A sounds better than component B but the measurements cannot support such a claim then you know that it cannot be true.  Subjective experiences should lead one to personal preferences not absolutism.  When someone says component A sounds better than competent B what they are really implying is that component A is better than component B which is a problem.  If a person were to say they prefer component A to component B then that is when the statement becomes an unarguably valid fact.  However, keep in mind too that having a preference does not necessarily imply correctness.
Reasonable points.  The trouble is that there is a lot of debate these days about what to measure, what matters, and indeed if the correct things are being measured.  So what matters?  We need to bits to arrive without error, although this is relatively easy to achieve these days.  Noise matters, but I have seen much debate about what sort of noise and where it might influence other things.  Then we have the more controversial stuff, like upstream jitter when using buffered Ethernet or asynchronous USB.  Some say it does not matter, some say it does.  I have seen some highly respectable people making claim to both positions.  The trouble here is that is very hard to measure.  We are still waiting to see any results from John Swenson's kit latest test kit, subjectivists will wait patiently, objectivists will claim that there are no results published because he can't find anything to measure. USB eye patterns is another one, some say it does not matter, the DAC will either read the bits or not, others state it influences noise and jitter in the DAC. I could repeat this argument with any number of the more controversial things that are lurking in the world of audio at the moment.

What we need are definitive measurements from the output of the DAC, but it seams that such measurements are not good enough currently to fully identify everything that is going on.  This may all be foo and snake oil to sell kit to the gullible of course.  Although some have experimented with this stuff and have experienced good (subjective) results.  Those that have good subjective experiences might state that that A is better that B, those that believe it is foo will argue that any sound quality improvement is imagined or expectation bias.  My issue is that I have never seen a published set of measurements that actually coincides fully with what I have subjectively heard when listening to kit, plus measurements vary between manufacturers.  So it goes on.  I listen to item A, and prefer a certain aspect to item B, I find nothing in the measurements to explain.  Maybe it is expectation bias, maybe there is something not measured.  I can't prove this either way.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  My view is that measurements are indeed king, the trouble is that we need better measurements.  Until such time, a lot of people will enjoy subjectively testing kit (the controversial test of actually listening), enjoy sharing experiences and hopefully collectively getting improved systems.  More objective types will think this is idiotic.

Until we have better measurements, such debate will continue.  I suspect that nobody will win the argument until the quality and breadth of measurements improve substantially from where we are now, and I doubt that will happen any time soon.  Plus I've seen similar arguments all over the 'net, no consensus has arrived yet.  Meanwhile, those who have subjective observations to share should be free to share it with those interested.  Those that have killer measurements, hard data or anything else objective should be free to share.  Between us we might stumble along to a better understanding

As a final point, I am really enjoying my system at the moment, which is ultimately what matters.  So I am getting something right even if I'm doing it wrong. Shy

P.S.  I see a lot of people are finding that those Innuos streamers sound really good, I can't comment myself, I have not heard one yet.....
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#22
(11-Jul-2019, 18:35)Confused Wrote:
RebelMan Wrote:
thumb5 Wrote:I think it's always worth bearing in mind that listening to music (audio) is a subjective experience.  If someone tells you they hear or do not hear a difference when they use <insert controversial system component of choice> then that is an unarguably valid statement of fact, irrespective of whether or not there are any objective or measurable differences.  On the other hand if they tell you that you will or won't hear a difference, that's speculation and debatable.

I see your point, but how do you really know what it is you are hearing (or not)?  What is your frame of reference?  Is it your memory?  The mind can play tricks on you.  Without a common frame of reference how can one truthfully say one thing sounds better than another?  Let's say you found the Roon Nucleus to sound better than the Mac mini.  Now let's say I found the Mac mini to sound better than the Roon Nucleus.  Which is it?  If all a person has to go by is just the opinions of others then how is that really helpful?  Since people's opinions are influenced by their own biases there is no way to know for sure what the truth is.  Don't you want to know the truth?  Have you ever been deceived by deceptive marketing?  How did it make you feel to learn the truth about it later on?

Taking measurements establishes a common frame of reference that is free of any bias.  If a claim is made that component A sounds better than component B but the measurements cannot support such a claim then you know that it cannot be true.  Subjective experiences should lead one to personal preferences not absolutism.  When someone says component A sounds better than competent B what they are really implying is that component A is better than component B which is a problem.  If a person were to say they prefer component A to component B then that is when the statement becomes an unarguably valid fact.  However, keep in mind too that having a preference does not necessarily imply correctness.
Reasonable points.  The trouble is that there is a lot of debate these days about what to measure, what matters, and indeed if the correct things are being measured.  So what matters?  We need to bits to arrive without error, although this is relatively easy to achieve these days.  Noise matters, but I have seen much debate about what sort of noise and where it might influence other things.  Then we have the more controversial stuff, like upstream jitter when using buffered Ethernet or asynchronous USB.  Some say it does not matter, some say it does.  I have seen some highly respectable people making claim to both positions.  The trouble here is that is very hard to measure.  We are still waiting to see any results from John Swenson's kit latest test kit, subjectivists will wait patiently, objectivists will claim that there are no results published because he can't find anything to measure. USB eye patterns is another one, some say it does not matter, the DAC will either read the bits or not, others state it influences noise and jitter in the DAC. I could repeat this argument with any number of the more controversial things that are lurking in the world of audio at the moment.

What we need are definitive measurements from the output of the DAC, but it seams that such measurements are not good enough currently to fully identify everything that is going on.  This may all be foo and snake oil to sell kit to the gullible of course.  Although some have experimented with this stuff and have experienced good (subjective) results.  Those that have good subjective experiences might state that that A is better that B, those that believe it is foo will argue that any sound quality improvement is imagined or expectation bias.  My issue is that I have never seen a published set of measurements that actually coincides fully with what I have subjectively heard when listening to kit, plus measurements vary between manufacturers.  So it goes on.  I listen to item A, and prefer a certain aspect to item B, I find nothing in the measurements to explain.  Maybe it is expectation bias, maybe there is something not measured.  I can't prove this either way.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  My view is that measurements are indeed king, the trouble is that we need better measurements.  Until such time, a lot of people will enjoy subjectively testing kit (the controversial test of actually listening), enjoy sharing experiences and hopefully collectively getting improved systems.  More objective types will think this is idiotic.

Until we have better measurements, such debate will continue.  I suspect that nobody will win the argument until the quality and breadth of measurements improve substantially from where we are now, and I doubt that will happen any time soon.  Plus I've seen similar arguments all over the 'net, no consensus has arrived yet.  Meanwhile, those who have subjective observations to share should be free to share it with those interested.  Those that have killer measurements, hard data or anything else objective should be free to share.  Between us we might stumble along to a better understanding

As a final point, I am really enjoying my system at the moment, which is ultimately what matters.  So I am getting something right even if I'm doing it wrong. Shy

P.S.  I see a lot of people are finding that those Innuos streamers sound really good, I can't comment myself, I have not heard one yet.....

Great post @Confused!

Guillaume
Industry disclosure: UK distributor for Shunyata Research

Absolare Integrated Signature v2, totaldac d1 server with additional external power supply, totaldac d1-seven, Echole PSU for Totaldac, Wilson Audio Sasha 2, Shunyata Research cables, Shunyata Triton v3 + Typhon QR + DPC-6 v3, Various Entreq ground boxes and cables, Entreq Athena level 3 rack, SOtM sNH-10G with sCLK-EX + 10MHz Master Clock input + sPS-500 PSU, i5 sonicTransporter w/ 1TB SSD

UK
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#23
You, guys, are all right.
But ... is someone out there who, without measurements, has heard both and has an  opinion, even subjective?
Thanks.
MacBook Pro, Devialet 220 Pro CI, Black Sixteen speaker cables, Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition and a pair of ears.
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#24
(11-Jul-2019, 23:22)BoyScout Wrote: You, guys, are all right.
But ... is someone out there who, without measurements, has heard both and has an  opinion, even subjective?
Thanks.

Can an opinion be anything other than subjective? I have no idea what an objective opinion would be.

I suspect there are a few people here who have used a Mac Mini as a server (I have using my iTunes library and Devialet's AIR app for some of that time and using Roon running on the Mac Mini for some of the time) and there are also a few people here who have used an Innuos Mini Mk II but there's going to be a lot fewer who have used both, perhaps none. In any event, any opinion is going to be coloured by something you haven't mentioned and that is just how the Mac Mini is being used. Is it being used as a music server only or is it also being used as the owner's normal desktop computer. In my case my Mac Mini was, and still is, my normal desktop computer and that means it was doing a lot of things in the background while I was using it to play music, things like Time Machine backups, checking email regularly, and even heavy processing when I was doing things like processing photos while also playing music. If you swap to a dedicated server it isn't going to be doing any of those additional things and arguably those extra processing tasks running while playing music may affect sound quality.

I haven't used an Innuos server. I went from my Mac Mini to an Antipodes DS and thought it was an improvement, both in terms of sound quality and also in convenience. Ive since replaced the Antipodes with a Roon Nucleus+ which I find works better than the Antipodes (Roon is a lot more responsive given the faster processor in the Nucleus+). 

If you search you'll find posts in various threads where people have commented on their experience moving from using their computer to stream from to using a dedicated server. I can't remember seeing anyone who has made that change say anything other than that it was an improvement but the fact that it was an improvement doesn't necessarily mean that it delivered an improvemnt in sound quality though I can't remember anyone saying sound quality went backwards. Not all of those comments come from people who swapped from a Mac Mini and not all of them swapped to an Innuos of any kind but my feeling was that the universal opinion has been that using a dedicated server is better than using your deskktop computer as your server and there's some variety in the reasons for that assessment.

You may end up having to settle for the general feeling that people have about swapping from their normal computer to a dedicated server rather than for opinions about the specific swap from a Mac Mini to an Innuos Mini Mk II simply because you may not be able to find someone who has made that particular switch.
Roon Nucleus+, Devilalet Expert 140 Pro CI, Focal Sopra 2, PS Audio P12, WireWorld Starlight ethernet cables, Cisco SG110D-05 network switch, Kimber Select speaker cables, Shunyata Alpha NR and Delta EF power cables power cables, Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack, RealTRAPS acoustic treatment.

Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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#25
(12-Jul-2019, 01:25)David A Wrote: You may end up having to settle for the general feeling that people have about swapping from their normal computer to a dedicated server rather than for opinions about the specific swap from a Mac Mini to an Innuos Mini Mk II simply because you may not be able to find someone who has made that particular switch.

That´s something, after all the debate (off topic, yes, but the debates are almost always useful).
It was a jpke, the "subjective opinion" part, of course.
In the end, a temporary zen mimi could be a good moove, that´s what i conclude.
MacBook Pro, Devialet 220 Pro CI, Black Sixteen speaker cables, Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition and a pair of ears.
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#26
(10-Jul-2019, 12:43)Sailor4W Wrote: I switched a few months ago from Mac Mini to Aurender N100H with an internal 4 TB HDD. Fantastic system, Never ever regretted the switch!

(11-Jul-2019, 00:28)RebelMan Wrote:
(10-Jul-2019, 09:42)Stino Wrote: Sorry to contradict the above but the Mac mini is not a Great streamer. You can put an ssd in it, a new power supply and so on, but then still you will be better of with a dedicated streamer for the same price. You will find this conclusion on many online fora and I believe John Darko reviewed in the past Some cheaper alternatives to the Mac mini... Good luck and have fun.

Wrong.  The Mac mini is a fantastic streamer and it cannot be bettered.  Modding it with SSDs and different power supplies make no difference whatsoever to signal integrity.  I can show you objective measurements that prove this, can you to the contrary?  Where people go wrong is in how they configure it and how they use it which done incorrectly can make the Mac mini underperform.  However, there is nothing inherent about the hardware that is faulty or inferior to any other streamer.

The people that spread the mistruths about the Mac mini are the same people that BELIEVE upgraded power cords and power conditioners and voltage regulators and so forth are better than using stock equipment.  These people take leaps of faith and pawn it off to others that they can hear the difference, which is all bunk.  If people want to invest in other solutions that is perfectly fine and I can see the value in doing so.  But spreading mistruths that it's going to sound better just for having done so is grossly misleading.  Observing and sharing the science in audio is is far more valuable and rewarding than learning and spreading the faith in audio.

How should you configure a Mac for the best music listening experience?
Devialet 200 / Wilson Benesch Vertex / Moon 260CD Transport / Linn LP12 / Crystal Cable Crystalspeak Piccolo Diamond / Audioquest Vodka Ethernet / Roon / The Netherlands
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