2018 Mac Mini and Kef lsx - next step to upgrade sound quality?

Hello Folks,

Recent convert to Roon - life changing. I’m currently using a Mac Mini 2018 with the following specs:

PROCESSOR 065-C70X 3.2GHz 6-core Core i7
MEMORY 065-C78W 64GB 2666MHz DDR4

Collection of 7,000 recordings (jazz and classical) on an external 4TB Glyph SSD connected via Thunderbolt 3. Mostly FLAC, ITunes, wav, some mp3.

Just purchased the KEF LSX. Using them wirelessly.

Does it make sense to add a DAC to the Mac Mini? If so, what’s recommended? I want to keep the wireless setup (Mac Mini is across the room from the Kefs). Any other thoughts on taking the sound quality up a notch? Thanks!

Because your speakers have a built-in DAC, you don’t need another unless you want headphone amplification when sitting next to your mac. You can probably also repurpose that expensive and nice Glyph and use a 4TB non-SSD for your music storage, it’ll be just fine. What matters is where Roon’s database is stored.

By order of return on investment, room correction, possibly via HAF (Dirac is nice as well, but don’t care enough about Roon to bother with a solution that doesn’t require third party hardware or software, and let’s not get started with unheld update promises), and maybe speaker decoupling depending on how they’re set up.

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I could be wrong here but any incoming signal gets processed through the LSX DAC, even if it’s analog. This way the speaker is able to implement its internal DSP for placement and fine tuning. So adding an external DAC to the chain is fruitless. I have a pair of LS50W Nocturne’s and this was my understanding. I did add a sub for lower frequency extension, A Rel R-328. I play everything via the ethernet connection.

Thanks for all the insight- much appreciated. I’ve read about the various Sample Rate Conversion and Headroom Management settings and find them a bit mysterious. Curious to know what most folks have found as the general optimal setting (if there is such a thing). I’m not using Headroom or Filters and have Sample Rate Conversion set to “Maximum PC Rate (Power of 2).”

As Shawn_Costello noted, everything coming into your speakers is resampled by the LSX’s internal DAC anyway, so there’s really little utility in resampling it prior to that.

If you REALLY want to try it, it should be noted the LSX are limited to 24/96 when connected to each other wirelessly, and 24/192 when connected via Ethernet, so you should try to match that target resolution if you want to resample via Roon, etc.; otherwise, you really are resampling twice.