Hi, all. My current setup is simple compared to many here – 2013 macbook air, OS sierra, core i5, 8GB ram. This runs roon core, streams Tidal and has a smallish FLAC/mp3 library on the built in 256GB SSD. DAC is a Meridian Explorer2/usb. The machine is still used for various other purposes and has a lot of other software and files on it.
I’ve thought about upgrading my digital rig, but I’m about 95% vinyl and have probably 15x more invested in my analog setup, so I’ve never been able to justify pulling the trigger. I’d rather spend money on cartridges and records.
But recently a friend offered me a mid-2010 Mac mini for free, which has filled my head with all sorts of diy ideas, so I’m posting to the community for advice:
First, is a mac mini with a 2.4 ghz core 2 duo a feasible Roon core? Since the computer is free I’d throw $150 at installing a 256GB SSD and 16 GB ram.
If so, what’s the best setup, assuming I’d put another $350-ish toward accessories?
One thought is to put the mini in the rack, with a wyred4sound recovery or similar usb isolator/reclocker and possibly a diy linear power supply like the teradak.
Another is the mini on the Ethernet switch in another room, with a streamer/bridge like the Allo or Micro Rendu in the rack. The only catch there is I live in an apartment and there’s no way to run Ethernet to the stereo rack, so any network bridge would need to be connected to Ethernet via an apple airport express that I already own, or be WiFi enabled on its own.
Either of these options would be followed at some point by a major MQA-capable DAC upgrade. Used Mytek Liberty or similar.
Interested to get people’s thoughts on which of these ideas might work better… or if either will yield an appreciable improvement over my current situation.