One more Mac mini question

It might have been discussed earlier, but I can’t find any specific thread right now- so please forgive me if I am repeating an older topic…

I am using a headless late 2012 Mac mini as core, connected directly to my DAC by USB.

Roon recommends to separate the core from the bridge/endpoint if I have understood correctly.
So I would benefit from either inserting a bridge between the Mac mini and the DAC or moving the roon core to another computer, for example my Macbook pro or a NUC with Rock on it and leaving the MAC mini connected to the DAC as a bridge.

Is that correct?

I don’t seem to have any issues that I am aware of and all i running smoothly. Usually, I am thinking if it ain’t broke, so I don’t try to fix it, but I am wondering if I am missing out on something. :wink:

Cheers from Norway!

HI David! I also have a headless Mac Mini running Roon which is connected directly to my DAC via a USB cable. Everything works as it should as far as I am aware. Are you encountering issues or are you just concerned that things are not optimized?

In theory it’s possible that the USB connection could suffer from electrical noise. In my experience Macs are noisier than average hardware. It’s still unlikely to be an issue and if you can’t hear anything I’d not worry.

Edit when I’ve experienced noise from Macs it’s been from the minijack audio out.

It’s working fine with a few small hiccups once in a while.

Just audiophilia nevrosa kicking in, I guess… :wink:

That’s what I call it unless I want to upgrade kit in which case it’s detection of a critical issue.

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Roon should not be recommending this without tested and replicated proof of its benefits. It’s bunk but will bias any testing you do along with purchase confirmation bias as well.
It’s either sneaky marketing by Roon (you keep up the conversation and interaction with the Roon ecosystem, increasing exposure and reliance in it) or its a reference to computers with audible fans that you’d want to keep away from a quiet listening room.

The two best ways to change your sound and enjoyment of it is:

  1. Turn up the volume a couple of dB
  2. Try different speakers.

Honestly, I don’t think you’ll gain anything by splitting your core + endpoint. If you are concerned about USB noise, you could see if a USB purifier/re-clocker makes a difference. I use a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery between the Mac mini and the DAC. Honestly, I’m not sure it makes a difference in my system - maybe I’ll do a blind test someday :slight_smile:. Also, my DAC supposedly has “galvanic isolation” on the USB input, which in theory should reject incoming noise.


@hacker19 makes a good point. Buying kit that’s designed to mitigate these problems is a better approach than buying fixes. I feel similarly about power supplies. Dealing with noise is the manufacturer’s task. If they’re not up to the job do I want to spend more money fixing their issues?

@Astr0b0y I don’t really feel the urge to change the sound in any way right now :wink: If there is nothing to be gained by splitting the core, etc. then it is as good as it gets right now …

Thanks, guys for your input- saved me some budget for my record player… :wink:

I have my Oppo 203 connected by ethernet as well as HDMI directly from my Nucleus. I can’t decide if there is any difference in SQ at all. They both sound perfect with no audible noise.