What is better Mac mini or Meridian MC200

I use my Mac mini as my dedicated Roon server, and my roon remote is either an iMac 27" or an iPad pro. T

As an endpoint I use a Meridian MC200. he signal is through an Digital Interconnect from Audioquest to my Devialet 250.

My question is this;

What gives a better audio quality the setup I use now, or an Audioquest USB Diamond cable direct from the Mac Mini to my Devialet.

Don’t waste your money on expensive USB cables.
It’ s a simple DIGITAL cable and that means if it is not defect each cheap usb cable will do the same job.

Better invest the money in improving your hearing room or you speakers (but please the speakers itself, not their cables :slight_smile:)

I don’t have to invest, I already own the cable, and my speakers are Revel Ulimate Salon 2, so that will be ok for me.

My question is what will give the best sound quality, the setup with the meridian as my endpoint, or with the Mac mini as the endpoint.

I would expect the Meridian to be electrically quieter.
It is an MC200? An MS200 should be even better.

I use an MC200 with analog out in a bedroom for audio books and plays. This works well here. I have MS200’s elsewhere and they operate perfectly and sound great in my system (Meridian).

Have you tried the direct connection yet? It should not do worse than routing trough the Meridian, given the excellenent usb input of your Devialet.

If you have everything available, you should try both connections, compare and choose the one that sounds better for you.
If you didn’t hear differences, use the setup with lesser devices. Saves energy and reduction of complexity reduces the probability of problems.

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Ok I will try it out. This seems to be the easiest and the best way to do it. In case the direct way from the Mac mini to the Devialet works as good or better I can leave one component out of the chain.

Have you tried Devialet AIR? With AIR you can connect the Mac with ethernet to the Devialet. Sounds much better than USB.

I have tried Devialet Air, but I find the quality over a wide network better.

Possibly my ignorance, but what is “a wide area network”?

I think he means wired not wide - that wonderful predictive text thing I expect.

As far as I know, the MS200 should sound better than the MC200. However, there were two versions of the MC200; the later 1TB model has a better audio output card, I think.

Roon Server and Devialet AIR running on Mac Mini connected to the Devialet through ethernet are streaming “wired”, not wireless. My experience is that this works better then an Aurender X100L.

In general keeping computers galvanically separated from your audio equipment works better. A good network connection (wired, wifi is too unreliable) provides galvanic separation by default, USB doesn’t although some audio equipment offer transformer separated USB outputs or inputs. And please do use proper cables, using bad cables can cause sound degradation. It’s a too long story to explain here, but I wrote it down here: http://thehbproject.com/en/articles/41/Connecting-your-DAC-#2:-how-digital-can-go-wrong

I am not sure about Mac/ Dev AIR protocol and SQ - but I have been comparing for a few weeks between Windows 10/ AIR to USB protocol - to me it is on par - sometimes my mind plays tricks as the difference is on the margins dependent on music and subjective emphasis when listening to individual tracks - I cannot categorically state that AIR on Dev is better than USB.

Hi Chris;

If you don’t mind, I have a question about your setup. You say you are using a MC200 and MS200 elsewhere with Roon.

how is your MC200 setup?

Do you have it set as Core? reason I ask is I have a MC200 and if I leave Core enabled on the unit it works fine with Roon but cannot add any other zones into the system as with Core enabled all the other zones become active as Sooloos zones and are not available to Roon.

If I set the MC200 as not Core, then all the other zones become available to Roon but the MC200 is not available in Roon… But will show up if I enable Sooloos Core elsewhere and again as expected the additional zones then become available with Sooloos and not Roon.

Using a Qnap I can turn on / off Roon and or Sooloos.