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Old 02-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
bhampton bhampton is offline
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Hi,

Seems strange to think I'm new to the concept of computer audio but it's certainly true. Current styles and techniques of computer audio are like nothing I'm familiar with so I'm indeed new and loving every minute of it.

I could use tips though and info... it's a strange new world for me.

A cousin gave me a mac mini that didn't work but I managed to repair it. I had to take it completely apart twice before it would post but it's fine now.

To that I added an USB external hard drive filled with all my CDs stored as Apple Lossless files.

Yesterday, I bought and installed the BitPerfect App.

I already had Roomie Remote for my Home Theater but it works great for the music server too.

Today I bought a small used SSD hard drive on Ebay to replace the data drive in the mac mini with. This hopefully, will be faster, more reliable, use less energy, and run cooler. And eliminate those big magnets and moving parts and so on.

Future upgrades could involve hardware and software. Something like a outboard DAC perhaps. Or more system RAM.

The system works great as it is though and I'm so happy with it!!!!


=Brian
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:07 PM   #2
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
Hi,

Seems strange to think I'm new to the concept of computer audio but it's certainly true. Current styles and techniques of computer audio are like nothing I'm familiar with so I'm indeed new and loving every minute of it.

I could use tips though and info... it's a strange new world for me.

A cousin gave me a mac mini that didn't work but I managed to repair it. I had to take it completely apart twice before it would post but it's fine now.

To that I added an USB external hard drive filled with all my CDs stored as Apple Lossless files.

Yesterday, I bought and installed the BitPerfect App.

I already had Roomie Remote for my Home Theater but it works great for the music server too.

Today I bought a small used SSD hard drive on Ebay to replace the data drive in the mac mini with. This hopefully, will be faster, more reliable, use less energy, and run cooler. And eliminate those big magnets and moving parts and so on.

Future upgrades could involve hardware and software. Something like a outboard DAC perhaps. Or more system RAM.

The system works great as it is though and I'm so happy with it!!!!


=Brian
Mac mini.....Get Channel D Pure Music or Amarre for music playback!!!! You'll love it!
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), SVS 16-46 CS (X2) 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Xonar Essence ST/H6 modified Burson Supreme Discreet Opamps, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
bhampton bhampton is offline
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I will try the pure music 15 day demo soon.

It's cheap but I don't have the $130 right now anyway.

If it's awesome, I can certainly save for it.

My SSD drive should be here over the weekend so I'll get that done first and try to max out the RAM soon. (8GB max.)

-THanks,

Brian
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
I will try the pure music 15 day demo soon.

It's cheap but I don't have the $130 right now anyway.

If it's awesome, I can certainly save for it.

My SSD drive should be here over the weekend so I'll get that done first and try to max out the RAM soon. (8GB max.)

-THanks,

Brian
For music purposes, you don't need tons of ram. How much do you have now? If enough (even 2 GB is plenty as music doesn't need to be processed) I would spend my $ in your audio chain.

What's your setup like?
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:52 PM   #5
bhampton bhampton is offline
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Hi,

As fas as what the system is like... it's humble.

The AVR is a Denon 1912 and the speakers are Paradigm Titans, CC-170, (I forget what the model of the 10 inch SubW that goes with those is.)

The room is a dedicated HT... I built the room but I don't have acoustical treatments yet. There is a double wall on one side (near utilities that make noise) and some sound board in the wall construction.

I swapped memory with a laptop to give the mac mini 4GB instead of 2 and like suggested ... it's likely not even needed. I certainly won't go for 8 (which is max) unless I get some cheap or something.

The main reason I want the SSD hard drive is not for performance but it will use less energy and make less heat and should be more reliable too.

It sounds great so far. I'm really enjoying it. I suppose it can only get better too if I upgrade in time.

-Brian
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:01 AM   #6
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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How is your Mac connected to the receiver? Optical I guess. You would get the biggest audio improvement by getting an outboard dac or usb soundcard, so if interested you might post in the separates forum, many users here have outboard DACs and could steer you in the right direction. Depending on how many sources you have (CD, etc.) I'm sure that for a few Franklins you can get something nice.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:41 AM   #7
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
How is your Mac connected to the receiver? Optical I guess. You would get the biggest audio improvement by getting an outboard dac or usb soundcard, so if interested you might post in the separates forum, many users here have outboard DACs and could steer you in the right direction. Depending on how many sources you have (CD, etc.) I'm sure that for a few Franklins you can get something nice.
I would think the dragonfly would be a good way for him to get his feet wet.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:50 AM   #8
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
I would think the dragonfly would be a good way for him to get his feet wet.
Indeed as it's getting really great reviews, but that's why I asked if he had many sources, a DAC with multiple inputs might be better in that case.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
bhampton bhampton is offline
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Dragonfly may be perfect. (Wait,.. Perfect is the wrong word here)

The optical sounds great with integer mode using BitPerfect app.

iTunes really does sound flatter without the BitPerfect app.

As far as other sources,.. The only other thing I have is a BDP connected with HDMI.

The BDP and this Computer Audio is all. I had a HDTV tuner setup for NFL but the season is over and next time the FCC says Comcast can scramble if they want. (I don't pay for cable.)

Edit -----

You know when I set it up I had the attitude that it was perfect from the start. I had lossless files playing from a digital out,.. Game Over. That was my thinking.

Then, I started reading,... I have the opposite attitude now. I believe so many things can make a positive difference. First thing I read was about keeping the media on a separate drive. This didn't seem like an issue to me but it really seemed to improve the sound quality. So,.. I got curious and bought the BitPerfect app (it was only $10 and I figured I could still save for Pure Music in no time).

Now,.. I can easily turn on and off BitPerfect. They don't really compare. BitPerfect makes a big difference with my current setup. I've been reading about the little things it does and why.

All my CDs are stored in a box in the attic now,... Gotta love that, I still have a single SACD and single Blu Ray Audio disc and those I play back through my BDP.
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Last edited by bhampton; 02-27-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
Dragonfly may be perfect. (Wait,.. Perfect is the wrong word here)

The optical sounds great with integer mode using BitPerfect app.

iTunes really does sound flatter without the BitPerfect app.

As far as other sources,.. The only other thing I have is a BDP connected with HDMI.

The BDP and this Computer Audio is all. I had a HDTV tuner setup for NFL but the season is over and next time the FCC says Comcast can scramble if they want. (I don't pay for cable.)

Edit -----

You know when I set it up I had the attitude that it was perfect from the start. I had lossless files playing from a digital out,.. Game Over. That was my thinking.

Then, I started reading,... I have the opposite attitude now. I believe so many things can make a positive difference. First thing I read was about keeping the media on a separate drive. This didn't seem like an issue to me but it really seemed to improve the sound quality. So,.. I got curious and bought the BitPerfect app (it was only $10 and I figured I could still save for Pure Music in no time).

Now,.. I can easily turn on and off BitPerfect. They don't really compare. BitPerfect makes a big difference with my current setup. I've been reading about the little things it does and why.

All my CDs are stored in a box in the attic now,... Gotta love that, I still have a single SACD and single Blu Ray Audio disc and those I play back through my BDP.
Welcome Back to the PC/Mac fold Bhampton!!!! You're in for a whole new world to investigate! And you know what...it's really fun!!!!
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), SVS 16-46 CS (X2) 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Xonar Essence ST/H6 modified Burson Supreme Discreet Opamps, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
Dragonfly may be perfect. (Wait,.. Perfect is the wrong word here)

The optical sounds great with integer mode using BitPerfect app.

iTunes really does sound flatter without the BitPerfect app.

As far as other sources,.. The only other thing I have is a BDP connected with HDMI.

The BDP and this Computer Audio is all. I had a HDTV tuner setup for NFL but the season is over and next time the FCC says Comcast can scramble if they want. (I don't pay for cable.)

Edit -----

You know when I set it up I had the attitude that it was perfect from the start. I had lossless files playing from a digital out,.. Game Over. That was my thinking.

Then, I started reading,... I have the opposite attitude now. I believe so many things can make a positive difference. First thing I read was about keeping the media on a separate drive. This didn't seem like an issue to me but it really seemed to improve the sound quality. So,.. I got curious and bought the BitPerfect app (it was only $10 and I figured I could still save for Pure Music in no time).

Now,.. I can easily turn on and off BitPerfect. They don't really compare. BitPerfect makes a big difference with my current setup. I've been reading about the little things it does and why.

All my CDs are stored in a box in the attic now,... Gotta love that, I still have a single SACD and single Blu Ray Audio disc and those I play back through my BDP.
When you get Pure Music - try playing your music from memory
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), SVS 16-46 CS (X2) 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Xonar Essence ST/H6 modified Burson Supreme Discreet Opamps, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
bhampton bhampton is offline
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I knew I would go back to some form of htpc eventually.

Reminds of 1999-2002 when htpc was the only thing thought about and just about each visit to AVSForum was like getting a present because I was learning every time.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #13
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Even as an analog guy, I must admit I like my PC audio!
John - I love the smell of vinyl in the morning!
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I reserve the right to post as a member. When I post as a Moderator I will select a color depending on my mood!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
Even as an analog guy, I must admit I like my PC audio!
The dark side is calling you !!!! These are not the albums you are looking for, buy izotope and convert all your vinyl to hi-res audio. Feel the power of the dark side!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #15
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
The dark side is calling you !!!! These are not the albums you are looking for, buy izotope and convert all your vinyl to hi-res audio. Feel the power of the dark side!
One day I'll start that again. Had converted about 100 LP's some time back using Adobe Audition. I have them somewhere on a DVD disc. It's a long process....takes at least an hour for one LP if you do it right.
John - I love the smell of vinyl in the morning!
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #16
bhampton bhampton is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
One day I'll start that again. Had converted about 100 LP's some time back using Adobe Audition. I have them somewhere on a DVD disc. It's a long process....takes at least an hour for one LP if you do it right.
I truly can't imagine how you would "do it right"... so many variables,... such a delicate system.

I had records as a kid but I was always intimidated but the nature of them. I'm still certain they can sound amazing. I gave all mine to my step dad at some point.... His Pink Floyd collection went from zero to nearly complete overnight.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:19 PM   #17
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhampton View Post
I truly can't imagine how you would "do it right"... so many variables,... such a delicate system.

I had records as a kid but I was always intimidated but the nature of them. I'm still certain they can sound amazing. I gave all mine to my step dad at some point.... His Pink Floyd collection went from zero to nearly complete overnight.
It's a very laborious process if you're concerned about creating the best possible copy, and I always was. It was fun and I'm sure I'll start up again one of these days.

Digital has come such a long way in the last 5 years that it can rival LP easily with the right content.
John - I love the smell of vinyl in the morning!
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by prerich View Post
When you get Pure Music - try playing your music from memory
It may be just me, but I could not hear a difference between Pure Music and Bit Perfect. I know it gets rave reviews but I just couldnt justify the cost for the performance. Bitperfect works great and at 10 bones, it is not expensive. Waiting on the Jriver Mac release to give it a test drive.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerrellB View Post
It may be just me, but I could not hear a difference between Pure Music and Bit Perfect. I know it gets rave reviews but I just couldnt justify the cost for the performance. Bitperfect works great and at 10 bones, it is not expensive. Waiting on the Jriver Mac release to give it a test drive.
BitPerfect certainly makes a difference to me. The output without it now seems to sound more like a steam of data than playback of a song. That's hard to describe but the timing seemed off to the point the rhythm suffered.

I'm glad it was $10 too because it would have taken me longer to try it otherwise (unless there was a demo.)

The demo of Pure Music is available and I will give it a spin soon. It's also not very costly all things considered.

Meanwhile,.., I love BitPerfect!
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerrellB View Post
It may be just me, but I could not hear a difference between Pure Music and Bit Perfect. I know it gets rave reviews but I just couldnt justify the cost for the performance. Bitperfect works great and at 10 bones, it is not expensive. Waiting on the Jriver Mac release to give it a test drive.
Already released - but its still in Alpha stage.
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