Best USB port on a late 2012 Mac mini


Hi guys, got me a late 2012 Mac mini with 16GB of ram, a 500GB ssd and a 1TB normal HD. I am running the OS and Roon from the ssd, my music library is on a 2TB ext HD connected to the mini with FireWire 800.
My question is this, when connecting my dac to the mini, is there, between the 3 USB port, one that is better sounding ? Like it used to be on the old Mac Book Pro ?
Thanks.
gryphongryph
Most likely yes and my best advice to you is to find a track you are really familiar with and play about 20-30 seconds of it across all the ports. Listen for the best presentation. This is what I literally do with everything, ifor me it’s the only way to know for sure. Some people may laugh but I use Enyas “On Your Shore” LOL. It is a seemingly simple piece of music but the detail, harmonies and overtones are quite special. You will know when it is right, I use it a great deal when I’m fine tuning the VTA on my TT’s. I also use it for evaluating dacs. When it goes from sounding ok or good, to wow, you’re there.

I’ve been running Mac mini’s as music servers since ‘07. Trust me in this, the addition of an iFi iUSB 3.0 and the USB Purifier will remove the hash from the USB port. USB ports are notoriously noisy and it manifests itself in the music as a cool, flat presentation.
I use the Intona usb isolator between computer and Dac, been satisfied so far.
Intona usb isolator is what I am using. It works like charm.

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the quality of 3 ports is the same, with the one of mine is. 
2 player games

Hello GryphonGryph,

 I do not have a solution for your question, but a question myself. May I ask for your expertise and guidance? ow can I connect my music collection on a FLAC USB to my pre-amp listed here? My sound system is an early 80s ‘stack’ system.

None of the components are digital: Bryston 2B solid state amp, Conrad-Johnson PV-11 pre-amp, MIT 330 interconnects, MusicWave phase-equalized speaker cables, California Audio Labs CD Alpha and Delta drive, Dual 1129 turntable. B&W 803 speakers.

I would appreciate your suggestions and guidance on the matter.Thank you.

Mark Saracino


Hi mark, you would need a usb dac, a server/computer to send the files to the dac, then analog out from the dac to your pre amp..
I also use the Intona USB isolator between the computer and the Dac. so far i haven't had any problems.
Mülltonnenbox
I’m using a MBP and have Thunderbolt for streaming Ethernet, USB out of the MBP to the DAC. trying to keep streams of data separate as much as possible. Putting the MBP in clamshell mode, removing extraneous software, etc has yielded a great server platform.
I run all my ripped music off Jriver from the built in SSD.  couldn’t be happier with the results.. 
Looking at some of these high dollar streamers.. nothing but game boards and a hacked OS..  Wanting to try the new Mac mini as it has a new USB controller.. Wondering if it helps Sonics any..  but quite happy for now..
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