my mac mini and nas both are on vibrapod footers and resting on a thick maple butcher block....it can't hurt
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Urban legend? I do not know if it will make a difference, but most all electronics are sensitive to vibrations as they have capacitors aka condensers- as in condenser microphones amongst other things.
Crossovers are micro phonic as well, just less perceptive as the signal is very small relative to the load. The Tannoy DMT series of studio monitor loudspeakers for instance. DMT was market speak abbreviation for Differential Material Technology. The capacitors were all wrapped in a butyl rubber type (mortite?) compound that had heat shrink tubing around it to help suppress the vibrations.
How much of this effects the output is up for debate. Acting as if it does not exist is a falsehood. Physics has not changed, only our applications of it. As for the OP's question, there are probably more important things to try to optimize in you computer audio rig.
I must admit that when I first thought to try putting my Mac server on and isolation rack, StillPoints, was that it would make no difference but that it was convenient. It made a big difference and has stayed there. Furthermore, more recently, I have put the new StillPoints Ultras between their rack and the Mac, again with a major improvement.
I strongly suspect that conductive wires moving in a magnetic field being dampened by the isolation is the explanation for why this is happening. I a shocked at the negative impact of even minor vibrations on the magic in music reproduction. All I can really suggest is that you try it to see if it holds for you.
As for the OP's question, there are probably more important things to try to optimize in you computer audio rig.
Exactly my point. The extent to which vibrations affect electronics has been greatly exaggerated due to people's experience with tubes and stylus (with a very high gain which is why you have a pre-preamp). These truths have created an urban legend in that people have extrapolated this to conclude that micro-phonics are a potential problem with all equipment - generally you don't have to worry about micro-phonics on a PC - although the physical noise of the cooling fan and the spinning of the hard drive can easily be an audible issue (especially if you sit next to the PC).
thanks for the advice. to 4est,,,,i have a mac g4 with an upgraded ss hard drive, pure music installed, music ripped apple lossless with error correction on, wireworld ultraviolet usb to music fidelity vdac. i went this way due to price and the low jitter aspects of the wireworld and dac combo. since the huge library is set i probably can,t adjust this. any advice on further optimizations? thanks.. i really enjoy computer audio and the sound quality.
Is the g4 the aforementioned laptop? If so, try running on battery power
download "process wizard" or the equivalent and use it to renice (re prioritize) you processes.
Turn spotlight off
make sure that music files are not on the same drive as the OS
Turn off power saving and use a hot corner to turn screen off after you start tracks.
You may also try getting more RAM- the more the merrier for memory play. Be sure to use memory play and HOG mode along with "less is more". Playlists really help keep the tunes flowing with this.
I'd also try Ayrewave and Audirvana as players. I prefer Ayrewave at the moment, but it is a moving target.
If you haven't already, you might try taking a few choice cuts and make an AIFF and WAV copy to see if you can discern a diff.
It is chilly here in Michigan, I recommend a single malt scotch to make the left brain to right brain switch!
And by the by, I would not be surprised to find that you can hear a difference in isolation. The more involved I am with computer audio, the more I see similarities to analog. After all, digital waveforms are just analog square waves. If bits were just bits, then there would be no discernible difference between bit perfect player programs or USB cables. I am not saying you will hear a diff with isolation, but it would be foolish not to try if you think it may.
My experience falls in line with Tbg. I had read about computer isolation but pretty much figured the difference would be small at best. When I ordered the Ultra 5s for my speakers the Ultra SSs that were under speakers were freed up to sell or test elsewhere. I then remembered writings about computer vibrations and so I decided to test them on external hard drive where music is stored and computer. The difference was shocking, especially under firewire external HD with music. When playing familiar music when I set Ex. HD on top of Ultra SSs I could not believe what I was hearing. You could literally hear the vibration draining out and the sound become much clearer,detailed and engaging. I have repeated for many others for shock value. Some more improvement was heard after doing same with imac. After all this gain I went for all the gusto and bought a AQ Diamond firewire cable for external HD and it also had marked improvement. It was an ear opening experience.