Mac Mini


I am using the Mac Mini as a music server and was wondering what others are useing as an isolation platform.

Does it even matter what it is sitting on?
261303b5 ffb7 4058 b087 2b57df93b9efglory
Use some vistek platforms. The Series 320 VIP, and the Series 3200 VIP are good.
The only benefit you would get from reducing vibration to the Mac Mini would be to reduce vibration going to the hard drive--to prevent it from failing. However, as others are hinting with a cat analogy, if the hard drive can read the binary content (1s and 0s) you get your sound and it will be exactly the same.

Arguably, at some point vibration would make the Mac Mini's hard drive not function. But, at that point you wouldn't get sound at all.

Don't believe me that there's no audible difference in isolating a computer? Blindfold yourself and have a friend shake the Mini whilst playing a file and not shake it. Literally, shake it (but don't brake it). You won't be able to tell a thing. It's 1s and 0s.

Again, I do think you could make the argument that you don't want it vibrating because you don't want the hard drive's working reading mechanism (an arm) to slowly move out of alignment and fail. Yet, I would think that you would need a ton of vibration to make it fail or even skip.

Finally, the saying that anything with moving parts needs isolation to sound good is not correct. A phono cartridge will pick up vibration and it will effect sound. Loudspeakers arguably may lose focus if they are vibrating greatly. An amplifier? Now that's a stretch. Someone would need to explain why an amplifier's sound would be effected by vibrations. If you believe this do you also believe that we should isolate our plasma or lcd televisions?

PS Most hard drives and the software running them have giant buffers and error correction. This prevents you from noticing any problems if the hard drive skips or cannot read a section of 1s and 0s.
Cable stands, anyone? :-)
A lot of talk about the D/A process is jitter. Does excessive vibration contribute at all to jitter? I don't know a lot of the subject, but there are a lot of guys on Agon who are obsessed with isolation and vibration. I have my DirecTV receiver, my Mac Mini and hard drive all on the same rack as my other components including my turntable. I wanted less vibration to the turntable. The noise and vibration from the lousy DirecTV receiver was reduced when I put gum erasers under the feet. It's a $4 tip I read on another thread. I liked its result so I did the same with my mini and drive. I think getting them more airflow underneath is good too.

I don't know much about the tech regarding DACs, but the zeros and ones in a computer system that has two way communication is different than a digital audio signal which is one way. If there are problems or errors in the signal the DAC doesn't send a messages back saying 'hey, give me that packet again. there was an error in that last one.'
I was also in the 'it's all zeroes and ones' camp too; it just seems to make crystal clear sense, yes? But, unfortunately, my experience has just as clearly illustrated the opposite. A Mac G5 tower clearly sounds much better than a Mini or MBP in my system, and RollerBlocks under the Tower and external drives have been clearly beneficial as well. I really wish it wasn't so, but it is:-)
In actual fact, the RollerBlocks made more of a difference than switching out an M Audio 24/192 card for the vaunted Lynx AES 16 card.