Mac Mini Music Server or Auralic or Linn or...

I’ve been using a Mac Mini with external drive for the last 5 years to rip cds, download from itunes and play back via a DAC (currently the Schitt Gungnir Multibit). Which sounds pretty good thought the Mac is a bit fussy and and not as reliable as a toaster or cd player.

Question -which will be easier to use, more reliable and sound better?
• My Mac Mini as music server played via Gumby DAC
• A music player in the $1,000 range like the Auralic Aries or Linn played via Gumby DAC
- Other?

the mini is just fine - some will load songs into RAM or use an SSD and claim a difference, but there are no valid tests on this

you do want to be careful about noise and ground loops

you can try using the Schiit Eigr or an iso Regen - both boxes have a trial period (2 weeks?) so you can test

DACs are evolving rapidly so look there next

Yggy for its price point or above - on Redbook

for $$$ take a listen to Phasure