Sonic differences between Mac Mini 2009 and 2010?

Hi, I'm wondering if any one has compared a Mac Mini 2010 to Mac Mini 2009. My audio buddy and I A and B'd a 2010 Mac Mini vs. a 2009 Mac Mini. Both were running Snow Leopard and Pure Music identically configured. Both were running off of nearly identical Bolder Cable Linear Power supplies. All cables were identical. Both have SSD and 8gb of RAMBoth went into the same DAC, amp, speaker etc. The results clearly showed that the 2009 sounded far better: more air, bigger soundstage, more detail, more dynamic. Since I own the 2010 and my buddy owns the 2009, I was not exactly elated at the results. Wayne from Bolder suggests the difference has to be in the computer. I don't know what differences there could be. Any one have any ideas? Thanks.

I have heard from Mach2Music that the 2011 outperforms the 2009.
The advantage of the 2009 is that there's no internal power mod needed whereas there is with the 2010 and 2011. But what are the reasons for the 2011 being better?
Mac-centric audio experts, Greetings. I could also use advice on this topic. I just ordered the new USB-only Ultra Fi DAC-41; Larry of UF likes the Mac Mini and has some good advice to offer; but I, too, would appreciate folks chiming in on this question, as well as offering their best tips and lessons-from-experience on this sort of Mac-based set-up. It will be a different computer universe for me.

In my case, doing double duty for A --> D recording and audio production in a home studio environment figures into the equation as well. The DAW will probably be the musician-friendly Ableton Live.

In general, can routine web browsing and movie watching be accommodated in this schema (for practical reasons) without compromising the audio when the big rig needs to be at its best?
I just got a mac mini 2010, and havent set it up yet. How important is the power supply like Bolder Cable Linear Power supply ?

It is true that the 2009 mini had an external power supply, but despite that, we (and many others) found that the 2010 mini sounded better.

We could debate much about the whys, but in short, the 2010 drwe much less power, was faster, and a different case design. I think these all led to the 2010 being better sounding.

The 2011 is a faster machine, so the timing with the 2011 than the 2010. The 2011 mini is audibly the best mini yet.


A linear power supply or battery power supply will lower the noise floor of the mac mini. This will allow better separation between instruments, and generally a wider deeper sound stage.

The better the rest of your audio system is, the more apparent the linear/battery supply will be.

Mach2 Music