I use an Air. Consider investing in a software program that will sound better than iTunes. I use dbpoweramp for ripping, and Audirvana Plus for playback. Otherwise you are good to go
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I only started using digital in my main system a couple months ago, though i’ve been playing in this sandbox since late ’60s~ I started with a Mac Book Air running Audirvana. Worked fine. You’ll upgrade as you go. You can use an iPad (or possibly an iPhone) as the remote (I use an iPad with a Mac Mini which I got from Apple with a discount coupon b/c of problems with another Mac). There are a couple tricks to using Audirvana-- loading content into the library, make sure you have some metadata associated with the files. If you try to delete and reload, it may cause the tracks to appear twice- you have to delete the interface contents as well as the folder in the library itself. Also, I found that a weak wifi signal made the remote hang up-- better wi-fi, no problem!
Interestingly, I thought because the Mac Air was running on batteries it might sound better than the Mini which has a switching supply. No so. I think the power supply is important. Many people who used the Mac Mini, now considered out of date and not as good as special made for audio computers, had surgery done to install a linear PS. Though I haven’t done that and probably won’t, the Mini seemed to have more gravitas than the Mac Air running only on batteries, so you might see if you hear a difference with the laptop plugged in v. running on batteries.
Audirvana has an ’extreme’ priority setting that overtakes a lot of competing functions on a multipurpose computer. I wanted my laptop back! (because I write or do other stuff on the computer while listening). There are a bunch of web sites if you search that talk about disabling certain functions on the Mac if you use it as a music server. You might take a look at those as well.
I use a MacBook Air with Audirvana Plus and could not be happier with the result. See my previous post on this system:
If you have access to the British magazine HiFi News, there is an article about the above system in the April edition.
@mgattmch - no pics here of your system? I remember the Gale speaker.
Something about second systems using vintage that don't cost both arms and a leg that are special. I have had the same experience, using old Quads and an assemblage of equipment most of which I had for decades, restored. It's musical and doesn't demand anything other than that the listener enjoy.
you can set up a virtual system, Marcus, so that when somebody clicks on your name, it offers a link to that. It will allow you to load a bunch of photos. Click on my name as an example of what I’m referring to; there is probably an FAQ here on how to do it.
In terms of posting photos within a discussion thread, there is a link button but I simply use the tried and true: [url]XXXXX[/url]
Obviously, the photos have to be hosted somewhere, but there are plenty of sites that do that for free.
Marcus, you can get good sound w/Mac as a source, but I would strongly suggest better software than iTunes. Audirvana+ is a good place to start w/Mac as source. Rip all your CDs into AIFF format(mac and iTunes compatible) and Buy downloads in high rez AIFF (or FLAC and convert them). Inexpensive devices like Regen, Schiit Wyrd, or iFi double-headed USB will also make very noticeable improvements. There are tons of threads detailing all these suggestions. Read up, bro!
Down the road other servers to replace the Mac will be an option if you build a library of uncompressed files. If you use crappy iTunes files, you will never get good results. Cheers,