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Core Audio Technology Music Server - SOLD

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Price: 450.00 USD Price is negotiable
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The Core Audio Technology Music Server is a modified apple mac mini computer enhanced  for digital rendering of musical recordings. What differentiates the Core Audio is replacing the macmini's internal power supply with a quiet power supply separated from the macmini chassis, and placed in its own housing (see images). Additionally, the power supply has a audiophile quality cable to connect to the server from the power supply.

Originally this unit with its modifications, such as the carbonfiber decal, cost about $3300, but it was worth it to get the best possible sound from an apple computer. If this interests you, add Audirvana software,  and you now have an audiophile-grade music server for pennies on the dollar. You can also run Tidal and use the core audio as a music streamer. This is a rarity, as only a few where originally made in 2014-2015 after which time the macmini's newer design made retrofitting cost-prohibitive and of lower audio playback quality.

Included is an apple display, bluetooth keyboard (wired shown in pictures) and wired mouse. Also included is a Shunyata Research Venom 1 custom power cable to enhance the performance of the power supply.  The macmini is running El Capitan.  The music server was built in 2015 but has enjoyed occasional use since then in the music reference room, comparing favorably in performance with several other servers 6-7 times its original purchase price.  The apple has a slight blemish - check image.

Buyer pays shipping. Original packaging.

From Audiogon :

"I've come close to writing audio reviews on various components that I've liked over the years, but this time I'm actually doing it because I think I've stumbled upon something that is really outstanding and which people -- everybody who's into audio, really -- should be aware of -- the power supplies for digital components made by Core Audio Technology, a relatively young company based in Los Angeles.

I must say at the outset - I think this company and its products could be a game-changer for the industry - a company that we all will have heard about in a year or two... more on that later.

After doing a ton of research, a few weeks ago I sat down with the wife and explained to her the advantages of clean power for digital audio -- taking the Mac Mini that we use as a music server off the grid with battery power, for example... Well, I was quickly told me in no uncertain terms that NO WAY IN HELL was I going to introduce a car battery into our living room or anywhere near it, no matter how big a soundstage and black a background we were talking, so that sent me back to the drawing board...

I found a handful of non-battery power supplies for digital, corresponded with a few of them, and was feeling tentative, getting the sense that this was still a somewhat undeveloped niche. Then I somehow found the Core Audio site on a google search, thought there were some intriguing blog postings on the very subject of digital audio, and sent them an email. Within minutes, I got a response from Ryan, the company's owner.

To make a long story short, Ryan's grasp of the issues of digital audio seemed to be anything but undeveloped, and I fairly quickly decided to try the entry-level power supply for my Mac Mini. It's called the Kora (most of their components have names that start with a "K" for some reason) and it's $600, also requiring the installation of an internal power filter for the Mini for a total of $1150 - not chump change, but fairly comparable to the battery option I was considering, and some of the others too.

I should mention that my system lately has included a dB Audio Tranquility SE DAC as well as an Ultra Fi DAC-41, which I've been using to feed an EL84-based Sam Kim Heathkit integrated amp (astonishing piece of gear in its own right), driving a pair of Tonian TL-D1 speakers. I've got a wonderful Sablon Audio Uber Robusto power cord feeding the Tranquility SE, and using various excellent ICs to the amp including KCI Silkworms, Ridge Street Audio Poiema 3s and Audio Magic Liquid Air Illusions.

That's some great gear, to my ears. But I believe that adding this power supply to the Mini was the biggest single improvement my system has ever had...."

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From the Absolute Sound :

March 6, 2014 - Core Audio Technology is excited to announce a new audiophile linear power supply that delivers unprecedentedly low noise, high versatility, and superb performance. It is becoming better-known, at least by the dozens of companies that are already licensing our power supply technology, just how important perfect power is for your audio system. It also happens to be that www.coreaudiotechnology.com/>Core Audio is at the forefront of power supply research and development.

Let’s meet the Kaia Audiophile Linear Power Supply
The Kaia was originally designed to spec for aerospace and satellite applications where wide bandwidth and ultra-low noise is paramount, specifying less than 1uV RMS at 12VDC. The Kaia was a redesign to allow for scalable output current and versatile dual-rail options so that the power supply could be used to drive two devices from a single unit. This is not only better bang for the buck, but also allows for simpler power management.

Dual Rail Options
The second rail on the Kaia is an optional $400 upgrade. It is best used to power a DAC, external hard drive, or PCIe USB card. Many customers use the primary rail to power a computer and the secondary rail to power their DAC. The secondary rail utilizes a Belleson low noise regulator, so you are guaranteed excellent performance from our second rail as well, no LM317s here.

Scalable Current
Many of Core Audio’s partners sell custom music servers. Some servers utilize 400 to 700watt power supplies, and so it is important that output current be fully scalable. Transistors are kept on their own separate boards to allow for additional boards to be added as necessary for over 150A of maximum output current. Obviously this isn’t needed for our Mac Mini music servers or most devices, but it’s good to have the room for expansion should it be necessary. Current can be scaled on both primary and secondary rails. Of course, the power supply only draws from what wall what it needs. So just because it can output 25A doesn’t mean it will use 25A from your wall at all times.

 

Location

Seattle, United States, North America

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