Seattle Hi-Fi recognizes the sonic benefits from proper isolation, vibration reduction, and resonance control whether it be in the form of loudspeaker cabinet construction, speaker stands, turntable platters, or, as in this case, Mac Mini platforms. In fact, even the smallest structural vibrations combine with and modulate the audio in your electronic components and can be responsible for blurring of details, smearing of the soundstage, and a reduction of fullness, presence and weight to the bass.
The Mac Platform was specifically designed for those who use the 2010 and newer Mac Mini for high fidelity audio. Atomic Audio Labs discovered the Mac Mini is very sensitive to vibration which affects its sonic performance. They also concluded that putting anything on top of the Mac Mini degraded the sound. After countless hours of listening to different configurations and materials they settled on the current platform design. Their listening tests confirmed that the bass was tighter, and seemed to extend lower. They experienced a clearer and a more coherent mid-range. The highs appear to extend with improved clarity and a smooth sweetness. There is now a better sense of time and space around the instruments with the Mac Platform. The music has a deeper, wider soundstage, with a more focused image.
Quality, consistency and performance are very important to Atomic Audio Labs. This is why their isolation platforms are made with the finest available materials and the highest quality precision CNC milling processes. In fact, they use the same CNC suppliers that Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories use, so you can imagine how exacting the tolerances are in our isolation platforms. These manufacturing processes insure that all platforms are consistent in performance, fit and finish.
The cylinder wells are filled with specially blended sizes of lead shot with the appropriate weight as to absorb the proper amount unwanted vibration. They chose to use a specific type of cast acrylic because of its energy absorbing properties. Then their listening tests confirmed that coupling the Mac Platform to the surface on which it sits upon also yielded a noticeable improvement thus they machined three (3) strategically placed threaded spots on the acrylic as to thread in the included chrome plated brass spikes. In addition to all of their design features mentioned above they wanted to insure that the Mac Mini did not move while placed atop the Mac Platform so they permanently affixed a special rubberized mat to the circular area on top of the Mac Platform.
After conducting our own tests with and without the platform we concluded that the improvement to the sound is stunningly audible and includes:
- Increased width and depth to both the soundstage and between instruments and vocals;
- More detail: sounds which had been smeared over are now clearer and you may hear things that you never heard before;
- Deeper, fuller tones, with more presence, pace, impact, and decay;
- Seperation is easier to identify — each layer and instrument is more discernable;
- Slight reduction of fatiguing edginess;
- More musical, “natural” sound.
We commend Atomic Audio Labs for their creativity, engineering, and the resulting product.
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