by Kevin OBrien on October 15, 2021


When will we see an update to the latest 2018 Mac Mini? We have been patiently waiting for Apple to release another model since the 2018 variant. Why have we been waiting so patiently? The 2018 version of Apple's Mini demands the largest power draw of any Mini made to date. That means we would need to totally revamp our YFS PS-12m linear power supply to output even more power, mainly in the current delivery department. This was something we really didn't want to take on as we've already squeezed every last drop of power from our original design. We were dreading having to start from scratch with a new LPS as we just do not have the time.

So, we were stuck, until now... Apple has recently unveiled their M1 chip in the latest Mac Mini form factor for 2020! This is exciting stuff. The 2020 M1 version of the Mac Mini requires the least amount of power of any Mini produced thus far. By placing most of the critical components on the motherboard itself, including RAM and the super efficient M1 processor, the 2020 Mac Mini uses minimal power and draws very little current. Apple placed the same switching power supply inside the M1 Mini as the 2018 Mini, but the extra power is not needed (The 2018 Mini stock switching power supply is rated at ~150 Watts!).

This is the perfect scenario to allow our current YFS PS-12m linear power supply to be integrated into the latest Mini form factor. We came up with an entirely re-designed YFS internal power filter just for this purpose.

So what do we mean when we say "modify" exactly? The modification consists of three steps. First, we take apart the Mini and remove the stock Apple switching power supply. Second, we place our YFS M1 Internal Power Filter in its place (pictured below) and put the Mini back together. Third, we simply hook the PS-12m umbilical up to the rear of the Mini. DONE! Now you're off to the races. 

There's a considerable difference in sound quality between the Late 2012 Mini of old and this latest 2020 M1 version. You don't have to strain to hear it either. It's obvious. Our soundstage grew wider, taller, and deeper. Small nuances in the music suddenly appeared and called attention to themselves like never before. There appeared to be a sense of air and space that was missing previously. This was all brought to our attention while streaming lossy Pandora from our web browser! Just wait until we put on some local Hi-Res files.

We did just that after our initial Pandora session. We fired up some SRV Texas Flood in DSD128 using Audirvana 3.5. WOW!  (Here is a link to the AV 3.5 download as AV Studio is the latest version). We recently found ourselves on a SACD-ripping kick with our Sony BDP-S5100. This has opened up an entirely new world as far as available DSD to feed our DACs. Anyway, back on track. Let's try some Dire Straits. Next we listened to our Brothers In Arms MOFI SACD rip and came away with a similar conclusion as above. WOW!

We are confident in our assessment here.  The new YFS M1 Mini is our favorite digital source for the money!  There's simply just not that much $$$ going into this transport and what we're getting out of it is incredible. A 2020 M1 Mini can be had for ~ $1000. Our YFS modification will run you $700. Most of our Mac Mini customers already have our YFS PS-12m linear power supply in their racks. If not, there are plenty of options out there if our PS-12m price tag is too high ($1800 MSRP). Luckily, there are plenty of manufacturers making 'affordable' 12V power supplies these days.

Finally, great sounding digital can be had for minimal expense, all things considered. Not only that, you can still control your own digital destiny. We don't like 'streamers' as there's no way to fix them when they go wonky or need to be updated. With a Mac Mini, you have a way to update, add music easily, and repair without being out of commission for very long (almost all of us have an Apple repair center close by). OS X software updates and music playback software updates become elementary and the user is in control. This allows us to pivot and change when new software is released (and new hardware for that matter as DACs change quickly). We like this... We like this A LOT.  Apparently, so do our customers as this modification is our best selling product!

If you've been waiting to get into that latest digital source component and you have a 12 Volt power supply laying around (that can deliver at least 4.5 Amps), why not give it a shot? Feel free to drop us a line and we can help with any questions you may have.

* The YFS M1 Internal Power Filter is available on its own. Send us $375 if you want to do the modification at home *


Thanks for reading.

- YFS Design Team