Price: $1200 (2018 model).

Design: 2018 Apple MacBook Air, 13″ Retina display, 1.6GHz Dual-Core Intel i5 processor, 8GB memory, 250GB hard drive.

Why I chose it: This is easily the most controversial component in the Ultra Reference System.


I’m not going to delve into the technical reasons for choosing—or not choosing—an Apple MacBook as your music server, but I will say that when I’ve had other servers in to audition, and then reverted to the MacBook, I’ve never been disappointed.


The choice of server is no doubt impacted by your choice of DAC and how that DAC handles the incoming signal.


As of now, I have no plans to update this aspect of the Ultra Reference System.

. . . Jeff Fritz