Have your say & ask the experts!

New DAC or SBT

12 replies [Last post]
utkarsh's picture
Offline
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 1

I'm thinking of getting a squeezebox touch to stream FLAC instead of using Asus Oplay Mini. I have a marantz sr5005 and would use digital coax to connect the SBT but i'm wondering if using an external dac and the marantz to amplify would provide better results. I have my eye on a MF VDAC II or CDAC Magic because it supports up to 24/192 without upconverting and is not expensive. Do you recommend a setup or other dac?

__________________

Marantz SR5005 ||MS Aviano 2 & 5 || Velodyne Impact-10 ||Wharfedale Diamond 10.DFS || Samsung Plasma PS51D550 || Chord Rumor 2 || ASUS O!Play HD2|| Airtel Digital TV || Belkin HDMI & Optical cables || iPad 3g || || iPhone 4 || Klipsch S4i ||

DIB
DIB's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 2018
RE: New DAC or SBT

Get a SBT and just try its own internal DAC first and see what you think, you'll be more than impressed I'm sure. I have been and have no plans or need to add an external DAC.

 

If you're not happy with it on it's own then try an external DAC. I'm sure there's lots of people who will say that their SBT sounds better via this DAC or that DAC etc.  Fair enough, what works for you personally is best. There's another school of thought (on another forum) that says adding a £200+ PSU will give great improvements too. If I ever go down that route, then shoot me.

 

Don't be fooled by the SBT's diminutive size, and low price. It's a big performer.

 

.

__________________

Creek Evolution 5350 amp with Sequel 40 phonostage -  Creek Evolution 2 CDP - Squeezebox Touch 

Pro-Ject 2-Xperience Classic Acryl with 2M Blue

Epos Elan 30s - Van Damme SC & Epiphany Atratus ICs

nads's picture
Offline
Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 3203
RE: New DAC or SBT

Another one for buy the SBT and try it as it is.

 

Then play with DACs and see what you think.

__________________

Not a HiFi Nut. Just has a pile of Nads.

Xanderzdad's picture
Offline
Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 475
RE: New DAC or SBT

+1 for the SBT

__________________

Home Cinema - Sky HD, Panasonic DMP-BDT210, Denon AVR 2808 (Pre amp into MF A3.2 Amp), Monitor Audio Silver S8, MA RS Silver LCR, 4x Q Acoustics 1010 + sub, Mitsubishi HC7000 HD Projector

Stereo - PC/NAS (Synology DS212J), Squeezebox Touch via CAT6, MF A3.2 Amp, Monitor Audio Silver S8

ReValveiT's picture
Offline
Joined: 2 Aug 2010
Posts: 127
RE: New DAC or SBT

SBT on its own will surprise you.

 

I had mine through an rDac but decided to sell it after giving the SB analog outs a try. Blew me away.

Scissor_digits's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Dec 2003
Posts: 294
RE: New DAC or SBT

Another for SBT

 

Last year I tried Russ Andrews power supply for the SBT, to my ears there was zero difference so swiftly returned. I got my DAC way below RRP and to my ears does offer a very slight improvement to the SBT's own DAC. My next upgrade step will be to look at a Audiolab M-DAC or similar

__________________

Naim Unitiqute 2 > Kef LS50

 

Synology DS214play NAS

bluedroog's picture
Offline
Joined: 4 Mar 2010
Posts: 388
RE: New DAC or SBT

A DAC such as the CA won't sound any better than the DAC in the Touch, you need to look at the likes of the Rega and M-DAC in the £500+ range to go up a level. With that in midn I'd go for the Touch everytime.

def lugs's picture
Offline
Joined: 3 Jul 2010
Posts: 179
RE: New DAC or SBT

My experience is that yes the a CA dacmagic2 does not give any improvement over the SBT dac. However connect CA dacmagic2 to my oppo93 to stream music provides a noticable improvement in presentation over the SBT.

 

This leads my to think that the dac in the SBT is good but performance is limited by the quality of the signal provided by the circuits which decodes the file.

 

I will say when auditioning Network music players - I preferred the SBT to the CA NP30 but the CA stream magic 6 was head and shoulders above both of them. 

 

chelstondave's picture
Offline
Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 60
RE: New DAC or SBT

Recently sold my dacmagic as SBT sounded slightly but definitely better. IMHO SBT can't be faulted fot SQ and flexibility at price.

Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 20
RE: New DAC or SBT

I had been using my Touch with an expensive Theta Pro Progeny A dac, but the wife decide I had too much kit on display, so duly sold on the dac, and much to my surprise I was more than happy with the sound of the Touch minus £1700 Theta.

But.....and it's a big one, I had read a lot of very favourable reviews from owners of Stan Beresford's new Bushmaster dac, which sells for around £200, one guy proclaimed that it's sound quality was superior to just about every dac he had owned, and that was a lot, and many of them upwards of a grand.

So, I decided to take a punt, and whilst driving past North London, arranged to pick one up direct from Stan.

I can state that it blew the Theta and it's sexy anti jitter and posh upgrade PSU out of the water!

The sound can only be described as holographic, and continues to put a smile on my face a couple of months down the line.

If its an either or question, get a Touch, but if funds allow, get a Beresford Bushmaster to go with it, you will be amazed at what it brings to the party!

Should add that the Bushmaster is lots smaller than the Theta, and I got it In under the wife's radar!

Scissor_digits's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Dec 2003
Posts: 294
RE: New DAC or SBT

Having previously considered an M-DAC I've been reading reports/reviews on the Beresford Bushmaster so I've just ordered the Beresford.

__________________

Naim Unitiqute 2 > Kef LS50

 

Synology DS214play NAS

Joined: 30 Mar 2011
Posts: 20
RE: New DAC or SBT

Scissor_digits wrote:

Having previously considered an M-DAC I've been reading reports/reviews on the Beresford Bushmaster so I've just ordered the Beresford.

 

I sincerely believe you will not regret that wise decision!

oceanmoves's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 Jun 2008
Posts: 9
RE: New DAC or SBT

I recently decided to go digital with my existing Amp/Cd Player/Speakers combo circa 2007:

Monitor Audio BR5 Speakers
Rotel RA0-05 Amp
Marantz CD6002 CD Player

I settled on a Logitech Squeezebox touch, fed wirelessly with FLAC files
from my ZOTAC ZBOX (Media PC).

While it's good sound for the money and what it offers, it didnt reach my CD Player for sound quality,
so I looked at a DAC. Decided to take a punt on the Bushmaster DAC, connected to the
Squeezebox touch with coax digital cable.

The results surpass my existing CD combo.... in terms of unforced detail, separation,
and a general sense of "non digital like" sound, I'm loving the results.

To my ear the digital out from the Squeeze is equal if not better than from the Marantz, via coax.
Results when connecting PS3 or TV optical outs to the Bushmaster wern't as impressive, however,
which I'd put down to an inferior quality source - good, but not very noticiably better than from
the TV or PS 3 themselves.