So you plugged an external USB drive into the SB Touch directly? Humm Im gonna have to try that, seeing as though I have a 750Gb external drive with power supply just sitting there. I have heard this can be unreliable, so gonna format the drive, plonk the 3600 odd FLAC files on it, plug it in and see what happens. If it works, would mean I no longer have to have the laptop turned on.
Still no problem; even tried ejecting and disconnecting the hard drive. On reconnecting, the SB server had to restart and I had to navigate back to the drive in the menus but it's all working fine.....so far
Cyrus 8vs2 (+ PSX-R), Cyrus X Power Amp (+ PSX-R), Squeezebox Touch, Silver High Breed Quintessence Cables, PMC FB1i Speakers.
Hi fi is for Life
Just had a glitch; music stopped, had to restart and a fresh scan started
Still, can listen to Spotify or Radio during the few minutes it's scanning, but I'm hoping this is an isolated incident or it's back to connecting to the PC.
Just found my joy using a Netgear NAS with a SBT. Works wonderfully, super fast and very silent product!
Nah, it's all gone a bit haywire; gone back to plugging the external HD into the PC.
Hum so not that reliable afterall...thanks for the update! I've copied my FLAC collection to external drive, havent gotten around to trying yet. May be I wont bother...who knows
HiFi #1: Wadia 861 CD & digital i/o | Transparent Ultra MM Balanced | Muse Electronics Model Three Hundred Monoblocks | Townshend Isolda Biwire | ATC SCM40s | Partington AV Minim with granite shelves | Samsung PS50Q97HD | Humax FOX Sat HDR | Sony BDP-s470 | Cambridge Audio DAB500
HiFi #2 : Squeezebox Touch lossless FLAC | DNM Interconnect | Merdian 206B CD | Cable Talk Broadcast 2s | Denon DRM-600 deck | MF FM1 Tuner | AR EB101 TT w/Roksan Blue | MF P-100 pre | DNM Interconnect | MF X-A200 power | Nordost Flatline triwire | EPOS ES30
Ok, finally managed to try the SBT --> ampli vs SBT --> coax --> rDAC --> ampli and I must say I do not hear any difference. It was a short listening, I might need more time (and music) to come up with a definitive answer but as a first impression is that there is no sensible difference (or maybe my system is not revealing enough).
I might try to compare real time SBT --> ampli vs PC --> usb --> rDAC --> ampli...
Interesting, maybe that RDAC not a big enough step up from SBT Dac to notice difference.
If you do the toolbox mods and like them, it might be worth trying again after that to see if any noticable difference.
Source:- Naim CD5XS
Amp:- Naim Nait 5i-2
Speakers:- Neat Motive 3 on Partington Super Dreadnoughts
Speaker Cable:- NAC A5
Mains:- Wireworld Matrix Block + Music Works ReEntry
I might need more time (and music) to come up with a definitive answer but as a first impression is that there is no sensible difference (or maybe my system is not revealing enough).
I'm sure your system is revealing enough if the changes are signficant enough to really care about.
Having tried a few budget DACs and not noticed massive differences, I recently hooked up a better DAC. Even in my second system with cheap 20+ year old budget speakers and an old budget/mid range amp, the difference is so big you'd be deaf not to hear it!
Better...by how much? What you consider a better DAC worth spending money on to upgrade the rDAC and start getting a sensible difference? I was planning to try the Audiolab M-DAC, do you think it would be a good step up? Any other suggestion on more exotic DAC (with phono input) worth trying?
i might do the tirck this weekend. Quick question...if I disable the wlan on the SBT, the Squeezebox controller won't work anymore ? Or it connects directly to the wi-fi network and not directly to the SBT itself?
The "better" DAC that's really opened my mind is a Sugden. It was a very expensive DAC in the 1990's (1200+ pounds?). Used price today is about the same price as the rDac new--if you're lucky enough to find one (I'm not selling mine, ever!)!. It's 16/44 only and no USB or optical inputs.
I haven't heard the M-DAC, but other user impressions and reviews are good. I guess it's technically excellent. My main concern would be if it's truely "musical" but that's subjective...and perhaps it is musical anyway.
Not sure what other DAC I'd suggest, maybe listen to some good CD players (1000 pounds +) in dealers shops and compare them to the rDac/M-DAC when you audition the amps. That way, you have some idea about how much difference a good source can make to a system. There are some who believe that all DACs (and thus all CD players) basically sound the same.
Once you've heard, you'll have a better idea of what it would be worth spending (or not) on the source.
The remote that comes with the SBT has an option in the toolbox the disable IR so that it won't work as far as I understand. I don't use remote however. This option is seperate from disabling WLAN.
If WLAN mod is disabled (as I have it) then you can connect to your SBT via PC wirelessly. When I enabled WLAN mod (IE to turn off WLAN) then you need to connect via ethernet to SBT.
I am not sure what the seperate controller you purchased is or how this works if by IR or to your PC/NAS wirelessly.
Suggest starting with the WLAN version of download and test your controller before turning off IR. If no good then turn on IR with command "tt -ir".
"tt -s" will show you what is turned on/off.
Note there is a you tube walkthrough for mods which I recommend as well as reading instructions a few times.
I have some instuctions in Microsoft Word if interested.
That's my concern as well, if I go for the Musical Fidelity AMS35i do you think a MF DAC would make sense and would be a good step up from the SBT DAC? I would be keen to consider the M2Tech Young also but unfortunately do not have a phono input which is soemthing I am looking for also! Just out of curiosity, what Sugden DAC do you have?
I was thinking that the matching MF CD/DAC must surely be worth a listen even if just for education, but I just checked the price--it's crazy expensive--you can buy a new car for that money! So it might be a step up, but I'm not sure about it making sense! I would guess that 600-2000 GBP is going to buy you a big upgrade from a budget DAC and any more than that is probably wasted money--trophy hi-fi.
DACs make only subtle differences, but IMHO, these small differences can be responsible for creating the "illusion" of a real performance. For example, if the tone/timbre of a voice is accurate enough, the ear can believe it's really human. If a drum beats in a dynamic way, it sounds like a real drum beating. So these quite small differences translate to a big difference, the musical "illusion" sounds real. Listening to music through a poor source is like watching a film with bad actors or a bad script--suspension of disbelief isn't quite possible. If an actor says one bad line, the whole film can fall apart.
And it doesn't matter how good your speakers are, better speakers just reveal the deficiencies of what's downstream. That's probably why some expensive systems sound worse than cheaper ones. Even quite cheap speakers will make a nice sound if supplied with a good source and amp.
One important thing to consider if you get the M-DAC, it has a (reputedly very good) built in digital preamp and remote volume control, so you may only need a power amp rather than an integrated amp. (Or straight into active speakers, there are lots of fans of that arrangement on here!)
FYI, on other forums here in the UK, some folks who owned both are preferring the M-DAC to the Young. And you'll be glad to hear that the M-DAC designers are developing a powersupply upgrade and Squeezebox interface!
The DAC I have is the Au 51. Hard to find any info about it on the web, but the model I have is described here on P.13 (in French--OK for you?!)
This old DAC has a really good and rare old chip, the TDA1541A (in the S1 version which is even better and rarer--there are even faked Chinese versions of these chips on the market!). All the old DAC chips were "multibit" designs. These chips were mostly replaced by "delta sigma" dac chips because of manufacturing convenience. These delta sigma dacs can integrate many convenient functions like upsampling or volume control on the chip itself. It's equivalent to a computer with integrated graphics/sound--likely the chip designers were thinking more of "features" than of pure sound quality. Yet the real "purist" companies (sorry I don't count MF here, philosophically they are mass market/profit driven) still swear by the old chips. Even Naim in their CD players used the TDA and then, when these became in short supply, PCM 1704UK, which is itself quite rare/expensive. You can still see this chip in new(ish) Eastern exotic/enthusiast DACs like the Lite DAC 83.
So...the new kid on the block is the 32 bit ESS Sabre chip as used in the M-DAC. Technically far superior to the old chips, but it remains to be seen if the musicality of this chip matches/beats the older ones. I'm not so sure. Some reports have been good. It's probably too soon to say...the skill of the designer to find the best implementation for the power supply/output stages is still important.
In oversimplified terms, multi bit DAC chips are to delta sigma chips what valves/pure class A are to (other) solid state. Less/more pleasant distortion and a kind of fluidity.
It remains to be seen if the new generation of DAC chips are creating a paradigm shift.
So....there's the background info and some thoughts, but then you have to listen and tell us what you hear!
Well, thanks a lot for all these info, really helpful! Yes, I am glad that M-DAC is becoming more Squeezebox friendly! For now I decided I will stick with SBT as a source, I still want to have a good DAC in between for further upgrading. But now you put something else in my mind...maybe M-DAC + power amp?!?
I will plunge into the tube world this weekend as I am taking my gear and going to try some valves amps...I will try some Sonus Faber speakers as well...just to have fun
Unfortunately have to wait to listen to the MF AMS35i...and can't find any Sugden Masterclass around here...
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