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Soundbridge or Squeezebox??

Hi, I'm after a bit of feedback on the Soundbridge and Squeezebox devices if anyone can help.  After a house move I had to ditch my separates for something more compact, I have an Onkyo micro unit.  I'm now in the market for a wireless streaming device to get the music back off my PC (CD's are all packed away to save space).

The Slimdevices Squeezebox 3 seems to receive good reviews, as does the Soundbridge.  According to a post on these forums the Soundbridge M1001 has a problem with low-level noise in the upfiltering.  However I have seen the unit available for under 100pounds, which makes it seem like a good deal, compared to the 180ish for the squeezebox.  Any pointers would be appreciated.

 

Anonymous
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Re: Soundbridge or Squeezebox??

I have owned a Soundbridge for over a year and have been happy with it's performance, I wasn't aware of the Slimserver when I bought it... it seems that all the bugs have been fixed with firmware upgrades. There is no noticeable low noise, I listen to internet radio and stream wirelessly from itunes. My system is Musical Fidelity based original X-Series through Mission 752F speakers. Aesthetically I do prefer the look of the slimserver. There is not much between them but if I had the choice again I'd probably buy the Slimserver because of it's look. Hope this helps.

Anonymous
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Re: Soundbridge or Squeezebox??

I have a Soundbridge M1001. I had a few network issues with it connected wirelessly but I solved those with a bigger router aerial and I haven't looked back. It's a fantastic piece of kit and has an extremely active community. They are very receptive to upgrade ideas through the forums and add new functionality all the time. I'm about to upgrade and get a 2nd unit for another room and I intend to put one in every room eventually (you can link 10 in total). They appear to have just dropped in price significantly and you can get them for £85 if you look around (I paid £130 for mine a year ago) 

 

 

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Re: Soundbridge or Squeezebox??

Before getting my M2000 I did a lot of reading about streaming music to my hifi. Reading the various forums I became aware that the new versions of the Roku (M1001 and Pinnacle M1000) have a different chip set to the older Roku M1000 & M2000 models.

For the main processor to do its job it required that the feed be at 48K sample rate. This is higher then the 44.1K that CDs use

To get round this Roku commissioned an algorithm which digitally converted the sample rate.

The fact is this is VERY difficult to do in real time, resampling of this type requiring a great deal of processing power. The main problem is that the resampling ratio (44.1/48) is not an integer. If this is not done right you will get mathematically induced digital artifacts which translate to noise.

Funny enough lots of people started writing in (on the Roku Forum) complaining that they could hear noise. Roku's reaction to this has been various levels of denial and silence.

A magazine did a review of new Soundbridge both audition and technical see:

http://www.stereophile.com/mediaservers/507roku/index.html

This goes on for 5 pages and makes interesting reading

For me the case was clear that I was not going to take the risk that I could hear the sound which is why I opted for a second hand M2000 from Ebay. I know my Hifi would be good enough that there would be a high probability that the noise would present itself .

I would recommend a second hand M1000/M2000 or the Squeezebox

Anonymous
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Re: Soundbridge or Squeezebox??

Thanks for the link Anton, it certainly makes interesting reading. That's the first review of the Roku I have seen. I haven't noticed a significant problem with background noise or colouration when using the Soundbridge myself. I primarily listen to dance music so whether this has some impact is a possibility. I would certainly agree that the digital output provides a richer sound than the analogue though.
 

I've not had the opportunity to listen to a Squeezebox on my system, and I will confess that when I bought the Soundbridge my purchase was based upon budget, looks and the ability to play DRM protected music. Nothing that I have experienced suggests that this was a white elephant by any means. A substantial proportion of my music is in lossy format so I guess if you are going to be listening exclusively to FLACs or similar then you might be a little more concerned about the background noise issue, but as I mentioned I haven't really seen this at all.

I've also not experienced any of the other multitude of problems the reviewer lists: buffering, inability to surf the net whilst using, being firewalled. Though I would advise if you get a digital music player for wireless connection that you upgrade your antenna to a decent 10dB separate.

 

I think for me where the Soundbridge does excel is it's versatility. I have mine connected to my main system in the lounge but I have also used it out in the garden connected to some active speakers. At the current price of less than half the price of the Sqeezebox I think they are an absolute steal.

Anonymous
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Re: Soundbridge or Squeezebox??

I have owned a Soundbridge for over a year and am very pleased with it. I use it mainly for internet radio but I also stream audio from my PC using windows media player and it works great. I have noticed that Amazon have the Pinnacle version for £39.99 which, assuming it is not too different from the Roku version, has to be a bargain

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