View Full Version : Pre-purchase questions
Thinking of an SB2. Will it work with the following?
-Dell Inspiron laptop (P4 processor, XP service pack 2), connected wirelessly with Netgear WG511T 108mbps card to Netgear DG834GT 108mbps wireless ADSL router, and possibly a Maxtor One Touch II 300gb external hard drive for extra storage capacity. There is another desktop which is wired to the router, but the intention is to stream music from the wirelessly connected Inspiron.
All advice appreciated.
It should all work fine. There are aspects of your wireless connection that cannot be evaluated from specs alone, namely, your environment including obstacles and neighboring interference.
The Inspiron is in the room next to the wireless router (approx 5m away, and divided by a single wall), which will be able to double, I assume, as the wireless access point for the SB2. As for the SB2 it will be in the same room as the Inspiron.
For those UK users out there, who did you purchase your SB2 from and how was the service? Is it possible/recommended to purchase direct from Slim Devices and have them ship it to the UK?
I bought my SB1 from Dabs and my SB2 from Scan. Excellent service from both. I'd buy in the UK for a number of reasons.
1. You'll get it faster; next day if you wish.
2. In the unlikely event of it going (or arriving) faulty it will be quicker, cheaper and easier to return under warranty.
3. A US import will have VAT and duty to be paid on it and some carriers charge a customs clearance fee (not insubstantial) on top.
4. This isn't really an issue in this instance as Slim Devices are an eminently responsible and respectable company but it's generally good advice when comparing home with foreign purchase. With credit card purchases over £100, the credit card company is jointly responsible with the seller (under the Consumer Credit Act) should anything go wrong during the purchase. This protection is not enshrined in law for purchases made from companies outside the UK.
I bought my collection of 2 SB1s and 2 SB2s from Multi Task Computing http://www.multitask-computing.co.uk
I can't fault the service I have had from them, and I did put that to the test because I started out with a Slimp3 which died as a result of a faulty power supply. It was returned and quickly replaced with an SB1 (the SB having been released soon after I received my Slimp3).
I have to agree with Ken. I've had 1 x SB1 and 2 x SB2 from Multitask. Kept me informed about delays etc. when the SB2 was new and was taking a little time to hit the UK.
I've bought one SB2 from multitask, and one from dabs.
Definitely buy locally for the reasons already given. As for which one - if you have experience/relationship/account with one of them, stick with it. Otherwise go for whichever is the cheapest this week!
My next purchase will probably be from dabs because they are phenomenally quick (generally if they have it in stock I'll order it in the evening and get it next day). If things go wrong, however, you may find yourself facing an impenetrable wall of email instead of being able to speak to a real person as you might at the smaller resellers...
I'd buy locally. I bought from Dabs. They had a special offer (£30 discount) when I bought mine so they were out of stock and I had to wait a week or so but generally I've found them very efficient in the past and you can see the stock situation on the web site before placing the order. Also, I had some initial teething problems with my SB2 and just because you bought from Dabs doesn't mean that you can't call up Slim Devices support direct, they got me up and running within hours.
Finally, to reassure you about wireless, I have an almost pathologically bad set up and I have never had a single dropout (only 2 weeks of use but given my environment I'm impressed). My setup is 802.11g and I typically see an average 36.0Mbps (24.0 up to 54.0Mbps range) as reported by my laptop in the same room as my SB2.
Why do I say I have such a horrible environment? Well, don't forget that 802.11g uses the 2.4GHz band which is shared with lots of stuff. I live in a block of flats so right now I can see my wireless access point plus 5 others from my neighbours (one of which is a stronger signal than mine). I also have 3 DECT cordless phone base stations (that's not handsets, that's base stations) and 8 DECT handsets plus the laptop that I'm typing this on right now and am connected via 802.11g as well, I have a mobile phone with Bluetooth active sitting about 10 feet from my 802.11g base station, and on top of all that my microwave oven is in pretty much direct path between my SB2 and my base station. And the damn thing just works!!!! Amazing (I think). The 2.4GHz collision avoidance procedures really do seem to work, at least for me.
Oh, I should also mention that just to pile on the pain I have all my music encoded as FLAC, and not at a particularly high compression setting (I typically only have about 35% saving vs uncompressed WAV files) so I also require significantly more wireless bandwidth than MP3 encoded music would require
Thanks for all the advice guys! Very useful.
I'm planning on encoding most if not all of my music in an uncompressed form (sound quality is of primary concern as I'm hoping to eventually retire my CD player in favour of the SB2). What have you found to be the best means of doing this? Also, what have you found to be the best (in terms of sound quality) form of lossless/lossy compression. Sorry for the endless questions!
EAC/FLAC. Search for info!
Is there an article on FLAC & EAC in the wiki yet? There really should be! Any volunteers?
If it's any use:
EAC/FLAC. Search for info!
There's some stuff on
It may not be waht you want though.
EAC/FLAC. Search for info!
I'll second that recommendation. The big problem with going totally uncompressed (WAV) is that you can't tag WAV files so even if you don't care about disk space (I don't really care myself) it is worth going FLAC just for the tagging.
Another advantage is that you can stream FLAC over the wireless network so, even though my experience is of rock solid network performance, it still seems to make sense to give yourself a bit of an extra safety margin by reducing the wireless bandwidth required to transfer the music to your SB2 as it is playing.
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