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pablolie
2007-03-02, 07:00
Let's say you had to start from utter scratch right now and build a system... what would your choices be?

It seems we're getting to the point where with some audiophile level active speakers setup and just a SB3 or Transporter and some very good cabling some awesome results can be achieved. I don't know of anyone that has such a system yet, but I'd be very curious. And tempted.

Sugestions, experiences? I will be dividing my life between 2 continents soon, and would like a high quality audio system in both places. One's covered with what I have, the other one will be built around a SB3 or Transporter.

egd
2007-03-02, 07:11
Let's say you had to start from utter scratch right now and build a system... what would your choices be?


Transporter >> ATC SCA 2 >> ATC SCM100SL AT or ATC SCM150SL AT

cliveb
2007-03-02, 08:03
It seems we're getting to the point where with some audiophile level active speakers setup and just a SB3 or Transporter and some very good cabling some awesome results can be achieved. I don't know of anyone that has such a system yet, but I'd be very curious. And tempted.
My system is a Transporter directly feeding a pair of ATC SCM100A active speakers via its balanced outputs. You don't get much more minimalist than that.

Are the results "awesome"? All I can say is that the system sounds pretty damn good to me - it's certainly the best sound I've ever had.

adamslim
2007-03-02, 08:07
I was chatting with some guys from Meridian last year and they all had loads of Squeezeboxes driving their digital active speakers. Now that is minimal...

Adam

konut
2007-03-02, 10:36
Make sure the actives are large enough so that you don't need a sub, and that your computer is powerful enough to run the Inguz plug-in, and you're there, dude!

egd
2007-03-02, 13:56
My system is a Transporter directly feeding a pair of ATC SCM100A active speakers via its balanced outputs.

What are you doing for volume control?

Andyoz
2007-03-02, 15:35
My kitchen system is just a SB3 feeding a pair of these...

http://www.digitalprosound.com/Htm/Reviews/2000/Oct/JBL-LSR25P.htm

cliveb
2007-03-02, 16:23
What are you doing for volume control?
13dB of passive attenuation inserted into the XLR plugs at the speaker end (yes, I know it's a weird amount - I wanted about 12dB and the resistors I had available ended up giving 13dB), then using the Transporter digital volume control.

Normal listening levels are usually between -10dB and -16dB on the Transporter scale, which leaves a fair bit of headroom for head-banging sessions. For background listening, it's typically somewhere between -20dB and -30dB.

egd
2007-03-02, 20:35
13dB of passive attenuation inserted into the XLR plugs at the speaker end (yes, I know it's a weird amount - I wanted about 12dB and the resistors I had available ended up giving 13dB), then using the Transporter digital volume control.

Normal listening levels are usually between -10dB and -16dB on the Transporter scale, which leaves a fair bit of headroom for head-banging sessions. For background listening, it's typically somewhere between -20dB and -30dB.

Unless I've misunderstood or missed something, anything other than 100% volume through the SB3 or Transporter results in a lossy audio signal being sent to the speakers, which would for all intents and purposes negate the need for a Transporter and/or ATC monitors, not so?

On another note, what interconnects are you using?

cliveb
2007-03-03, 03:13
Unless I've misunderstood or missed something, anything other than 100% volume through the SB3 or Transporter results in a lossy audio signal being sent to the speakers, which would for all intents and purposes negate the need for a Transporter and/or ATC monitors, not so?
You've misunderstood. The digital volume control in the SB and Transporter operates at 24 bit resolution, while the source files (ripped from CD) are 16 bit. Any volume attenuation up to -30dB is arranged such that not one single bit is lost in the signal that is sent to the 24 bit DAC. Of course, there is a slight S/N ratio degradation as attenuation is applied, but since the noise floor of the Transporter is about -130dB to start with, this is a moot point. The digital volume control has been discussed many times on these forums - a quick search should find you plenty of background reading.


On another note, what interconnects are you using?
I use the cables supplied by ATC. They have Neutrik XLR plugs, and I believe they are some sort of microphone cable (Belkin?). Unfortunately they are a rather vivid red - I think a more neutral colour would have been preferable.

pablolie
2007-03-03, 04:39
You've misunderstood. The digital volume control in the SB and Transporter operates at 24 bit resolution, while the source files (ripped from CD) are 16 bit. Any volume attenuation up to -30dB is arranged such that not one single bit is lost in the signal that is sent to the 24 bit DAC.

Good info, I'd read that one ought to disable every volume feature for maximum audio quality in some wiki.

A question about the built-in DA (in the SB) and the RCA outputs: is there a volume level at which the interface operates "optimally" - or can one just assume the best thing is to keep it maxed out and there'll be no distortion there, ever?

egd
2007-03-03, 05:21
You've misunderstood...

Thanks for clarifying this, I'd seen some posts in the past and seemed to recall anything below 100% resulted in discarding data, I obviously need to revisit this.

I've just read http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?ConnectToPowerAmp and would appreciate clarification of the following which seems to contradict what we're discussing here:
Why not just use the digital volume control?
One reason not to depend on the digital volume control is that Slim Devices audio players are driven by software. There is always a risk (however small) of a software defect that causes the analog output to go to full levels by accident. This would result in the potential speaker or hearing damage if the levels are not matched.

Reducing the volume on the Transporter or Squeezebox occurs in the digital domain before the DAC. If you have to keep the volume very low to "fix" the line level mismatch, you are losing dynamic range and SNR.

An owner has tested Squeezebox audio performance to show the impact of operation in the low end of the digital volume control.

The Squeezebox head designer recommends attenuation for matching line levels to input sensitivity, and reserving the digital volume control for regular day to day listening control.