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Thread: Weak Link ?

  1. #1
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    Weak Link ?

    Hi,

    At last, I have a SB2 - wonderfull bit of kit - small silent and remote to cd collection - FAB.

    However, I am in need of some help or suggestions, I seem to have lost a slight but noticable amount of clarity/dynamics.

    --System Set Up Pre SB2:
    Lacie 500GB Firewire HDD with wma lossless files
    Laptop with WMP9
    M-Audio Audiophile USB sound card
    Chord Signature Digital Cable
    Arcam AVR200
    Cambridge Audio Pacific Interconnect
    Rega Maia3 to fronts

    Quite pleased with the sound.

    --System Set Up After file advice from these forums:
    Lacie 500GB Firewire HDD with EAC/FLAC files
    Laptop with Slimserver
    rest same as above.

    Quite amazed at the difference just by changing ripping style and file type, To me bass now sounded so much nicer and tight, so so much more separation and clarity...wow

    --System Set Up with SB2:
    Lacie 500GB Firewire HDD with EAC/FLAC files
    Desktop PC
    Network Cable to D-Link Wireless Router
    Wireless SB2 (volume fixed on max & no limit cbr)
    Chord Signature Digital Cable
    Arcam AVR200
    Cambridge Audio Pacific Interconnect
    Rega Maia3 to fronts

    Seems to be a slight loss in dynamics/clarity......??

    I have tried the SB2 DAC with the interconnects Pacific and then QED2, I seem to prefer the digital o/p and letting the Arcam decode, maybe just because my interconnects need upgrading.

    I very much look forward to hearing any comments or suggestions to get back that slight loss in clarity/dynamics.

    All I can think of:
    Maybe upgrade the Pacific interconnect?
    Maybe mains filter - both amps or just SB2?
    errrrrmm any settings I may need to check?
    Last edited by Deaf Cat; 2005-08-24 at 14:58.

  2. #2
    Jeff Moore
    Guest

    Weak Link ?

    2005-08-24-15:42:13 Deaf Cat:
    > I very much look forward to hearing any comments or suggestions to get
    > back that slight loss, which I now miss.
    >
    > All I can think of:
    > Maybe upgrade the Pacific interconnect?
    > Maybe mains filter - both amps or just SB2?
    > errrrrmm any settings I may need to check?


    It's not at all obvious to me what the answer is. One thing you might
    try, against the possibility that the new setup has changed electrical
    noise coupling in a way you find unpleasing, is to take what's
    conventionally (in audiophilic circles) considered a step backward and
    use a Toslink digital cable between the SB2 and the Arcam -- that, and
    get the wireless SB2's RF-rich little self physically far away from the
    other audio gear.

    Whatever you figure out, though, I hope you'll report back.

  3. #3
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    Maybe your SB2 just need a little more burn-in time? There's also a server setting where you need to specify "No limit" on the bit rate.

    Having said that though, I prefer to use the digital out too.

  4. #4
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    One thing you might try, against the possibility that the new setup has changed electrical noise coupling in a way you find unpleasing, is to take what's conventionally (in audiophilic circles) considered a step backward and use a Toslink digital cable between the SB2 and the Arcam...
    I did exactly this when I noted the exact same symptoms when playing through coax to my MSB Link DAC. Compared to my Pioneer DV525 player (at least a 5-year old unit), the SB2 sounded congested and full of "digititis". Using toslink (again, thinking that in most audiophile circles this would be a step backward) opened up the soundstage, removed a layer of hash, and basically turned a situation where the SB2 was worse than the Pioneer as a transport to one where it is slightly better. Try it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Weak Link ?

    On Wed, 2005-08-24 at 12:42 -0700, Deaf Cat wrote:
    > Arcam AVR200


    Did you A/B using the SB2 as a DAC?
    And did you try Toslink rather than coax? While
    audiophiles sniff at toslink, it does eliminate
    any chance of ground loops.

    I've never heard (or even seen) an arcam, the reviews look
    very good, but it is only a $1200 receiver. It is very
    hard to know if it actually should sound better than a SB2,
    since the SB2 uses a Texas Instruments PCM1748 DAC chip,
    and it seems Sean and company took care in the design.

    > errrrrmm any settings I may need to check?


    And you did verify that there was no converting going on at the
    SlimServer end, right? It would be terrible to do testing while
    the slimserver is transcoding the audio to something evil
    like MP3


    --
    Pat
    http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimse...msoftware.html



  6. #6
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    Week Link?

    Cool -

    A good while ago I read quite a bit about Optical vs Coax, and coax seemed to come out on top, hence I went down the route of audio testing various coax cables at home - But I have since forgoten what on earth I had read many moons ago.

    - Is "light" bothered if it travels down a cheap cable or expensive one ? (I will see if I can borrow one if they are going to be expensive just for testing)


    Sorry Pat, is A/B short for blind testing?
    In case it is ... No, I did not do a blind test I just used my usual playlist for sound testing, sat back shut eyes concentrated on each track with each different set of cables. But, I do feel it is a bit unfair comparing a ú180 digital cable to a couple of ú30 interconnects. It is in the plan to get a decent interconnect which should make the tests fairer.

    Good Point - This conversion thing at the Slimserver end which may be kicking out the MP3 blurb - is this in the Server Settings File Types Section?
    I have looked here before and forgive me but I have not understood it yet. There are alot of ticked items down the left hand side including :
    Flac Flac (Built in)
    Flac Wav Flac
    and
    MP3 MP3 (Built in)
    I guessed that as my input file is flac, Slimserver would use one if the ticked Flac options....

    In the mean time I will see if I can sort a long optical cable of some discription, and of course will be burning in the SB2 - just incase it needs it.
    Last edited by Deaf Cat; 2005-09-01 at 15:47.

  7. #7
    SEe my post in Sound Views thread, but I felt the AVR200 DAC/DSP in two channel mode was inferior to an SB1 internal DAC! I got much better sound putting a Meridian 203 DAC as follows:- SB1 -> Meridian 203 -> AVR200.

    Ultimately the AVR200 just wasn't up to the job of driving my speakers so I replaced it with an all Meridian set-up

    Mr Perceptive

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mike Hanson's Avatar
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    The problems with the optical interface are:
    • The electrical signal must be converted to an optical one at the source
    • The cable manufacturers (especially the cheap ones) often screw up the termination (connection of the plugs), such that some of the light is "reflected" within the cable, causing bad information.
    • The optical signal needs to be converted back into an electrical one at the other end.

    Considering how fragile a digital signal can be, I would rather avoid the above issues.

    -=> Mike Hanson <=-

  9. #9
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    So ermmm... I guess stereo interconnects can also cause ground loop problems?


    "I felt the AVR200 DAC/DSP in two channel mode was inferior to an SB1 internal DAC!"

    What cable connections/type were you using?
    Last edited by Deaf Cat; 2005-09-02 at 14:19.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Re: Weak Link ?

    On Fri, 2005-09-02 at 14:14 -0700, Deaf Cat wrote:
    > So ermmm... I guess stereo interconnects can also cause ground loop
    > problems?


    Cause? no.

    The cause is different voltage reference points between
    different pieces of equipment. The cure is to remove the connection.
    Sometimes you can disconnect one end. Othertimes you need
    an isolation transformer, and as posted earlier, all transformers
    have some impact on the signal.

    As much as audiophiles complain TOSLINK is not all that bad.
    And it sure guarantees no ground loops.


    --
    Pat Farrell
    http://www.pfarrell.com



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