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  1. #1
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    Sonos with Transporter

    I'm thinking about getting a Transporter to use with a Sonos ZP80. The plan is to use a Sonos hanheld controller and the ZP80 will output digital signal to the digital in on the Transporter. The Transporter is mainly going to be used as an external DAC (and potentially as a player for non-16bit music).

    Does this set up make sense? Would just using the Transporter both as the player and the DAC yield better sound than the Sonos/Transporter combination? The transporter is going to be feeding analog signal into an Anthem AVM50 pre-amp followed by an Anthem Statement A5 amplifier. Music files are in AIFF stored on an Infrant ReadyNAS, all connected via a home giga-Ethernet.

    I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CardinalFang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sting View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a Transporter to use with a Sonos ZP80. The plan is to use a Sonos hanheld controller and the ZP80 will output digital signal to the digital in on the Transporter. The Transporter is mainly going to be used as an external DAC (and potentially as a player for non-16bit music).
    If you prefer the Sonos remote, then to me it would make more sense to buy a ZP80 and a good external DAC, like the Lavry, Benchmark or any of the others recommended in these threads. Alternately, have a look at the Nokia 770/800 as a remote control for the Transporter.

    Whatever happened to the remoured fancy LogiTech remote for the SB that was hinted at just before the LogiTech takeover? Has it been shelved?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardinalFang View Post
    If you prefer the Sonos remote, then to me it would make more sense to buy a ZP80 and a good external DAC, like the Lavry, Benchmark or any of the others recommended in these threads. Alternately, have a look at the Nokia 770/800 as a remote control for the Transporter.

    Whatever happened to the remoured fancy LogiTech remote for the SB that was hinted at just before the LogiTech takeover? Has it been shelved?
    Stereophile review on Transporter said that Transporter alone was better than SB3/DAC combination so I'm interested in the DAC inside the Transporter. I wonder if adding a Sonos ZP80 frond-end (hence one additional digital connection between the ZP80 and the Transporter) would compromise the sound quality somewhat? Are there flaws for such combination (Sonos ZP80 plus Transporter)? I really like the multi-room feature of the Sonos.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by sting; 2007-03-09 at 06:45.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sting View Post
    Stereophile review on Transporter said that Transporter alone was better than SB3/DAC combination so I'm interested in the DAC inside the Transporter. I wonder if adding a Sonos ZP80 frond-end (hence one additional digital connection between the ZP80 and the Transporter) would compromise the sound quality somewhat? Are there flaws for such combination (Sonos ZP80 plus Transporter)? I really like the multi-room feature of the Sonos.

    Thanks.
    The SB3/DAC combination has to send the digital signal from the SB3 to the DAC over S/PDIF, and therefore is subject to jitter potential inherent in S/PDIF. The Transporter alone does not use S/PDIF and its architecture should have less potential for jitter.

    If you go with the ZP80/Transporter, you would be be subject to the same S/PDIF jitter potential. You would not be getting the benefit of the Transporter's "closely-coupled" architecture, and you would pay more than you need to to get a comparable DAC.

    Now, whether you personally can hear the difference among any of these alternatives we do not know.

    Personally, if I were to spend $2k on a Transporter I would use it for transport and DAC. If I already had decided on a transport and I wanted a better DAC, I would find a DAC that I like for much less than $2k.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Skunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sting View Post
    Are there flaws for such combination (Sonos ZP80 plus Transporter)? I really like the multi-room feature of the Sonos.
    I don't have a Transporter, but in my opinion you fit the target market of slim devices perfectly.

    You can have the multi-room capability, like Cardinal Fang mentioned, by using the Nokia internet tablet or similar as a remote anywhere in the house, or from the coffee shop for that matter. Rooms where sound quality isn't important get an Sb3 hooked to powered speakers or similar.

    It seems like you've pretty much decided on the Transporter, so if you go with the Sonos>SD approach, I would make sure the ZP isn't doing anything to the digital output like volume control or replay gain, before feeding it to a transporter. I would also compare the SPDIF out of my cd player to the SPDIF out of the ZP, both into the transporter to make sure there isn't an obvious audible difference. Something from Transporter's description that may or may not be worth keeping in mind:

    Jitter (standard deviation):

    * 11ps at oscillator (intrinsic jitter)
    * 17ps at DAC
    * 35ps at S/PDIF receiver
    It would be easier, and more ideal, to simply not have the ZP to worry about. You would gain the ability to plug the cd player into the Tp, rather than the ZP, and reduce the amount of jitter seen at the DAC.

    The whole idea seems to me a bit like using the Sb3 to feed a Transporter, but I understand your affinity for the sonos interface and remote.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy whichever setup you choose.

  6. #6
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    In my system the TP sounds much better as a self contained unit.
    When fed from a transport or a SB the sound was not as good.
    I tried this through a 600.00 coax cable and a glass fiber tosslink.
    This may be due to flaws in the spdif interface.

    If you want to use the Sonos you might be better off with a "jitter rejecting" dac like the Lavry10, the Benchmark or the PS audio link 3.

    Personally the best sound I get is the TP for the main system with SB's for ancillary rooms.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomjtx View Post
    In my system the TP sounds much better as a self contained unit.
    When fed from a transport or a SB the sound was not as good.
    I tried this through a 600.00 coax cable and a glass fiber tosslink.
    This may be due to flaws in the spdif interface.

    If you want to use the Sonos you might be better off with a "jitter rejecting" dac like the Lavry10, the Benchmark or the PS audio link 3.

    Personally the best sound I get is the TP for the main system with SB's for ancillary rooms.
    I take it that the Transporter is not considered a "jitter rejecting" DAC?

    Do you use one remote for multi-room control?

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sting View Post
    I take it that the Transporter is not considered a "jitter rejecting" DAC?

    Do you use one remote for multi-room control?

    Thanks.
    I don't know if it is jitter rejecting but it sound a lot better when using it wi fi.

    I use my macbook from all rooms but the Nokia would do just as well.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for your help. I have just placed an order for a Transporter and will pick it up at Slim Devices this afternoon. I plan to first check out the Transporter before worrying about which remote to use, although I really like the Sonos.

    In your opinion, what's the best analog port and cable to use for connecting the Transporter and the Anthem AVM50 pre-amp?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sting View Post
    Thank you all for your help. I have just placed an order for a Transporter and will pick it up at Slim Devices this afternoon. I plan to first check out the Transporter before worrying about which remote to use, although I really like the Sonos.

    In your opinion, what's the best analog port and cable to use for connecting the Transporter and the Anthem AVM50 pre-amp?

    Thanks.
    If your pre amp is balanced, I find the balanced (xlr) outs to sound better in my system

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