I am a newbie to digital music, and have just started digitizing my CDs and set up a SqueezeBox Duet. The whole concept -- being able to access all of my CDs from my couch -- is awesome, but the sound quality is not that great. So two questions for the more experienced out there:
1) I have an old (mid-90's) Sony Shelf system that I connected the SqueezeBox receiver to using the analog outputs. The sound coming out of the speakers is pretty distorted, however, particularly when I crank up the volume on the squeeze controller. When I use the stereo's volume control but keep the SC volume setting low, its not quite so bad. Any ideas why this is? I ripped the CDs using Max for Macintosh at MP3 VBR. I have a feeling it is the DAC in the squeezebox receiver. Could it be my old (802.11b) wireless networ?
2) Relatedly, any suggestions for relatively inexpensive speakers (powered?) that I can connect to Squeezebox receivers and get good sound? Do I need an external amp or DAC to get good performance?
Any thoughts/suggestions would be much appreciated.
Results 1 to 10 of 22
2008-09-01, 12:12 #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Suggestions for improving sound from SqueezeBox Duet
2008-09-01, 12:26 #2
To improve sound quality, for one I'd throw out that lossy-MP3-ripped collection and re-rip it in a lossless format (such as FLAC). Part of your sound could stem from the fact that MP3 - no matter what bit rate - tends to compress and "craptize" any audio!
As to why your sound is distorted... I am assuming you are inputting your sound via analog RCA cables? While that shouldn't have much to do with it, make sure the RCA input on your 90's Sony system isn't PHONO, as this could cause a bit of a problem.
Also, when you ripped your CD's did you have some sort of amp-gain setting on your files? Wait - scratch that - you said that if you turn the volume down on the Receiver and use your Sony to turn it up, the distortion stops? There is a setting on the Receiver that allows the volume to be set at a locked level if you plan to use your amp (in this case, your Sony) to control the volume. You might try changing it to that setting too.
I'm sure others will chime in here eventually.
Last edited by EnochLight; 2008-09-01 at 12:32.
2008-09-01, 12:34 #3
You are not by any chance using the "phono" input ?
don't, it's specially made for pickups in LP-players.
Normally no input should have problems with the output voltage from the duet, even at full volume ? Nor should the duet distort on full volume ? strange.
test other inputs if possible, test on friends stereo if possible.
Edit* reciever has "4.8Vpp line-level outputs" meaning it swings +2,4v to -2.4v ca 1.7 volts rms (if sinus ) if that has any meaning for audio.
Last edited by Mnyb; 2008-09-01 at 12:46.
2008-09-01, 14:40 #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
As to the problem, it could the be output level of the Duet is too great for your Sony shelf system (aka sensitivity matching). Since you have problems still on a lower volume setting, this might not be it. But it might - here's how to check. Pick the trashiest "loud" pop recording but one normally without audible distortion. Play it on the Duet, and reduce the volume using the digital volume more and more. Feel free to increase the volume on the Sony as required. If you can get to a point where there is no distortion it may be the sensitivity matching.
You can fix this by restricting the output of the Duet semi-permanently, digitally (via Squeezecenter there is a setting in Settings>Player>Audio called 'Preamp Volume Control'. Or, you can purchase some physical attenuators which you connect to the RCA leads where they plug into the Sony. The second way is better from a sound quality point of view, in theory, but whether you would notice it or not is system dependent.
If there is always some distortion regardless of digital volume level, no matter how low, then some part of the system has a fault, whether the Duet or the Sony, or you're plugging into the wrong input (last post), or some other problem...
Last edited by darrenyeats; 2008-09-01 at 14:43.Check it, add to it! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/
2008-09-01, 15:41 #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
I spent two days trying everything i could think of, and you all solved my problem in like two minutes. I had been using the Phono input not knowing that the amp treated that differently from othere input. I switched to the Video input and it now sounds great.
2008-09-01, 18:50 #6
Regarding your second question about pwered speakers, a lot of people on this forum recommend the Audioengine 5
I can't comment as I haven't heard them. I can't find anyone in this city who stocks them.
ShaneLinux file server (Intel Atom dual core)->Various boxes with flashing lights->SB3->NAD C320BEE->Usher S-520/Sennheiser headphones
2008-09-01, 19:31 #7
I agree about your point of being brave to post having hooked it up to a mid 90's sony receiver and then complain about it.
It should be hooked up DIGITALLY (TOSLINK or RCA). And then go into settings and Lock Volume at MAX. Then use the reciver to control volume. If you can't hook it up digitally then get a new receiver.
AFTER you do that then look into ripping to FLAC instead of MP3.
2008-09-01, 19:40 #8
Suggestions for improving sound fromSqueezeBox Duet
> It should be hooked up DIGITALLY (TOSLINK or RCA). And then go into
> settings and Lock Volume at MAX. Then use the reciver to control
> volume. If you can't hook it up digitally then get a new receiver.
> AFTER you do that then look into ripping to FLAC instead of MP3.
First, check that the speakers sound "OK" on something else. If not,
replace them and the amp.
If the speakers sound "OK", move them away from the walls. Put them on
dinning room chairs or something that holds them at least a foot off the
floor and a couple of feet from all walls. Listen again.
The cheapest improvement in sound is to move the speakers off bookshelves.
2008-09-02, 01:55 #9If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use is the rule.
2008-09-02, 04:19 #10
Oops, I just read the whole thread and noticed he fixed it. Good suggestion who suggested he was using phono input. I'm amazed a sony shelf system even had a phono input.