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View Full Version : How does Receiver SQ compare some of the newer h/w options eg. HiFiBerry ?



sto
2015-10-12, 07:46
Hi All

How does the Receiver SQ compare some of the newer h/w options eg. HiFiBerry and other little pc/dac combos ?

The reason I ask is until recently the second hand price of Receivers was at least if not more than their original retails price. Looking at other h/w alternatives then made straight financial sense if nothing else. Now however their price has dropped to about half their retail. ie. pretty cheap. (source: Fleabay)

I'm primarily interested in the RCA outputs but views on the other ports are welcome.

Thanks

CommanderROR
2015-10-12, 09:30
I can't answer this fully, since I have only one "real" SB devices, and that's a SB Radio (no great sound there...) but the HifiBerry devices are pretty good, I have them all (DAC/Digi/Amp) and you can always look at one of the alternatives, like the IQAudio addon boards.
Since I just started experimenting with it myself, I can also recommend giving the "Squeeze2Upnp" Plugin a try, since it greatly enhances your choice of Player Hardware (Anything that works with DLNA should work).

Squirrel
2015-10-12, 09:31
I was previously using a V3 in the kitchen, which was sat on top of the kitchen units. I've replaced this with a Duet and moved the V3 (I won't call it a "Classic" as it's a Slim rather than Logitech branded unit) into the living room - after giving it a thorough cleaning to get rid of the grease that's built up on it! :D

This player feeds a set of A-Part coaxial ceiling speakers via the analogue outputs. It does actually sound a bit better than the Squeezebox V3. My bathroom system uses the same setup as the original kitchen one, with a V3. I replaced the V3 with a Duet in the kitchen mainly to avoid the grease issues. I'd say that both the V3 and Duet are comparable to a good budget CD player via the analogue outs.

The living room system uses the digital output from a V3 into an Arcam AV receiver powering Monitor Audio RX6s, so this is basically audiophile quality.

The master bedroom has a V3 feeding a Yamaha DSP-AX620 AV receiver with Gale 4 speakers. This is a good mid-range system.

Short version - if you're using the SPDIF output there's no difference between the different players. With analogue they'll compare favourably with a 200-ish CD player.

Squirrel
2015-10-12, 09:33
Since I just started experimenting with it myself, I can also recommend giving the "Squeeze2Upnp" Plugin a try, since it greatly enhances your choice of Player Hardware (Anything that works with DLNA should work).

I had a play around with this as my Arcam AVR360 has DLNA support. It's horrific. No criticism levelled against Squeeze2uPNP - it's simply that the DLNA/uPnP-AV protocol is complete crap and should never have been approved by anyone.

CommanderROR
2015-10-12, 09:46
Really? With a few setting adjustments it works flawlessly with my Yamaha RX-679 in the lounge, and I don't need an extra Raspberry Pi with Hifiberry Digi anymore...

d6jg
2015-10-12, 10:10
I had a play around with this as my Arcam AVR360 has DLNA support. It's horrific. No criticism levelled against Squeeze2uPNP - it's simply that the DLNA/uPnP-AV protocol is complete crap and should never have been approved by anyone.

I am afraid I agree. I can get my Onkyo CRN755 to work with Phillipe's plugin but not like an SB device or a Pi with picoreplayer. The DLNA/uPnP protocol is rubbish. Some DLNA devices seem to be OK others have varying degrees of difficulty.

Turning to the original question. I have a Pi with Hifiberry DAC+. It compares favourably with the analogue out from a SB Classic. It's not better but it is not worse. I can't comment about a Pi with Digi+ as I don't yet own one.

CommanderROR
2015-10-12, 11:20
The Digi is completely unproblematic since it merely passes the digital data through to an external DAC. My only problem with RPi and Dac/Digi is the fact that it's one more device with it's own cables and connections. And it needs to be turned on an off individually as well.
The Amp is all-in-one which is neat.

IanH99
2015-10-13, 01:11
I've experimented with a raspberry PI 2 and IQaudiO DAC+ and to my admittedly ageing ears it sounds at least as good as the receiver. I have seen seen comments suggesting that the PI DAC combo outperfoms the Squeezebox classic.

sto
2015-10-13, 03:55
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

The answers are pretty heading in the direction I thought they would. Pretty much on par.

If I was expanding my network again I'd probably stick with more Receivers with old school(and cheap) amp/speaker combos. The only usage case I'd consider is a concealed system, maybe installed behind a wall or something. The HIFIberry amp could be good. Though I'd still worry about having to physically touch the setup to configure it at some point.