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View Full Version : [Audiophile] Squeezebox doesn't work with Cyrus DACX



Ken Hokugo
2004-12-31, 08:21
Hi Mark,

Thanks for sharing your interesting finding. Interesting, indeed. I wonder
how many here are using SB for audiphile application. I, myself, am using
it for that purpose although I have never encountered the phoenomenon you
mention. My only wish is to have SB mod'ed so that it has external clock
sync function which someone in France is trying to release soon. I think
the power supply and the clock are the Achilles' heel of SB to be really
competetive in that arena.

A happy new year for everyone.

Ken


From: Mark Bennett <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk>
Reply-To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Subject: [slim] [Audiophile] Squeezebox doesn't work with Cyrus DACX
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:21:07 +0000

<audiophile>

For those that are interested I tested the Squeezebox with the Cyrus
DACX external DAC, and we couldn't get it to work. This was using
Server 5.3.1 & Firmware 39, which was what was happened to be left
on my laptop from a previous demo. I'm not aware of any significant
changes related to digital outs recently, so I would guess that
whatever the problem is, it's probably still there in the current
version.

The DACX recognises signal, and correctly identifies it's 44.1kHz,
but we couldn't hear any music coming out. We tried both RCA and
optical leads, and several inputs on the DAC, but the same story
with all of them.

This is the first modern external DAC (it's less than 6 months from
product release) that I remember seeing reported that *doesn't* work
with the Squeezebox - it's mainly been older DAC's.

This isn't a problem for me, because I elected not to go for the
Cyrus system anyway, but I thought I'd make anyone else who
might be interested aware.

For the record, the Benchmark DAC-1 was exceptional using it's
balanced outputs fed into a balanced AMP.

One friend has also reported excellent results using the Chord DAC64,
although I haven't yet had the opportunity to listen to it.

</audiophile>

--
Mark Bennett <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk>

Mark Bennett
2004-12-31, 09:00
There are quite a few of us on the list, some more active than
others, each with different setups. Several have commented on
how good the Squeezebox actually is for an audiophile setup,
especially for something so inexpensive.

I have to agree, after hearing it through a high end (soon to
be mine) system and using an external DAC. I was clearly hearing
instruments and sounds in music I never even knew existed, and
the man in the hi-fi shop was very impressed.

<very audiophile - ignore if you get bored of this easily>

I would have been sceptical about the benefit of modding the
squeezebox until yesterday. Up until then I didn't think that
any change in the digital domain would make any significant
difference in the audio quality. Then the hi-fi dealer
switched the digital interconnect between squeezebox and DAC,
from my cheap cable to an expensive one and there was a
substantial difference in the sound. We went backwards and
forwards a few times and it seemed to be real, although I
had great difficulty believing my ears.

Some real blind A-B testing next week will be required to
convince myself that this is a real effect.

Following that, I've had to acknowledge that many of my
prejudices on "audiophile claims" are probably untrue, so
it may well be worthwhile improving the SB.


On Fri, 2004-12-31 at 10:21 -0500, Ken Hokugo wrote:
> Hi Mark,
>
> Thanks for sharing your interesting finding. Interesting, indeed. I wonder
> how many here are using SB for audiphile application. I, myself, am using
> it for that purpose although I have never encountered the phoenomenon you
> mention. My only wish is to have SB mod'ed so that it has external clock
> sync function which someone in France is trying to release soon. I think
> the power supply and the clock are the Achilles' heel of SB to be really
> competetive in that arena.
>
> A happy new year for everyone.
>
> Ken
>
>
> From: Mark Bennett <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk>
> Reply-To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
> To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
> Subject: [slim] [Audiophile] Squeezebox doesn't work with Cyrus DACX
> Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:21:07 +0000
>
> <audiophile>
>
> For those that are interested I tested the Squeezebox with the Cyrus
> DACX external DAC, and we couldn't get it to work. This was using
> Server 5.3.1 & Firmware 39, which was what was happened to be left
> on my laptop from a previous demo. I'm not aware of any significant
> changes related to digital outs recently, so I would guess that
> whatever the problem is, it's probably still there in the current
> version.
>
> The DACX recognises signal, and correctly identifies it's 44.1kHz,
> but we couldn't hear any music coming out. We tried both RCA and
> optical leads, and several inputs on the DAC, but the same story
> with all of them.
>
> This is the first modern external DAC (it's less than 6 months from
> product release) that I remember seeing reported that *doesn't* work
> with the Squeezebox - it's mainly been older DAC's.
>
> This isn't a problem for me, because I elected not to go for the
> Cyrus system anyway, but I thought I'd make anyone else who
> might be interested aware.
>
> For the record, the Benchmark DAC-1 was exceptional using it's
> balanced outputs fed into a balanced AMP.
>
> One friend has also reported excellent results using the Chord DAC64,
> although I haven't yet had the opportunity to listen to it.
>
> </audiophile>
>
> --
> Mark Bennett <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk>
>
>

Triode
2004-12-31, 10:34
> <very audiophile - ignore if you get bored of this easily>
>
> I would have been sceptical about the benefit of modding the
> squeezebox until yesterday.

Mark, was the change in cable with the Squeezebox and DAC? I find squeezebox gives quite a good output signal, but depending on a
DAC it definately benefits from a low capacitance cable - suggested length of ~1m. [NB I said low capacitance rather than expensive
hifi specific!]

If your dac does clever reclocking, then it will be sensitive to jitter from the squeezebox. One simple thing you may want to try
is setting the squeezebox volume to 0. I think this gives an improvement with my DAC. [Theory is that the clock circuit and
analogue output in the squeezebox are powered from the same power supply, so avoiding having an audio signal on this is a good idea]

Anyone interested in blowing their minds on jitter and the digital interface may want to read the following:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/ese/research/audio_lab/malcolmspubdocs/C41%20SPDIF%20interface%20flawed.pdf

Adrian

Mark Bennett
2004-12-31, 18:13
On Fri, 2004-12-31 at 17:34 +0000, Triode wrote:
> > <very audiophile - ignore if you get bored of this easily>
> >
> > I would have been sceptical about the benefit of modding the
> > squeezebox until yesterday.
>
> Mark, was the change in cable with the Squeezebox and DAC?

It was the RCA co-axial cable between the squeezebox digital
out and the DAC.

> I find squeezebox gives quite a good output signal, but
> depending on a DAC it definately benefits from a low
> capacitance cable - suggested length of ~1m. [NB I said low
> capacitance rather than expensive hifi specific!]

I suspect that the expensive cable was a low capacitance cable,
and it was definitely shorter than the cable I had been using.

> If your dac does clever reclocking, then it will be sensitive
> to jitter from the squeezebox.

I suspect it does do some re-clocking, but tolerance to jitter
is it's major claim to fame, so according to the manufacturer
the jitter shouldn't make any significant difference.......

> One simple thing you may want to try is setting the squeezebox
> volume to 0. I think this gives an improvement with my DAC.
> [Theory is that the clock circuit and analogue output in the
> squeezebox are powered from the same power supply, so avoiding
> having an audio signal on this is a good idea]

I hadn't though of this, but it might be worth trying. I'll try it
next week.

> Anyone interested in blowing their minds on jitter and the digital interface may want to read the following:
> http://www.essex.ac.uk/ese/research/audio_lab/malcolmspubdocs/C41%20SPDIF%20interface%20flawed.pdf

Looks an interesting article - I will read it over the next
few days.

--
Mark Bennett <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk>

Triode
2005-01-01, 05:08
>> If your dac does clever reclocking, then it will be sensitive
>> to jitter from the squeezebox.
That should have been *less* sensitive!

If the DAC is new then this is much less likely to be a problem as it will either have a PLL reclocking circuit (see the article) or
use asychronous resampling to generate its own clock.

Adrian