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danco
2017-10-23, 07:50
I have a Squeezebox 2, currently connected through the analog output to my pre-amp.

But I recently bought a Novafidelity X40 (sometimes called Cocktail X40) until with multi inputs. I could put the Squeezebox through its digital inputs, in which case it would go via the X40's DAC, which is a ES9018K2M Sabre³² Reference DAC.

Which would people recommend? That is, I suppose, is the X40 DAC better than the DAC built in to the SB?

And if I do use the digital out from the SB, which method of connection tends to be preferable?

cliveb
2017-10-23, 08:28
The answer to this question is always the same. Try it both ways and pick which ever you prefer. Don't let anyone else tell you what is best. Don't worry about what might be the theoretically superior arrangement. Only you are entitled to say what's best for you.

drmatt
2017-10-23, 12:20
While I agree with the above, I'd also say the x40 will produce a technically superior result. ;)


Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk

iPhone
2017-10-24, 11:12
.
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The OWNER'S Ear always rules, BUT the DAC in your newer unit is OBVIOUSLY superior to an SB2 no matter what your Ear/Brain union tells you. Also remember that you are VERY used to listening to the SB2 analog setup.

The real question here is whether it is time to replace the SB2 with a better unit IE a better higher resolution music streamer. If one doesn't need access to high resolution decoding, the quickest update is using the newer DAC getting away from the older SB2 analog section.

danco
2017-10-24, 23:20
Thanks. I thought it very likely that the X40 DAC was superior, but did not know for certain, that's why I asked.

Any views about the two ways of making a digital connection, are there advantages and disadvantages, or are they both much the same.

I do understand that listening is the best way to decide (particularly as I am old enough that my hearing has issues, and also there is the matter of what music I listen to). And of course, I could buy both types of connectors and see, but that would be rather a waste of money.

cliveb
2017-10-25, 00:14
Any views about the two ways of making a digital connection, are there advantages and disadvantages, or are they both much the same.
In practice all digital connections are much the same. In theory an optical one will avoid any possible ground loop.

One final thing. Pretty much all competent DACs are very close, so any difference between the SB2 and X40 will be marginal. So when you compare them make sure you level match, otherwise whichever is slightly louder will sound better and the result will be meaningless.

Fermon
2017-10-25, 03:37
I was using X40 and it was way better than standard built in.

Julf
2017-10-25, 03:50
I was using X40 and it was way better than standard built in.

How did you do the level matching?