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momerath
2005-02-16, 10:03
Hi,

I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:

well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
here.


I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".

The thread can be found here:
http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254

~Thanks,
Michael

Thomas B. Malsbury
2005-02-16, 10:16
momerath wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
>I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
>transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
>quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
>trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
>recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
>concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
>
>well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
>believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
>chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
>all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
>some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
>output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
>cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
>here.
>
>
>I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
>contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
>being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
>spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
>
>The thread can be found here:
>http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
>
>~Thanks,
>Michael
>

momerath
2005-02-16, 10:21
Oops *blush*

I pasted from the email they send me about threads I'm subscribed to
without reading the URL. Thanks Thomas.


On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 12:16:47 -0500, Thomas B. Malsbury
<slim (AT) malsbury (DOT) net> wrote:
> momerath wrote:
>
> >Hi,
> >
> >I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> >I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> >transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> >quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> >trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> >recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> >concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
> >
> >well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> >believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> >chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> >all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> >some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> >output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> >cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> >here.
> >
> >
> >I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> >contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> >being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> >spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
> >
> >The thread can be found here:
> >http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
> >
> >~Thanks,
> >Michael
> >

momerath
2005-02-16, 10:35
Thanks for the links. I actually hadn't seen either of those. I'm
not complaining about head-fi.org, though. - I love it- its one of the
best communities I've come across, and its specifically geared toward
headphone hifi, which is the only sort I can afford ;) I'd just like
to know how accurate that post was.

~Michael


On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 17:25:12 -0000, Patrick Dixon
<patrickdixon (AT) btinternet (DOT) com> wrote:
> I recommend you try a different forum!
> For example: http://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/ or
> http://www.zerogain.com/forum
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com]On Behalf Of momerath
> Sent: 16 February 2005 17:03
> To: Slim Devices Discussion
> Subject: [slim] audiophile cred
>
> Hi,
>
> I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
>
> well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> here.
>
> I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
>
> The thread can be found here:
> http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/f
> orums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
>
> ~Thanks,
> Michael
>

kdf
2005-02-16, 10:49
Quoting momerath <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com>:

> Thanks for the links. I actually hadn't seen either of those. I'm
> not complaining about head-fi.org, though. - I love it- its one of the
> best communities I've come across, and its specifically geared toward
> headphone hifi, which is the only sort I can afford ;) I'd just like
> to know how accurate that post was.
>
> ~Michael

Part of the cost would be volume. A lot of components become a lot cheaper when
you can buy in lots of 10,000 or 100,000. Squeezebox, I'm sure, sells well,
but not that well. The VFD display is actually the most expensive part. If
you take the example of another device on the market, which offers two sizes of
display, the cost is another $100 or so, and the only difference is the
display.

On a side note, I get rather tired of people who present some sort of 'expert'
criticism while comparing a $280 device with another that generally sells for
well over 1k. I guess they woudln't be real audiophiles if they didnt ;)

-kdf

Triode
2005-02-16, 12:28
Michael,

If you want serious hifi and are using an external DAC then you don't want lots of analogue stuff in the transport! Why pay for it?

With a separate DAC, the beauty of devices like the squeezebox is that they are only responsible for sending a digital bitstream out
of the back end. The signal is in the digital domain the whole way though so no errors which are induced. Assuming you have a good
digital copy of the original music on your server and stream it uncompressed to the squeezebox, an accurate bitstream will come out
of the digital out. Arguably if you rip your music with something like EAC (which checks for errors at reading time) and store an
uncompressesed or losslessly compressed (e.g. FLAC) copy, then you have a more accurate copy on your hard disk than many CD players
manage to read.

To get the ultimate hifi quality you really need a dac which is capable of removing any jitter on the link from the slimserver.
Although the jitter on the output is very low (as good as many CD transports to my ears), it is not the lowest. [My CD transport is
noticably slightly better that the squeezebox with a simple dac - but then I've spent more that the cost of the squeezebox on
upgrading the CD transport...!] However I would put it as good as many off the shelf transports. One of the problems with CD
players is all the high current motors and servos necessary to read the disk can impact the clock and signal processing unless lots
of attention is played to the power supply design - putting the cost up. For squeezebox and devices like it, there is no need as
all this stuff is done in the PC.

Audioasylum PCAudio: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/bbs.html usually has interesting stuff to say about PC based hifi.

Adrian
----- Original Message -----
From: "momerath" <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com>
To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 5:03 PM
Subject: [slim] audiophile cred


> Hi,
>
> I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
>
> well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> here.
>
>
> I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
>
> The thread can be found here:
> http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
>
> ~Thanks,
> Michael
>

Mike Hartley
2005-02-16, 12:52
Triode,
You hit the nail on the head. Support for multiple lossless formats+Digital
out without conversion is a definite strong point for me, especially since
most HTR receivers have their own DAC's anyway.

Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Triode" <triode1 (AT) btinternet (DOT) com>
To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 2:28 PM
Subject: [slim] audiophile cred


> Michael,
>
> If you want serious hifi and are using an external DAC then you don't want
lots of analogue stuff in the transport! Why pay for it?
>
> With a separate DAC, the beauty of devices like the squeezebox is that
they are only responsible for sending a digital bitstream out
> of the back end. The signal is in the digital domain the whole way though
so no errors which are induced. Assuming you have a good
> digital copy of the original music on your server and stream it
uncompressed to the squeezebox, an accurate bitstream will come out
> of the digital out. Arguably if you rip your music with something like
EAC (which checks for errors at reading time) and store an
> uncompressesed or losslessly compressed (e.g. FLAC) copy, then you have a
more accurate copy on your hard disk than many CD players
> manage to read.
>
> To get the ultimate hifi quality you really need a dac which is capable of
removing any jitter on the link from the slimserver.
> Although the jitter on the output is very low (as good as many CD
transports to my ears), it is not the lowest. [My CD transport is
> noticably slightly better that the squeezebox with a simple dac - but then
I've spent more that the cost of the squeezebox on
> upgrading the CD transport...!] However I would put it as good as many
off the shelf transports. One of the problems with CD
> players is all the high current motors and servos necessary to read the
disk can impact the clock and signal processing unless lots
> of attention is played to the power supply design - putting the cost up.
For squeezebox and devices like it, there is no need as
> all this stuff is done in the PC.
>
> Audioasylum PCAudio: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/bbs.html
usually has interesting stuff to say about PC based hifi.
>
> Adrian
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "momerath" <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com>
> To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 5:03 PM
> Subject: [slim] audiophile cred
>
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> > I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> > transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> > quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> > trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> > recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> > concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
> >
> > well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> > believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> > chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> > all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> > some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> > output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> > cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> > here.
> >
> >
> > I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> > contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> > being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> > spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
> >
> > The thread can be found here:
> >
http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/f
orums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
> >
> > ~Thanks,
> > Michael
> >

momerath
2005-02-16, 12:55
As my original post states, I AM using an external DAC. The Ack
Industries dAck! to be specific. I'm not personally concerned with
the analog section, and, to my ears, the SB is at least as good a
transport as my M-Audio Transit.

I'm NOT complaining about the SB sound quality. The reason I started
the discussion, which I think I made clear, is that there is a thread
on head-fi.org (which is a rather large audio-enthusiast community
with a growing computer-as-source contingent) in which the SB is being
described as cheap and overly simple. It is not being compared with
much more expensive stuff; it is simply being panned by someone with
more audio-electronics background than me.

I'm hoping to read some technical discussion about the design of the
digital and analog stages of the SB by those in the know. For
instance, I'd really like to know whether glassman is correct when he
says "regarding digital output, there is no transformer coupling",
and, if so, what reasons the designers had for leaving it out.

I appreciate the desire to help by those making other suggestions, but
from my perspective, links to other hifi forums, price comparisons
with the soundbridge, and advice to buy a DAC (when I already have
one), are off-topic.


On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 19:28:21 -0000, Triode <triode1 (AT) btinternet (DOT) com> wrote:
> Michael,
>
> If you want serious hifi and are using an external DAC then you don't want lots of analogue stuff in the transport! Why pay for it?
>
> With a separate DAC, the beauty of devices like the squeezebox is that they are only responsible for sending a digital bitstream out
> of the back end. The signal is in the digital domain the whole way though so no errors which are induced. Assuming you have a good
> digital copy of the original music on your server and stream it uncompressed to the squeezebox, an accurate bitstream will come out
> of the digital out. Arguably if you rip your music with something like EAC (which checks for errors at reading time) and store an
> uncompressesed or losslessly compressed (e.g. FLAC) copy, then you have a more accurate copy on your hard disk than many CD players
> manage to read.
>
> To get the ultimate hifi quality you really need a dac which is capable of removing any jitter on the link from the slimserver.
> Although the jitter on the output is very low (as good as many CD transports to my ears), it is not the lowest. [My CD transport is
> noticably slightly better that the squeezebox with a simple dac - but then I've spent more that the cost of the squeezebox on
> upgrading the CD transport...!] However I would put it as good as many off the shelf transports. One of the problems with CD
> players is all the high current motors and servos necessary to read the disk can impact the clock and signal processing unless lots
> of attention is played to the power supply design - putting the cost up. For squeezebox and devices like it, there is no need as
> all this stuff is done in the PC.
>
> Audioasylum PCAudio: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/bbs.html usually has interesting stuff to say about PC based hifi.
>
> Adrian
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "momerath" <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com>
> To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 5:03 PM
> Subject: [slim] audiophile cred
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> > I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> > transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> > quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> > trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> > recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> > concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
> >
> > well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> > believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> > chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> > all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> > some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> > output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> > cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> > here.
> >
> >
> > I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> > contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> > being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> > spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
> >
> > The thread can be found here:
> > http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
> >
> > ~Thanks,
> > Michael
> >

Aaron Zinck
2005-02-16, 14:35
"momerath" wrote:
> As my original post states, I AM using an external DAC. The Ack
> Industries dAck! to be specific. I'm not personally concerned with
> the analog section, and, to my ears, the SB is at least as good a
> transport as my M-Audio Transit.
>
> I'm NOT complaining about the SB sound quality. The reason I started
> the discussion, which I think I made clear, is that there is a thread
> on head-fi.org (which is a rather large audio-enthusiast community
> with a growing computer-as-source contingent) in which the SB is being
> described as cheap and overly simple. It is not being compared with
> much more expensive stuff; it is simply being panned by someone with
> more audio-electronics background than me.
>
> I'm hoping to read some technical discussion about the design of the
> digital and analog stages of the SB by those in the know. For
> instance, I'd really like to know whether glassman is correct when he
> says "regarding digital output, there is no transformer coupling",
> and, if so, what reasons the designers had for leaving it out.
>
> I appreciate the desire to help by those making other suggestions, but
> from my perspective, links to other hifi forums, price comparisons
> with the soundbridge, and advice to buy a DAC (when I already have
> one), are off-topic.
>

I have no idea what transformer coupling does but perhaps you yourself have
already answered your question of why the designers left it out when you
said that the squeezebox sounds great to your ears. Isn't that the goal
really?

Marc Sherman
2005-02-16, 14:36
momerath wrote:
>
> I'm NOT complaining about the SB sound quality. The reason I started
> the discussion, which I think I made clear, is that there is a thread
> on head-fi.org (which is a rather large audio-enthusiast community
> with a growing computer-as-source contingent) in which the SB is being
> described as cheap and overly simple. It is not being compared with
> much more expensive stuff; it is simply being panned by someone with
> more audio-electronics background than me.
>
> I'm hoping to read some technical discussion about the design of the
> digital and analog stages of the SB by those in the know. For
> instance, I'd really like to know whether glassman is correct when he
> says "regarding digital output, there is no transformer coupling",
> and, if so, what reasons the designers had for leaving it out.

I can't speak to the digital part of your question, but I think that the
analog part has already been adequately covered in this thread -- yes,
the analog output is "cheap and overly simple", with the intention that
audiophiles will be using digital out anyway so the cost of decent
analog electronics in the SB would be wasted. For non-audiophiles like
me, plugging the SB directly into a set of cheap powered speakers for
background music over dinner and conversation, the analog output is
perfectly fine.

- Marc

Mark Bennett
2005-02-16, 15:04
OK, so actually their analysis is probably correct. The SB is
designed as a relatively low-cost solution. If they were
making them in enough volume it's probably equivalent to a
$150 (or so) CD player.

They save on not having to have the transport, at the expense of
a more expensive display. Otherwise the difference in price is
probably mainly down to volumes.

The SB never makes any claims to be audiophile in it's own
right. Comparing it's analogue outputs with a state of the art
audiophile CD player is not fair, although would give many of
them a good run for their money.

The digital outputs are another story, and if well connected
can (in my experience) provide fantastic sound quality.

The main point of the digital output transformer is to prevent
ground loops, and the related hum that can result from this.
(See http://www.epanorama.net/documents/groundloop/digital_audio.html)

First of all the concept of an output transformer on an optical
output is completely pointless. There is no electrical connection,
there can be no groundloop.

On the co-ax (S/PDIF) digital out the position is theoretically
different. It is true that there is no output transformer.
However, I believe that the Squeezebox is not connected to the
AC electrical ground, it is decoupled by the transformer in the
wall-wart adaptor. So there is again no possibility of a ground
loop in this application.

At the end of the day there are two camps in audiophile discussions.
One who don't believe in anything unless it can be scientifically
demonstrated. The other camp who believe that everything has an
effect even if there is no strong scientific evidence why this
might be the case.

At the end of the day the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
There are plenty of people who have used the SB as the source
in a high-end audiophile scenario, and it has been acclaimed
more than once to be comparable to high-end transports.

I suspect that this would also be true for some (if not many)
cheap CD players if anyone was willing to believe this would
be the case.

On Wed, 2005-02-16 at 11:03 -0600, momerath wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
>
> well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> here.
>
>
> I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
>
> The thread can be found here:
> http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
>
> ~Thanks,
> Michael
>

Aaron Zinck
2005-02-16, 15:14
Perfectly stated--very accurate observations of the "audiophile"
community--I think this is right on the mark.


"Mark Bennett" <mark (AT) markandliz (DOT) co.uk> wrote in
message news:1108591483.2963.28.camel (AT) Eagle (DOT) ..
> OK, so actually their analysis is probably correct. The SB is
> designed as a relatively low-cost solution. If they were
> making them in enough volume it's probably equivalent to a
> $150 (or so) CD player.
>
> They save on not having to have the transport, at the expense of
> a more expensive display. Otherwise the difference in price is
> probably mainly down to volumes.
>
> The SB never makes any claims to be audiophile in it's own
> right. Comparing it's analogue outputs with a state of the art
> audiophile CD player is not fair, although would give many of
> them a good run for their money.
>
> The digital outputs are another story, and if well connected
> can (in my experience) provide fantastic sound quality.
>
> The main point of the digital output transformer is to prevent
> ground loops, and the related hum that can result from this.
> (See http://www.epanorama.net/documents/groundloop/digital_audio.html)
>
> First of all the concept of an output transformer on an optical
> output is completely pointless. There is no electrical connection,
> there can be no groundloop.
>
> On the co-ax (S/PDIF) digital out the position is theoretically
> different. It is true that there is no output transformer.
> However, I believe that the Squeezebox is not connected to the
> AC electrical ground, it is decoupled by the transformer in the
> wall-wart adaptor. So there is again no possibility of a ground
> loop in this application.
>
> At the end of the day there are two camps in audiophile discussions.
> One who don't believe in anything unless it can be scientifically
> demonstrated. The other camp who believe that everything has an
> effect even if there is no strong scientific evidence why this
> might be the case.
>
> At the end of the day the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
> There are plenty of people who have used the SB as the source
> in a high-end audiophile scenario, and it has been acclaimed
> more than once to be comparable to high-end transports.
>
> I suspect that this would also be true for some (if not many)
> cheap CD players if anyone was willing to believe this would
> be the case.
>
> On Wed, 2005-02-16 at 11:03 -0600, momerath wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I got my squeezebox last week and I'm really pleased with it so far.
> > I think it sounds great as transport for my Ack dAck, which is fairly
> > transport sensitive, and I was very pleased with the analog out
> > quality from the little critical listening I've done of it so far. I
> > trust my ears more than other audio enthusiasts, but there is a
> > recently started thread on my discussion forum of choice (head-fi.org)
> > concerning the design of the SB. The last comment posted was this:
> >
> > well, unless there are components mounted from bottom, which I don't
> > believe, than there is no serious analog output circuitry, I can't see
> > chip markings from the pic here, what I see is some Micronas IC, some
> > all-in-one solution with integrated DACs and amps and everything, and
> > some smaller one next to it, probably some logic.. regarding digital
> > output, there is no transformer coupling.. I'd say it's as simple and
> > cheap as you can get.. my comments are based purely on seeing this pic
> > here.
> >
> >
> > I just wanted to give those here, who might have knowledge to the
> > contrary, to chime in and, perhaps, prevent potential customers from
> > being turned off. And, of course, I'd love to know that the $280 I
> > spent wasnt on something "as simple and cheap as you can get".
> >
> > The thread can be found here:
> >
http://curie.rad.mcw.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106254
> >
> > ~Thanks,
> > Michael
> >

Aaron Zinck
2005-02-17, 00:20
"bill" wrote
> Funny thing, I was just talking to an audiophile who owned a Squeezebox
and
> returned after several weeks because the digital output STILL swaps
channels
> on a frequent basis. This is a known and still unaddressed bug (correct me
> if I'm wrong). Can't imagine any audiophile could live with it.
>
> I own three SBs, but would jump on another product that was similarly
priced
> and with remote controllability and played flac and MP3 and had decent
> customer support. And buy that, I don't mean just a good user forum. I've
> actually seen SlimServer's quality go DOWN over the past year or so.
> Regression testing and stability have gone out the window in favor of
adding
> every feature conceivable. I obviously more fun to code new features than
do
> regression testing and refactoring to make a more stable and user friendly
> product, but SB is a commercial product and a certain minimum level of
> functionality needs to be maintained. It would be nice if Slim would
decide
> what that is and then guarantee their products to that level by regression
> testing every Server and Firmware release. The correct orientation of
> channels on the digital out should be on that list.
>
> And replying to these issues with "It's open source, shut up and
contribute"
> doesn't wash. I paid good money for the product and it should function
> consistently. If I'd paid nothing, I'd have nothing to bitch about.
>
> All IMO of course,
> -bill

You raise some valid concerns here. However, there are two things that
perhaps should be mentioned:

1. While I've had no particular issues with stability, if a previous
version of slimserver was meeting your needs then there's no reason you need
to upgrade to a newer version.

2. Sean (slim CEO) has addressed the optical digital L/R switching problem.
It's a problem with the actual IC they're using for the digital out, it's
not the result of problems with slimserver. It's solution must come from
the maker of the chip--so it's not exactly like slim devices is ignoring the
issue, it's just out of their powers to fix it. Also, the problem is
nonexistent on the analog outs and even, I believe, absent from the coax
digital output so it's not as though there aren't other usable options.

You may still find you're dissatisfied with the box. I know I'm not. It's
not perfect, but it's still the best way to experience my music collection
that I've ever seen.

Marc Sherman
2005-02-17, 06:01
Aaron Zinck wrote:
>
> 2. Sean (slim CEO) has addressed the optical digital L/R switching
> problem. It's a problem with the actual IC they're using for the
> digital out, it's not the result of problems with slimserver. It's
> solution must come from the maker of the chip--so it's not exactly
> like slim devices is ignoring the issue, it's just out of their
> powers to fix it. Also, the problem is nonexistent on the analog
> outs and even, I believe, absent from the coax digital output so it's
> not as though there aren't other usable options.

I've got to say that I don't think that holds water. The fact that the
actual cause of the bug is hardware that Slim sources from an external
supplier, doesn't absolve Slim of responsibility for it. They sold the
box, they're responsible for its support, including the parts they're
essentially reselling. Think of cars -- Ford themselves manufacture
relatively few of the parts in their cars; they mainly do assembly. But
when there's a flaw in a particular part, such as a seatbelt retractor,
Ford doesn't send you to the seatbelt manufacturer for support. This is
the kind of thing that generally requires a product recall. Hopefully
the IC in question is socketed, not soldered...

Having said that, Bill, the bug only occurs when switching between MP3
and FLAC output, so clearly your friend isn't really the audiophile he
claims to be. :)

- Marc

Aaron Zinck
2005-02-17, 07:25
"Marc Sherman" wrote in message
> Aaron Zinck wrote:
> >
> > 2. Sean (slim CEO) has addressed the optical digital L/R switching
> > problem. It's a problem with the actual IC they're using for the
> > digital out, it's not the result of problems with slimserver. It's
> > solution must come from the maker of the chip--so it's not exactly
> > like slim devices is ignoring the issue, it's just out of their
> > powers to fix it. Also, the problem is nonexistent on the analog
> > outs and even, I believe, absent from the coax digital output so it's
> > not as though there aren't other usable options.
>
> I've got to say that I don't think that holds water. The fact that the
> actual cause of the bug is hardware that Slim sources from an external
> supplier, doesn't absolve Slim of responsibility for it. They sold the
> box, they're responsible for its support, including the parts they're
> essentially reselling. Think of cars -- Ford themselves manufacture
> relatively few of the parts in their cars; they mainly do assembly. But
> when there's a flaw in a particular part, such as a seatbelt retractor,
> Ford doesn't send you to the seatbelt manufacturer for support. This is
> the kind of thing that generally requires a product recall. Hopefully
> the IC in question is socketed, not soldered...
>
> Having said that, Bill, the bug only occurs when switching between MP3
> and FLAC output, so clearly your friend isn't really the audiophile he
> claims to be. :)
>
> - Marc

I didn't mean to imply that it absolved Slim of responsibility. I just
wanted it to be clear that it's not as though Slim doesn't care about the
inadequacy--they care and would fix it if it were in their power.

The burden of replacement in this case is not quite the same as in a part
like a seatbelt. No one's going to die because of this flaw. And it would
probably crush a company as small as slim if they had to replace all that
hardware (and they may not be able to just drop in a fix--it might require
much software and hardware reworking and possibly a different mainboard).

Having dealt with much electronics and computer hardware I think the
squeezebox falls in the normal range of tolerance for problems that I have
come to expect from what is still an immature field.

All this is still not to say that Slim is absolved of responsibility, I just
felt that conclusions about the company were being made perhaps without
looking at the entire, accurate, picture.

If the optical out issue is a major disappointment and a dealbreaker for you
I wouldn't be surprised if Slim would help you out in some way (maybe with a
return) if you contacted them about it.

Chip Hart
2005-02-17, 07:31
bill wrote:
> I own three SBs, but would jump on another product that was similarly priced
> and with remote controllability and played flac and MP3 and had decent
> customer support.

Who wouldn't switch to a better product (by any personal
definition) at a similar price? But such a beast doesn't exist,
does it? This is a nascent market and each company has to
figure out its niche - is the SB going to focus on technophobes
who "just need it to work," on audiophiles who require some
standard, or another group? It's difficult to be all things to
all users - and at $280, I know where my expectations are.

I've just arrived here from 3 months of a truly frustrating
support and development experience (for both the software and
the hardware) with my NG MP101. How about server software
_that changes your tags?_ Or having to pay for radio service
(surprise!)? Or, heck, not even working. My last 3 days with
a working SB have been a breath of fresh air. If it weren't for
Twonkyvision, I think I might have returned the unit completely.

As for the box switching channels: just turn your chair around :-)

--
Chip Hart - Marketing * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter
Your Practice Just Got Healthier

Aaron Zinck
2005-02-17, 22:17
"Phillip Kerman" wrote in message
> So, does addressing the issue do anything for my two SB with the bad IC?
Do
> I get a free upgrade when it's eventually fixed?
>
>
> Thanks,
> Phillip

Well, sounds like you're someone who really cares deeply about this problem.
Perhaps you should contact slim support directly with your complaint and see
what their policy is. I have respect for the support I've gotten from slim
and for the way they run their business. I don't think this is an issue
that they're running or hiding from--simply something they can't fix right
now. I think they'd work with you to do you right. Whatever the case, this
is clearly nothing that end users on this list can answer or solve for you.