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tonythetiger
2005-04-19, 12:57
Hi all,
I havn't yet purchased a SB2, but I'm tempted.

My mission is to reduce the "box count" as I call it in my living room. e.g. replace VHS and seperate DVD player with a DVD recorder. Replace big CD player with Squeezebox??

There seems to be a million and one ways to go, an SB2 being just one of them.
Audio quality is very high on my priorities, but I don't want to feed an external DAC as this would mean getting another box...something I'm trying to reduce.

Therefore, if I use the analogue outputs from the SB2, will I get disappointing sound quality when compared to my Copland 1000 CD player? I understand it's a little unfair, and I am willing to trade some quality for the convenience of putting all my CD's into storage....but not much.

I like all "mainstream" music and a sound that is detailed, but not harsh, not boomey in the bass and natural mid-range.

Don't want much, do I ????

Alternatively I could build my own music server and use a high quality sound card like M-Audio, Terratec etc etc. If built around mini-ITX or similar it will be near silent and fairly cheap.

Pre-made servers such as Imerge seem a rip-off. They want an extra 200 to upgrade from a useless 80Gb hard disk to a useful 250Gb.


Appreciate any thoughts and experiences. Thanks all.

Phil Leigh
2005-04-19, 13:34
Tony,
In terms of digital output into a DAC, the SB2 will outperform a Copland CDA 822 (is that the one you have?) but don't trust me - trust your ears. I realise that a dem is going to be somewhat difficult...but the SB2 is NOT expensive. Take a punt and try it - if you still prefer the Copland, use the SB in another room as a second system or get a refund.
I can't (yet) speak for the analogue o/p of the SB2 vs. the Copland or anything else for that matter. However, your perfectly reasonable non-boomy bass and natural midrange requirements are unlikely to be achieved in any normal room/system (IMHO) without room correction technology, regardless of source/speakers. However, a nice top end (over say 4Khz) is definitely possible with the SB2.

As for wanting less boxes...Bose & B&O do some nice systems
You can always hide a DAC away somewhere - you don't need to physically access it (Mine is in a cupboard out of sight)...and some of them - even very very good ones - are very small...

tonythetiger
2005-04-19, 14:50
Thanks Phil. As you say, it's probably worth a punt. At worst I can ebay it if it doesn't work out.
My Copland is a 5 yr old CDA-266. I could probably get something better for half the price now, but for the time it was (and still is) a good player IMO).

Any DAC recommendations would be appreciated, be it new or second hand, although not silly money.

Tom Alves
2005-04-20, 02:01
If you want to save space you might like to try the following. Get the SB2 a Chibi Saru Dac & PSU (http://www.scott-nixon.com/dac.htm) Sonic T digital amp (http://www.si-5.com/frontEnd/cm_productDetail.jsp?productID=18)

All that lot will cost less than your Copland and take up less room. IME the SB2 & DAC will comfortably match and even surpass CD players ten times it's price.

Mike Hanson
2005-04-20, 02:36
If you want to save space you might like to try the following. Get the SB2 a Chibi Saru Dac & PSU (http://www.scott-nixon.com/dac.htm) Sonic T digital amp (http://www.si-5.com/frontEnd/cm_productDetail.jsp?productID=18)

All that lot will cost less than your Copland and take up less room. IME the SB2 & DAC will comfortably match and even surpass CD players ten times it's price.
I thought I would add that if you're considering the Chibi Saru (from www.scottnixon.com), then you definitely need a good power supply. I've compared mine using a cheap 12VDC wall-wart, and it's significantly inferior to the SB2's internal DAC (with the SB2 using it's own cheap wall-wart). I'm in the process of building a better power supply, so we'll see how that elevates the Chibi Saru.

Regarding the elimination of boxes, you could rehouse the SB2, Chibi Saru, power supply(ies), and Sonic T in a single box, for an "all-in-one" solution.

-=> Mike Hanson <=-

John Stimson
2005-04-20, 14:53
I am currently using the MSB "Nelson" Link III DAC. It's a step up from the SB2 analog outputs without upsampling, and upsampling results in a subtle improvement.

I am using the standard MSB "line lump" power supply, not their fancy $400 separate power supply. I've considered building my own power supply, but it really sounds good as-is.

Soon, my friend should have a Musical Fidelity A3.24 that I can compare against the MSB Nelson.