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andrew reischer
2005-04-21, 08:18
Hi...

I just got my SB2 last night. I installed the server, wired the SB2.
ripped a few cds with EAC calling flac. The whole process was very
easy. I dont think that it sounds as good as a cd played directly
though. I was wondering if I am missing some step in the process? Thanks
for any help.

Andy Reischer

FLMike
2005-04-21, 08:50
Andrew,
A couple of questions come to mind:

1. Are the SB and the CD player hooked to the same receiver?
2. If so, what type of conneciton are you using (analog or digital/Optical
or Coax) for the CD Player?
3. What type of connection (analog or digital/Optical Co-ax)) are you using
for the SB?

Mike
----- Original Message -----
From: "andrew reischer" <reischer (AT) ntplx (DOT) net>
To: <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 11:18 AM
Subject: [slim] What can I do to get the best sound?


> Hi...
>
> I just got my SB2 last night. I installed the server, wired the SB2.
> ripped a few cds with EAC calling flac. The whole process was very
> easy. I dont think that it sounds as good as a cd played directly
> though. I was wondering if I am missing some step in the process? Thanks
> for any help.
>
> Andy Reischer
>

Ben Sandee
2005-04-21, 09:00
On 4/21/05, andrew reischer <reischer (AT) ntplx (DOT) net> wrote:
> Hi...
>
> I just got my SB2 last night. I installed the server, wired the SB2.
> ripped a few cds with EAC calling flac. The whole process was very
> easy. I dont think that it sounds as good as a cd played directly
> though. I was wondering if I am missing some step in the process? Thanks
> for any help.

In addition to Mike's questions, are the output levels the same for
the CD player and SB2? SB2 may default to 20/40 (50% volume) which
apparently often results in perceived lower quality when compared
directly to a higher level source. Raise the SB2 device volume to
100% before doing listening tests, use the receiver volume control to
adjust final volume.

Ben

andrew reischer
2005-04-21, 09:55
Ben and Mike....

I am using analog inputs, and both devices go to the same receiver. The
sb2 was defaulted to a lower volume, which I changed.. My receiver must
be sensative to this. The sb2 sounds much closer to the cd now, though
my 13 year old daughter still has no problem picking out the cd in blind
sound tests.....

Andy...

Ben Sandee wrote:

>On 4/21/05, andrew reischer <reischer (AT) ntplx (DOT) net> wrote:
>
>
>>Hi...
>>
>>I just got my SB2 last night. I installed the server, wired the SB2.
>>ripped a few cds with EAC calling flac. The whole process was very
>>easy. I dont think that it sounds as good as a cd played directly
>>though. I was wondering if I am missing some step in the process? Thanks
>>for any help.
>>
>>
>
>In addition to Mike's questions, are the output levels the same for
>the CD player and SB2? SB2 may default to 20/40 (50% volume) which
>apparently often results in perceived lower quality when compared
>directly to a higher level source. Raise the SB2 device volume to
>100% before doing listening tests, use the receiver volume control to
>adjust final volume.
>
>Ben
>

FLMike
2005-04-21, 10:06
Andrew,
Different vs Better is a tough one. Just because your daughter can tell the
difference between the two doesn't tell you which is producing the best
sound fidelity to the original lossless source.

I'm not being critical here. I'm just pointing out that sound preference is
a VERY subjective thing. I have seen blind listening tests where people
graded actual bit-perfect recordings LOWER than the same recording in a
lossy format. One explanation the reviewer came up with is that possibly
you could here imperfections is the master that were masked by the lossy
compression.

If you have a good receiver with digital inputs and a good DAC, try running
each device seperately on the digital connection and see how they sound.
They should sound identical to each other. One thing I neglected to ask you
is what type of CD player are you using? Do you know what type of DAC chip
it is using?

Mike


----- Original Message -----
From: "andrew reischer" <reischer (AT) ntplx (DOT) net>
To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: [slim] What can I do to get the best sound?


> Ben and Mike....
>
> I am using analog inputs, and both devices go to the same receiver. The
> sb2 was defaulted to a lower volume, which I changed.. My receiver must
> be sensative to this. The sb2 sounds much closer to the cd now, though
> my 13 year old daughter still has no problem picking out the cd in blind
> sound tests.....
>
> Andy...
>
> Ben Sandee wrote:
>
> >On 4/21/05, andrew reischer <reischer (AT) ntplx (DOT) net> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Hi...
> >>
> >>I just got my SB2 last night. I installed the server, wired the SB2.
> >>ripped a few cds with EAC calling flac. The whole process was very
> >>easy. I dont think that it sounds as good as a cd played directly
> >>though. I was wondering if I am missing some step in the process? Thanks
> >>for any help.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >In addition to Mike's questions, are the output levels the same for
> >the CD player and SB2? SB2 may default to 20/40 (50% volume) which
> >apparently often results in perceived lower quality when compared
> >directly to a higher level source. Raise the SB2 device volume to
> >100% before doing listening tests, use the receiver volume control to
> >adjust final volume.
> >
> >Ben
> >

Ben Sandee
2005-04-21, 10:16
On 4/21/05, andrew reischer <reischer (AT) ntplx (DOT) net> wrote:
> Ben and Mike....
>
> I am using analog inputs, and both devices go to the same receiver. The
> sb2 was defaulted to a lower volume, which I changed.. My receiver must
> be sensative to this. The sb2 sounds much closer to the cd now, though
> my 13 year old daughter still has no problem picking out the cd in blind
> sound tests.....

Is it possible she just prefers the sound of the $0.99 DAC in your CD
player over the high-end DAC in the SB2? :-)

In all seriousness, there will always be differences unless both
sources are supplying the same digital signal to the receiver.
Because the CD player has a different DAC with different
characteristics those differences are just the way it will be.

Can your daughter explain which sounds *better* to her and why?
That's asking a lot for a 13-yr old, but she may have a very fine
acoustical sense at that age particularly if she hasn't blown her ears
out like some of us older folks.

Ben

Patrick Dixon
2005-04-21, 10:42
Just check that in Player Settings->Audio you have Bitrate Setting set to "No Limit".

Phillip Kerman
2005-04-21, 10:51
> Is it possible she just prefers the sound of the $0.99 DAC in your CD
> player over the high-end DAC in the SB2? :-)
>

You might check the actual cost of the DAC in the SB2. I'll bet it's less
than $10.

Thanks,
Phillip

andrew reischer
2005-04-21, 10:58
I dont see that option on the player.

Patrick Dixon wrote:

>Just check that in Player Settings->Audio you have Bitrate Setting set
>to "No Limit".
>
>
>
>

FLMike
2005-04-21, 11:02
Philip,
Actual component cost aside, it is a good DAC with a great rep.

Mike
----- Original Message -----
From: "Phillip Kerman" <lists (AT) phillipkerman (DOT) com>
To: "'Slim Devices Discussion'" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:51 PM
Subject: RE: [slim] What can I do to get the best sound?


> > Is it possible she just prefers the sound of the $0.99 DAC in your CD
> > player over the high-end DAC in the SB2? :-)
> >
>
> You might check the actual cost of the DAC in the SB2. I'll bet it's less
> than $10.
>
> Thanks,
> Phillip
>
>

andrew reischer
2005-04-21, 11:17
Patrick...

I found the setting. It was already at "No Limit"

Thanks..

Andy...
Patrick Dixon wrote:

>Just check that in Player Settings->Audio you have Bitrate Setting set
>to "No Limit".
>
>
>
>

Ben Sandee
2005-04-21, 11:21
> You might check the actual cost of the DAC in the SB2. I'll bet it's less
> than $10.

I might? Apparently you couldn't be bothered to.

Even if we settled on $5 (probably low) -- that's still over five
times the cost of a $0.99 DAC. There's lots of room for improvement
there.

*My* point was that the DAC in the SB2 was likely to be superior.
What is your point?

Ben

Phillip Kerman
2005-04-21, 11:30
> > You might check the actual cost of the DAC in the SB2.
> I'll bet it's less
> > than $10.
>
> I might? Apparently you couldn't be bothered to.
>
> Even if we settled on $5 (probably low) -- that's still over five
> times the cost of a $0.99 DAC. There's lots of room for improvement
> there.
>
> *My* point was that the DAC in the SB2 was likely to be superior.
> What is your point?
>


Okay, so this doesn't need to get out of hand. In fact, I did check the DAC
cost and it was $8. But, right, the one in the SB2 is definitely good.

Did we ever establish which CD player is being used for comparison? Maybe
the DAC isn't $.99 (as if that really matters anyway).

In my comparisons, the SB2 analog out isn't as good as a high end CD
player's analog out. However, the digital out is definitely comparable.
Also true is the idea that different isn't necessarily better. My ears,
however, tell me the SB2's digital out to my receiver's DAC has more open
sound and more high end detail. Also, when playing a HDCD (turned to FLAC)
my receiver knows it's a 20bit signal. When I play the same FLAC through
SB2's DAC the difference is very pronounced.

Thanks,
Phillip

FLMike
2005-04-21, 11:36
Disagreements such as this are best settled with one very special
weapon..... An Occilloscope.
"Draw your scope at 90 paces!"
;-)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Phillip Kerman" <lists (AT) phillipkerman (DOT) com>
To: "'Slim Devices Discussion'" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 2:30 PM
Subject: RE: [slim] What can I do to get the best sound?


> > > You might check the actual cost of the DAC in the SB2.
> > I'll bet it's less
> > > than $10.
> >
> > I might? Apparently you couldn't be bothered to.
> >
> > Even if we settled on $5 (probably low) -- that's still over five
> > times the cost of a $0.99 DAC. There's lots of room for improvement
> > there.
> >
> > *My* point was that the DAC in the SB2 was likely to be superior.
> > What is your point?
> >
>
>
> Okay, so this doesn't need to get out of hand. In fact, I did check the
DAC
> cost and it was $8. But, right, the one in the SB2 is definitely good.
>
> Did we ever establish which CD player is being used for comparison? Maybe
> the DAC isn't $.99 (as if that really matters anyway).
>
> In my comparisons, the SB2 analog out isn't as good as a high end CD
> player's analog out. However, the digital out is definitely comparable.
> Also true is the idea that different isn't necessarily better. My ears,
> however, tell me the SB2's digital out to my receiver's DAC has more open
> sound and more high end detail. Also, when playing a HDCD (turned to
FLAC)
> my receiver knows it's a 20bit signal. When I play the same FLAC through
> SB2's DAC the difference is very pronounced.
>
> Thanks,
> Phillip
>
>

Patrick Dixon
2005-04-21, 12:07
I dont see that option on the player.

Patrick Dixon wrote:

>Just check that in Player Settings->Audio you have Bitrate Setting set
>to "No Limit".
>
>
>
>
Try using the slimserver web interface at http://localhost:9000 You can change player settings (and many other things too) from there.

[EDIT - I see you found it]

Ben Sandee
2005-04-21, 12:13
On 4/21/05, Phillip Kerman <lists (AT) phillipkerman (DOT) com> wrote:
> Okay, so this doesn't need to get out of hand. In fact, I did check the DAC
> cost and it was $8. But, right, the one in the SB2 is definitely good.
>
> Did we ever establish which CD player is being used for comparison? Maybe
> the DAC isn't $.99 (as if that really matters anyway).

All I was suggesting is that the difference in DAC's could be a major
part of the picture. His daughter could hear a difference and that is
one major component that could help explain the difference.

I never said directly that the SB2 was inherently superior (in fact
going out of my way to give the listener in question the benefit of
the doubt). I may have inferred that by referencing a hypothetical
"$0.99 DAC" but in my case I think it was obvious that $0.99 DAC is
simply code for generic $<50 CD player DAC. If this CD player were
something of particularly high quality then I suspect the OP would
have mentioned that.

Personally I can't tell the difference between any of them. I think
my SliMP3 playing MP3's sounds great.

bec143
2005-04-21, 13:37
I ahve been extensuvely comparing my SB2 to a Naim CD player. Thus far I have to saythe CDP is better, but it probably should be since it cost over $3000 with its power supply. The SB2 is quite good, but music just sounds a bit dead compared to the CDP, particuarly at the frequency extremes. Some say this can imporve with an external power supply and DAC for the SB2, but I'm not going there yet.