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jazzfan
2005-08-24, 18:16
Now don't get me wrong. I am very happy with my SB2. I would tell others to buy one. This posting is really for the principals of Slim Design.

I wish you would bring out an "audiophile edition" SB2. The sound of the SB2 is good. I expect as upgrades move along it will only get better.

I wanted to drop you a link to another player. http://www.olive.us/p_bin/?cid=01_01_symphony
It doesn't do streaming radio and squeezenetwork. Both I really enjoy. But it does look good. As time moves on, and the sound quality of your product improves, put it in a case with some class. Seems to me a case is a simple OEM arrange with a different price point on the end product. I would pay more for it if it was the same animal, but nicer to look at. I feel the SB2 is a good value, but it received some really low WAF since it looks like a toy.

Any other SB2 owners feel this way?

Thanks for listening

blah509
2005-08-24, 18:36
I agree (looks wise) but, ummmm, $900

nope

g

MrC
2005-08-24, 19:05
I'm not sure I get the connection between a smarter looking case and "audiophile". Is this like a prettier girlfriend makes a better lover?

Methinks you want a Designer Series! :-)

Dave D
2005-08-24, 19:34
Is this like a prettier girlfriend makes a better lover?

I can't wait to see where this leads... ;)

jazzfan
2005-08-24, 19:44
I'm not sure I get the connection between a smarter looking case and "audiophile". Is this like a prettier girlfriend makes a better lover?

Methinks you want a Designer Series! :-)

Look at most "audiophile gear". I would have to believe the cool thick face plates that I love so much add an additional 100.00 to the build cost, (yes - and does nothing for the sound).

I suppose that would fall into a designer series product type, but since I'm dreaming here let's complete my "audiophile edition SB2" and add a tube output stage.

SqueezeNetwork running through some tubes before landing in the sand that drives my Maggies. Now that would be something! :)

(Oh, but on the real side of life I was unable to go for a second unit for the upstairs system due to the low WAF)

dean
2005-08-24, 19:49
On Aug 24, 2005, at 7:44 PM, jazzfan wrote:
> (Oh, but on the real side of life I was unable to go for a second unit
> for the upstairs system due to the low WAF)

Why was that?

jazzfan
2005-08-24, 21:22
On Aug 24, 2005, at 7:44 PM, jazzfan wrote:
> (Oh, but on the real side of life I was unable to go for a second unit
> for the upstairs system due to the low WAF)

Why was that?

We have an understanding. The dedicated audio / video room downstairs is "Dad's room". The upstairs living room is "Mom's room".

She's picky. We hung a plasma on the wall because a she did not like how a normal TV fit in the room. I bought her the audio components of her choice, (yes she selected the shinny receiver without really listening because it also had a pretty dial).

That's ok, it's her room, I have mine. Mine requires tubes, planer speakers, reference series, etc, her's demands pretty. She simply said the SB2 had too much "toy" in it's overall look and turned it down. In her words: "it looks like a cheap clock radio, and costs $250.00!". I'm not agreeing with her, it's just her opinion...

Fabrice Rossi
2005-08-24, 23:10
jazzfan a écrit :
> That's ok, it's her room, I have mine. Mine requires tubes, planer
> speakers, reference series, etc, her's demands pretty. She simply
> said the SB2 had too much "toy" in it's overall look and turned it
> down. In her words: "it looks like a cheap clock radio, and costs
> $250.00!". I'm not agreeing with her, it's just her opinion...

Well, my wife said exactly the same thing (cheap radio clock look) and
she wanted me to buy a soundbridge from roku. But I'm managed to
convince her that the SB2 must be sounding better according to reviews
and slimdevices folk were much more open, that they supported linux and
provided an open source server, bla, bla, bla.

I can be really boring, so she gave up. And then we received the SB2 and
she said: "what a cheap radio clock". I was pissed off but I installed
the box anyway and we started listening to it. And she was the first to
say the sound was much better than with our old CD player. And she
started to play with the remote. The browsing interface is so close to
the one she uses on her ipod (yeah, of course, she has an ipod...) that
she started to really like the SB2. And now, she uses it everyday and
she has stop ranting about its radio clock look.

Fabrice

Jetlag
2005-08-25, 08:13
This actually might be an interesting idea. Since there already exist a number of places that do SB2 mods, perhaps SlimDevices could produce or license someone to build SB2s into a more appealing chassis.

For example, a 1U rack size with either a black anodized or brushed aluminum face plate would be quite nice. I have to admit that although I really love my SB2, it definitely does not fit in with the rest of my gear. The display is excellent, but the enclosure I don't get to excited about. I already have plans to build my own enclosure once Fall sets in and my schedule lightens up a bit.

Maybe this doesn't have to be taken to the extreme of using a tube output stage, but perhaps tweak the parts that can be more easily improved (better power supply, sturdier jacks, etc) since you now have much more room inside the (new) case to work with. Maybe even put a headphone jack on the front of the unit.(?)

I read a couple of the DIY case mod threads and I have to say that the results generally were far easier on the eyes than my black rubber box.

Oh, speaking of "easy on the eyes",

Is this like a prettier girlfriend makes a better lover?
I have eyes for a reason. Having no choice but to keep them tightly closed while boinking my girlfriend is most definitley NOT the reason. ;)

fuzzyT
2005-08-25, 08:48
jazzfan wrote:

> Any other SB2 owners feel this way?

I think there are some that do. I know that my preference would be to
have a choice between an up spec'd SB in a component case and the
current SB2 package. I'd want to own one of the up spec'd units for my
hifi, standard units as needed for around the house.

What does "up spec'd" mean? In short, any hardware changes that might
make the SB better at the following: sounding great, connecting to hifi
equipment, looking good/fitting well in a hifi equipment stack.

This has come up a few times in the past. I think the group went so far
as to suggest and react to various individual upgrages. It seems the
hardware hackers are on the job, and various tweaks are being tried and
tested. Once the tweaks that actually perform are identified, I'm
hopeing that at least some of them would end up in a future SD product.

At the present, my up-spec list might look something like this. Subject
to change as more is learned.

Black anodized case
Wired only networking option available
Built-in regulated linear PS feeding critical points
Direct from DAC output (no op-amp to analog outs)
BNC digital output
Quality IEC AC line in
Full size headphone jack
High quality analog out jacks

--rt

JJZolx
2005-08-25, 08:58
In her words: "it looks like a cheap clock radio, and costs $250.00!". I'm not agreeing with her, it's just her opinion...
Hell, _I_ agree with her.

Yannzola
2005-08-25, 09:28
Personally, I'm not so hot on the overall clock-radio look either. But I =love= the tiny footprint. Casing the SB in anything larger, just for the sake of "fitting in" with standard rack gear seems like a waste.

y.

MrC
2005-08-25, 09:33
Oh, speaking of "easy on the eyes",

I have eyes for a reason. Having no choice but to keep them tightly closed while boinking my girlfriend is most definitley NOT the reason. ;)
Yes, those eyes kept you from getting chomped by a beast with 8 inch fangs, and kept you from falling over a cliff. But when those eyes evolved, you would have pretty much boinked anything that moved. ;-)

fuzzyT
2005-08-25, 09:39
well, not _just_ for the sake of fitting in.

if the power supply and regulator bits were internal, then a bit larger
case would be in order. and i'm not wanting anything massive, just a
something on the order of a standard CD player.

--rt

Wayne1
2005-08-25, 10:09
In small quantities, a blank case can COST about $100.00. Then you need the machining for the display. The holes drilled for the outs and ins and then standoffs for the circuit board.

I would not suggest keeping the power supply inside the same case as the D/A circuitry. The magnetic fields generated by the transformer would do some rather nasty things. So that would mean two cases.

Then add in in high quality connectors, power supply parts, film and foil coupling caps, etc. You would be looking at a SB2 selling for over $1000.00.

Are you willing to pay that much?

Yannzola
2005-08-25, 10:13
well, not _just_ for the sake of fitting in.

if the power supply and regulator bits were internal, then a bit larger
case would be in order. and i'm not wanting anything massive, just a
something on the order of a standard CD player.

--rt

That's assuming folks want to have their SB2 sitting with the rest of their gear. Personally, I like my gear hidden away... with only the essential display bits visible. The smaller form factor is ideal for me. I can put it on top of any surface, just about anywhere. Something as large as a CDplayer would look out of place. Different strokes, eh?

Jacob Potter
2005-08-25, 10:20
I dunno... I'd kinda like to see a return of the old SliMP3 form
factor, with the bare PCB hanging off the back :)

- Jacob

JJZolx
2005-08-25, 10:37
I would not suggest keeping the power supply inside the same case as the D/A circuitry. The magnetic fields generated by the transformer would do some rather nasty things. So that would mean two cases.
What, you mean like most CDPs and DACs in production today, including nearly all of the megabuck products? If it were that critical then everyone would take the approach of using outboard power supplies.


Then add in in high quality connectors, power supply parts, film and foil coupling caps, etc. You would be looking at a SB2 selling for over $1000.00.

Are you willing to pay that much?
Yes. Face it, there are even people willing to pay $300 and then pay another $500 for some hack with a soldering iron to randomly mod their clock-radio look alikes.

But that price estimate is a bit over the top. There are plenty of (very) small production run CD players, integrated amps, etc. that come in quality housings and cost well under $1000.

Don't get me wrong... If my Squeezebox didn't cost under $300 I probably never would have bought one. And then I might not have bought an SB2 four months later. Figured it's cheap, so there's not much to lose. Needless to say, Slim Devices wouldn't want all models to cost $1000. They'd lose 95% of their customer base. In fact I'll bet they're looking over their shoulders at the the other end of the market. It's the $150 devices from big players like SMC, and the music capabilities of networked game consoles from monsters like Microsoft and Sony that are their biggest worries.

Wayne1
2005-08-25, 11:47
What, you mean like most CDPs and DACs in production today, including nearly all of the megabuck products? If it were that critical then everyone would take the approach of using outboard power supplies.


Most CD/DVD players today are built to a price point. That means they use switching power supplies. That means noise on the supply lines to the DAC and audio section.

Maybe I am just a hack with a soldering iron, but I do happen to care about how gear sounds. I have found ways to improve the sound of the SB2. One method involves having the power transformer away from the SB2.

fuzzyT
2005-08-25, 12:10
Yannzola wrote:
> That's assuming folks want to have their SB2 sitting with the rest of
> their gear. Personally, I like my gear hidden away...

I _like_ the way my gear looks. And I'm just musing about have an
alternate model, not a design change for the existing model.

fuzzyT
2005-08-25, 12:11
Jacob Potter wrote:
> I dunno... I'd kinda like to see a return of the old SliMP3 form
> factor, with the bare PCB hanging off the back :)

that's the plexi-window plus internal neon option.

Patrick Dixon
2005-08-25, 12:15
But that price estimate is a bit over the top. There are plenty of (very) small production run CD players, integrated amps, etc. that come in quality housings and cost well under $1000.If you are not prepared to pay considerably more than $1000 for a decent CDP, what on earth are you doing on the audophile list? ;-)

fuzzyT
2005-08-25, 12:36
Wayne1 wrote:
> In small quantities, a blank case can COST about $100.00. Then you need
> the machining for the display. The holes drilled for the outs and ins
> and then standoffs for the circuit board.

which is why i haven't done it myself, but would like to see a
production model. economies of scale and all that.

> I would not suggest keeping the power supply inside the same case as
> the D/A circuitry. The magnetic fields generated by the transformer
> would do some rather nasty things. So that would mean two cases.

depends on the design and internal shielding. if it makes sense to
locate a brick outside of the case, the so be it.

> Then add in in high quality connectors, power supply parts, film and
> foil coupling caps, etc. You would be looking at a SB2 selling for over
> $1000.00.

for what i was describing i would expect and be willing to pay somewhere
on the order of $400-$500 wired, $500-$600 wireless. and most of that
willingness to pay would depend on the sound of the unit more than the
appearance. any item on my up-spec'd list that didn't add to
functionality of audio, appearance and connectivity could be deleted.

--rt

julian2002
2005-08-26, 07:24
i'd pay up to $500 for a digital output only version with an internal linear, regulated power suply system and an iec socket for power on the back. the case wouldn't have to be anything special and the display could be the same. of course this is a fairly niche market so i don;t expect sean and the guys to make one but i can live in hope....

davidada
2005-08-26, 08:19
Does anyone know if the audio specs are better on the olive than on the sb2?
I would pay the 899 if the sound is good as the SB2

bjackson
2005-08-26, 10:11
Here's what I'd like to see

Standard 1U size. All the rest of my components are 1U.

but in an audiophile version I'd like:

1. 1/4 headphone jack with good headphone section behind it

2. Modular design:
Here's what I think would be cool. A small box that composes the actual slimdevices software and hardware with changable DAC box, and output stage box, and power supply box, so if I wanted to change out the DAC, it'd be as simple as pulling out the BB1741 section and replacing it with an AD section, etc. Or if I wanted a tube output section I could take off the output section, and snap in a 12ax7 tube section, and all of this would be open so I could design and build one myself :)

Atleast I'd LOVE it, but I'm sure it'd cost too much and be very impractical.

I also think it'd be cool if there was ability to put DSP processes easily into the SB2 for things such as crossfeed (for my headphones) or FIR filters for my digital room correction, as easily as dropping an impulse wav file into the setting on the SB.

jazzfan
2005-08-26, 17:28
Here's what I'd like to see

but in an audiophile version I'd like:

1. 1/4 headphone jack with good headphone section behind it

2. Modular design:
Here's what I think would be cool. A small box that composes the actual slimdevices software and hardware with changable DAC box, and output stage box, and power supply box, so if I wanted to change out the DAC, it'd be as simple as pulling out the BB1741 section and replacing it with an AD section, etc. Or if I wanted a tube output section I could take off the output section, and snap in a 12ax7 tube section, and all of this would be open so I could design and build one myself :)

Atleast I'd LOVE it, but I'm sure it'd cost too much and be very impractical.
SB.

I like the thought of modular design. Magnum Dynalab is doing this now, (although on a product that is far too high priced for mankind).

Today the SB2 is a very good sounding unit. It offers unique value in Squeeze Network and the open source model. However, investing in better packaging or purchase model options is something Slim Devices is going to have to do or grow no further in the marketplace than where they sit today. (note: never stop offering wireless and wired only models!).

This offering is starting to creep into other product lines and will grow into a mainline offering with other "Squeeze Networks" along with getting bundled into common priced receivers. Onkyo and Integra is already trying with their "NetTune" offering. I would have to think Slim devices is aware of this.

I say "SB2 owners - throw your ideas out" so Slim Devices hears, and hopefully, reacts. I like the product. Sadly I have trouble debating my wife. It does appear to be a $250.00 clock radio. I would be happy to pay $400.00 to $500.00 if it came in a nice case with only a few improvements. We all would benefit. Slim devices earnings go up, the company does not get pounded out of existance by the big wallet based companies, and we end up with a refined nicer looking unit.

My 2 cents:
- single box, (f you going to worry about Pwr Spl interference just build the proper shielded box)

- thick faceplate, (this simply looks good and sells)

- black or brushed options

- 1/4 headphone jack with good headphone section behind it (YES! make that section descrete pure class A or tubed)

- basic controls on front, (know you can use it with a lost remote; caution though, keep the front simple)

- fixed or variable output option on the analog out

- analog out, (descrete pure class A or tubed : at a minimum use opamps, but drive them single ended class A)

- link light on the Ethernet jack on the back, (you should be scolded for not doing this in the first place)

Thanks for listening,
JazzFan

Dave D
2005-08-26, 18:15
I say "SB2 owners - throw your ideas out" so Slim Devices hears, and hopefully, reacts. I like the product. Sadly I have trouble debating my wife. It does appear to be a $250.00 clock radio. I would be happy to pay $400.00 to $500.00 if it came in a nice case with only a few improvements.

Well, since you asked ;) ...but I'm the minority in this forum!

Really, though, why not start a real poll under "General Discussion." It's pretty clear in the "Audiophiles" forum, you'll find few who disagree with you, but it might be very different in the Squeezebox owner population as a whole.

I would not pay $500 or more for a networked audio player--even a device as sweet as the Squeezebox2. In my opinion, there simply is not enough value there to justify it. Let's face it: it streams audio. (It streams audio in an _exceptional_ manner, but that's all.) If Slim Devices moves out of the lower-cost segment, there will be an unfortunate void to be filled by competitors. Currently they stand alone. I'd live to see market share numbers in this price segment. And if they move into the much higher priced segment, they will have to think about providing feature parity with systems like Sonos.

I like the small footprint of the existing box. I have an entertainment center which hides all but the glowing display behind a glass door. If I had an open rack, I admittedly would like something to match my equipment a bit better, but I'm not willing to pay that much for it, so I would still buy the cheaper "clock radio" SB2 at the much lower price. But I don't claim to be an audiophile, either. (Don't hassle me for posting here; feedback was solicited ;)

Now, I think it would be great if Slim Devices could OEM their technology and interface, but that might be a bit hard with the open source code (I really don't know what that would entail). In that case, I could have the nice Slim Devices interface to networked audio, and the excellent sound, but get something else with it in the same box: DVD and/or amp and/or HT receiver perhaps. _Then_ of course I would pay more money.

On what I see as a more practical enhancement with minimal effect on cost, I would like to see perhaps three or four "general purpose", programmable/unused buttons be added to the Slim Remote so that we could map whatever function we wanted to them with the new IR blasting feature, without giving up any of the existing features on the remote. I would also like the SB2 to be able to read codes from any IR remote and be able to re-map them to the IR blaster feature. And I think the blasting feature (hardware) could be integrated for next to zero increase in cost.

And, yes, the link LED would be nice, too.

bjackson
2005-08-27, 00:04
Well I'd disagree with you that all it does is stream music. I mean it's getting it off the network, decoding it, converting it to analog, and amplifying it, and all of those things can cause distortion in one way or another.

I agree that the general population wouldn't pay 500 for one (Hell I probably wouldn't pay 500 for one), but I like the idea of upgradibility because I'd pay 300 for a SB, 100 for a DAC upgrade (which really could cost like 20 bucks in parts), etc. I like to spread out the pain because I am a poor college audiophile :)

Dave D
2005-08-27, 06:00
Well I'd disagree with you that all it does is stream music.

You are correct and my statement was not meant to disparage the SB2 or its development community in any way. Quite the opposite, in fact. There have been many thousands of man-hours of compensated and volunteer effort in the SliMP3/Squeezebox creation and in the continued development and support of most excellent features and applications. That's why I said the product stands alone. Anyone who does proper research will realize this.

However, at a much higher price point I think the product would need to go beyond obvious aesthetic improvements and esoteric enhancements intended for the audiophile population. Some possibilities:

-- coordinated, non-line-of-sight remote control, e.g. RF; maybe Zigbee for control of many devices throughout a living area.
-- more sophisticated remotes & controllers with LCD displays.
-- slave controllers which could be in- or on-wall mounted in other rooms, with options for driving powered speakers or amps (maybe even Slim's own branded class-D amp)
-- intelligent control of and integration with other devices, including video and voice (IP, including on-site, i.e. intercom).
-- ...and the aesthetic and audiophile enhancements.

Eh, just my opinion. I could be wrong; from reading various forums, I've been amazed at how much money some people are willing to pay for high-end audio equipment. But I wonder what percentage of sales that segment would comprise.

It's fun to dream, though, and who knows? You might get your wishes! :)

Patrick Dixon
2005-08-27, 06:48
Some people amaze me! If you have a very small collection of 100 CDs, you've probably spent in excess of $1000 just to purchase them, yet you begrudge $500 on the equipment to listen to what's on them! And if you cheapskate on the quality of the equipment you are probably only hearing half the music anyway; so you're chucking away $500 of what you've already spent.

Where's the sense in that?

mwphoto
2005-08-27, 08:34
Patrick Dixon Wrote:
> Some people amaze me! If you have a very small collection of 100 CDs,
> you've probably spent in excess of $1000 just to purchase them, yet
> you begrudge $500 on the equipment to listen to what's on them! And
> if you cheapskate on the quality of the equipment you are probably
> only hearing half the music anyway; so you're chucking away $500 of
> what you've already spent.
>
> Where's the sense in that?

With apologies to Patrick - this occurred to me and it amused me in an idle
moment, it's not meant to be critical :)

<tongue-in-cheek>
> Some people amaze me! If you have a reasonable audiophile system
> you've probably spent in excess of $20,000 just to purchase it, yet
> you could get fantastic sound from a $500 PC and a $200 squeeze box
> and a $300 amp and pair of bookshelf speakers. With the $19,000 saved you
could
> explore 1,900 new CDS, build a Jazz collection, try out some hip hop and
garage,
> get a decent set of Motown recordings, beef up and extend your AOR
section,
> and get started on exploring some classical composers!
> And if you cheapskate on the range of music you listen to you are probably
> cutting yourself from a medium that represents nations, religions,
cultures,
> and sub-cultures, long-lasting and transient. And your highly revealing
hi-fi
> is only revealing a tiny part of the music out there.
>
> Where's the sense in that?
</tongue-in-cheek>

Malcolm

PS If I had the money I'd probably be upgrading my SB2 . . .

--
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Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.10.16/83 - Release Date: 26/08/2005

MrC
2005-08-27, 09:17
Some people amaze me! If you have a very small collection of 100 CDs, you've probably spent in excess of $1000 just to purchase them, yet you begrudge $500 on the equipment to listen to what's on them! And if you cheapskate on the quality of the equipment you are probably only hearing half the music anyway; so you're chucking away $500 of what you've already spent.

Where's the sense in that?
There's more sense in their choices than this argument! :-)

The number of CDs demonstrates the desire to repeatedly listen to a variety of selections. HOW that music is listened to is an entirely different subject, and has no direct relationship to quantity of discs. ( And the quality of many CDs, esp, old recordings, is quite poor anyway. You can't polish a turd. )

Most folks just work around the house, or go about their business, while their tunes are blasting. They don't need perfect staging and imaging, to sit in the sweet spot, worry about how transparent the playback is, blah, blah, blah. My wife works, clattering away at the keyboard, while SB2 does its magic. She couldn't be happier. Oh, and we have a great deal many more than 100 CDs.

I recall this guy I knew way back who plunked down over 100k on his sound equipment. It was more expensive that his house. He had no children, no girlfriend, no life outside of sitting in that centered chair between his two ceiling-high magneplanar speakers, fretting about hurting his $500 stylus, or tripping over those $1000 wires.

Knowing what's "good enough" is the key to life, my friend. :-)

bjackson
2005-08-27, 09:40
Hey... Now the only thing crazy about that was the 1000 dollar power cords.

There is nothing in my mind that is more insane than paying more than 50 dollars for an interconnect or power cord. I understand needing quality, but quality ends at 50 bucks and smoke and mirrors come in. I mean there is hundreds of miles of copper between your wall and the final source, I don't see how the last foot is going to matter...

That is neither here nor there, however, I do agree, why own thousands of dollars of CDs and listen to it on crap?

I mean 500 really isn't that much for:
A. a transport that takes a shiny disc, spins it to high speeds, and reads information off of it with a laser
b. Takes that information and samples it
c. Takes the sampled information and decodes it
e. Takes the decoded information and turns it into analog
f. Takes the analog signal and amplifies it and provides large current reserves down to the 4-8ohm range.
g. transports the current to the loudspeaker
h. splits the signal into various bands
i. takes the various bands of signal and propels a diaphrahm matched to that signal type back and forth at high rates of speed
j. does it with enough force to move the air and create sound that is a reasonable approximation of the original.


I think that 500 dollars is about the bare minimum to do this at all well (and that's shopping on the cheap and buying used/DIY components). I mean I don't think it takes 50,000 but maybe 3-4k on a system to listen to music wouldn't be insane for me, because without music I wouldn't want to live my life, really. I listen to music all of the time, and it gives me pleasure and happiness :)

Patrick Dixon
2005-08-27, 10:25
Knowing what's "good enough" is the key to life, my friend. :-)Yeah, expect little and you will never be disappointed.

BTW, I have a 1960 recording of Buddy Holly that someone gave me, that sounds like he is still alive and in the room with me - so don't you kid yourself that old recordings are quite poor!

pfarrell
2005-08-27, 10:41
On Sat, 2005-08-27 at 10:25 -0700, Patrick Dixon wrote:
> > Knowing what's "good enough" is the key to life, my friend. :-)Yeah, expect little and you will never be disappointed.
>
> BTW, I have a 1960 recording of Buddy Holly that someone gave me, that
> sounds like he is still alive and in the room with me - so don't you
> kid yourself that old recordings are quite poor!

I expect that the earlier comment was about early CD recordings, which
often sounded terrible due to digital overs, bad mastering, lack of
proper dither, etc.

Some early DDD recordings on CD are terrible, some Mercury and RCA mono
stuff from the 50s is wonderful. It all depends on lots of things.

Careful listening to early Beatles stuff can let you hear clanking of
the bass drum petal along with assorted hum from the Vox ac30 guitar
amps. One set of folks could argue that these are bad sounds, others
could say that the cheap drumset that Ringo used did clank, and most
AC30s are hum generators.

I recently bought a CD of CSN&Y's Four Way Street album, a classic at
the time. The audio quality is terrible and the singer's intonation is
painful. I'm torn between not wanting to hear such pain ever again, and
wanting to hear it through my clouded memory.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

MrC
2005-08-27, 11:17
Nicely put, Pat. My comment was indeed about poor CDs, but no only that, there are many poorly recording tracks on all forums of media.

There's always a "drink the cool aid" quality to me about some of the excessiveness to attempt to gather enough gear and spend enormous $$$ to convince oneself that you will hear the music *exactly* the way the artist intended, or as if they were in the room with you. I find this a bit funny, given the large mutation that happens between artist's imagination, translation to accompanying musicans, track recording, recording equipment deficiencys, mistakes, editors, duplication errors and other transmogrifications.

I'd lay dollars to donuts there isn't recording and playback equipment available to date that could sucessfully record someone's voice speaking, that can continually fool and convince a single, well-hearing, reasonable adult that someone was actually in the room, especially with any movement allowed.

jazzfan
2005-08-27, 11:38
Wow - heavy duty replies... I just wanted to open a little discussion and see what others thought about a nicer looking, somewhat improved, SB2.

Sounds a good amount of people group the SB2 into just another computer product. Myself, being a long term FM jazz fan, am excitied about using the internet as another possible media choice to deliver music into my life.

I would fall into that "audiophile" group, but have always retained my common sense and would not spend huge amounts of money on something as stupid as a overpriced AC cord thinking my system with begin to glow in a fashion it did not before. However, I really enjoy music and do dedicate a room in our home for it, (along with video). The items I buy to go in that room are important and unique value to my ears and family enjoyment, (HT).

This said I would pay more for a nicer SB2 since most audio gear I have purchased is based on long term enjoyment and it does matter to me how it performs and looks. I think the daily enjoyment of the SB2 is hard to beat today, but, I will indeed replace it when, (I don't belive this is an IF), the competition comes out with something nicer, and "IF" Slim Devices sits back and only relies on open source to improve their product.

This is not meant to be a slam, just a reality statement as I hear people sounding like "why bother chaninging it - it's ok as is...".

pfarrell
2005-08-27, 12:10
On Sat, 2005-08-27 at 11:38 -0700, jazzfan wrote:
> Wow - heavy duty replies... I just wanted to open a little discussion
> and see what others thought about a nicer looking, somewhat improved,
> SB2.

I am sure that Sean and company will invent a SB3 that is way cooler.
They have before, the SB2 is their fourth product.

> This said I would pay more for a nicer SB2

The discussion has dealt with two areas. One is replacing the cheap
plastic case with something machined and massive to look right
with, say, a Classe Amp.

The second is to address sonic issues such as better power supplies,
better connectors, etc.

For me, the first is not important. My SqueezeBox is not visible. It
is inside a stereo cabinet with a dark glass. I can read the display
fine, but the case disapears into the black background. I can't see my
Benchmark DAC-1 either, I know it is sitting next to the SB, and can
see the LED, but it is equally invisible. I like to think of it as
non-intrusive.

The second set of sonic issues could be important, but I think that
is much too much of a niche issue for a mass product vendor
(Which I assume SlimDevices wants to grow up to become).

There are easy solutions, today, to making it sounds better. See
the prior threads about linear power supplies, or using external DACs.
Probably not cheap relative to the $200 price of a SB2, but there are
solutions available for just a few hundred dollars.

Lets be specific, I would be willing to take a SB2 and a Benchmark
DAC-1, put them in an impressive case, if I could get $2000 each for
them. It would clearly be "audiophile" quality to many. Would it be
worth it to several hundred folks? Is that better than putting a SB2 and
DAC-1 on a dark shelf and use $800 for CDs or taking the wife out to
dinner several times?

> I will indeed replace it when, (I don't belive this
> is an IF), the competition comes out with something nicer, and "IF" Slim
> Devices sits back and only relies on open source to improve their
> product.

I've seen zero evidence that SD "only relies" on open source.
They make a cool product. It can be audiophile, as audiophile as
you want. They have made improvements that are nicer and cooler.

The question of an "audiophile edition" is really whether there are
enough audiophiles willing to pay enough money to make it a smart
business decision by SD to have two radically different products.

I don't see a consensus on what "audiophiles" want, let alone in
sufficient volumes (hundreds of units) to justify it as a business. But
I'm not Sean, so it is not me that has to be convinced.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

joshk
2005-08-29, 07:42
I am a self proclaimed "audiophile". But I wholey agree with Pat. As a business person, I am not sure SD will see it worthwhile to create an audiophile version.

I think a better idea on SD's part (of course just my $.02) would be to provide the audiophile manufacturer with boards/daughter cards/whatever's clever to build into their audiophile approved solution with whatever audiophile jeweler that manufacturer wishes to adorn upon it. SD wouldn't have to take the risk of whether they sell enough or not, they would just be an OEM for the necessary circuitry.

pfarrell
2005-08-29, 09:13
On Mon, 2005-08-29 at 07:42 -0700, joshk wrote:
> I think a better idea on SD's part (of course just my $.02) would be to
> provide the audiophile manufacturer with boards/daughter
> cards/whatever's clever to build into their audiophile approved
> solution with whatever audiophile jeweler that manufacturer wishes to
> adorn upon it.

Sean is doing exactly that. See
http://www.seanadams.com/ip3k/cpu_module/

I always assume that Sean, Patrick and company are the same as
SlimDevices, but I'm not a corporate lawyer. He even has
a pricing schedule on the site.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

MrC
2005-10-27, 12:27
I happend to find an interesting article on the New York Times regarding Olive's players. With the references in this thread to those products, I thought others might find it an interesting read.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/27/technology/circuits/27pogue.html?ex=1131076800&en=09484ace5a05fc1b&ei=5065

Some nice ideas, but a bit pricey.

sfraser
2005-10-27, 13:01
Nope. I bet they would sell more @ $2000 than $1000. It's all in the marketing ......

Don't forget the gold plated ethernet jack......;)

Scott

JJZolx
2005-10-27, 13:50
I happend to find an interesting article on the New York Times regarding Olive's players. With the references in this thread to those products, I thought others might find it an interesting read.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/27/technology/circuits/27pogue.html?ex=1131076800&en=09484ace5a05fc1b&ei=5065

Some nice ideas, but a bit pricey.
Very nice stuff. Not at all pricey considering it's an all-in-one unit. The thing is really a fancified audio computer, having CD-ROM drives for ripping, internal hard drives, CPUs, memory and etc. The interesting thing is the company even has its own "slim" device that can run off of a server unit in another room. I could see this having a lot of appeal to non-geek audiophiles who want a self contained unit along the lines of the VRS Audio System.

http://www.vrsaudiosystems.com

This market is _really_ heating up, with each manufacturer approaching it from a slightly different angle and at many different price points. I suspect there are going to be quite a few casualties before very long.

CardinalFang
2005-10-27, 14:26
This market is _really_ heating up, with each manufacturer approaching it from a slightly different angle and at many different price points. I suspect there are going to be quite a few casualties before very long.

I think there will be casualties in the HiFi market too eventually, especially CD players. They were once the pinnacle of convenience and so pushed turntables to one side. With an SB and a power amp, you can eliminate so many components and have total access to all your music.

The new SB3 has caused me to totally re-evaluate my stereo system, not sure why the SB2 didn't but perhaps it's because the SB3 looks much more like an interface to a music library, it's much more like a display for something much bigger.

Anyway, I've realised that my ideal system is now an SB3, a power amp (preferably valve because I like the glow and delicacy of the sound) and some elegant speakers (Sonus Faber Cremona?). Nothing else, no CD, no radio, perhaps a DAC, but that's all(!) I need now for audio niverna. Spend more on each component and you have an easy to use system that sacrifices nothing when it comes to the sound or rapid access to high definition audio. I think I just wrote a marketing message there...let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it.

Paul