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View Full Version : Used Squeezebox (SB1) or new SB3?



newton
2005-12-01, 07:52
I searched the forums (enough, I hope) but I didn't find what I was looking for.

I have been interested in getting a Squeezebox for awhile now. I can get an original, wired Squeezebox for a good price, lots lower than buying a new one. I have looked at the hardware comparison page, but what I really want to know is this...

As a new user trying to evaluate using a Squeezebox to stream my mp3, would I be disappointed by the sound or user interface of the original Squeezebox compared to Squeezebox2? Are there any serious limitations to the original compared to the SB2? I know that the DAC and display are better on SB2. I don't think the buffering is going to be an issue for my wired network. Anything I would really miss on an SB1?

Thanks for helping out a newbie!

Jim
2005-12-01, 07:56
Slightly better sound with the SB2/3 I have heard, but if you're streaming MP3 probably won't notice.

If you decide to stream FLAC then you'll regret that the SB1 does not have native FLAC support and transcoding into WAV has to be performed on the server.

The above features are important to me and I own a SB1 - how much you wanna buy it for? :P

pfarrell
2005-12-01, 08:20
On Thu, 2005-12-01 at 06:56 -0800, Jim wrote:
> Slightly better sound with the SB2/3 I have heard, but if you're
> streaming MP3 probably won't notice.

Since many MP3s are compressed to death, if the OP is not seriously
into sound quality (and my daughter is not at all into it)
then it makes no difference.


> If you decide to stream FLAC then you'll regret that the SB1 does not
> have native FLAC support and transcoding into WAV has to be performed
> on the server.

With the minor nit that if you wire your SqueezeBox 1, the
lack of native support and transcoding is not an problem.

So, if you want wireless and care about (obsess about?) sound quality,
you want a SB2 or SB3. If you run wirelessly with MP3 and similar
lossy compression, you may be happy with a SB1 or SB1/G.
But the used SB1s are not what I'd call "cheap" so when I get
another one (which will be my fourth), it will be a SB3.


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

Aaron Zinck
2005-12-01, 08:58
There are a number of things that have already been recounted in this thread
that make the SB2/SB3 superior to the SB1. Some others are the geekport,
more advanced wireless support (wireless G, WPA, etc.), support for
visualizations, and bit-perfect pass-through (important if you want to
stream WAV-encoded DTS). And the significance of SB2/SB3's hardware support
of more audio formats goes beyond simply helping alleviate bandwidth
usage--ffw/rev doesn't work on any formats that aren't supported in
hardware. There are also some quirks with the SB1's digital output section
like the fact that it sometimes, under certain circumstances, swaps the left
and right channels (I don't recall the exact circumstances, it has to do
with switching between mp3 decoding and wav).

This being said, I happen to have an SB1 and I have no problem living
without any of those improvements. My squeezebox still does what I bought
it to do and it does it wonderfully. I've never personally run into the
channel-swapping issue (or maybe I have and didn't know it!) and since I
only stream 320kbps MP3 and my squeezebox sits on a wired network I wouldn't
currently get any benefit from the new formats or the larger buffer. This
all just goes to say that you can still certainly get a great and satisfying
experience from an SB1.

HOWEVER: the main reason I have never, and will probably not in the near
future, consider replacing my SB1 is RHAPSODY SUPPORT. The SB1 will run
under Slimserver 5.4 and the RealSlim plugin allows me to interact fully
with Rhapsody. This, to me, is the "killer app" for the Squeezebox. I have
heard some rumors of folks getting RealSlim to work on version 6 of the
server but I tried it briefly with no success--I would think the rather
fluid nature of the 6.x server development makes this a delicate solution at
best. Also, there have been some rumblings on these forums that perhaps
Squeezebox 2/3 may support the appropriate DRM to allow playback of
Rhapsody/Napster/Yahoo music. But until then, if you're looking to use
Rhapsody the SB1 is the best option in the Slim world (the SLIMP3 would
work, too).

xio
2005-12-01, 09:38
Don't forget the vu-meter screensaver on the sb2/3!

But seriously, I have slimp3, sb1, sb1/g, sb2 and sb3 (full house!) and the only issues I've had with any of them have been on the 1 wireless sb1 which I sorted by getting a new router, resiting it and forcing compression to the box. I'm sure with the larger buffer on the sb2/3 it would never give problems, but as you're running wired anyway and it's a first foray into the squeezebox world, I'd think the sb1 would be a good start. The grpahic display is a lot nicer if you can get one with that, but I think (some) people worry too much about the aesthetics rather than just enjoying the music. The newer devices feel a bit more slick, but my slimp3 is still used on a daily basis without problems.

Go for the sb1, but just be aware that you will feel compelled to buy more as time goes by....

newton
2005-12-02, 11:05
HOWEVER: the main reason I have never, and will probably not in the near
future, consider replacing my SB1 is RHAPSODY SUPPORT. The SB1 will run
under Slimserver 5.4 and the RealSlim plugin allows me to interact fully
with Rhapsody. This, to me, is the "killer app" for the Squeezebox. I have
heard some rumors of folks getting RealSlim to work on version 6 of the
server but I tried it briefly with no success--I would think the rather
fluid nature of the 6.x server development makes this a delicate solution at
best. Also, there have been some rumblings on these forums that perhaps
Squeezebox 2/3 may support the appropriate DRM to allow playback of
Rhapsody/Napster/Yahoo music. But until then, if you're looking to use
Rhapsody the SB1 is the best option in the Slim world (the SLIMP3 would
work, too).

Aaron - does this mean that SB2/3 doesn't have Rhapsody support? I'll try to look around for an answer, but is that because SB2/3 isn't supported by Slimserver 5.4 or is it something else?

Thanks to all for the feedback!

kdf
2005-12-02, 11:10
Quoting newton <newton.1zfcun (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> Aaron - does this mean that SB2/3 doesn't have Rhapsody support? I'll
> try to look around for an answer, but is that because SB2/3 isn't
> supported by Slimserver 5.4 or is it something else?
>
> Thanks to all for the feedback!

6.0+ no longer works with the Rhapsody Plugin. Yes, some users posting here
have claimed some measure of success. 6.0+ is required for the SB2/SB3. SB2
and SB3 could certainly work with Rhapsody if the server or realSlim could be
patched to work again. Unfortunately, I know of no current efforts in this
regard, which could still mean there may be something (very) quietly going on.

-kdf

Aaron Zinck
2005-12-02, 12:00
> Quoting newton
<newton.1zfcun (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
:
>
> > Aaron - does this mean that SB2/3 doesn't have Rhapsody support? I'll
> > try to look around for an answer, but is that because SB2/3 isn't
> > supported by Slimserver 5.4 or is it something else?
> >
> > Thanks to all for the feedback!


KDF hit all the major points here, but just to be absolutely explicit about
it: Yes, the reason SB2/SB3 can't use rhapsody is because realslim (the
plugin that interacts with Rhapsody) does not currently work on version 6.0
and above of slimserver.

awetmore
2005-12-02, 16:22
There are a number of things that have already been recounted in this thread
that make the SB2/SB3 superior to the SB1. Some others are the geekport,
more advanced wireless support (wireless G, WPA, etc.), support for
visualizations, and bit-perfect pass-through (important if you want to
stream WAV-encoded DTS).

You also can't use SqueezeNetwork. I don't find SqueezeNetwork to be super compelling right now, but I know they are doing work on it and there will be cool new features in the future that I will want to use.

I have a mix of devices and no immediate plans to upgrade my SB1-G devices to SB2 devices, but I wouldn't buy a SB1 device today if a SB2/3 was only a little bit more.

alex

newton
2005-12-02, 20:56
I am planning to start out with a used SB1, simply based on price. Thanks for all of the great feedback.

What is an SB1-G, wireless 802.11G version? I haven't seen that.

pfarrell
2005-12-02, 21:04
On Fri, 2005-12-02 at 19:56 -0800, newton wrote:
> What is an SB1-G, wireless 802.11G version? I haven't seen that.

No, a SB1/g is the improved graphics display model SB1.
Same 802.11b wireless

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

awetmore
2005-12-02, 23:41
No, a SB1/g is the improved graphics display model SB1.
Same 802.11b wireless


The original SB1 had a 40x2 character display.

The SB1-G has a graphical display (but it isn't as nice as the display on the SB2/3). You get 4 font sizes as a result, 2 that display 2 lines and 2 that display one line. If you want to read the display from more than a few feet away it is a major improvement.

Slimdevices used to sell upgrade displays to go from the SB1 to a SB1-G. It wasn't a cheap upgrade ($80), but was worth it for me. I don't know if these are still available, I kind of doubt it, but it might be worth asking them if you find a really cheap SB1 with the 40x2 display.

If the price upgrade isn't huge I'd opt for a SB2 over the SB1 or SB1-G, especially if you'll be using the analog outs or wireless.

alex

EYE97
2005-12-03, 02:25
Do any of these units come with a built in speaker or does it have to connect to a speaker?

Cheers
RJ
www.eye97.com

max.spicer
2005-12-03, 05:35
You need speakers for all the squeezeboxes. Unless you have active speakers or headphone, you'll also need an amp.

Max


Do any of these units come with a built in speaker or does it have to connect to a speaker?

Cheers
RJ
www.eye97.com

Aaron Zinck
2005-12-05, 13:31
> Do any of these units come with a built in speaker or does it have to
> connect to a speaker?
>
> Cheers
> RJ
> www.eye97.com

None come with built-in speakers.

enduser
2005-12-06, 03:52
You need speakers for all the squeezeboxes. Unless you have active speakers or headphone, you'll also need an amp.

MaxIf you have good headphones, you will still need an amp. In this case, a headphone amp. The headphone amp in the SB is not worth plugging anything but junky headphones into.

Cleve
2005-12-06, 05:26
Having listened to and used a Squeezebox 1 for several weeks before exchanging for my current Squeezebox 3, I wholeheartedly urge you, if finances permit, to get a Squeezebox 3.

For me - the biggest advantages over Squeezebox 1 are...

Better Display - not just because it's pretty, but because in it's default text size you can read it across the room.

Bigger Buffer - I haven't experienced any dropouts with SB3 - I would get them frequently on Squeezebox 1, when I was performing a task that was HDD or CPU intensive on my Slimserver computer.

Squeezenetwork - I think it's outstanding to have an internet radio player that's not tied or connected to my computer. Unfortunately, with Squeezebox 1, everything has to run through Slimserver/your computer.

Better Sound quality - I wasn't able to do any blind A/B testing, but to my ears and on my system, it sounds better than SB-1.



Good luck, and enjoy your Squeezebox purchase.

newton
2005-12-06, 08:37
Cleve - Thanks for the input. For better or for worse, I am soon to be the proud(?) owner of an SB1. This way I will at least get started with Squeezebox/SlimServer. If all goes well, there may be an SB3 in my future.

Cleve
2005-12-06, 09:46
Cleve - Thanks for the input. For better or for worse, I am soon to be the proud(?) owner of an SB1. This way I will at least get started with Squeezebox/SlimServer. If all goes well, there may be an SB3 in my future.

That's great - and I think you'll still be very happy with the SB-1. I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread when I first got mine.

newton
2005-12-10, 19:29
I should probably start a different thread but...

I got the used SB1 and set it up. So far, I am pretty excited about the whole thing.

Before getting the SB1, about the only thing I have done with digital music is rip CD's to MP3's for use on portable devices. I have been using WinAmp and iTunes, 192 bit encoding.

I have looked around at the forums a little, but I am trying to decide if I should start re-ripping my CD's for the SB1 at 320 bit or FLAC and use transcoding. I will try to find out more about encoding - VRB or CRB if I use MP3 format instead of FLAC, or if FLAC to MP3 transcoding to the SB1 is better.

As a rookie, I would welcome any suggests or pointers (other than "Get an SB3". That will have to wait awhile!)

pfarrell
2005-12-10, 19:46
On Sat, 2005-12-10 at 18:29 -0800, newton wrote:
> I have looked around at the forums a little, but I am trying to decide
> if I should start re-ripping my CD's for the SB1 at 320 bit or FLAC and
> use transcoding. I will try to find out more about encoding - VRB or CRB
> if I use MP3 format instead of FLAC, or if FLAC to MP3 transcoding to
> the SB1 is better.
>
> As a rookie, I would welcome any suggests or pointers (other than "Get
> an SB3". That will have to wait awhile!)

Use FLAC and forget all the VBR/CRB bull.
Never touch your CDs again.

Assuming you have a decent server and network connection,
the server Flac to WAV decompression is what you want.
I use it and love it.

I've got three SB1s, some day I'll get some SB3.
Maybe Santa will do it soon, but if not, I'm happy.


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

Cleve
2005-12-10, 20:38
On Sat, 2005-12-10 at 18:29 -0800, newton wrote:
> I have looked around at the forums a little, but I am trying to decide
> if I should start re-ripping my CD's for the SB1 at 320 bit or FLAC and
> use transcoding. I will try to find out more about encoding - VRB or CRB
> if I use MP3 format instead of FLAC, or if FLAC to MP3 transcoding to
> the SB1 is better.
>
> As a rookie, I would welcome any suggests or pointers (other than "Get
> an SB3". That will have to wait awhile!)

Use FLAC and forget all the VBR/CRB bull.
Never touch your CDs again.

Assuming you have a decent server and network connection,
the server Flac to WAV decompression is what you want.
I use it and love it.

I've got three SB1s, some day I'll get some SB3.
Maybe Santa will do it soon, but if not, I'm happy.


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

I agree - if one is using good quality audio gear, FLAC is the way to go. I'm not sure, however, how CPU intensive the "on the fly" FLAC to WAV conversion necessitated by Squeezebox 1 is. I never tried it before I converted from SB1 to SB3 - and I have a n older computer (650 Athlon Classic Slot A)

pfarrell
2005-12-10, 20:53
On Sat, 2005-12-10 at 19:38 -0800, Cleve wrote:
> I agree - if one is using good quality audio gear, FLAC is the way to
> go. I'm not sure, however, how CPU intensive the "on the fly" FLAC to
> WAV conversion necessitated by Squeezebox 1 is. I never tried it
> before I converted from SB1 to SB3 - and I have a n older computer (650
> Athlon Classic Slot A)

FLAC is designed to be easy to decompress.
It is much slower to compress than decompress
and much slower to compress than MP3.

I ran for ages, 18 months or so on a P3-500
and it was fine.

It is decompressed by a microcontroller in the SB2 and SB3

I've got a box of TI MSP430 F1612 microcontrollers
in the basement. They are very low powered.
Might be tempted to look into a FLAC implementation
for it. Its got a D-to-A convertor :-)

YMMV and all that.


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