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mrfantasy
2005-12-04, 10:35
I've decided I have to get my Squeezebox music in both my living room and family room.

Right now my SB2 is in a great custom entertainment center (http://www.customshoppefurniture.com/) with the home theatre receiver (a Sony STR-DE845--it's not audiophile equipment but among the ones I tested 4 years ago for under $500 sounded the best with music, and it sounds great with DVDs) and Klipsch Quartet speakers with a KSW10 subwoofer (again, not audiophile stuff, but better than any other home theatre speakers under $800 I tried for music). The receiver has A/B speaker outputs, but not a line out that could be fed to another amp.

My family room and living room are back-to-back (the family room is an extension off the original house, and in fact has the back of the living room fireplace in it) and I can get between them with a simple wall penetration, and run about 15 feet of cable between the rooms. I the Living room I have an old Sony reciever, stereo only, and Polk R15 speakers (and also a second TV and DVD player for incidental use, but no home theatre setup.)

I figure my options are:

1) Buy an SB3 and put it in the living room, hooked up to the existing receiver. Probably the simplest option, but I'm not sure how the audio quality would be with the old receive, and it's another $300. Also my primary application would be to have the same thing playing in the living room and family room (I'll probably probably never have independent listening) and even if players weren't precisely synched it would be distracting.

2) Use the B speaker outputs from the family room and run speaker wire to the living room, and get a speaker switch in the living room (Niles Audio makes an automatic switch for about $90.) to switch between the family room receiver and living room receiver. Cost $100 plus some speaker wire.

3) Hook my digital out from the SB2 to the family room receiver, and run the line outs to the living room, into the old receiver. This would be easy as well, but probably wouldn't sound as good in the family room, where I'm now using the analog outs assuming the SB2 DAC is better than whatever's in the Sony (although the Sony is resampling and processing it anyway, and doesn't have an analog only mode like I've seen in some home theatre receivers in the same price range nowadays.)

4) Buy a new receiver for the family room with a line out, put the one currently in there in the living room, and use line out cable to hook the two together. The new receiver would probably have an analog-only mode for best audio quality from the SB2, and would provide the same signal to my current receiver. I'd be looking at stuff in the $500-$1000 range.

Thoughts? Anything else I haven't thought of?

Mark Lanctot
2005-12-04, 14:02
You could use both the coaxial digital and optical
digital outputs simultaneously with 2 receivers.
I am assuming that both outputs can operate
simultaneously, but I see nothing that indicates
they can't.

Yes, the SB2's DAC is at least as good or better
than those in most AVRs, but the problem isn't
that one DAC is better than the other, the problem
is that some receivers handle analog much worse
than digital.

With my Marantz 8400, I find the optical digital
SB2 output to be extremely clean but slightly
bright. The analog connection is much warmer, but
too much so - to the point the vocals sound
muffled and the music lacks detail.

Yet when I listen to the SB2 using headphones it
isn't nearly as muffled, and it's being driven by
the SB2 DAC as well.

Since both the analog and digital SB2 outputs can
operate simultaneously, you can have a very good
comparison test since you can change audio inputs
with the press of a button. Remember that
auditory memory is the shortest, most fleeting and
most easily fooled/persuaded.

You can also use a pair of splitters on the analog
line to split the analog sound between two
receivers. Cheaper than a Niles switch, although
you would need a second receiver.

mrfantasy wrote:
> I've decided I have to get my Squeezebox music in
both my living room
> and family room.
>
> Right now my SB2 is in a great custom entertainment
center
> (http://www.customshoppefurniture.com/) with the
home theatre receiver
> (a Sony STR-DE845--it's not audiophile equipment but
among the ones I
> tested 4 years ago for under $500 sounded the best
with music, and it
> sounds great with DVDs) and Klipsch Quartet speakers
with a KSW10
> subwoofer (again, not audiophile stuff, but better
than any other home
> theatre speakers under $800 I tried for music). The
receiver has A/B
> speaker outputs, but not a line out that could be
fed to another amp.
>
> My family room and living room are back-to-back (the
family room is an
> extension off the original house, and in fact has
the back of the
> living room fireplace in it) and I can get between
them with a simple
> wall penetration, and run about 15 feet of cable
between the rooms. I
> the Living room I have an old Sony reciever, stereo
only, and Polk R15
> speakers (and also a second TV and DVD player for
incidental use, but
> no home theatre setup.)
>
> I figure my options are:
>
> 1) Buy an SB3 and put it in the living room, hooked
up to the existing
> receiver. Probably the simplest option, but I'm not
sure how the audio
> quality would be with the old receive, and it's
another $300. Also my
> primary application would be to have the same thing
playing in the
> living room and family room (I'll probably probably
never have
> independent listening) and even if players weren't
precisely synched it
> would be distracting.
>
> 2) Use the B speaker outputs from the family room
and run speaker wire
> to the living room, and get a speaker switch in the
living room (Niles
> Audio makes an automatic switch for about $90.) to
switch between the
> family room receiver and living room receiver. Cost
$100 plus some
> speaker wire.
>
> 3) Hook my digital out from the SB2 to the family
room receiver, and
> run the line outs to the living room, into the old
receiver. This
> would be easy as well, but probably wouldn't sound
as good in the
> family room, where I'm now using the analog outs
assuming the SB2 DAC
> is better than whatever's in the Sony (although the
Sony is resampling
> and processing it anyway, and doesn't have an analog
only mode like
> I've seen in some home theatre receivers in the same
price range
> nowadays.)
>
> 4) Buy a new receiver for the family room with a
line out, put the one
> currently in there in the living room, and use line
out cable to hook
> the two together. The new receiver would probably
have an analog-only
> mode for best audio quality from the SB2, and would
provide the same
> signal to my current receiver. I'd be looking at
stuff in the
> $500-$1000 range.
>
> Thoughts? Anything else I haven't thought of?
>
>

--
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Mark Lanctot
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