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View Full Version : Will There Be a SB4?



blah509
2006-07-25, 09:42
I know this may be greedy to ask on the eve of a new product release but... I have been waiting to upgrade my SB2 to a "SB4" if it were to be released.

Will there be an "SB4" or are we seeing the new roadmap at slimdevices?

I am sorry but 1999.00 is a little out of my price range. I want it!!! but.... Maybe 500.00 would be a tad better. At least for me.

P.S. I love it, just can't afford it.

Great Job! Enjoy it rich guys :P

g

Mark Lanctot
2006-07-25, 14:20
'Course they won't tell, nor would it be wise to do so. There was a very minor leak about the Transporter a month ago, but of course nothing from the Slim Devices people.

The clearest indications offered are that some of the Transporter features will trickle their way down to a future product (as every manufacturer does with a flagship product), so of course there will be an SB4 or something.

No indication on timing and there seems to be many calls for a boombox before an SB4, but all the while when people were calling for an audiophile unit there was a prototype being worked on in one of the offices...

So yes they do listen to requests here. In fact, the Transporter incorporated many of the things asked right here.

Slim's bread and butter is the Squeezebox line. They haven't even shipped a single Transporter yet, so not to worry. They obviously don't expect every single Squeezebox owner to switch to a Transporter. It's a high-end, niche product that's definitely not mass-market.

blah509
2006-07-25, 18:17
so it is a yes :)

g

Mark Lanctot
2006-07-25, 19:14
so it is a yes :)

Undoubtedly! The SB3 is not discontinued, and there will surely be an in-kind replacement for it at some point in time.

Perhaps it will inherit the following items from the Transporter:

- DAC input
- tactile feedback knob

?

kdf
2006-07-25, 19:39
On 25-Jul-06, at 7:14 PM, Mark Lanctot wrote:

>
> blah509 Wrote:
>> so it is a yes :)
>
> Undoubtedly! The SB3 is not discontinued, and there will surely be an
> in-kind replacement for it at some point in time.
>
from the bbc article:
Mr Cosson said: "Lessons we have learned with this product will
trickle down to our mainstream products.

That is about as much comment as I have ever seen on future products.
-k

JJZolx
2006-07-25, 19:40
Undoubtedly! The SB3 is not discontinued, and there will surely be an in-kind replacement for it at some point in time.

Perhaps it will inherit the following items from the Transporter:

- DAC input
- tactile feedback knob

A tweener product would be good. Nix the useless dual screens and whatever else it is jacking the price up more than $1000 over what it should cost.

A replacement for the SB3 would be great, too. A return to the horizontal form factor of the SB2, in a nicer all metal chassis, with a quality internal linear PSU and external antenna is probably all that's needed.

Oh, and make damned sure Fred Bould has nothing to do with the design.

mikelis
2006-07-25, 20:04
Come on now. Two Grand? You've got to be kidding. How many of us have that kind of change lying around? I could barely scrape up enough for the wired SB2.

funkstar
2006-07-25, 20:42
Come on now. Two Grand? You've got to be kidding. How many of us have that kind of change lying around? I could barely scrape up enough for the wired SB2.
You'd be amazed at how much disposable income the people this is aimed at have.

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=124277&postcount=9

mherger
2006-07-25, 23:30
> That is about as much comment as I have ever seen on future products.

There are at least two more changes in SD's behaviour:

- announcement _before_ the product is available
- _two_ products :-)

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Andy D
2006-07-26, 01:32
I'm no audiophile so while I can appreciate the Transporter, it does nothing for me and I wouldn't buy one even if I had the money.

I got a SB3 because I want a simple (ish) way to have decent sounding music throughout the house and get rid of all the CDs that clutter up the place.

What I'd like to seek is a SB with built in amp as the Sonos ZonePlayers have, clock and radio would be nice too.

This is just my 2p's worth - everyone has opinions...

Cheers

Andy

Simon Still
2006-07-26, 03:10
It's interesting all the variations that are possible. I'm sure a lot of us
are runnign at least one of our SB's into a surround amp and probably using
the optical out on the SB and using the amp's DA converter.

Built in amp? don't understand that one. As it is you can use a set of
powered speakers (of which there are increasing numbers available) or a
seperate amp giving the option of other inputs (TV, radio tuner etc).

Built in radio? Internet radio seems to remove the need for an FM or DAB
tuner - if you want one of these get a receiver rather than an amp.

I'm not sure I'd buy a boombox but i can see why people would want one.

rick's cafe
2006-07-26, 03:27
It's interesting all the variations that are possible. I'm sure a lot of us
are runnign at least one of our SB's into a surround amp and probably using
the optical out on the SB and using the amp's DA converter.




This may be a stupid question but I think I need to clarify differences in audio set up using a surround sound amp..

if you use optical out from SB3 into a surround sound amp do you negate the effects of the Sb3's internal DAC?

if so then is the only way to make proper use of the SB3's DAC to use the analog output....

forgive the ignorance of my question .. i just love mi music! ;-)

BTW - my amp is a cambridge audio Azur 540 R (http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=1&Title=Summary) .. have never tested the sound of the system using RCA rather than thru the Digital Coax... thinking maybe I should... any thoughts from are welcomed

tommyz
2006-07-26, 05:32
if you use optical out from SB3 into a surround sound amp do you negate the effects of the Sb3's internal DAC?

You don't use the SB3 DAC, but the surround amp's one.



if so then is the only way to make proper use of the SB3's DAC to use the analog output....


YES Sir !

ciao, TommyZ

Mark Lanctot
2006-07-26, 05:40
if so then is the only way to make proper use of the SB3's DAC to use the analog output....

Correct.

In my experience, you'll not only hear the differences in DACs, you'll hear the differences in analog versus digital implementation. Most receivers digitize all signals, even analog. If it's digital already, no conversion is necessary. If it's analog, it has to go through an ADC (analog-to-digital converter). It's here that there can be a dramatic loss in quality.

Despite the SB3's DAC, I found the analog sound to be so warm as to be muddy and indistinct in vocals. This problem is largely negated by using headphones directly to the SB3, which obviously bypasses the receiver. The digital is clear and crisp, perhaps a little bright.

You can bypass the receiver's ADC by selecting "bypass" or "direct" mode. It sounds a lot better to me, but L/R speakers only in this mode.

Other analog sources have a similar muddy low-impact sound.

And I'm not using a bad receiver either, it's a Marantz 8400.

Fifer
2006-07-26, 05:55
Despite the SB3's DAC, I found the analog sound to be so warm as to be muddy and indistinct in vocals. This problem is largely negated by using headphones directly to the SB3, which obviously bypasses the receiver. The digital is clear and crisp, perhaps a little bright.
Sorry Mark, but doesn't that mean you found the receiver's ADC/DAC circuits to sound so warm as to make muddy and indistict, the nice sound you could hear directly from the SB headphone socket?

Mark Lanctot
2006-07-26, 06:00
Sorry Mark, but doesn't that mean you found the receiver's ADC/DAC circuits to sound so warm as to make muddy and indistict, the nice sound you could hear directly from the SB headphone socket?

Yes. The sound from the headphone socket was much better - it uses the SB3's DAC directly.

The sound via analog to the receiver was the one that sounded muddy/indistinct - this is the one that uses the receiver's ADC to digitize the sound.

It was quite a surprise and a rude awakening. I suspect not many A/V receivers do analog very well. I remember the two Denon units I had before this weren't good on analog sources either, but I didn't have an SB back then so I couldn't compare directly.

rick's cafe
2006-07-26, 06:36
thanks for the replies....

will try out the different combos to see what difference I hear

2006-07-26, 06:48
> Perhaps it will inherit the following items from the Transporter:
>
> - DAC input
> - tactile feedback knob

Oh, oh! I vote for 2 screens and on device controls with knob!

Kevin

peter
2006-07-27, 02:03
On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 11:10:50 +0100, "Simon Still" <b33k34 (AT) gmail (DOT) com>
said:
> It's interesting all the variations that are possible. I'm sure a lot of
> us
> are runnign at least one of our SB's into a surround amp and probably
> using
> the optical out on the SB and using the amp's DA converter.
>
> Built in amp? don't understand that one. As it is you can use a set of
> powered speakers (of which there are increasing numbers available) or a
> seperate amp giving the option of other inputs (TV, radio tuner etc).

Powered speakers have their own hassles. They need line cables as well
as (long?) power cables which doesn't make for a nice and clean
solution. I would welcome an SB with a built in (T-Amp?) amplifier.
Perhaps it could be a click on modular extra. Just a little black (or
white) box that attaches to the back of an SB and feeds on the line out
and a dc out. I really like the idea of having *less* cables.

> Built in radio? Internet radio seems to remove the need for an FM or DAB
> tuner - if you want one of these get a receiver rather than an amp.

I agree, since SD added WMA streaming I can receive all the radio I want
over the 'net.

> I'm not sure I'd buy a boombox but i can see why people would want one.

It's a nice idea. I'm not sure yet if I'd buy one.

BTW: I see that the Roku Soundbridge radio is now shipping...

Regards,
Peter

325xi
2006-07-27, 03:01
I'd appreciate SB4 - digital circuitry from Transporter and no DAC at all.

BTW, if transporter's DAC is decent enough to play in Benchmark, Stello and Lavry league, $2K becomes quite a reasonable price: say $1300 DAC and $700 enhanced network interface.

funkstar
2006-07-27, 05:53
I would welcome an SB with a built in (T-Amp?) amplifier. Perhaps it could be a click on modular extra. Just a little black (or white) box that attaches to the back of an SB and feeds on the line out and a dc out.
You've just given me a great idea for a little modding :)

Shame the power socket isn't right next to the photo sockets, but i think it should be possible to get round that

radish
2006-07-27, 07:32
You've just given me a great idea for a little modding :)

Shame the power socket isn't right next to the photo sockets, but i think it should be possible to get round that
Sounds cool :) But be careful with the t-amp, mine blew up and took the things it was connected to (PSU and mixer) with it. Not nice...

Loftprojection
2006-07-27, 08:45
To the original question, my guess is I'm pretty sure there will a SB4 and sooner than we think. The SB3 free giveaway with Transporter pre-order is probably a way to get rid of some surplus stock before going ahead and announcing the SB4. We should probably start a SB4 whish list immediately! haha

mrfantasy
2006-07-27, 19:12
To the original question, my guess is I'm pretty sure there will a SB4 and sooner than we think. The SB3 free giveaway with Transporter pre-order is probably a way to get rid of some surplus stock before going ahead and announcing the SB4. We should probably start a SB4 whish list immediately! haha

I assume they'll use the AKG DAC in the new SB. It's only $2.60/ea in quantity 1000. That's the biggest change I can think they'd make while keeping the differentiation between the Squeezebox and the Transporter, since many of the other features (Slimserver 6.5, OGG playback) will be available for the current devices. I don't see things like XLR outputs, digital in, etc. being something to put in the Squeezebox. My only other thought is a return to a more low-profile box a la SB2. Perhaps with a clever knob and a few buttons.

peecee
2006-07-27, 20:36
My only other thought is a return to a more low-profile box a la SB2. Perhaps with a clever knob and a few buttons.

Ain't that the truth. I hate the vertical design (while still technically "slim") and would love to see it go back to a horizontal design. Then again, I'm replacing the slimp3 in my garage with a recently acquired sb3. I don't really like the form factor any where else but my garage. I'd have replaced my other sb2 with an sb3 if I could figure out how to make it horizontal, but oh well, now I think I'm buying a Transporter...

stewrt
2007-02-04, 22:05
So to meet the largest mass: for a SB4..

-Horizontal design
-Better D/A
-Wireless N !!!!!!!!!! to go with my new apple extreme
-Maybe a larger buffer????
-Slightly larger display SLIGHTLY than the SB2 that is
-usb connection for external drives or memory sticks

What is the state of support for Infrant NAS?

Dont add too much, Look how many people you have asking questions in your forums.
Maybe simplify the interface in Slimserver. Or even an easy/expert mode. The SB is not just for audiophiles as the whole world goes digital. It should remember it's roots though.

Stu

325xi
2007-02-05, 09:18
When SD produces SB boombox or anything else for MP3-don't-care-about-quality consumer it will mark beginning of the end for "audiophile" SB line, especially when it is now part of Logitech. So I would wish SD not to proceed with that any soon. If they want device "for masses" they can share some of know how with Logitech and produce it as a regular Logitech product, not Slim Devices.

bklaas
2007-02-05, 09:28
When SD produces SB boombox or anything else for MP3-don't-care-about-quality consumer it will mark beginning of the end for "audiophile" SB line, especially when it is now part of Logitech. So I would wish SD not to proceed with that any soon. If they want device "for masses" they can share some of know how with Logitech and produce it as a regular Logitech product, not Slim Devices.

riiiiiight...it's completely impossible for a company to appease both ends of the market. Even though that's what Slim is doing *already*.

cheers,
#!/ben, a proud member of the hypothetical "don't care about quality" sector

fisher-price turntable >> string >> two tin cans

Robin Bowes
2007-02-05, 09:34
325xi wrote:
> When SD produces SB boombox or anything else for
> MP3-don't-care-about-quality consumer it will mark beginning of the end
> for "audiophile" SB line, especially when it is now part of Logitech. So
> I would wish SD not to proceed with that any soon. If they want device
> "for masses" they can share some of know how with Logitech and produce
> it as a regular Logitech product, not Slim Devices.

Slim Devices has already gone; new Squeezeboxes are (to be) branded
Logitech.

Why do you think it would be impossible for SD/Logitech to produce more
than one product line, i.e. a "consumer" range (boomboxes, alarm clocks,
portable audio, etc.) and an "audiophile" range (focus on sound quality) ?

R.

325xi
2007-02-05, 09:52
It wouldn't be impossible, but a chance that the qualities important for tiny audiophile market would be simply forgotten and lost, is too high. For such a large company as Logitech mass-market product will be much more interesting and profitable. So if they mix "high" and "low" too much SB may get out of the picture.

Re: "that's what Slim is doing *already*". Well, they don't. I never said that it's the price what determines product as audiophile or not. It's all about engineering quality and attention to details. Mass market stuff just don't normally get that, this is why it doesn't normally qualify. Both SB and Transporter got that, and while being in totally different niches they both are "audiophile-ready".

bklaas
2007-02-05, 10:13
The statement I took exception to was that work on a squeeze boombox would "mark the beginning of the end" for the audiophile. Far from it. Slim has already demonstrated that they can have a reasonable niche market at the low and high ends of the price spectrum (quality discussion aside). Investing effort in the low-end in no way indicates an abandonment of the high end. I just don't see it.

Also, FWIW, consider that the R&D for a portable squeezebox would be relatively low. With the SB2/3 product already in existence, productizing it into a portable solution would be a far cry from engineering from scratch. Make it portable, make it modular.

cheers,
#!/ben

Marc Sherman
2007-02-05, 10:46
bklaas wrote:
>
> fisher-price turntable >> string >> two tin cans

Philistine.

- Marc

fisher-price turntable >> string >> gold plated banana clips >> two tin cans

snarlydwarf
2007-02-05, 10:56
I hope that is twine. Cotton string tends to lose spaciousness and muddies the music. 100% hemp keeps the sound natural.

peter
2007-02-05, 11:12
325xi wrote:
> When SD produces SB boombox or anything else for
> MP3-don't-care-about-quality consumer it will mark beginning of the end
> for "audiophile" SB line, especially when it is now part of Logitech. So
> I would wish SD not to proceed with that any soon. If they want device
> "for masses" they can share some of know how with Logitech and produce
> it as a regular Logitech product, not Slim Devices.
>

Ah, those were the days when we were all using SliMP3's and we didn't
have all these snobby audiophiles around telling us what normal people
can and cannot do witrh their audio. ;)

Regards,
Peter

325xi
2007-02-05, 11:26
325xi wrote:
> When SD produces SB boombox or anything else for
> MP3-don't-care-about-quality consumer it will mark beginning of the end
> for "audiophile" SB line, especially when it is now part of Logitech. So
> I would wish SD not to proceed with that any soon. If they want device
> "for masses" they can share some of know how with Logitech and produce
> it as a regular Logitech product, not Slim Devices.
>

Ah, those were the days when we were all using SliMP3's and we didn't
have all these snobby audiophiles around telling us what normal people
can and cannot do witrh their audio. ;)

Regards,
Peter

Hey, I would never tell anyone what to do and what not to. I just wondering what THEY can do to MY audio.


Best,
Your Snob on Duty for today. :)

bklaas
2007-02-05, 13:11
bklaas wrote:
>
> fisher-price turntable >> string >> two tin cans

Philistine.

- Marc

fisher-price turntable >> string >> gold plated banana clips >> two tin cans

I do have plans to add an empty can of one of those cafeteria-service-sized chocolate pudding as a subwoofer.

Mark Lanctot
2007-02-06, 07:39
-Wireless N !!!!!!!!!! to go with my new apple extreme

But that's "pre-n". Actual 'n' won't be out until mid-2008, and that's if there are no delays.

What if the draft standard gets changed? Some overly ambitious companies have promised compatibility, including hardware changes if necessary. But those are companies even bigger than Logitech (Asus). That could be a huge problem if there are hardware changes necessary - they may have to find a way to weasel out of it or take huge losses. For people that buy equipment without a compatibility guarantee, if the standard changes, they'll be left behind.

Wait until the standard comes out or take a risk...Slim/Logitech would be well-advised to wait this out.

Anyway, about the only thing a wireless audio media streamer would benefit from is increased range, which is already met with MIMO routers. You don't need the extra bandwidth, seeing that even 24/96 WAV is 4608 kbps.


-Slightly larger display SLIGHTLY than the SB2 that is

This would be nice, but they're using about the widest, highest-resolution display their current supplier makes. Also VFDs are very expensive, it's the single most expensive component in the Squeezebox, an even larger one would push this even further.

Note the SB2 and the SB3 use the same display.


-usb connection for external drives or memory sticks

I'm still scratching my head about this one. Why do people want a whining, clicking hard drive in their music room? Why not put an extra drive on their SlimServer machine?

And putting SlimServer in the SB would require such a substantial redesign it'd really no longer be an SB but an Olive clone. The Olive units start at $899.


Or even an easy/expert mode.

Now this I'm starting to agree with. A simple, native, Windows-only interface along with the current, full-featured web interface would satisfy the mass market while keeping current users happy.

Mark Lanctot
2007-02-06, 07:48
When SD produces SB boombox or anything else for MP3-don't-care-about-quality consumer it will mark beginning of the end for "audiophile" SB line, especially when it is now part of Logitech. So I would wish SD not to proceed with that any soon. If they want device "for masses" they can share some of know how with Logitech and produce it as a regular Logitech product, not Slim Devices.

This doesn't quite have to be the case: look at Tivoli. Small, boombox-sized devices that give good sound.

Also lots of forum users are suggesting the much-vaunted (yet quite cheap) T-amp chip as an amplifier. The only issue is small-sized yet good speakers, which is always a challenge.

Slim/Logitech could never equal an SB3 connected to a very good audio system, but it doesn't have to be very low quality either. Just something decent. They'd be well-advised to omit digital output jacks, even analog output jacks, but should keep a headphone output.

The SqueezeBoombox should be intended for situations where people currently have a second SB3 connected to self-powered monitors. This gives decent sound but such people likely have a primary system capable of much better sound. It doesn't make the SB3 any less capable.

pfarrell
2007-02-06, 08:01
Mark Lanctot wrote:
> stewrt;177750 Wrote:
>> -Wireless N !!!!!!!!!! to go with my new apple extreme
>
> But that's "pre-n". Actual 'n' won't be out until mid-2008, and that's
> if there are no delays.
>
> What if the standard gets changed?

Worse, it is marketing speak "pre-n" as not only is there no N yet,
there is no consensus on what N should be.

There is even serious talk about moving N from 2.4 gHz to 5.0 gHz, with
a single 2.4 channel for backwards compatibility. There are lots of
reasons that 2.4 is a bad range for lots of reasons, from microwave oven
interference, the fact that house plants block the signal, etc.

Its not clear if any of the radical ideas will get traction, but just
making N or pre-N be more of G is really bad engineering.

Pat

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

Marc Sherman
2007-02-06, 08:25
Mark Lanctot wrote:
>
> Slim/Logitech could never equal an SB3 connected to a very good audio
> system, but it doesn't have to be very low quality either. Just
> something decent. They'd be well-advised to omit digital output jacks,
> even analog output jacks, but should keep a headphone output.
>
> The SqueezeBoombox should be intended for situations where people
> currently have a second SB3 connected to self-powered monitors. This
> gives decent sound but such people likely have a primary system capable
> of much better sound. It doesn't make the SB3 any less capable.

Exactly. I've already got my regular SB hooked up to a decent amp and
speakers for high quality listening. I want a boombox so that I can
leverage my big investment in maintaining the slimserver infrastructure
for around-the-house and out-on-the-deck party listening, too.

- Marc

325xi
2007-02-07, 15:18
Ok, got ya.

If you can guarantee that persuading Logitech to develop Slim-based mass-marked devices won't make them to design SB4 as low quality mp3 streamer, then go for it. I'll even get one for kitchen. :)