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View Full Version : Transporter Input / Output configurations - Eliminate cost of a Pre Amp?



daniels5
2006-08-02, 20:40
I imagine that one of the significant enhancements in the Transporter's function over the previous Squeezeboxes, is the Transporter use as a fine external DAC and as an input-selection device.

This would allow buyers to eliminate both the cost and sonic coloration of even the best pre-amplifiers and get a super-low jitter external DAC in the process.

It will be interesting when Sean or Dean describe how the digital inputs / outputs and selections will work on the Transporter. I speculate that the "cement is still wet" as these features can probably be accomplished in software / firmware.

Here is what I wonder about.

1) How will we be able to select, say a DVD player, that is connected using the Transporter's Coax input? Or an SACD player connected to the S/PDIF input?

2) Will we be able to create a "soft" label on the Transporter's display to say "DVD", or "SACD Player" or will the input selection display have to read "Coax" "S/PDIF" etc.?

3) Will any given Transporter digital outputs be able to be selected as a "Servo Output" - outputting what the Transporter is receiving from it's ethernet ports?

4) Will any given Transporter digital output be able to be selected as a “Tape Loop” type output - which is to say whatever input is selected will be looped through this output when configured as a "Tape Loop"?

I was stunned at how much better two high end systems sounded when we removed high end pre-amps from the audio chain, to say nothing of the savings in cash. One system cost $75K, the other $25K. The pre-amps removed were excellent. The sound was simply more dynamic and immediate. The proverbial veils lifted. Less is often more. Of course, your mileage may vary.

But if the Transporter can turn this trick, I think potential buyers teetering on the brink of buying will appreciate the cost savings and immediacy of the music played through fewer devices.

Finally, I am amazed at how responsive and clever Slim Devices is proving to be as it listens to it's customers and designed it's last two products; A $300 entry level Network Music Player with a reasonable WAF, and now a $2K Audiophile Network Media Player + external DAC w/ super low jitter + Digital Pre-Amp w/ short audio paths and Jung based power supplies is a nice year's work.

/Daniel

dean
2006-08-03, 20:00
On Aug 2, 2006, at 8:40 PM, daniels5 wrote:
> 1) How will we be able to select, say a DVD player, that is connected
> using the Transporter's Coax input? Or an SACD player connected to
> the
> S/PDIF input?
Yes. There will be a menu choice in SlimServer and the top-level
setup menu to switch between the digital inputs.

> 2) Will we be able to create a "soft" label on the Transporter's
> display to say "DVD", or "SACD Player" or will the input selection
> display have to read "Coax" "S/PDIF" etc.?
I don't think this idea has come up before, but it's a good one! I'm
not sure it'll happen for the initial release, but is certainly
possible in a future software update.

> 3) Will any given Transporter digital outputs be able to be selected
> as a "Servo Output" - outputting what the Transporter is receiving
> from
> it's ethernet ports?
All of the outputs will have the same data on them, namely what is
decoded from the CPU.

> 4) Will any given Transporter digital output be able to be
> selected as
> a “Tape Loop” type output - which is to say whatever input
> is selected will be looped through this output when configured as a
> "Tape Loop"?
I believe that when you switch to one of the digital inputs, it will
automatically be passed through to the digital outs. It should be
possible to disable the digital out too.

> Finally, I am amazed at how responsive and clever Slim Devices is
> proving to be as it listens to it's customers and designed it's last
> two products; A $300 entry level Network Music Player and a $2K
> audiophile Network Media Player + external DAC w/ super low jitter +
> Digital Pre-Amp w/ short audio paths and Jung based power supplies
> is a
> nice year's work.
Thanks so much!

-dean

daniels5
2006-08-05, 21:21
[QUOTE=dean]On Aug 2, 2006, at 8:40 PM, daniels5 wrote:
> 1) How will we be able to select, say a DVD player, that is connected
> using the Transporter's Coax input? Or an SACD player connected to
> the
> S/PDIF input?
Yes. There will be a menu choice in SlimServer and the top-level
setup menu to switch between the digital inputs.

Good!

> 2) Will we be able to create a "soft" label on the Transporter's
> display to say "DVD", or "SACD Player" or will the input selection
> display have to read "Coax" "S/PDIF" etc.?
I don't think this idea has come up before, but it's a good one! I'm
not sure it'll happen for the initial release, but is certainly
possible in a future software update.

This would be very helpful if and when it can be implemented. It is easier to justify the Transporter's price, if I can demonstrate that my wife and friends can easily select the source they seek. It is currently a sticking point in others using the Wadia as our digital pre-amp. Labels that could read "Black Denon DVD Player" rather than "AES/EBU" --or "Comcast DVR under TV" rather than "S/PDIF" sure improve the SOAF (significant other approval factor).

> 3) Will any given Transporter digital outputs be able to be selected
> as a "Servo Output" - outputting what the Transporter is receiving
> from
> it's ethernet ports?
All of the outputs will have the same data on them, namely what is
decoded from the CPU.

Good.

> 4) Will any given Transporter digital output be able to be
> selected as
> a “Tape Loop” type output - which is to say whatever input
> is selected will be looped through this output when configured as a
> "Tape Loop"?

I believe that when you switch to one of the digital inputs, it will automatically be passed through to the digital outs. It should be possible to disable the digital out too.
[color=blue]

Good

Disabling the digital outputs not in use should further reduce the background noise. This is a nice design feature for folks who care about wringing every last bit of signal to noise possible from their equipment.

I think the "tape loop" feature on my Wadia works differently than my understanding of the method you propose.

I am on the road and so can not check my recollection. Please forgive me if I am not recalling correctly... In any case, I think that the "tape loop" feature allows the Wadia to use a DAT or other Digital Recording Device to record what is being decoded by the CPU -- OR WHATEVER is connected to the input currently selected.

An additional use of the "tape loop" function would allow one to connect an equalizer or room correction device to the Transporter. In other words, when using the "tape loop" mode for a pair of output/inputs would loop the signal being decoded by the CPU through the room correction device. That is to say CPU -> ethernet -> Transporter -> Transporter's AES/EBU output -> Rane Equalizer -> Transporter's AES/EBU input -> out Transporter balanced / unbalanced audio outputs.

Thanks again for sweating the details. /Daniel

dean
2006-08-07, 05:38
On Aug 5, 2006, at 9:21 PM, daniels5 wrote:
> An additional use of the "tape loop" function would allow one to
> connect an equalizer or room correction device to the Transporter. In
> other words, when using the "tape loop" mode for a pair of
> output/inputs would loop the signal being decoded by the CPU through
> the room correction device. That is to say CPU -> ethernet ->
> Transporter -> Transporter's AES/EBU output -> Rane Equalizer ->
> Transporter's AES/EBU input -> out Transporter balanced / unbalanced
> audio outputs.
This is something that Sean has planned. He's been spending a lot of
time with his new room correction system...

daniels5
2006-08-07, 20:20
On Aug 5, 2006, at 9:21 PM, daniels5 wrote:
> An additional use of the "tape loop" function would allow one to
> connect an equalizer or room correction device to the Transporter. In
> other words, when using the "tape loop" mode for a pair of
> output/inputs would loop the signal being decoded by the CPU through
> the room correction device. That is to say CPU -> ethernet ->
> Transporter -> Transporter's AES/EBU output -> Rane Equalizer ->
> Transporter's AES/EBU input -> out Transporter balanced / unbalanced
> audio outputs.
This is something that Sean has planned. He's been spending a lot of
time with his new room correction system...

Good news. And yes, I have a listening room like the one Sean describes, with an open hall attached. It certainly calls for some room treatment and room correction to deal with the bass suck-out and asymmetry in first reflections etc.

It will be interesting to see what we can accomplish with the Transporter + a Rane or a TacT. I look forward to comparing the results gained by using Room Correction hardware, with the results obtained with a sophisticated software plug-in for the Squeezebox or Transporter, like Hugh is beta-testing now.

Hugh just sent me a new filter to try for my room and speakers, but I am on the road and I will not be able to hear the results for another two weeks.

After one has solved the issues the Transporter addresses (jitter, power, background noise, quality inputs etc.) it seems that Room Correction is the final frontier to truly musical sound reproduction today.

It is good that the Transporter will be able to address this with both hardware and a software approaches, and enable customers to harvest the low-hanging audio fruit that comes from solving for the interaction of speakers and the walls, floors and ceilings of listening rooms.

/Danie