View Full Version : Squeezebox, soundcard or DA converter?

2006-08-31, 09:12

I run iTunes on my PC upstairs (most of my music is in apple lossless) and want to play the music on my stereo downstairs. I have been looking into the Squeezebox. As the PC upstairs is quite noisy I don't want to leave it on all the time. Turning it on every time I wanted to play music would be a hassle.

I was looking at getting a NAS box to run the slimsever, but have just picked up a second hand VIA EPIA 5000 mini-itx PC on the cheap. I need to upgrade the 6GB disk in it but will still come out cheaper than something like a Linkstation, and is more versatile.

So I'm now wondering if I still want a squeezebox. The mini-itx PC built in sound card is low quality, but it has a PCI slot and a USB port for a soundcard. It also has an SPDIF so I could feed it into a D/A converter. On top of that I have a wireless PDA with browser to control slimserver.

So shoud I get a soundcard, DA converter, or squeezebox?

Something like a SoundBlaster Audigy 4 would save me a lot, but how does the sound quality compare to a Squeezebox?

Or maybe I should get a bottom of a range DA converter? Any recommendations?

I would still find the remote control and display of the squeezebox of some value e.g. when I leave my PDA upstairs. It might be a touch easier to set up than the sound card or SPDIF drivers in Linux. But I'm not sure this justifies the extra money.

So whadya think folks?

[Hope this is in the right part of the forum. Though of posting to audiophile section. Prefer lossless to mp3 by miles. Not sure I'm an audiophile though.]

2006-08-31, 09:59
That question here is kind of like asking a load of hardcore Christians if you should start going to church :D

So, rather unsurprisingly, i would say get a Squeezebox. Were you thinking of having the new[old] box in a different room and running cable to the HiFi?

At the end of the day, you will achieve the same goal - listing to your music. An Audigy 4 will sound good, but its better for games and movies. I think a SB3's DAC will sound better than anything you will ever need for music. The question is, do you want a noisey old PC in the room or an elegant, cool looking, joy to use device like the SB3, with all the extra feature like internet radio without a need for a PC being on?

Pale Blue Ego
2006-08-31, 10:52
If you connect the PC to your stereo, how will you control it? Keyboard/mouse/monitor? That starts to become unwieldy if you just want to listen to some music.

To save electricity, you can have the server go into suspend mode when it isn't being used, and slimserver will issue a wake-on-LAN command when you power on the Squeezebox. You can also run the server headless (no monitor, keyboard, or mouse) and access it from other PCs on your LAN.

Kim Kimball
2006-08-31, 11:46
Pale Blue Ego wrote:

> You can also run the server headless
> (no monitor, keyboard, or mouse) and access it from other PCs on your
> LAN.

This is what I'm doing and it works just fine.

I also use OpenAFS across two servers -- which allows me to easily
replicate all data. I can then shut down the server with the replicas
and fire it up again when I want to do a backup/update the replicas; or
I can leave it running. The servers themselves are ancient except for
updated drives (IDE/ATA nonetheless.) All the software is free.