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Omri
2006-09-09, 14:29
I am thinking about building a relatively high end audio system around Transporter. The problem is that I don't understand some of the basics. For example, I know what a DAC does, but don't understand whether I would need one (Isn't that what the Transporter does, i.e. convert a digital signal to an analog signal?) Also: What is the difference between a preamplifier and an amplifier? Would I need both, or would an integrated unit be just as good?

I am not expecting answers to these questions on this forum. But I would like to be directed to books or websites that could get me going on the journey to audio enlightment.

pfarrell
2006-09-09, 14:39
Omri wrote:
> I am thinking about building a relatively high end audio system around
> Transporter. The problem is that I don't understand some of the basics.
> For example, I know what a DAC does, but don't understand whether I
> would need one (Isn't that what the Transporter does, i.e. convert a
> digital signal to an analog signal?) Also: What is the difference
> between a preamplifier and an amplifier? Would I need both, or would an
> integrated unit be just as good?

A DAC is needed to convert digital data to audio or video. So all CD
players have one built in. And all DVD players, along with TiVos, etc.
And of course, a SD SqueezeBox contains a DAC, as does the Transporter.

A pre-amplifier is used to raise signals before you send them to an
amplifier. You used to need one to raise the signal of your record
player before you sent it to your amplifier. But not many people
remember what a turntable is, and so they don't really need one.

The problem is what you "need" depends a lot on what you want.
And the vendors make new boxes in combinations responding to market
realities, which mean that in some cases, two or three boxes from vendor
X are the same functionally as one box from vendor Y.

With a SqueezeBox all you really need are powered speakers. You don't
need any pre-amps, amps, or anything else.

But lots of folks already have an amp, or amp-and-pre-amp, or receiver
or something, so the SqueezeBox can talk to lots of things.

Additionally, a lot of vendors combine a pre-amp and an amplifier into
one box and call it an "integrated amplifier" which means you can plug
your SqueezeBox into it, and speakers into it, plug it in, and listen to
music (assuming, of course that your SqueezeBox is connected to either
an Internet music source, or a SlimServer).

Further, a lot of vendors combine an FM/AM radio tuner, a pre-amp and an
amplifier into one box and call it an "receiver" which means you can
plug your SqueezeBox into it, and speakers into it, plug it in, and
listen to music. (see above).

Yet more vendors sell "home theater systems" which have a box a lot like
a Receiver, and sometimes include speakers.

So what do you want?

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

tommypeters
2006-09-09, 15:20
If you're "just" interested in high-end stereo, than a Transporter could be combined with a Stereo Amplifier with balanced inputs. This could, as above mentioned, be a one-piece Integrated Amplifier - or it could be a Pre-amplifier + Power Amplifier (one Stereo amp or two Mono-blocks). Then two good speakers.

The Power Amp + speakers could be replaced with good Active Speakers, they have the Power Amps built-in.

Mark Lanctot
2006-09-09, 15:28
And if you have a CD player with optical/coaxial digital out, connect it to the digital input of the Transporter, as the Transporter's DACs will likely be a lot better. Perhaps a digital television receiver too (satellite, digital cable box, TiVo).

I'm not sure if you should connect a DVD player to it though. You will get very good stereo, but you won't get Dolby Digital or DTS decoding, which is a large part of the DVD experience.

FLMike
2006-09-10, 09:29
Omri,
As to your question about a good place to look for info, try www.audioholics.com. They have an active forum and some good setup guides and equipment reviews.

Mike