View Full Version : Why a Transporter

Mike White
2006-10-02, 18:09
Forgive me for being a little bit dense, but my question is this - what does a Transporter do for me?

Now I know I am not an audiophile - my wife is, and she has perfect pitch, according to what she tells me it is both in hearing and in singing a note. I, of course, have to take her word on this as while I am not tone deaf, cannot hear a lot of the differences she says she can. (Please note that I didn't say she claims.)

We have an SB2 that we bought because we are in an area that cannot receive FM signals on the radio. When I investigated, I was taken by the ability to not only receive FM over the internet, but by being able to play our own music - rather like a giant CD changer.

What would buying a Transporter give us? We have an anniversary coming up, that I might, repeat might, justify the $2K to buy one, but I really need to know what we would be getting for the money.

We have an older Bose system (read 5 or 6 years old) that so far we have been perfectly happy with, but if this would be something that would really knock her socks off, then maybe I should consider it.

So far I can admittedly say that I really don't understand what the Transporter can do for us.

Thanks in advance.

Mike White
2006-10-02, 18:41
I am so dense that I don't even understand whether or not the Transporter replaces the amplifier on my Bose system, or what it does.

2006-10-02, 18:42
I must preface this by saying that I am not an audiophile. In my opinion, before you invest in a transporter, you should consider upgrading your speakers and possibly your amplifier (depending on what you have).

Earlier this year, I tried out the Bose acoustimass 5 system ... they sounded OK until I did a side-by-side comparison with my 15 year old Polk LS50s ... at which point the Bose system sounded pretty crappy.

I recently purchased a Marantz PM7200 Class A amplifier, and again noticed a significant improvement in the sound quality of my system.

I am sure the sound quality would be even better if I upgraded my speakers,even to my non-audiophile ears.

So if I had a wife who's ears could tell the difference, and $2,000 burning a hole in my pocket, I think I'd upgrade my speakers and amp first, and save the Transporter for a time when the rest of my system is ready for it.

2006-10-02, 18:59
Mike White wrote:
> I am so dense that I don't even understand whether or not the
> Transporter replaces the amplifier on my Bose system, or what it does.

The basics: The Transporter is a source device. It replaces a CD player,
or a FM tuner, or a cassette player. It does not replace your amplifier
or speakers.

Without details on your Bose, I can't tell if you can even use it with a
Transporter. In most audiophile circles, Bose is generally not
considered audiophile quality. They once were, back with the 901 series
speakers, but most of their current products look good and sound "OK" in
the mass market. The Transporter is aimed at the audiophile market,
which generally means folks who have several thousand dollars in their
'stereo system.' For these folks, the $2000 price of a Transporter is
right in line with the $2000 amplifier and $2000 speakers that they will
connect it into a system.

To my mind, a minimal audiophile system could be made with a Transporter
and some Mackie 824 monitor speakers, which would cost about $3000. The
Mackie's sound great, but have lousey WAF.


Mark Lanctot
2006-10-02, 20:41
The SB2 and SB3 are designed to beat most CD players in terms of sound quality, and they are priced appropriately, sort of in the entry-level audiophile CD player bracket along the likes of Denon and such.

The Transport is kind of a no-holds-barred device, a chance for Slim Devices to flex its engineering muscles and try out some new and fairly revolutionary things (how many devices have word clock inputs, for example?!? Not too many, and very, very few at its price.) It's priced accordingly. Higher spec components, unusual circuit design, etc.

I agree that a speaker/amplifier upgrade is in order or you'd never fully realize the benefits of a Transporter. Sure, there are some cool features like the dual displays, the knob, dual-wireless antennae and a full-bandwidth PCI network card, but the main advantage is improved sound quality - you may not notice a difference with your present setup, unfortunately.

Pale Blue Ego
2006-10-02, 21:07
Mike -

I guess you can tell that Bose is not too well received by serious audiophiles, though you say you are perfectly happy with it.

The Transporter is a high-end Squeezebox meant for systems that can best take advantage of its refinements. I would agree with the others that have suggested you'll get the best improvement in sound quality by replacing the amp and speakers before considering a better source like the Transporter.

If you really love music and have $2000 to throw at your music system, please visit a good audio shop and let the dealer show you some systems. By all means take your wife along and let her ears be the judge - she will likely be very surprised at how much closer to the music she can get even with a fairly modest system.

Or if you require a surround system to replace a Bose surround system, there are some excellent home theater receivers and small speaker systems that will blow away the Bose for under $2000 total.

Good luck, and let us know if you need specific recommendations on what to audition or consider.