View Full Version : Trying to decide: Squeezebox vs Escient ZP-1 or SE-80 or ???

2006-11-16, 14:17

I am researching digital audio players and found the SqueezeBox. From what I see here and elsewhere, it looks like the Squeezebox has a great following. I'm looking to stream FLAC audio files from a NAS server or my computer and play them on my home stereo. I will use my pre amp to decode the digital signal from the digital audio player. My priorities are 1) best audio sound 2) friendlyness/wife being able to use it and 3) ability to control from the internet ->laptop or Treo 700.

With that in mind, has anyone looked at the Escient ZP-1 or SE-80? Or other devices? What do you think about the SB3 user friendlyness aspect?

thanks again for your input...

2006-11-16, 15:21
Can't comment on the other devices you mention but the SB3 will certainly do what you've asked for. As for user friendliness - don't take anyone word for it, try it out! Download slimserver and install the Softsqueeze emulator that comes with it - this will give you a very good idea of what its like to use the SB.


2006-11-16, 16:58
Hi, just my 2cents

The SB3 is a very user friendly device,
easy to set up and a joy to use.
I ran Slimserver and SoftSqueeze for a week or two
to try it out and was impressed.
(though I would read forums about ver of software to use)
Nice open software with a great support community.
Can be used with powered speakers, audiophile quality outputs
decent remote, great internet radio
It does not need the use of an external screen,
which is very usefull to me as I have one for the pool/garage area.
Simple but very effective and very customizable (is that a word??)
in the way it looks/performs.
Great to listen to, even on my lower grade garage stereo,
and an utmost enjoyment on the inside HiFi.
Great for a party as I can synchronize my 2 units to play same music
Looks cool too, nice screensavers and smooth display
Definitely SqueezeBox
Sorry a little more than 2cents worth
but I got overcome by a warm fuzzy feeling
As it's said "Free your music"


2006-11-17, 07:39
I have two Squeezeboxes. They are very, very nice, and will serve your needs perfectly. I haven't heard of the other devices, so you'll have to solicit other opinions on those, but the Squeezebox does everything you ask. And it has a very high-quality digital out with a very low 'jitter'. You're feeding good gear, so getting a good transport may be audibly better.

I'm not entirely sure that jitter actually matters, but a lot of people into high end audio are dead certain it's a big deal. If jitter is an issue for you, the Squeezebox is *extremely* good, better than even very expensive CD players. If you rip your music with a good program (like EAC), and store it losslessly, you'll be batting toe-to-toe with $1500+ CD players... plus you get all the convenience of electronic storage of your music library.

The software to drive it has been improving steadily, and you can download and try it out completely for free. The Softsqueeze emulator is a near-perfect emulation of the hardware. It doesn't sound as good as the real thing, because the audio is mangulated by Windows as it always is, but it'll show you EXACTLY how the real thing will work.

And you can keep using it after you have the real hardware... I routinely sync Softsqueeze with my hardware players, so that anywhere I go in the house, I have the same music.

If you have a problem, it'll be with the software, which can still be a little cryptic. So try it out and see what you think. If you like it, you will love the real hardware.