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jt25741
2006-11-30, 21:29
Hello,

I just received a SB3 with intentions on using this with my external DAC's SPDIF Coax inputs. It is a higher end unit with no TOSLINK. Unit has no problems locking on to any CD player or DVD Player I have over the years, at 16/44.1, 24/96 etc...

With the SB3, I get no sync and no signal. Again, connecting DAC immediately using the same cable to my CD players coax output immediately works again through the DAC. I have never had sync issues before with it.

Here is the interesting part. If I connect the SB3 to my el-cheapo Pioneer A/V receiver via the same SPDIF it works just fine. However, the sound is horrible by comparison to my high-end DAC and unacceptable to me.

Question: Do I need to return the Squeezebox 3 and forget the whole thing, or is there anything that can be done?

I really love the SB3, and have all my music streaming in FLAC just ready to sound good.

Thanks for any help on this matter, I hope I can fix the problem.

Regards
Jim

Skunk
2006-11-30, 22:13
In player settings>audio>'turn off audio' you could try switching to 'disable outputs when off'. Then toggle the power on/off and skip forward two or three tracks to see if it locks.

Ben Sandee
2006-11-30, 22:45
On 11/30/06, jt25741 <jt25741.2i4djz1164947401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> I just received a SB3 with intentions on using this with my external
> DAC's SPDIF Coax inputs. It is a higher end unit with no TOSLINK.
> Unit has no problems locking on to any CD player or DVD Player I have
> over the years, at 16/44.1, 24/96 etc...


Is it just my imagination or did you never actually say what your 'higher
end unit' actually was? If nothing else, it would be a reference point.

Ben

jt25741
2006-11-30, 23:02
On 11/30/06, jt25741 <jt25741.2i4djz1164947401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> I just received a SB3 with intentions on using this with my external
> DAC's SPDIF Coax inputs. It is a higher end unit with no TOSLINK.
> Unit has no problems locking on to any CD player or DVD Player I have
> over the years, at 16/44.1, 24/96 etc...


Is it just my imagination or did you never actually say what your 'higher
end unit' actually was? If nothing else, it would be a reference point.

Ben

Hello ben. The unit is a few years old now and discontinued(EVS MII DAC). You can read about it here:

http://www.tweakaudio.com/Millennium%20DAC.html

jt25741
2006-11-30, 23:09
On 11/30/06, jt25741 <jt25741.2i4djz1164947401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> I just received a SB3 with intentions on using this with my external
> DAC's SPDIF Coax inputs. It is a higher end unit with no TOSLINK.
> Unit has no problems locking on to any CD player or DVD Player I have
> over the years, at 16/44.1, 24/96 etc...


Is it just my imagination or did you never actually say what your 'higher
end unit' actually was? If nothing else, it would be a reference point.

Ben


In player settings>audio>'turn off audio' you could try switching to 'disable outputs when off'. Then toggle the power on/off and skip forward two or three tracks to see if it locks.


Unfortunately this did not help. Thanks for the suggestion. Any other ideas?

Skunk
2006-12-01, 08:47
You could try setting digital volume control in player settings>audio to 'fixed', or turning the volume on the SB3 to 100 if it's set to variable.

I believe replay gain is disabled by default, but you might check. Also check that bitrate limiting is set to no limit.

In server settings>file types you could make sure Flac>Flac(built in) is checked.

Doing the above should ensure that the DAC sees what looks like a 16 bit signal.

There is also a thing in player settings called audio startup time, which helps DAC's lock onto mp3 streams. Perhaps you could try specifying a value there.

jt25741
2006-12-01, 10:37
You could try setting digital volume control in player settings>audio to 'fixed', or turning the volume on the SB3 to 100 if it's set to variable.

I believe replay gain is disabled by default, but you might check. Also check that bitrate limiting is set to no limit.

In server settings>file types you could make sure Flac>Flac(built in) is checked.

Doing the above should ensure that the DAC sees what looks like a 16 bit signal.

There is also a thing in player settings called audio startup time, which helps DAC's lock onto mp3 streams. Perhaps you could try specifying a value there.


I have tried to mess with the volume setting, it was on max anyways. It doesnt seem to matter. I tried to disable the volume feature setting in the player settings menu, but it appears not to work(Volume still does work after slecting disable). As for the "audio startup time", this menu option does not exist, at least in the settings sub-menus. Is there a special menu hidden somewhere that I need to find first?

Thanks very much.

Jim

Skunk
2006-12-01, 11:32
After you adjust a setting you have to hit the 'change' button.

Audio startup is just below preamp volume control and digital volume control in player settings for me..

Skunk
2006-12-01, 11:43
(Volume still does work after slecting disable)

It will continue to work for the analog output, and the volume slider will move but the digital out will be full vol regardless. If the DAC isn't producing sound you wouldn't really know if it worked/not (unless you meant through the receiver?)

Ben Sandee
2006-12-01, 12:22
On 12/1/06, jt25741 <jt25741.2i4hyb1164953101 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
> Hello ben. The unit is a few years old now and discontinued(EVS MII
> DAC). You can read about it here:
>
> http://www.tweakaudio.com/Millennium%20DAC.html


If I were you I would contact SD support at support (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com. This
really seems like something not interacting well at the firmware level.
Others have exhausted most of the potential diagnostic techniques.

Ben

seanadams
2006-12-01, 14:52
This sounds like an electrical problem - possibly impedance mismatch or a flaky cable. I would suggest trying a different type of cable, or a different length. Try a video cable, which will have the correct 75 ohm impedance.

jt25741
2006-12-01, 15:46
This sounds like an electrical problem - possibly impedance mismatch or a flaky cable. I would suggest trying a different type of cable, or a different length. Try a video cable, which will have the correct 75 ohm impedance.

Hi Sean: The cable is a very high-quality 75Ohm variety. I also tried a much cheaper 75Ohm SPDIF Cable I got from Monoprice. Again it works with the A/V receiver but not with the DAC(which continues to work fine with DVD and/or CD players through both cables).

Any thing I can try? I greatly appreciate your help.

seanadams
2006-12-01, 16:34
Looking at the internal wiring of that DAC I'd have to say it's a bit suspect - there are longish unshielded wires coming in from the coax plug on the back panel, and it's hard to tell how they have it wired up to the chip.

http://www.tweakaudio.com/Resources/P4220005.JPG-1.jpg

I realize you say it works with other equipment, but if the receive circuitry is borderline then it will be hit-or-miss. Probably if you tried some more CD/DVD sources you would find a few that also don't work.

If you could post a close-up photo of that top left area of the PCB, I might have a better idea.

jt25741
2006-12-01, 18:15
Looking at the internal wiring of that DAC I'd have to say it's a bit suspect - there are longish unshielded wires coming in from the coax plug on the back panel, and it's hard to tell how they have it wired up to the chip.

http://www.tweakaudio.com/Resources/P4220005.JPG-1.jpg

I realize you say it works with other equipment, but if the receive circuitry is borderline then it will be hit-or-miss. Probably if you tried some more CD/DVD sources you would find a few that also don't work.

If you could post a close-up photo of that top left area of the PCB, I might have a better idea.

I understand what you are saying.

Everything is P-P wired by hand, except for some surface mount stuff under the board. The reciever is in the upper left of the PCB as you suspected and it is hard wired to the jacks. Those wires you see in the picture are indeed the hot/cold of the SPDIF interface. Yes they are naked(as they appear) -- do you think this is the issue here? If so, perhaps I can rewire them and that will fix this issue?

Ben Sandee
2006-12-01, 18:43
On 12/1/06, jt25741 <jt25741.2i5zfb1165022401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> seanadams;159088 Wrote:
> > Looking at the internal wiring of that DAC I'd have to say it's a bit
> > suspect - there are longish unshielded wires coming in from the coax
> > plug on the back panel, and it's hard to tell how they have it wired up
> > to the chip.
> >
> > http://www.tweakaudio.com/Resources/P4220005.JPG-1.jpg
> >
> > I realize you say it works with other equipment, but if the receive
> > circuitry is borderline then it will be hit-or-miss. Probably if you
> > tried some more CD/DVD sources you would find a few that also don't
> > work.
> >
> > If you could post a close-up photo of that top left area of the PCB, I
> > might have a better idea.
>
> I understand what you are saying.
>
> Everything is P-P wired by hand, except for some surface mount stuff
> under the board. The reciever is in the upper left of the PCB as you
> suspected and it is hard wired to the jacks. Those wires you see in
> the picture are indeed the hot/cold of the SPDIF interface. Yes they
> are naked(as they appear) -- do you think this is the issue here? If
> so, perhaps I can rewire them and that will fix this issue?


I have to say, I'm not an audiophile and I use $10 logitech speakers on one
of my SB2's, but this conversation is really fascinating. It's very unique
to be able to communicate with a company the size of Logitech/SlimDevices at
this level.

Ben

jt25741
2006-12-01, 20:05
On 12/1/06, jt25741 <jt25741.2i5zfb1165022401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
wrote:
>
>
> seanadams;159088 Wrote:
> > Looking at the internal wiring of that DAC I'd have to say it's a bit
> > suspect - there are longish unshielded wires coming in from the coax
> > plug on the back panel, and it's hard to tell how they have it wired up
> > to the chip.
> >
> > http://www.tweakaudio.com/Resources/P4220005.JPG-1.jpg
> >
> > I realize you say it works with other equipment, but if the receive
> > circuitry is borderline then it will be hit-or-miss. Probably if you
> > tried some more CD/DVD sources you would find a few that also don't
> > work.
> >
> > If you could post a close-up photo of that top left area of the PCB, I
> > might have a better idea.
>
> I understand what you are saying.
>
> Everything is P-P wired by hand, except for some surface mount stuff
> under the board. The reciever is in the upper left of the PCB as you
> suspected and it is hard wired to the jacks. Those wires you see in
> the picture are indeed the hot/cold of the SPDIF interface. Yes they
> are naked(as they appear) -- do you think this is the issue here? If
> so, perhaps I can rewire them and that will fix this issue?


I have to say, I'm not an audiophile and I use $10 logitech speakers on one
of my SB2's, but this conversation is really fascinating. It's very unique
to be able to communicate with a company the size of Logitech/SlimDevices at
this level.

Ben


Well slimdevices as not big, but I am convinced that the excellent engineering and thought in their SB product -- including, no doubt, the involvement of the CEO with customers is responsible for their success in this space. Paul McGowan gets involved too..plus he makes DACs -- maybe PS Audio's new DAC is my real answer to my backend.

Now if I can only get this thing working with my excellent sounding DAC -- that would be great. I really love this thing -- so much so that I still am listening to it through old-fashioned CD players with the cool Squeezebox staring at me;)

Skunk
2006-12-02, 12:51
You could try putting something else in the signal chain between the SB and DAC, like a Big Ben, Digital Lens, Monarchy DIP, or Meridian 518. Checking with local dealers (who sell used equip) might allow you to try before you buy.

A Behringer DEQ2496 room correction eq would kill two birds, and could be returned if it didn't work.

jt25741
2006-12-02, 13:35
You could try putting something else in the signal chain between the SB and DAC, like a Big Ben, Digital Lens, Monarchy DIP, or Meridian 518. Checking with local dealers (who sell used equip) might allow you to try before you buy.

A Behringer DEQ2496 room correction eq would kill two birds, and could be returned if it didn't work.

Great suggestion. I may just try the Monarchy or something like that. I have never used these DIP type devices before. I tried 2 additional DVD players with the DAC in the last day, and still the only issue I have so far is with the Squeezebox/DAC syncing. So far 5 out of 5 devices work just fine with the DAC, and only the squeezebox does not. This does concern me that it may be the Squeezebox(maybe my particular unit?) that may be marginal as far as digital spec, not the DAC. If I continue to have issues, I may want to pursue either an exchange or return. I have attempted to reach slimdevices customer support via email to start an official dialogue, but have not as yet heard back.

Thanks again