View Full Version : Squeezebox/External DAC - technical issues

Simon Turner
2004-03-18, 17:45
I currently use an Arcam Delta Black Box 5 with my Squeezebox (The Arcam was
originally bought for experimentation purposes). I have no manual, do not
know anything about it and until recently did not even know what the Sync
Lock was supposed to do.
I only tend to use use Flacs with my Squeezebox.
Occasionally the DAC Sync Lock light will come on for a short period (10 to
20 seconds) when i first start to use the Squeezebox, but then it will go
off and stay off for good. (Previous to the 5.1.1/8 builds turning on the
Sync Lock gave me a continuous white static sounding noise.)
However, apart from the few clicks I receive via the DAC (I think) upon
start-up the sound I get from the Squeezebox is very good (not too far
removed from the sound I get from the Naim CDX). I get no truncation of
tracks at all or other oddities. I am quite happy from this point of view.
(For me this does beg the question: Is synchronisation necessary?).

*My* technical problems are due to:
1) Sound drop outs (detailed in thread: "Squeezebox: Sound drop out with
Flac files")
2) Lost connection with Slimserver (detailed in thread: "Problem: Lost
contact with Slimserver").
Only the first one could possibly have any relation to using an external DAC
tho... and that seems pretty unlikely.

These two problems make the box useless for me if I want to listen to my
*favourite* music (always held in lossless format). On the other hand, the
box does come in handy for MP3s (i.e. music for which I am less bothered
about the sound quality or music that was originally recorded without
reasonable production values).

Simon Turner
Brighton UK

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com]On Behalf Of Mark Bennett
> Sent: 18 March 2004 23:28
> To: Slim Devices Discussion
> Subject: [slim] Squeezebox/External DAC - technical issues
> One extra piece of information on this. I found out today that
> this DAC only has an input frequency error tolerance of 100ppm.
> For a normal 44.1kHz signal this basically means 4Hz out in
> either direction.
> Obviously this is very tight, so the clock setting in the chip
> might only need to be one count away from ideal to upset this
> DAC. Unfortunately I don't think we have any lab equipment at
> work which would allow me to measure to this degree of
> accuracy, so I don't know how I can help further.
> I guess the answer is to get access to a less fussy DAC, but
> this isn't going to happen for months, so this would be the
> end of the route as regards further testing.....
> Mark Bennett wrote:
> > So, apart from the FLAC experience, it sounds like you're
> > seeing the same problems as us. I should have mentioned that
> > we also do not see any problems when transitioning from
> > the end of one track to the start of another.
> >
> > I suspect that the FLAC locking is due to very fussy DAC, so
> > I expect that it will work for most people. We're trying to
> > find the specs for the DAC, but it is now obsolete, and
> > my friend isn't sure where it's instruction manual is...
> >
> > Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:
> >
> >> Thanks for the evaulation, very interesting. I'd be interested in
> >> your opinion update when you have heard FLACs though it.
> >>
> >> I have my SB connected optically to an external DAC (actually within
> >> a not-very-new Technics digital integrated amplifier).
> >>
> >> I can play FLACs through this arrangement - the DAC locks on
> >> successfully at 44.1KHz.
> >>
> >> When my SB is paused or stopped I get no digital output and the DAC
> >> loses lock. This DAC seems to lock on very quickly, however, so I
> >> don't seem to lose anything when I restart playing.
> >>
> >> I also get it losing sync juring next/prev track, and also
> >> periodically (but not continually) when fastforwarding/reversing
> >> though a track.
> >>
> >> I don't have it losing sync between tracks when playing normally from
> >> one track to the next.
> >>
> >> It would be quite nice for me too if it played silence when there was
> >> no real signal to send as my DAC has some kind of an internal relay
> >> that I can hear clicking on and off when it's gaining and losing
> >> sync. Apart from that, though, I think it's working well for me under
> >> normal playing conditions.
> >>
> >> Stuart
> >>
> >
> >
> >

Harry McQuillen
2004-03-18, 17:53
Does anyone have this working with a decent DAC? Maybe something
I could get for 2-300 dollars on ebay or from a local shop used?

Also, anyone have FLAC working on the Mac?


Andrew W. Donoho
2004-03-18, 20:23
On Mar 18, 2004, at 18:53, Harry McQuillen wrote:
> Also, anyone have FLAC working on the Mac?


There are three implementations that work on the Mac. Go take a look
at flac.sourceforge.net.


Andrew W. Donoho
awd (AT) DDG (DOT) com, PGP Key ID: 0x81D0F250
+1 (512) 453-6652 (o), +1 (512) 750-7596 (m)