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Tom Robinson
2004-05-27, 02:01
Hi folks,

I'd love to get my CD collection onto the computer, but have held off because I'm a bit of an audiophile and haven't yet found a high quality method of getting it off again.

I'm intrigued by the digital out connections on the Squeezebox: do these make the whole process lossless and a perfect reproduction, or are there still issues?

If I rip my collection it'll be with Apple's lossless encoder onto some huge external drive(s), attached to an iMac, then Ethernet over to my Yamaha RX-V795 amplifier.

The Yammy amp supports optical and coax digital (up to 48 kHz), but I've found the coax sounds better.

* How would the Squeezebox compare to a high-end Marantz CD/DVD player (DV8300)?

* Do all these digital connections use the same format? The Yamaha manual doesn't mention SPDIF.

Thanks!
--
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

Pat Farrell
2004-05-27, 08:59
At 05:01 AM 5/27/2004, Tom Robinson wrote:
>I'd love to get my CD collection onto the computer, but have held off
>because I'm a bit of an audiophile and haven't yet found a high quality
>method of getting it off again.
>I'm intrigued by the digital out connections on the Squeezebox: do these
>make the whole process lossless and a perfect reproduction, or are there
>still issues?

Do it. I did and love it. I spend much more time listening to music.
I don't claim to be an audiophile, those guys are crazy :-), but
I did spend more on speaker wire than on a SqueezeBox :-)

The best thing about SqueezeBox is not just that the box flat works,
but that this community is so cool.

I've collected some of the wisdom on this topic and documented
my movememt from CD to all flac on a server fed to a SqueezeBox
and then on to my stereo on
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/killthecd.html



>If I rip my collection it'll be with Apple's lossless encoder onto some
>huge external drive(s), attached to an iMac, then Ethernet over to my
>Yamaha RX-V795 amplifier.

As others have said, use flac. Opensource, lossless, free, widey used
and supported by the SlimServer
Other than that, you're on the right track, huge disks are nearly free. My
last 200 GB disk was $105, looks like the next one may be more expensive,
perhaps as much as $120.

>The Yammy amp supports optical and coax digital (up to 48 kHz), but I've
>found the coax sounds better.

Coax often sounds better, mostly because the optical ends on a lot of
consumer gear are very cheap. Bits are bits, and should sound the
same.

Optical's main advantage is freedom from ground loops. A properly setup
system should not have ground loops, so this is not a big deal.

>* How would the Squeezebox compare to a high-end Marantz CD/DVD player
>(DV8300)?

The SqueezeBox's internal DAC is only OK. It matches its price.
For serious work, you want an external professional studio or audiophile
DAC. I use a Benchmark DAC-1 which costs about $1000. It is wonderful.

The Benchmark DAC was instantly obvious as a great improvement. Most
noticeable in the sound of cellos in chamber music.

I can't tell from a quick google on your Yamaha RX-V795 about what inputs it
accepts, it may be just 5.1 for home theater. Since it is a mid-priced receiver
(~~$1000) you can't expect it to sound as good as a dedicated DAC and
amp setup that costs three or four times as much.

>* Do all these digital connections use the same format? The Yamaha manual
>doesn't mention SPDIF.

Nope. Most of the optical links are Toslink which can send either SPDIF or
AC-3 for home theater. The coax digital links seem split closer to 50/50
between SPDIF stereo and 5.1 for home theater.

An audiophile setup has flac files on a suitable server (I use a cheap
Linux box)
feed to the SqueezeBox, and then digital outs to a serious DAC, then
on to your serious stereo.

With the Benchmark and my $5000+ stereo, the sound is amazing.
While I always record 24 bits in my studio, and often 88.2kHz,
I'm no longer convinced that it is needed. RedBook audio can sound
very nice with a proper setup.


Pat

Pat Farrell pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com
http://www.pfarrell.com