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vinod_david
2009-10-04, 05:25
Hi:

Just been using my new SB3 for the past one week, it good. I listen to only int. radio through my amp and speakers, so would like to improve the sound quality of my SB3. What DAC and cables will bring out the best of internet radio ?

Phil Leigh
2009-10-04, 05:31
Hi:

Just been using my new SB3 for the past one week, it good. I listen to only int. radio through my amp and speakers, so would like to improve the sound quality of my SB3. What DAC and cables will bring out the best of internet radio ?

The quality limitation is the internet stream itself. Save your money!
Find higher quality streams.

vinod_david
2009-10-04, 05:46
So, from what you're saying, an external DAC and optical digital cable to SB3 won't improve the net radio SQ.

So, what other streams can i use for SB3?

toby10
2009-10-04, 06:09
Quick example of a great high bitrate stream provider:
From SC or SBS or MySB use the Internet Radio > Search function and enter "avro".
They have a number of streams going up to 320k.

Or, another way with many more results:
Go to your ShoutCast app, go to Settings
- sort by bitrate
- set bitrate filter (choose higher bitrates, like 192 or 256 or 320)

Now use the ShoutCast menu's (search, genre, etc...) and everything it returns will be xxx or better bitrate and sorted from highest bitrate to lowest (lowest = your chosen limit).

But keep in mind the higher you set the bitrate filter the fewer the stations to select from. :)

vinod_david
2009-10-04, 06:26
Quick example of a great high bitrate stream provider:
From SC or SBS or MySB use the Internet Radio > Search function and enter "avro".
They have a number of streams going up to 320k.

Or, another way with many more results:
Go to your ShoutCast app, go to Settings
- sort by bitrate
- set bitrate filter (choose higher bitrates, like 192 or 256 or 320)

Now use the ShoutCast menu's (search, genre, etc...) and everything it returns will be xxx or better bitrate and sorted from highest bitrate to lowest (lowest = your chosen limit).

But keep in mind the higher you set the bitrate filter the fewer the stations to select from. :)

Thanks. I'll do that. Apart from this, adding an external DAC and digital cables will give far better results of internet radio ?

Phil Leigh
2009-10-04, 06:28
Thanks. I'll do that. Apart from this, adding an external DAC and digital cables will give far better results of internet radio ?

No - not really. The internal DAC is fine for Internet radio.

toby10
2009-10-04, 08:32
Thanks. I'll do that. Apart from this, adding an external DAC and digital cables will give far better results of internet radio ?

I've never used a standalone DAC, but I'd surely agree with Phil that there is probably not much (if any) improvement using such a DAC on compressed radio streams.
I use my Yamaha AVR's Burr-Brown DAC via optical. The SB3 also uses Burr-Brown, dunno exact version.
You can always buy and try, do your own comparisons.
SB3's are simple to compare audio outs as all outputs are active (always on) so just try all three audio outs to different inputs on your AVR and/or DAC and flip through your AVR's inputs.
As suggested, your best bet for streamed station audio "improvement" is to look for the higher bitrate streams.

vinod_david
2009-10-04, 10:44
Thank you both. Will using coax digital out to my integrated amp without using an external DAC have any effect on the SB SQ ?

toby10
2009-10-04, 12:59
Thank you both. Will using coax digital out to my integrated amp without using an external DAC have any effect on the SB SQ ?

Again, try it for yourself and see. Your music, your equipment, your ears! :)

iPhone
2009-10-04, 22:03
Thanks. I'll do that. Apart from this, adding an external DAC and digital cables will give far better results of internet radio ?

To answer your question is basically no.

Basically if one is only listening to Internet Radio then one can upgrade all one wants and there will be no net difference because the SOURCE that one starts with is extremely poor in the first place.

SAVE YOUR MONEY. No cable, External DAC, Receiver built-in DAC, or anything else is going to make an Internet Stream sound much better then what the SB3's own DAC can provide (IOW its not worth throwing money at), again the issue is the Source material. It is going to be a while before we see large numbers of Lossless Audio streams for Internet Radio.

vinod_david
2009-10-07, 04:41
The other day I heard Sky.FM - 256k streams thru SB3, the free 2-day trial, the SQ from my speakers were stunning. Now, I really appreciate the built-in Burr-Brown. As all of you said, it'll be better if I save the money and not buy an ext. dac just for net radio. I might as well buy the premium channels from sky.fm, is anybody using premiums ?

Thanks all.

toby10
2009-10-07, 07:03
The other day I heard Sky.FM - 256k streams thru SB3, the free 2-day trial, the SQ from my speakers were stunning. Now, I really appreciate the built-in Burr-Brown. As all of you said, it'll be better if I save the money and not buy an ext. dac just for net radio. I might as well buy the premium channels from sky.fm, is anybody using premiums ?

Thanks all.

Premium accounts for higher bitrate streams are a great way to go, although I do not subscribe to any myself.
But there are MANY high bitrate stations out there that require no membership.
A few that come to mind off the top of my head, use SC > Internet Radio > Search and try some of these names:
ETN.fm (two 256k streams), Radio Paradise (one 192k stream), Avro (multiple streams at 256k and 320k, NRK (Norway, one 450k stream)

Here is another GREAT way to discover some higher bitrate stations via ShoutCast:
SC > Internet Radio > More Radio > Shoutcast > Settings (SBS use My Apps)
- Sort Order set to Highest Bitrate
- Bitrate Filter set to 192k or 256

Then get back to the main ShoutCast menu items, go to All Genres, pick a Genre (and sub-Genre). The resulting stations are streams that are a minimum of xxx bitrate, filtering out all lower xxx bitrate streams.

But, there are three catches to this:
1. ShoutCast is great, but it does not have every single possible station on the planet (but damn near most of them)
2. The higher you set the bitrate filter the fewer stations you have to choose from
3. Unfortunately this described method will exclude any AAC+ streams where a 96k AAC+ stream is probably comparable in audio quality to a 192k MP3/WMA stream (I'm just using a rough example here)

vinod_david
2009-10-07, 20:43
Thanks Toby. RP am only getting at 125k, is it due to my country or due to my net speed (256 kbps) - even some 256k streams 'rebuffer' every few minutes and its frustrating. So, by upgrading my net speed to 512 kbps solve everything ?

What are your thoughts on sky.fm ?

toby10
2009-10-08, 03:39
Thanks Toby. RP am only getting at 125k, is it due to my country or due to my net speed (256 kbps) - even some 256k streams 'rebuffer' every few minutes and its frustrating. So, by upgrading my net speed to 512 kbps solve everything ?

What are your thoughts on sky.fm ?

I'd suggest temporarily running your player wired to your router, if the buffering stops then you likely have a WiFi issue.
You can also try these two settings on your server UI: Settings > Advanced > Network
Set Radio Station Buffer and Timeout to MAX

Dunno about RP, using the simple Internet Radio > Search > *paradise* it says it is the 192k stream, might be GeoIP restricted or RP is having issues again and is falling back to the 128k stream. :(

Sky.fm is great, as is RadioIO, Soma, DI and many other "networks" listed in Internet Radio > Music > Internet Only :)
But these are rarely above 128k, absent a subscription.

You try the ShoutCast higher bitrate search?

vinod_david
2009-10-08, 03:49
My SB is just few mm away from the router, would it still have wifi issues ? do i still have to connect via ethernet in this case ?

My SB says 100% connection with wireless. Yes, i tried 256k setup with shoutcast, but still it plays for few minutes and then rebuffers and it goes like this.

vinod_david
2009-10-08, 04:00
You can also try these two settings on your server UI: Settings > Advanced > Network
Set Radio Station Buffer and Timeout to MAX


I can't find this in the SB menu, pls help.

toby10
2009-10-08, 04:54
My SB is just few mm away from the router, would it still have wifi issues ? do i still have to connect via ethernet in this case ?

My SB says 100% connection with wireless. Yes, i tried 256k setup with shoutcast, but still it plays for few minutes and then rebuffers and it goes like this.

Probably not a WiFi issue then, but it is still a possibility with other interference. I'd still try wired just to be sure, your player will remember your WiFi settings so it's easy to go back. May as spend 5 minutes with wired so you don't end up spending hours chasing a gremlin that doesn't exist. :)

Not sure if you are connecting to your local server (SBS) or directly to online server MySB.com. UI is you User Interface on your computer.
If local SBS web UI (main page) > Settings > Advanced > Network
If www.MySqueezeBox.com (main page) > Players > *select player* > Network (only setting is Buffer)

toby10
2009-10-08, 04:58
To change the connection (WiFi to wired), connect a std RJ45 to router & SB3, press and hold the BACK arrow till you see "Network Setup", then scroll to "Connect via Ethernet", arrow RIGHT.

Same procedure to go back to WiFi, minus the RJ45. :)

vinod_david
2009-10-08, 06:15
Connected my SB via wire to router and then played RP, still 125k stream only, dont know why. Am getting other stations with 256k then how come RP ? i guess its got to do with my region.

toby10
2009-10-08, 07:35
Connected my SB via wire to router and then played RP, still 125k stream only, dont know why. Am getting other stations with 256k then how come RP ? i guess its got to do with my region.

That would be my guess. :(
Wired won't get you different streams. :)
Wired is so you can check your buffering issues on higher bitrate streams.

vinod_david
2009-10-08, 12:22
Ok thanks, that's it then. tc.

PS - Will 512 kbps broadband speed run 256 kbps radio streams smoothly without rebuff ?

toby10
2009-10-08, 15:27
Just an FYI on the number of high bitrate streams out there, I did a quick search on ShoutCast.com, listed all streams, sorted by bitrate, results:

About 1,000 MP3 streams over 192k

320k = 79
256k = 115
224k = 17
192k = 798

This isn't even counting AAC+ streams and this is only what is on ShoutCast. :)

vinod_david
2009-10-08, 21:08
Thanks. But, i need to play 256k streams without rebuffer, and my wifi health is 100% with SB. Is the 256k broadband the culprit here ? If I got for 512k will it solve the matter ?

Mnyb
2009-10-08, 22:07
Thanks. But, i need to play 256k streams without rebuffer, and my wifi health is 100% with SB. Is the 256k broadband the culprit here ? If I got for 512k will it solve the matter ?

Of course, but have in mind stations can buffer anyway due problems or overload at their side of things .

Btw what kind of jerks call 256k or 512k broadband :-) is this really the downlink ?
My old adsl provider had 8Mb down and 0,5 Mb up .

With such a small downlink you can not use your computer and download and visit some websites with a lot of stuff at the same time as using the radio,
then it stutters and rebuffers.

Google around a little regarding isp's. For streaming radio try to avoid providers that use extensive traffic shaping and such.

toby10
2009-10-09, 01:47
Thanks. But, i need to play 256k streams without rebuffer, and my wifi health is 100% with SB. Is the 256k broadband the culprit here ? If I got for 512k will it solve the matter ?

Again, dunno. As Mnyb suggests it might work fine as long as nothing else is using your internet connection.
But as soon as you are streaming to your SB3 and dl a file to your computer you may well have buffering.
The only way to properly diagnose this is to temporarily WIRE your SB3 and see if buffering goes away. If it buffers when wired you likely have ISP issues, like too low of a download speed.

vinod_david
2009-10-09, 02:43
Did the wired test with my SB, and played sky.fm 256k stream, same problem, so is the culprit my net speed ? - i don't download anything while my SB is playing.

vinod_david
2009-10-09, 03:00
Am listening to the 96k stream of sky.fm - love music - still the SQ is excellent, subtle difference from 256k. Am i right or my ears are cheating me ?

toby10
2009-10-09, 03:48
Am listening to the 96k stream of sky.fm - love music - still the SQ is excellent, subtle difference from 256k. Am i right or my ears are cheating me ?

It depends on many things including how the song was encoded. But many 96k feeds, particularly from good sources like Sky.fm and DI.fm, are remarkably good SQ at 96k. There are many 128k feeds that sound noticeably worse than these good quality 96k feeds. Judging streams by their bitrate is a good but very general way of determining SQ.

Yeah, I'd say you are limited by your lower speed internet. You can do some reading online about *tweaking* your WiFi for improved performance (like changing your router to offer G only, choosing a less populated G freq, etc..) but it is kinda pointless if you get the same buffering/stuttering via wired. :(

vinod_david
2009-10-09, 08:02
Thanks. As of now, am going to stay with 96k from sky.fm, they've got beautiful collections in 'Best of 80s' 'Love Music' and 'Smooth Jazz'. Only change am going to make is to connect my SB to my amp via a coax digital, hope there is improvement.

toby10
2009-10-09, 08:21
Thanks. As of now, am going to stay with 96k from sky.fm, they've got beautiful collections in 'Best of 80s' 'Love Music' and 'Smooth Jazz'. Only change am going to make is to connect my SB to my amp via a coax digital, hope there is improvement.

I'd bet you could do 128k streams as well. At least try a few. :)

vinod_david
2009-10-09, 23:32
Yeah, RP is coming in 128k and various others too, but sky.fm touched my heart by the channels i mentioned, bring back old memories from their collection, with good SQ.

:)

vinod_david
2009-10-14, 07:32
Hi:

When I press my 'sleep', 'browse', and 'search' buttons, nothing is happening, are they just dummy or how can they be activated ? - this is in the remote of SB classic.

toby10
2009-10-15, 03:17
Hi:

When I press my 'sleep', 'browse', and 'search' buttons, nothing is happening, are they just dummy or how can they be activated ? - this is in the remote of SB classic.

I presume you mean the IR remote. These should function as follows (results displayed on your SB3 display):
Sleep = ascending increments of time to set when your SB3 will turn itself off
Browse = browse through various folders and local stored music options
Search = more specific browsing for albums and artists and genres using your IR remote alpha buttons