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jest
2011-01-26, 20:07
I'm a longtime Squeezebox user--I still have my original SliMP3 player--who hasn't used the system for a while, due to housing-related issues. I'm now about to move, and want to figure out how to set up audio in my new place, but am confused by the current crop of products.

I want to use my own system for music, not any of the various integrated players. There seem only to be two options (apart from the Transporter): a $300 Touch, which has whizzy touch-screen stuff that I'm not interested in, and a $400 Duet, which pairs a whizzy $300 controller that I don't need (I can use the computer for this, or an iPhone) with what would apparently be a $100 unit that can't be bought separately.

I don't need much of the Squeezebox functionality--I just want to play my own music on my own equipment, not stream Internet radio or stock quotes or whatever. But I do want to have music in several different areas of the house, and I don't want to have a separate computer in each location just to plug in a new amp/speakers. Otherwise I'd just get a separate USB-DAC and control this from whatever music player is on the computer.

I don't have Transporter-level requirements, but I do want as good sound as is reasonable. It would seem like the current crop of equipment is not only much more expensive than is necessary for my requirements, but is (conversely) possibly less good in audio quality than other options (assuming that a dedicated mid-range USB-DAC would be better than whatever's in the Duet or Touch).

Can someone set me straight on the Squeezebox options, or tell me if there's some other way of getting decent-quality music in multiple locations without a new computer in each one?

m1abrams
2011-01-26, 20:19
The dac in the touch is actually pretty good. The best option for you would be the touch. Better audio quality than the others short of the transporter. Remember the touch is at the same price point as the sb3, sb2, and sb1 that came before it.

aubuti
2011-01-26, 21:08
First, you can buy the Duet Receiver separately. Until a few days ago it was on the Logitech US site, and it may return. If it doesn't, it is still available from some resellers. Second, if you don't like/need the touchscreen features of the Touch, don't use them, and control it via your iPhone, computer, or the included IR remote instead. The Touch has better audio quality than any SB to date except for the Transporter, and at the same price point as its predecessors.

You won't go wrong with either, but I recommend getting Touches. I don't think you can get better value for money multi-room audio than the SB line. The only thing I can think of that's less expensive is the Apple Airplay, which comes with more limitations.

JJZolx
2011-01-26, 23:11
Can someone set me straight on the Squeezebox options, or tell me if there's some other way of getting decent-quality music in multiple locations without a new computer in each one?

One thing you fail to mention is how you would like to control the device(s). Which is important.

After the SliMP3 and prior to the whizbang Duet (consisting of a Controller and a Receiver) and the whizbang Touch, there where the Squeezebox, the Squeezebox2, and the Squeezebox 3 (later rebranded the 'Squeezebox Classic'). These were all roughly $300 MSRP. If you were looking for a player while any of those were the main product of Slim Devices, the answer would be straightforward.

Today you have the Duet, the Touch, and (depending on the day of the week) the Receiver, which is the player half of the Duet.

We'll assume you don't want the $400 Duet and its whizbang Controller, because either the cost is too much for multiple players, or you don't need multiple Controllers, or you're not particularly impressed with the Controller itself because there are better handheld means of controlling a Squeezebox.

That leaves either the Receiver or the Touch. The Reciver's MSRP is $150, which makes it by far the cheapest zone player if you want to set up multiple players throughout your house. However, without the Controller half of the equation, the Reciver can be difficult to configure (although it _is_ possible with a little bit of effort). The biggest drawback to the Receiver is that there is no display or IR user interface, so to control it you _must_ use some other means, such as the web interface or an iPhone.

That leaves the most obvious choice - the Touch. It has an IR user interface, or you can use the touch interface, or you can use any of the other interfaces available with the Receiver. It's MSRP of $300 is the same as that of the SB1, SB2 or SB3, which it replaces. Maybe best of all is that the audio quality of the Touch is better than that of all previous Squeezebox, with the possible exception of the Transporter.

Soulkeeper
2011-01-27, 04:03
decent-quality music in multiple locations

The cheapest option is to buy multiple SB Receivers. But the Receiver is designed to be set up via the Controller. You can use Net::UDAP (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=57861) to achieve this, but it is a 3rd party tool, and requires a little bit more technical know-how than using the wizards on the Controller.

The best option is, as others have said, to buy the Touch. It is easier to set up, more flexible in use, and has slightly better sound.

jest
2011-01-27, 10:17
Thanks to everyone for the detailed and helpful responses.

I did indeed think the Receiver was not available separately, as it's not listed on the Logitech site, but if this is a temporary state of affairs, then OK.

I might have been willing to get a single Duet (to provide the Controller) and then additional Receivers. But it does seems as if the Touch is the best for my purposes, especially if it's true that its DAC is high quality. If it's got better sound than a Receiver, it's worth the extra money, regardless of the Controller issue.

I was also concerned that the Touch could _only_ be controlled through the touch interface--in one location I'd want to have it in a physically inaccessible area--but I now see that it does come with a plain controller, i.e. it doesn't require the separate expensive Controller.

So I will think about using the Touch, perhaps in combination with my existing Squeezebox 3 (my SliMP3 we'll regard as a museum piece :-) ). In one location there will always be a computer, so there I might just use Softsqueeze with a USB-DAC.

Mnyb
2011-01-27, 10:51
Don't forget that a Controller can actually controll your Squeezebox3 and slimp3 (but Slimp3 requires local server 100% of the time).

And the Touch could also be used for controlling the other players, but that is less useful but it can be done.