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View Full Version : Is touch a better sounding unit than SB3 ?



brjoon1021
2011-04-02, 10:38
I have an SB3 so I was just wondering. If you use an outboard DAC any advantages of one over the other as far as sound would be gone anyway, no ?

Thx,

b

SuperQ
2011-04-02, 18:38
Possibly, maybe. Probably not.

eeagle
2011-04-02, 19:11
You will be getting the capability to play higher resolution files 96/24 and 88.2/24 FLAC like those HDTracks sells. If that is of interest an improvement should be noted.

Otherwise the SB3 w/outboard DAC should sound the same.

Most find the Touch built in DAC to be quite capable, and of course the GUI is far better than the SB3.

sleepysurf
2011-04-02, 19:50
Having replaced my SB3 with the Touch (both feeding a Benchmark DAC-1), I can unequivocably say the Touch's digital output is significantly better than the SB3... much cleaner bass in particular. Not sure why that is, but it's pretty obvious (at least in my setup).

Curt962
2011-04-02, 21:26
As a standalone device, the Touch is a great unit. Playing files natively to 96/24 is nice, and it sounds good "AS IS". Adding an external DAC would certainly be fun (and is supported via TOSlink, and Coax digital connections), but I don't see it as being absolutely necessary.

I don't think you can go wrong for the $300 price tag.

Phil Leigh
2011-04-03, 05:40
I have an SB3 so I was just wondering. If you use an outboard DAC any advantages of one over the other as far as sound would be gone anyway, no ?

Thx,

b

The Touch has a superior quality digital feed and sounds better into a good DAC than an SB3. It is a better circuit design with less "noise".

ralphpnj
2011-04-03, 13:01
The Touch has a superior quality digital feed and sounds better into a good DAC than an SB3. It is a better circuit design with less "noise".

+1

The truth is in the listening and listening tests all appear to confirm that the Touch does sound better than the SB3 whether feeding an external DAC or using the internal DAC.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-04, 13:04
+1

The truth is in the listening and listening tests all appear to confirm that the Touch does sound better than the SB3 whether feeding an external DAC or using the internal DAC.

I've heard that Touch sounds way worse than SB3. This is due to the fact that Touch comes shipped out of the factory with a buffer size at 20,000.

Stratmangler
2011-04-04, 13:30
I've heard that Touch sounds way worse than SB3. This is due to the fact that Touch comes shipped out of the factory with a buffer size at 20,000.

20,000 what ?
Goldfish ?
Peanuts ?

Anyway, don't listen to them rumours - the Touch is better sounding than the SB3.
Not a lot better, but then the SB3 was pretty good to start with ;)

Chris :)

darrenyeats
2011-04-04, 13:39
If I may provide a counter-anecdote. I can't hear any difference between the Touch and an old CD player I dusted off after six years in the loft, as transports into my Benchmark DAC1 HDR. If it's because I'm deaf, let me count that as a blessing!
Darren

Gazjam
2011-04-04, 13:42
I've heard that Touch sounds way worse than SB3. This is due to the fact that Touch comes shipped out of the factory with a buffer size at 20,000.

Whats the buffer size of the SB3?

magiccarpetride
2011-04-04, 13:59
If I may provide a counter-anecdote. I can't hear any difference between the Touch and an old CD player I dusted off after six years in the loft, as transports into my Benchmark DAC1 HDR. If it's because I'm deaf, let me count that as a blessing!
Darren

A counter-counter anecdote is that an acquaintance of mine claims that he can't hear the difference between the Touch and his alarm clock.

Sort of similar how I can't hear the difference between my refrigerator and the sound the furnace makes when it's pushing hot air into the rooms.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-04, 14:00
Whats the buffer size of the SB3?

Must be different than 20,000, that much is certain.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-04, 14:01
20,000 what ?
Goldfish ?
Peanuts ?

Anyway, don't listen to them rumours - the Touch is better sounding than the SB3.
Not a lot better, but then the SB3 was pretty good to start with ;)

Chris :)

Goldfish stuffed with peanuts?

Phil Leigh
2011-04-04, 15:04
i've heard that touch sounds way worse than sb3. This is due to the fact that touch comes shipped out of the factory with a buffer size at 20,000.

0/10

Mnyb
2011-04-04, 16:03
Must be with britney or similar ;) some kind of music gets stale very quickly and lose it freshness ? while somethings i own have been buffered since the 50's

ralphpnj
2011-04-04, 16:35
I've heard that Touch sounds way worse than SB3. This is due to the fact that Touch comes shipped out of the factory with a buffer size at 20,000.

Whatever drug you're on, I want some - please!

Wait what am I saying! This is the "Audiophiles" section so I guess that rumor, hearsay, magic and general BS are all fair game. Kind of like the climate change deniers - science just gets tossed out the window and one just believes whatever one wants regardless of science, reason and facts.

JohnSwenson
2011-04-04, 18:07
Whats the buffer size of the SB3?

That 20000 had to have come from Soundcheck's mods. And its NOT a buffer size, its a buffer time in micro seconds. At 44.1 sample rate thats 882 samples in the buffer.

Now this is the ALSA buffer size, which the SB3 doesn't use so you can't even compare.

John S.

darrenyeats
2011-04-04, 23:18
A counter-counter anecdote is that an acquaintance of mine claims that he can't hear the difference between the Touch and his alarm clock.

Sort of similar how I can't hear the difference between my refrigerator and the sound the furnace makes when it's pushing hot air into the rooms.
Would you like all those who can't hear a difference to shut up, MCR?
Darren

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 10:28
Whatever drug you're on, I want some - please!

Wait what am I saying! This is the "Audiophiles" section so I guess that rumor, hearsay, magic and general BS are all fair game. Kind of like the climate change deniers - science just gets tossed out the window and one just believes whatever one wants regardless of science, reason and facts.

It was a belated April Fool's joke! Lighten up, people;)

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 10:28
Would you like all those who can't hear a difference to shut up, MCR?
Darren

If I can't hear them, then they don't have to shut up.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 10:29
Whatever drug you're on, I want some - please!

Wait what am I saying! This is the "Audiophiles" section so I guess that rumor, hearsay, magic and general BS are all fair game. Kind of like the climate change deniers - science just gets tossed out the window and one just believes whatever one wants regardless of science, reason and facts.

Would you say that Transporter still sounds the best?

Gazjam
2011-04-05, 10:32
It was a belated April Fool's joke! Lighten up, people;)

MOST of us knew that Alex... :)

Robin Bowes
2011-04-05, 10:45
On 05/04/11 18:28, magiccarpetride wrote:
>
> It was a belated April Fool's joke! Lighten up, people;)
>

Ah... a joke...

Funny, it sounded just like the rest of the drivel you post. Is that all
"a joke" too?

R.
--
"Feed that ego and you starve the soul" - Colonel J.D. Wilkes
http://www.theshackshakers.com/

ralphpnj
2011-04-05, 11:05
It was a belated April Fool's joke! Lighten up, people;)

Since you're not the op I can only assume that

a) you are completely full of sh*t (but I already know that :))

b) that you and the op are in cohoots, to which I say "boy are we in trouble."


Would you say that Transporter still sounds the best?

Now that depends on the drugs.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 11:14
On 05/04/11 18:28, magiccarpetride wrote:
>
> It was a belated April Fool's joke! Lighten up, people;)
>

Ah... a joke...

Funny, it sounded just like the rest of the drivel you post. Is that all
"a joke" too?

R.
--
"Feed that ego and you starve the soul" - Colonel J.D. Wilkes
http://www.theshackshakers.com/

Thank you for the nice compliment.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 11:15
Since you're not the op I can only assume that

a) you are completely full of sh*t (but I already know that :))

Thank you for your kind compliment.

ralphpnj
2011-04-05, 11:26
Thank you for your kind compliment.

No problem!

On a slightly different note, which drugs make:

a) The Transporter sound best?

b) The Touch sound best?

c) The SB3 sound best?

My answers:

Transporter - drugs which provide one with a heightened awareness and sharper focus.

Touch - drugs which provide a very physical high.

SB3 - drugs that are either old school or that deaden one's senses.

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 11:59
No problem!

On a slightly different note, which drugs make:

a) The Transporter sound best?

b) The Touch sound best?

c) The SB3 sound best?

My answers:

Transporter - drugs which provide one with a heightened awareness and sharper focus.

Touch - drugs which provide a very physical high.

SB3 - drugs that are either old school or that deaden one's senses.

Thanks for the insight. Also, don't forget to take your meds every morning.

ralphpnj
2011-04-05, 12:41
Thanks for the insight. Also, don't forget to take your meds every morning.

Why limit oneself to just the morning?

magiccarpetride
2011-04-05, 14:12
Why limit oneself to just the morning?

That's the question you should ask your psychiatrist.

ralphpnj
2011-04-05, 15:14
That's the question you should ask your psychiatrist.

Psychiatrist?!?!?

Don't you mean dealer?

aspendl828
2011-04-06, 02:54
Just bringing this slightly back on topic :-)

Has anyone had the cahnce to compare a Touch digital output with the digital out from a Patrick Dixon SB+? Currently feeding my SB+ into a Naim DAC with fantastic results but obviously wonder about the Touch and 24/96....

Cheers

Andrew

earwaxer9
2011-04-08, 17:54
Just bringing this slightly back on topic :-)

Has anyone had the cahnce to compare a Touch digital output with the digital out from a Patrick Dixon SB+? Currently feeding my SB+ into a Naim DAC with fantastic results but obviously wonder about the Touch and 24/96....

Cheers

Andrew

Wow! What a strange trip its been! - Given that the Touch was deemed "bit perfect" by Kal at Stereophile. I would say that it cant get much better than perfect. I think its a bit nuts to split hairs on this. The yeoman's work rests with the DAC. Taking the SPDIF and doing it right. Hence - switch focus to issues with SPDIF and DAC, and possibly goldfish.

mervin_b
2011-04-08, 18:07
Wow! What a strange trip its been! - Given that the Touch was deemed "bit perfect" by Kal at Stereophile. I would say that it cant get much better than perfect. I think its a bit nuts to split hairs on this. The yeoman's work rests with the DAC. Taking the SPDIF and doing it right. Hence - switch focus to issues with SPDIF and DAC, and possibly goldfish.
There seems to be a never-end source of replies claiming bit-perfect = bit-perfect = no possible audio differences possible.

If the bit-perfect stream is captured back to audio data, then yes, bit-perfect would mean the data captured will be identical to the original data. However the bit stream here is usually processed through a digital receiver and dac, neither of which regenerate the bit stream, hence timing variations (jitter) can and will degrade the resulting analog signal.

A crude analogy in musical terms is that bit-perfect may mean "note"-perfect, but timing is off (fast/slow, jittery, wow+flutter), then the music will not sound good.

pski
2011-04-08, 18:29
There seems to be a never-end source of replies claiming bit-perfect = bit-perfect = no possible audio differences possible.

If the bit-perfect stream is captured back to audio data, then yes, bit-perfect would mean the data captured will be identical to the original data. However the bit stream here is usually processed through a digital receiver and dac, neither of which regenerate the bit stream, hence timing variations (jitter) can and will degrade the resulting analog signal.

A crude analogy in musical terms is that bit-perfect may mean "note"-perfect, but timing is off (fast/slow, jittery, wow+flutter), then the music will not sound good.

If you look through this area, you will find a very interesting video concerning jitter, wow, and other BS as well as bit-perfect that points out quite accurately that humans can't really resolve small differences. It seems the preferences of the studio make way more difference than <supposed> golden ears.

P

michael123
2011-04-08, 22:58
There seems to be a never-end source of replies claiming bit-perfect = bit-perfect = no possible audio differences possible.

If the bit-perfect stream is captured back to audio data, then yes, bit-perfect would mean the data captured will be identical to the original data. However the bit stream here is usually processed through a digital receiver and dac, neither of which regenerate the bit stream, hence timing variations (jitter) can and will degrade the resulting analog signal.

A crude analogy in musical terms is that bit-perfect may mean "note"-perfect, but timing is off (fast/slow, jittery, wow+flutter), then the music will not sound good.

Absolutely,
bit-perfectness is merely one of the long list of pre-requisites.

earwaxer9
2011-04-09, 09:15
There seems to be a never-end source of replies claiming bit-perfect = bit-perfect = no possible audio differences possible.

If the bit-perfect stream is captured back to audio data, then yes, bit-perfect would mean the data captured will be identical to the original data. However the bit stream here is usually processed through a digital receiver and dac, neither of which regenerate the bit stream, hence timing variations (jitter) can and will degrade the resulting analog signal.

A crude analogy in musical terms is that bit-perfect may mean "note"-perfect, but timing is off (fast/slow, jittery, wow+flutter), then the music will not sound good.

True - the jitter issue is a big one - This is the realm of the DAC. Jitter is inherent over SPDIF to DAC. Not ethernet or WIFI to Touch etc. The Transporter, Touch, SB etc. is just a conduit. Get the bits to the DAC. Thats what its all about.

Daverz
2011-04-10, 13:15
If you look through this area, you will find a very interesting video concerning jitter, wow, and other BS as well as bit-perfect that points out quite accurately that humans can't really resolve small differences. It seems the preferences of the studio make way more difference than <supposed> golden ears.


Do you mean the "Audio Myths Workshop" video? I don't remember anything about jitter in that discussion.

darrenyeats
2011-04-10, 13:26
If I may provide a counter-anecdote. I can't hear any difference between the Touch and an old CD player I dusted off after six years in the loft, as transports into my Benchmark DAC1 HDR. If it's because I'm deaf, let me count that as a blessing!
Darren
Also, I can hear no difference between SB3 and Touch when fed into the HDR. Just tested that properly today.

Before anyone jumps on me, this is just one person's impression. I provide it as a public service and if you hear different then, well, you have as much right to share your impressions as I have.
Darren

RonM
2011-04-10, 13:28
It was a belated April Fool's joke! Lighten up, people;)

I actually understood that; I chuckled!

However, the degree of difference between amusing remarks and some of the "audiophile" claims one reads here and elsewhere requires a micrometer to measure, preferably into negative values (some of the purposely amusing remarks are closer to truth than some of the seriously-made claims)!

R.