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View Full Version : Discreet mounting, amplification and general pre purchasequestions



Jeremy Aston
2004-10-19, 18:02
Hi,

I need to make a decision very soon about what network MP3 player to go
for. I love som much about the Slimp3 and Squeezebox players/server sw
but there are some things I just cannot square.

Basically, I am about (in the next week) to wire my new extension. I
am flooding it with network cable and ideally want to have discreet
mp3/dab player capability. This brings me to my first question:

1. Can Slim devices work on a Cat 6 network? My installer can get hold
of Cat 6 at the same price as Cat 5e. If he puts in cat 6 then will I
have a problem? I do not want wireless as I runa g wireless network
and I prefer to stream down cable, especially as I will have several
devices.

My next issue is around discreet installation. I have seen Slimp3
players in wall mounted. That is cool. The new Squeezebox looks like
it is not meant to be in wall mounted, rather placed on a shelf, table
top etc. Therefore...

2. Is it possible to mount a Squeezebox in a drylined wood stud wall (I
am in the uk btw if that makes a difference as far as construction
techniques go).

If not that mucks up my ensuite installation as the squeeze box will
have to be on a shelf. grrrrr. The alternative would be to have the
master bedroom device play into the en suite but then I cannot listen
to different stuff whilst I am in the bathroom to my missus in bed.

Amplification is my next bug bear. I really really really do not want
to have to put amps every where the slimp3/squeezeboxs are. I want a
discreet installation, with volume controlled from the slim controller.
I do not want to have to use two remotes or even worse use amps that
do not have remote control and have to get up to turn a knob. I have
seen the wall mounted amp mentioned elsewhere in the list but I have no
idea of the price or quality. If I am going to have to buy five/six
amps I will have to buy quite cheap ones from richer sounds or 2nd hand
- unlikely to have rs232 ports. If I rack mount them then I have to do
all sorts of extra stuff to support remote volume control with IR over
cat 5/6 and who wants to do that? The issue is compounded if I use
Slimp3 players in wall mounted.

The new Exstreamer Gold has a built in amplifier but I am not sure if
it is available yet nor what price it is. It would be a perfect fit
audio wise but I think Slim is better from a software pov.

Of course, the headphone socket will drive speaker up to a certain
level but I have no idea what sort of speakers could be driven - I am
looking generally at bedroom/bathroom/kitchen applications, with in
ceiling or in wall solutions preferable. so...

3. What amplification solutions have ppl come up with, especially when
considering discreet usage
4. What active speakers could be an option, again I am on a fairly
tight budget so good value is essential

5. What are the differences between the Slimp3 player and the
Squeezebox - what would I miss by going for the former over the latter

I am sure other things will spring to mind but the above is enough for
a newbie like me to dump on the list just now :-)

Many many many thanks in advance for your help and I hope your
responses inspire in me the confidence I need to be sure in my choice.

Best regards

Jez

Andrew W. Donoho
2004-10-19, 19:54
On Oct 19, 2004, at 20:02, Jeremy Aston wrote:
> 1. Can Slim devices work on a Cat 6 network? My installer can get
> hold of Cat 6 at the same price as Cat 5e. If he puts in cat 6 then
> will I have a problem? I do not want wireless as I runa g wireless
> network and I prefer to stream down cable, especially as I will have
> several devices.


Cat 6 and Cat 5e are equivalent to the SqueezeBox. Since it uses
10BaseT, it'll run on Cat 3.

Andrew

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



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dean
2004-10-20, 14:51
Hi Jeremy,

Some answers for you:

On Oct 19, 2004, at 6:02 PM, Jeremy Aston wrote:
> 1. Can Slim devices work on a Cat 6 network? My installer can get
> hold of Cat 6 at the same price as Cat 5e. If he puts in cat 6 then
> will I have a problem? I do not want wireless as I runa g wireless
> network and I prefer to stream down cable, especially as I will have
> several devices.
Absolutely. Squeezebox has a 10base-T ethernet interface and so should
work over cat 3,5,5e and 6.

> 2. Is it possible to mount a Squeezebox in a drylined wood stud wall
> (I am in the uk btw if that makes a difference as far as construction
> techniques go).
It would be possible to mount inside the wall, but you'd need to remove
the electronics from the case and find a way to mount them in the wall.
Your builder could probably fabricate something easily from a sheet of
metal, a bit of plexiglass (perspex?) and some nuts and bolts. Of
course, I don't know what the building codes require in the UK, but it
is a low-voltage device, if that matters.

> If not that mucks up my ensuite installation as the squeeze box will
> have to be on a shelf. grrrrr. The alternative would be to have the
> master bedroom device play into the en suite but then I cannot listen
> to different stuff whilst I am in the bathroom to my missus in bed.
The Squeezebox is quite low-profile, so it can be quite discreetly
placed on a shelf.

> Amplification is my next bug bear. I really really really do not want
> to have to put amps every where the slimp3/squeezeboxs are. I want a
> discreet installation, with volume controlled from the slim
> controller. I do not want to have to use two remotes or even worse
> use amps that do not have remote control and have to get up to turn a
> knob. I have seen the wall mounted amp mentioned elsewhere in the
> list but I have no idea of the price or quality. If I am going to
> have to buy five/six amps I will have to buy quite cheap ones from
> richer sounds or 2nd hand - unlikely to have rs232 ports. If I rack
> mount them then I have to do all sorts of extra stuff to support
> remote volume control with IR over cat 5/6 and who wants to do that?
> The issue is compounded if I use Slimp3 players in wall mounted.
The volume control on the Squeezebox remote can adjust the volume, so
your amplifiers can be set to a fixed gain and hidden, then use the
standard remote to adjust the volume. The amplifiers that were pointed
out in earlier posts look good and shouldn't be too expensive. If you
decide to put it on your shelf, you can consider using a pair of
amplified speakers. There are lots of excellent and inexpensive models
to choose from.

> The new Exstreamer Gold has a built in amplifier but I am not sure if
> it is available yet nor what price it is. It would be a perfect fit
> audio wise but I think Slim is better from a software pov.
I agree, SlimServer is a better software solution. :)

> Of course, the headphone socket will drive speaker up to a certain
> level but I have no idea what sort of speakers could be driven - I am
> looking generally at bedroom/bathroom/kitchen applications, with in
> ceiling or in wall solutions preferable. so...
The headphone jack won't be powerful enough to drive external speakers.

> 3. What amplification solutions have ppl come up with, especially
> when considering discreet usage
In my house, we have three Squeezeboxes set up. One in the kitchen on
a shelf that connects to an amplifier in the basement that drives the
speakers in the ceiling. Our family and visitors seem to be able to
pick up and learn to use the system quite easily and it's quite
discreet on the shelf.

The second one is in the bedroom, on top of a tall dresser. It's
connected to a pair of powered speakers that are hidden away a bit.

The third one is in the stereo cabinet, which has wooden doors and is
almost never seen, but is heard.

> 4. What active speakers could be an option, again I am on a fairly
> tight budget so good value is essential
The speakers that I've used and recommend and are inexpensive
(audiophiles might laugh, but the noise in my house prevents any kind
of critical listening)
- Edirol MA-10D - notable because they have digital inputs. Roland has
a nearly identical model that is more attractive, model DM10, I
believe.

- Klipsh ProMedia 2.1 - Nice sounding with a subwoofer.

- Cambridge Soundworks "SoundWorks" Great price performance.

> 5. What are the differences between the Slimp3 player and the
> Squeezebox - what would I miss by going for the former over the latter
SLIMP3 is no longer in production. Squeezebox has support for more
audio formats, including direct support for AIFF and WAV audio, digital
outputs, wireless connectivity, headphone jacks and a much improved
display. The Squeezebox case is significantly deeper, but is less
tall.

Good luck and feel free to post more questions...

-dean

Jeremy Aston
2004-10-21, 01:35
Thanks one and all for the very useful answers - they have helped me be
sure I want to go for Squeeze boxes. The only other question I have at
the momement is how to wire up speakers in my rooms that also have
surround sound tv.

Ideally I would like to use the front surround speakers (driven off the
TV) as stereo speakers for the squeeze box. Without having to put in an
av receiver is there any way to do this or will I need separate speakers
for the squeeze box?

Many thanks

Jeremy