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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9

    Squeezebox Touch high frequency tizz/distortion

    Hi all,

    Hope everyone is safe and well!!

    I bought my SBT in 2007 and I spent some time trying to make it work for me. I was using Mediamonkey to rip CD's and LMS to stream to the SBT from my Asus gaming laptop via wifi.
    My system is a Meridian G08 CD player connected by XLR cables to Bryston SP25 DA pre, XLR cables connecting to bi-amped Bryston 3BST power amps. Originally the speakers were PMC lb1 monitors, but these have been upgraded to PMC PB1i's, bass drivers are fed by lower 3BST in the rack and the mid and HF drivers are fed by upper 3BST in the rack. In comparison the lb1's play sounds, but the PB1i's play "music".
    The SBT was connected by SPDIF coax to the BP25's DAC. I gave up as the sound quality playing CD's ripped to flac files while listenable was not up to what the G08 was producing in direct comparison, so I stuck with the G08.

    I recently purchased a Bludento HD bluetooth receiver and a Chord Mojo DAC which are feeding the BP25 pre by an analogue Audioquest Forest RCA cable and have been happily listening to Spotify premium on a 3 month free trial during UK lockdown. I have never listened to so much varied music in my life!!

    I had been looking at network streamers as I still want to be able to rip my 2000 or so CD's to a SSD hard drive attached to my laptop and stream by ethernet, I was considering the Pro-Ject stream box 2 ultra or the Allo USBridge Signature.

    My SBT had been gathering dust sat on the G08 CD player, good things have been written about EDO via USB so I dusted the SBT off and gave it a second chance before choosing either the Pro-Ject or Allo streamer, it seemed silly to not try the SBT again.
    The SBT USB is EDO enabled and feeding the Chord Mojo via an Audioquest Forest USB to micro USB cable and power is via an Ankar iQ power pack and USB to barrel jack cable.
    The power pack works well with the SBT and is an improvement in sound quality over the supplied switched wall wart. I have no problems with the power pack switching off as others have found and it has lasted a couple of evenings listening so far with the SBT in standby in between before needing recharging.

    My problem is although the SBT sound quality is much better than with my original setup, if I do a direct A/B comparison with the CD playing in the G08 and the same ripped flac file streamed by ethernet using Cat8 cable, there is still a difference in the high frequencies. The SBT highs are slightly tizzy/grainy/distorted especially with some of Pavarroti's best, female vocals are not as smooth as when played via the G08. Louder volumes get tiring and unpleasant, but not with the G08 playing!!

    I intend to eventually change to Quobuz hi-res and Roon with the SBT as an end point if I can rectify the tizzy highs.
    There is no tizz/distortion using my Samsumg Note 9 streaming Spotify premium via bluetooth to the Bludento bluetooth streamer and SPDIF coax to the Chord Mojo.

    Any suggestions, thoughts to how I can improve the SBT sound quality please or is this as good as it gets and my system is exposing the limitations of the SBT.
    I was wondering if putting an iFi Micro iUSB3.0 Ultimate Audio-grade USB Power Supply between the SBT and the Mojo would correct the tizzy highs, but this is currently ú429, so not cheap if it doesn't clean up the signal and improve the SQ as advertised. Of course there are cheaper (and more expensive) alternatives.

    Many thanks,

    Regards,

    Barry

  2. #2
    Junior Member fastfwd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry.B View Post
    SBT USB .... Any suggestions, thoughts to how I can improve the SBT sound quality
    Coax SPDIF instead of USB.
    Touch --> Benchmark DAC3 HGC --> Counterpoint NPS200 MkII + NPS400 --> Meadowlark Heron
    Touch --> Schiit Bifrost 2 --> Eddie Current Aficionado --> HD800 SDR, ZMF Verite Ziricote
    and a third Touch for remote control, and a Radio, and a couple SB3s and a Transporter somewhere

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    4,611
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry.B View Post
    Hi all,

    Hope everyone is safe and well!!

    I bought my SBT in 2007 and I spent some time trying to make it work for me. I was using Mediamonkey to rip CD's and LMS to stream to the SBT from my Asus gaming laptop via wifi.
    My system is a Meridian G08 CD player connected by XLR cables to Bryston SP25 DA pre, XLR cables connecting to bi-amped Bryston 3BST power amps. Originally the speakers were PMC lb1 monitors, but these have been upgraded to PMC PB1i's, bass drivers are fed by lower 3BST in the rack and the mid and HF drivers are fed by upper 3BST in the rack. In comparison the lb1's play sounds, but the PB1i's play "music".
    The SBT was connected by SPDIF coax to the BP25's DAC. I gave up as the sound quality playing CD's ripped to flac files while listenable was not up to what the G08 was producing in direct comparison, so I stuck with the G08.

    I recently purchased a Bludento HD bluetooth receiver and a Chord Mojo DAC which are feeding the BP25 pre by an analogue Audioquest Forest RCA cable and have been happily listening to Spotify premium on a 3 month free trial during UK lockdown. I have never listened to so much varied music in my life!!

    I had been looking at network streamers as I still want to be able to rip my 2000 or so CD's to a SSD hard drive attached to my laptop and stream by ethernet, I was considering the Pro-Ject stream box 2 ultra or the Allo USBridge Signature.

    My SBT had been gathering dust sat on the G08 CD player, good things have been written about EDO via USB so I dusted the SBT off and gave it a second chance before choosing either the Pro-Ject or Allo streamer, it seemed silly to not try the SBT again.
    The SBT USB is EDO enabled and feeding the Chord Mojo via an Audioquest Forest USB to micro USB cable and power is via an Ankar iQ power pack and USB to barrel jack cable.
    The power pack works well with the SBT and is an improvement in sound quality over the supplied switched wall wart. I have no problems with the power pack switching off as others have found and it has lasted a couple of evenings listening so far with the SBT in standby in between before needing recharging.

    My problem is although the SBT sound quality is much better than with my original setup, if I do a direct A/B comparison with the CD playing in the G08 and the same ripped flac file streamed by ethernet using Cat8 cable, there is still a difference in the high frequencies. The SBT highs are slightly tizzy/grainy/distorted especially with some of Pavarroti's best, female vocals are not as smooth as when played via the G08. Louder volumes get tiring and unpleasant, but not with the G08 playing!!

    I intend to eventually change to Quobuz hi-res and Roon with the SBT as an end point if I can rectify the tizzy highs.
    There is no tizz/distortion using my Samsumg Note 9 streaming Spotify premium via bluetooth to the Bludento bluetooth streamer and SPDIF coax to the Chord Mojo.

    Any suggestions, thoughts to how I can improve the SBT sound quality please or is this as good as it gets and my system is exposing the limitations of the SBT.
    I was wondering if putting an iFi Micro iUSB3.0 Ultimate Audio-grade USB Power Supply between the SBT and the Mojo would correct the tizzy highs, but this is currently ú429, so not cheap if it doesn't clean up the signal and improve the SQ as advertised. Of course there are cheaper (and more expensive) alternatives.

    Many thanks,

    Regards,

    Barry
    The Touch wasn't introduced until 2010.Your old posts talk about an SB3.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by slartibartfast View Post
    The Touch wasn't introduced until 2010.Your old posts talk about an SB3.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    My error, thank you for pointing this out. I have both SB3 and SBT but I am only using the SBT as no USB EDO available on SB3.

    I will try SPDIF coax.

    Regards,

    Barry

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9

    Squeezebox Touch high frequency tizz/distortion - Update

    Hi All,

    I wanted to write an update which is as follows -

    I tried SPDIF from the SBT to the Chord Mojo and Bryston pre DACs , this improved the SQ marginally but the HF's were still mostly as before tizzy and the whole sound lacking weight.
    Reading other forums I came across a post in diyAudio where the author Kurt Von Kubik writes in 2010 -

    "But much more important seems the file format to be. FLAC simply wont work on a SBT, neither @ 16/44 or @ 24/96.
    It seems as if you are playing LP┤s with a dirty or worn needle. It both sounds thin and the top end looses delicacy and naturalness, causing you to focus your attention on sibillance and transient edges, and that is not the way music appears to you IRL.
    WAV proves its worth also in 24/96, but as SC indicates, it might be a SBT problem only, but I doubt it. To me it seems as if all the compressed formats causes trouble no matter where you decompress on the fly."

    Which is exactly how it sounds for me. I then ripped Yes's 90215 CD in WAV using MediaMonkey, streamed this file to the SBT via LMS and all is well, no tizzy top end and a full, rich sound quality both with SPDIF to Mojo and Bryston Pre DAC. I then changed to SBT EDO USB out to the Mojo with the same result and much improved SQ??

    If I stream to the SBT as a renderer using BubbleUPnP app on my Samsung Note 9 phone all FLAC files ripped using MediaMonkey and synchronised to the SD card in the Note 9 sound fine (no tizzy top end and a full, rich sound quality??).

    I have since signed up for a months trial with Qobuz which is a big leap in sound quality from Spotify premium (pity Spotify doesn't do CD quality or HI-Res). All files from Qobuz are now either CD quality FLAC files or HI-Res FLAC files. Streaming to either Chord Mojo/Poly or SBT/ Bryston DAC in CD quality via BubbleUPnP there is not a lot of difference in SQ which is a credit to the SBT's ten year old technology. Unfortunately the SBT won't play HI-Res files which the Chord Mojo/Poly over WiFi sounds fantastic. My wife who normally doesn't ask for music to be played is now wanting to know when we will be next listening to a Quobuz playlist (mainly classic blues). I have yet to see if SBT will play Hi-Res using the Quobuz app.

    It seems that streaming FLAC files from LMS to the SBT in my Hi-Fi system is not going to work which is a shame as that is what I bought it for in the first place and probably why I originally gave up with it. So It looks like I will need to purchase a large SD card/s (or use a 2TB SSD via powered USB hub instead of SD cards and use SPDIF instead of USB) and copy my ripped FLAC CD's to this/these and stream via BubbleUPnP from the Note 9 if using SD cards and bin LMS if I want to use the SBT, unless anyone can suggest another way.

    Thanks for reading this update, I hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these challenging times.

    Best regards,

    BarryB

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    4,862
    If you are sending FLAC to an SBT via BubbleuPnP then presumably you are actually sending PCM to the SBT.

    Have you tried setting LMS to send PCM instead of FLAC ?
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

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