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Thread: External dac?

  1. #1

    External dac?

    I am thinking to upgrade my streaming audio. I concidered to replace my sb touch with a bluesound node 2i.
    But... can I upgrade my sound with an externe dac? I still use the touch dac (with a sbooster). I really am a dac noob. Can you help me?

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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by thekiller View Post
    I am thinking to upgrade my streaming audio. I concidered to replace my sb touch with a bluesound node 2i.
    But... can I upgrade my sound with an externe dac? I still use the touch dac (with a sbooster). I really am a dac noob. Can you help me?

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    There are really two issues here:

    1. You need to evaluate whether you prefer LMS or whatever music management software comes with the Bluesound devices (of which I know nothing). And does the Bluesound offer a better quality sound?
    2. You should maybe try out different DACs in the context of your HiFi system and make your choice based on sound quality and the DAC's feature set. I have read that the DAC in the Touch is pretty highly regarded. I use a Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100, but mostly to quickly allow switching between different digital devices. I don't think it is superior to the Touch's DAC.

    Robert
    Home: Raspberry Pi 4/pCP7.0/LMS8.1.2/Material with files on QNAP TS-251A
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), 1 x SqueezeAMP
    Office: LMS8.0.0 running on Raspberry Pi3; Raspberry Pi 3 player with touchscreen/piCorePlayer/IQaudIO DAC and Amp
    Portable: Raspberry Pi 3B/pCP7.0.1/LMS8.1.2/Material, files on Seagate portable drive, powered via power brick

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
    There are really two issues here:

    1. You need to evaluate whether you prefer LMS or whatever music management software comes with the Bluesound devices (of which I know nothing). And does the Bluesound offer a better quality sound?
    2. You should maybe try out different DACs in the context of your HiFi system and make your choice based on sound quality and the DAC's feature set. I have read that the DAC in the Touch is pretty highly regarded. I use a Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100, but mostly to quickly allow switching between different digital devices. I don't think it is superior to the Touch's DAC.

    Robert
    This same question was posted on a different section yesterday. As a result I looked at the specs of the Bluesound. Its maximum is 24/192 but only when used with BluOS whatever that is. Otherwise it has Bluetooth and Airplay 2. For close to ú500 I think its a bit of a white elephant so far as LMS is concerned and my conclusion was that there are lots of DACs that would outperform it when coupled with a Pi based player.

    Personally I am now running a Pi4 with piCorePlayer coupled to a Khadas Tone Board in my main Living Room hifi and for a total outlay of cú220 including fancy cases I'd suggest that this outperforms the Blusound by some way.

    If I was the OP I think I would firstly look at the new Dac32 player at c ú55. I suspect that will be in Touch sort of class and perhaps beyond.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room Joggler & Pi4/Khadas -> Onkyo TXNR686 -> Celestion F20s
    Office Joggler & Pi3 -> Denon RCD N8 -> Celestion F10s
    Dining Room SB Boom
    Kitchen UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) Pi Zero+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) & Bathroom SB Touch ->Denon AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s + Kef ceiling speakers
    Guest Room Joggler > Topping Amp -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Everything controlled by iPeng & Material on iOS

  4. #4
    Senior Member Heuer's Avatar
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    I agree, I think the DAC32 is going to be a giant killer. Looking at the specs and the ethos of the company who have designed it the DAC32 is going to be a tough act to follow.
    Last edited by Heuer; 2021-02-12 at 05:06.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Heuer View Post
    I agree, I think the DAC32 is going to be a giant killer. Looking at the specs and the ethos of the company who have desinged it the DAC32 is going to be a tough act to follow.
    I really don't understand this advice. Why should this be better than my sb touch?
    I hoped there is a dac to connect to my sb touch to improve the sound.
    The dac32 looks like a simple device

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekiller View Post
    I really don't understand this advice. Why should this be better than my sb touch?
    I hoped there is a dac to connect to my sb touch to improve the sound.
    The dac32 looks like a simple device
    I do not know if DAC32 will produce better sounds that the Touch - however you would still be able to use your Touch ... but in this case you would use it as a controller and set it to manage a different player (the DAC32).
    If you want the dancing meters then you would set the Touch to be in a sync group with the DAC32 (but not connect anything to the outputs of the Touch).
    Paul Webster
    http://dabdig.blogspot.com
    Author of "Now Playing" plugins covering Radio France (FIP etc), PlanetRadio (Bauer - Kiss, Absolute, Scala, JazzFM etc), KCRW, Supla Finland, ABC Australia, CBC/Radio-Canada and RTE Ireland

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekiller View Post
    I really don't understand this advice. Why should this be better than my sb touch?
    I hoped there is a dac to connect to my sb touch to improve the sound.
    The dac32 looks like a simple device

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    It is indeed a simple device but it contains a very high quality DAC chip that will enable you to play 24/192 HiRes FLAC from LMS with no additional parts.
    The DAC in the SB Touch is good but without installing the EDO plugin it is limited to 24/96.
    If you install the EDO plugin then the output via USB can be 24/192 - one of the Toslink and Coaxial outputs will also then support 24/192 but can't recall which.
    As far as I can see the Blusound is Toslink only as far as digital input is concerned. At ú500 it is a very expensive bit of kit.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room Joggler & Pi4/Khadas -> Onkyo TXNR686 -> Celestion F20s
    Office Joggler & Pi3 -> Denon RCD N8 -> Celestion F10s
    Dining Room SB Boom
    Kitchen UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) Pi Zero+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) & Bathroom SB Touch ->Denon AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s + Kef ceiling speakers
    Guest Room Joggler > Topping Amp -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Everything controlled by iPeng & Material on iOS

  8. #8
    Senior Member Heuer's Avatar
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    Twelve years of progress with DAC chips to start with. If you want to get the ultimate from a Touch you need to load the EDO (Enhanced Digital Output) app to enable 192Khz output via USB. The Touch is 24/96 natively. More here: https://darko.audio/2012/05/enhanced...eezebox-touch/

    Then look to a Chord Mojo/Qutest/Hugo/Dave DAC depending on how much you want to spend or other simpler USB DAC's (although I doubt they will be able to offer a major improvement). Chord use Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) circuitry, several times more complex, and accurate, than a standard DAC chipset.

    The DAC32 is a combined Squeezebox streamer/DAC capable of 192Khz. It is the sort of thing Logitech should be releasing although I doubt they could do it at that price point which is slightly less than you can buy a Touch for on eBay. If my hopes for DAC32 are correct there will be a lot of Touch's appearing on eBay in March!
    Last edited by Heuer; 2021-02-12 at 05:38.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Webster View Post
    I do not know if DAC32 will produce better sounds that the Touch - however you would still be able to use your Touch ... but in this case you would use it as a controller and set it to manage a different player (the DAC32).
    If you want the dancing meters then you would set the Touch to be in a sync group with the DAC32 (but not connect anything to the outputs of the Touch).
    Thank you. I didnt thought of syncing the devices. Perhaps i'm the only one, but I still prefer to see the covers of the albums in the display. And I still using a remote to scroll through my music on the touch

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Heuer View Post
    Twelve years of progress with DAC chips to start with. If you want to get the ultimate from a Touch you need to load the EDO (Enhanced Digital Output) app to enable 192Khz output via USB. The Touch is 24/96 natively. More here: https://darko.audio/2012/05/enhanced...eezebox-touch/

    Then look to a Chord Mojo/Qutest/Hugo/Dave DAC depending on how much you want to spend or other simpler USB DAC's (although I doubt they will be able to offer a major improvement). Chord use Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) circuitry, several times more complex, and accurate, than a standard DAC chipset.

    The DAC32 is a combined Squeezebox streamer/DAC capable of 192Khz. It is the sort of thing Logitech should be releasing although I doubt they could do it at that price point which is slightly less than you can buy a Touch for on eBay. If my hopes for DAC32 are correct there will be a lot of Touch's appearing on eBay in March!
    Thank you. Thats a lot of information. I prefer a plug and play solution, because I had a lot of probleem after updating lms and to connect spotify and tidal again. So the edo thing looks a bit above my league.
    But the better dac makes me curious.
    I don't think people will put their touch on ebay, because I think the screen is the best part of all the squeezeboxes.

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