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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    436

    Improve my sound

    Currently using my faithful Squeezebox Touch linked via Coaxial into my Arcam SA10 amp (has built in Sabre ESS 9018 DAC)

    My considerations -

    1) Replace my Touch with a 2nd hand Transporter to take advantage of itís onboard DAC
    2) Replace the Touch with a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for itís onboard DACís
    3) Purchase an external DAC, something that doesnít use the Sabre DAC range.

    Any other suggestions are most welcome.

    TIA
    Squeezebox touch
    Logitech Media server 7.9.1 running on Asus Beebox 3050 SFF Pc with USB 3.0 750GB HD
    Arcam SA10 amplifier
    Chord rumour speaker cable
    Dali Mentor Menuets on Custom Design stands

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Staffordshire. UK
    Posts
    4,843
    First : decided why you think your sound needs improving : make a list

    Second : consider updating your LMS

    Third : read the list and decide how you can change things for the better

    Forth : google is your friend

    Fifth : chuck the list in the bin and enjoy the music

    Sixth : only you can decide what is an improvement, there is a lot (and I mean a LOT) of stuff on t'interweb about how one can improve sound quality, and it is all subjective, well nearly all, well alright, some might be worthwhile, your ears and that

    do your research (you seem to have started here) and try things for yourself

    enjoy

    ronnie

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    6,327
    Presumably the Touch has EDO plugin which allows max 24/192 out over digital? If so bear in mind that the Transporter will never handle anything above 24/96. LMS will downsample accordingly.

    My recent upgrade was a Raspberry Pi4 (piCorePlayer) coupled with a Khadas Tone Board (Generic) connected via USB both in high WAF cases that match each other.

    The Tone Board is a very decent DAC - https://www.khadas.com/tone1 - capable of up to 32/384 if ever required. From memory it was about £90 plus the case from Audiophonics for about £20 and to my ears is better than something costing triple that.

    Pi Box Pro 4 case - https://thepihut.com/products/pibox-...with-sd-access
    Kadas Tone Board case - https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/alumi...d-p-13626.html
    Jim
    https://jukeradio.double6.net


    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 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

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Western/Northern New York
    Posts
    726
    what ronnie says... except while google is your friend, remember she is watching you

    I have two systems with a touch as the player.

    The first is a touch coax into an oppo BDP-105D Blu-ray/media processor with balanced analog to an outlaw amp. The 105 has a wonderful digital/analog section.

    I have a second system at a cabin that might be more relevant to your question. Initially a touch analog rca into an arcam a65 amp. I recently added a Schitt bifrost DAC (about $500USD) between the two, and the sound improvement is night and day (even to these aging ears). I still have the touch analog to one input, and the DAC to another input, so I can A/B to demonstrate the difference to myself, for a smile when one is needed.

    Two other things to remember/consider:

    1) The music you play. Poorly recorded muddy sounding song is still going to sound crappy. I have a high res copy of Derek and the Dominos "Layla" and while the music is one of my fav's, the sound is...meh..
    2) Speakers - IMO the biggest improvement you can make. Especially when you consider most have unique sound color/flavor to them, so find the ones that match what you appeals to you. Example, I was looking for a cheap upgrade of an old pair of klipsch KG1.5's (early 90's vintage, maybe $300 a pair) for my second system. I bought a pair of ELACS, they sounded great. Then A/B'ed them with the klipsch. I returned the ELAC's. Maybe the ELACs were more accurate, but to me they were more "dead". YMMV.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Senior Member Apesbrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    East Coast, USA
    Posts
    1,830
    Have you considered adding a subwoofer (or two)?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    489
    No need to replace the Touch, as you seem to have a nice setup. Room treatment and other speakers go a long way. More than the marginal differences in the digital domain.
    Enjoy the music and take out and clean the connectors every now and then. Even the mains connectors. Sounds like an upgrade.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    15
    I recently added a Denafrips Ares II DAC to my setup, and am extremely happy with it. I have it connected via coax to my Squeezebox Touch. Previously, I was using the DAC in my Oppo 105D, which is a very good Sabre based DAC.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pkfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    600
    Quote Originally Posted by tank121 View Post
    Currently using my faithful Squeezebox Touch linked via Coaxial into my Arcam SA10 amp (has built in Sabre ESS 9018 DAC)

    My considerations -

    1) Replace my Touch with a 2nd hand Transporter to take advantage of itís onboard DAC
    2) Replace the Touch with a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for itís onboard DACís
    3) Purchase an external DAC, something that doesnít use the Sabre DAC range.

    Any other suggestions are most welcome.

    TIA
    I recently replaced my Khadas tone board with a Chord Qutest https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/qutest and am very pleased with it - I have a CXN 2 which is also very good , I can choose whether to play using the CXN directly into my amp or to pipe it through the Qutest - to be honest they are both so good I can't tell the difference
    Intel NUC i5 Debian 16gb RAM 1TB SSD -> LMS -> Squeezelite -> USB -> Chord Hugo MScaler -> dual BNC -> Chord DAVE DAC -> Meridian 551 -> Monitor Audio Gold -> Me

    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ďWow! What a Ride! - Hunter S Thompson - RIP

  9. #9
    You've got many good suggestions already. I'd like to add headphones. With out knowing what you want to improve a lot of the time IME when people want improvement they want more. Now you might be happy with your current speakers and/or actually care about your neighbours, if so consider a headphone amp and a nice pair of phones.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    436
    So I nearly bought a 2nd hand Transporter over the weekend here in the UK. It went for £296 on the Ebay.

    Why did I pass on it? I just thought itís virtually half the price of my other option Cambridge Audio CVNV2 with no warranty and the Cambridge will come with 6 yrs from RS. Also no support for the higher res files.

    Before getting the CA further down the line Iím going to try one of these Topping D50s USB DAC ES9038Q2M DAC XMOS XU208 32Bit/768KHz via USB out of the Touch and compare it to the digital out of the Touch into my Arcam SA10 amp with itís built in Sabre ESS9016 DAC.

    Does anyone uses this Touch & Topping combo?
    Squeezebox touch
    Logitech Media server 7.9.1 running on Asus Beebox 3050 SFF Pc with USB 3.0 750GB HD
    Arcam SA10 amplifier
    Chord rumour speaker cable
    Dali Mentor Menuets on Custom Design stands

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