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  1. #1

    Red face Best way of getting from SB to speakers

    I have just purchased a SB touch and have been looking around these forums getting very confused about all of the many abbreviations and options.
    My question is simple;
    1. I have a SB touch and a brand new set of Tannoy floor standing speakers. What is the best way of connecting one to the other, in terms of quality of sound. My only source is going to be the SB and im going to stream all of my music via Spotify.
    Obviously im going to need an amp. Does this need to be an intergrated amp or can it just be a power amp as im only using the SB.
    Is it best to have an external dac (do you have any dac recommendations under ú600) and if so, do i have do disable an option in the SB if I use one.
    What is the best way of connection between the SB to the amp? Simply via phono cables or should I use a coaxial input if the amp has one and likewise with the dac?
    All comments are much appreciated. And if you could keep the abbreviations to a minimum that would be great as im a super newb.
    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    I'd say that the built-in DAC in the SB Touch will be fine. Just buy a good integrated amplifier according to your budget. The SBT does have volume control, but below about 3/4 volume or so, it starts having an effect on the resolution of the music signal. Straight into a power amp, that's likely to be too loud. If you post your approximate budget, I'm sure that a few of us would have specific recommendations.

  3. #3

    Red face

    Hi darrell,
    Thanks for the reply. I'm presuming power amps don't have volume control then?
    With regards to budget for the amp. Maybe upto ú750 pounds. I've been looking at the rega brio-r, roksan kandy v2 and the arcam fmj a18. At the moment I'm using an old arcam alpha 7.
    I read on another thread its best to go for a power amp over an intergated amp, if you only have one source, as it means the signal goes through less circuitry, is this true?
    Many thanks

  4. #4
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    You are right, the signal path in a power amplifier will be shorter - no volume control or source selectors. But my opinion is that this is not too important (others may have a different take, of course).

    For ú750 you will be able to get yourself a very decent integrated amp, but also try the usual suspects on the lower side of ú500 - you might find that's all you need.

    You might like the Naim Nait (a bit over your price limit at full price) - I did. With this amp (and others, I'm sure) it is possible to configure one of the inputs to bypass the volume control, so you could experiment with using the SBT to control level.

    To some extent your choice will depend on the speakers (specifically their ease of drive) - what model of Tannoy do you have?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Apesbrain's Avatar
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    An interesting piece of gear for this situation would be the NAD C 356BEE integrated amp/DAC. For not much more than a good integrated you also get a DAC on the same chassis. No reason why you couldn't connect your Touch via analog and optical digital and select whichever sounds best for any given recording.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Recoveryone's Avatar
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    This is the 2ch setup I just put together:

    Amp.....Integra ADM 2.1

    EQ......Teac MKII 10

    SB......SB Classic

    Speaker.Fluance SX

    I have read here that some say use a DAC along with the touch and Amp, but with just what you are looking at you can just use a power amp with an EQ and rely on the built-in DAC's of the touch. To cover the difference is that an integrated amp will allow you to tailor the sound. Amp only will just boost the sound. As for cost will depend on your own taste and what you like. The above setup I have barley hit the $200 mark, cables and all. Here is the sound test: http://youtu.be/0GCbHU4mm_k

    The Dac's in the Classic are ok, the ones in the Touch are better, but using a EQ will truly help make your speakers sing and allow you to really tailor the sound to the room. If you are going with digital output a DAC is best, but analog would sound better with a EQ. IMHO
    Last edited by Recoveryone; 2012-02-23 at 19:24.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member totoro's Avatar
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    How about something like this?

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/ice...-x-2-ch-se-amp

    Well under your price, and will work great with pretty much any speaker within reason.

    I just jettisoned my old McCormack amp, and got an sds 450 from these guys,

    http://www.classdaudio.com

    that I love. This is well within your budget as well, and the new ones come with volume controls on the back. You can use these controls to attenuate the sound so that your sb is always above 75% volume.

    Then you have a nice minimal system, and it will sound great. I have an old counterpoint sa1000 preamp in a closet somewhere, and gave away my old classe preamp: preamps just don't seem relevant to me anymore. Also, I really wouldn't bother with a dac unless you get to the point where you have really killer speakers, good subs, a well treated room, and the sound doesn't quite work for you, but that's just me

    sb touch ->amp-> subs and speakers, and that's it

    To top it off, either of these would leave you with at least a couple hundred pounds left over.
    Last edited by totoro; 2012-02-23 at 20:20.
    sb touch -> classdaudio sds-450 -> audio physic tempo 4 + rel storm 3 & rythmik f12se

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrell View Post
    You are right, the signal path in a power amplifier will be shorter - no volume control or source selectors. But my opinion is that this is not too important (others may have a different take, of course).
    I am one of those who believes in using only a power amp. The fundamental rationale is that of all the electronic components there are in a HiFi system, the preamp is the least transparent and it's therefore worth eliminating it.

    The crucial step in connecting a Squeezebox directly to a power amp is setting what's known as the "gain staging" right. To aim here is to arrange things so that when the Squeezebox's own volume control is at maximum, the playback is as loud as you'll ever want (but no louder). Then just use the Squeezebox's volume control for day-to-day adjustment. The only time you'll turn it down so far that it may affect the quality will be when you're just playing stuff quietly as background, in which case the slight loss of quality isn't really an issue.

    Some power amps *do* have volume controls, some others have presets you can adjust. Just set these once and you're done. For power amps that don't have volume controls, you will probably need to insert some passive attenuators, which you can either buy (typically a few tens of dollars/pounds/euros) or make yourself (for a few dollars/pounds/euros).

    See this wiki page for a more detailed discussion:
    http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.ph...ower_amplifier
    Transporter -> ATC SCM100A

  9. #9
    pski
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveb View Post
    I am one of those who believes in using only a power amp. The fundamental rationale is that of all the electronic components there are in a HiFi system, the preamp is the least transparent and it's therefore worth eliminating it.

    The crucial step in connecting a Squeezebox directly to a power amp is setting what's known as the "gain staging" right. To aim here is to arrange things so that when the Squeezebox's own volume control is at maximum, the playback is as loud as you'll ever want (but no louder). Then just use the Squeezebox's volume control for day-to-day adjustment. The only time you'll turn it down so far that it may affect the quality will be when you're just playing stuff quietly as background, in which case the slight loss of quality isn't really an issue.

    Some power amps *do* have volume controls, some others have presets you can adjust. Just set these once and you're done. For power amps that don't have volume controls, you will probably need to insert some passive attenuators, which you can either buy (typically a few tens of dollars/pounds/euros) or make yourself (for a few dollars/pounds/euros).

    See this wiki page for a more detailed discussion:
    http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.ph...ower_amplifier
    SB3 has a preamp output limit.. I wonder why that wasn't done on all the players??

    Also, SBR output direct to a power amp sometimes does not play loud enough (even with replay gain adjustment disabled.)

    P

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Another good thing with attenuators is that they offer some protection the players can get some fluke bug and output very loud noise now and then.

    The preamplifier volume in SB3 was it all analog ? If it was just another digital volume control , the attenuation method still has some things going ?

    The transporter had nifty jumpers for the unbalanced analog out to get the desired attenuation cool this is how stuff should be made.
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