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  1. #1
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    New Squeezebox Touch owner. Disappointed with sound quality.

    Hi there
    I bought a new SBT a few days ago. Like most people on this forum I wanted easy and convenient access to my music library. In this respect I got what I wanted. Streaming music from my NAS works great, Ipad and smartphone apps are joy to use.
    My second consideration when buying the SBT was the sound quality. For the past few years I used a WD TV Live network media player for movies as well as music. It never gave me any trouble but I was hoping for an improvement in the sound quality from SBT which is dedicated to streaming music and is almost three times as expensive as the WD TV. In this respect I'm so far very disappointed. My entry level stereo setup includes NAD 320 amp, a pair of decent B&W bookshelf speakers, Kimber cables and interconnectors. I tested WD TV and SBT side by side and no matter what files I used including some high bit rate FLACs they sound EXACTLY the same. I use analogue output. Just out of curiosity I hooked up my old Creative portable mp3 player with 60 GB of music files and it sounds better than the SBT. The key here is the equalizer feature which the Creative player has and SBT sadly lacks. I know the audiophiles out there will scorn me but I really like a moderate amount of equalizing effect and the crisp and clean sound that comes with it especially when listening at low volume. My view is that if you are lucky to have a high end system you don’t use EQ, however for systems that most people have it is a great and really necessary feature.
    1. A lot of people in this forum praised the quality of SBT analogue output. Will using digital instead of analogue make any difference?
    2. Will a separate DAC make a lot of difference?
    3. Can anyone confirm Inguz EQ plugin working with the latest Logitech firmware? I followed the step by step instructions and installed Inguz but it doesn’t seem to be working for me.
    4. Finally can someone recommend a similar player with integrated EQ function. I’m on the verge of returning my Touch.

    Would be thankful for any feedback

  2. #2
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
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    Welcome. One important question is whether or not you had volumes equalized when you did your comparison of WD TV vs. SBT vs. Creative MP3. Louder will almost always sound better. And from what I've seen a lot of "very good EQ" introduces an increase in total gain, so it's difficult to tell if the better perceived sound comes from the EQ or the higher volume. Checking the levels with a sound pressure level meter is generally a good idea for such comparisons. Also pay attention to whether you have ReplayGain enabled on any of the devices.

    To try to answer some of your questions.

    1. It depends what DAC you feed the digital into. The Touch's DAC is pretty good, and very good for the price. But you could do better, and you may be able to hear the difference with your amp and speakers.

    2. See #1.

    3. Sorry, don't know this one.

    4. I haven't seen one. Have you considered a hardware equalizer?
    Last edited by aubuti; 2012-10-15 at 10:47.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Equalization is usually supposed to be in the amplifier. In the digital domain, it causes to much losses.
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  4. #4
    Senior Member kidstypike's Avatar
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    Use the Touch with it's volume at 100%, ... any better?
    Server - LMS 8.2.0 Pi4B 4GB/Argon one case/pCP 8.0.0 - 75K library, playlists & LMS cache on SSD (ntfs)
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    Lounge - Pi2/pCP 8.0.0 > HiFiBerry DIGI+ > AudioEngine DAC1 > AVI DM5
    Dining Room - Pi3B/pCP/Bluetooth/Echo Show 8
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    Spares - 2xTouch, 1xSB Radio. 1xSB3, 6xRPi

  5. #5
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    3. Inguz works fine with LMS 7.7.2. No tweaks where needed when I installed it. Just follow the instructions, exactly. The browser based Inguz interface works fine in IE but is broken in Firefox.
    Last edited by JohnB; 2012-10-15 at 11:21.
    Allo Digione Signature (+LiFePo Batteries), Touch, Metrum Jade, Bryston B4 SST2, PMC OB1i speakers, HP Proliant Microserver/Ubuntu, PC/Windows 10, iPad 4, iPeng.

  6. #6
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    I'd discourage you from considering an external DAC. It's highly unlikely it'll make any audible difference at all and, even if it did, would be unlikely to resolve the problem you're complaining of. You want to be able to make the music "punchier". Either work to get Inguz working on your Touch or buy an external equalizer. The advantage of the external EQ is that you could run all your sources through this and any source would get your preferred sonic signature applied to it (it looks like your NAD 320 offers preamp outs and main ins making it easy for you to set up a processing loop that would be applied to all sources).
    1x SB1, 3x SB1g, 1x SB2, 1x SB3, 2x Booms

  7. #7
    Senior Member guidof's Avatar
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    As I'm sure you realize in reading these forums, sound quality is in the ears -- and brain -- of the listener. I'd be very skeptical about improvements you will experience by following others' advice, including my own.

    That said, and generally speaking, however, I think the quality of transducers (speakers and headphones, cartridges too if you are into LPs) and room correction will make the most significance difference. Everything matters, of course, but adding a DAC is not likely to change your impression of the Touch's sonic limitations (which I don't share).

    If you like EQ, as I do but I suspect with a different goal in mind than yours, you might consider a DSPeaker Dual Core, which includes an excellent DAC, automatic room correction in the bass, and a versatile parametric equalizer. To my ears, it is a very transparent device and super easy to set up.

    Best of luck!

    Guido F.
    Music Room:
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  8. #8
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    If you're not an audiophile with experience discerning subtle differences in sound quality, you're not going to hear a difference. If you're diddling with EQ on some other player to shape the music to a profile that appeals to you, then I would expect that to sound better to you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    Generally, the difference will be smaller and smaller the better the equipment gets.
    If you see "huge" improvements in audio quality, it's usually due to distortion of some kind being added.

    I can't rephrase this often enough: in double-blind tests in tendency people prefer the sound of mp3 over the original files when they are able to distinguish between them... And that's not "people with wooden ears", it's the same for audiophiles, except for the fact that "true audiophiles" would of course refuse to do double-blind tests....
    ---
    learn more about iPeng, the iPhone and iPad remote for the Squeezebox and
    Logitech UE Smart Radio as well as iPeng Party, the free Party-App,
    at penguinlovesmusic.com
    New: iPeng 9, the Universal App for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    Generally, the difference will be smaller and smaller the better the equipment gets.
    If you see "huge" improvements in audio quality, it's usually due to distortion of some kind being added.

    I can't rephrase this often enough: in double-blind tests in tendency people prefer the sound of mp3 over the original files when they are able to distinguish between them... And that's not "people with wooden ears", it's the same for audiophiles, except for the fact that "true audiophiles" would of course refuse to do double-blind tests....
    as you can see nothing can be done to improve your situation, return the touch pronto.

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