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post #1 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Behold the Slim Devices Transporter... AKM professional-grade DACs, 96kHz support, balanced analog, analog VU meters, word clock input... EDIT: I think the VU meters are simulated on a VFD display. Still, that's cool.

You can preorder now for $2K and they'll give you a Squeezebox to hold you over until it arrives in December.

Michael
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post #2 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grant View Post

until it arrives in December.

September 18th!

It's an estimate, but we're usually dead-on with our ship dates.
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post #3 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:17 PM
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Just a heads up .....

I am a BIG fan of my Slimdevices Squeezebox v3.
It has mega-convenience to get to my ripped & uncompressed music, but certainly is no sonic comparison to a better CDP.
( I even have mine plugged into a Shunyata Hydra-8 and fronted with a Monarchy DIP Upsampler / Jitter-Reduction)

I just got some promo-email of their upcoming "audiophile grade" music server, called the Transporter.
http://www.slimdevices.com/index.html
http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_transporter.html

They have lots of audiophile-speak of balanced analog stages, jitter reduction, power regulation, etc.
I look forward to hearing further comments on its "audiophile sonics" once it starts to ship Sept 18.
It's not exactly cheap though at $1999 but includes a bonus Squeezebox.

- Andy
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post #4 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like great minds think alike! (And so do ours)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=702875
I'll try to get these threads merged...

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post #5 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:32 PM
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This is far from a $20K component, but the fact that it is designed to provide audiophile quality sound should interest more than a few members of this board.

Transporter PDF datasheet
Link to Transporter site

In a nutshell, one can now losslessly rip (while simultaneously error-correcting) your CD collection using any CD or DVD-ROM by employing it along with Exact Audio Copy, store every track (with tag data) on a HDD (or server as the case may be), and stream this bit-perfect data to the Transporter and out to your favorite amplifier(s).

The internal componentry and PSU parts selection looks as though it falls right in line with current audiophile thinking, so I would not be suprised to see this give more than a few very high end transports a run for their money. Notwithstanding the instant access to your entire CD collection via remote control (searchable by genre, title, artist, conductor, year, etc. via menus) and it makes a very tempting proposition. No? Thoughts?
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post #6 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:34 PM
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threads merged

what- no 5.1 analog?
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post #7 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:35 PM
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***merged from the other Transporter thread!***
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post #8 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

threads merged

what- no 5.1 analog?

5.1 analog is a tough thing to cope with, due to the fact that most (if not all) media that would contain 5.1 audio are pretty tightly locked in terms of proprietary media or DRM.

The powers at be try to fight even CD ripping by adding DRM to regular CDs...

Just an A/V nut.
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post #9 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 05:24 PM
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This is really tempting. How does this feature work:?

"Synchronize music to more roomsBroadcast the same music or independent streams to 2, 10 or even 20 rooms by adding players to stereos in each location."

I'd like to synchronize my music in two rooms - my family room and my media/ht room.

EDIT: Can the squeezebox and transporter both be linked?


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post #10 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 05:47 PM
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The Slimserver interface, accessible via browser for easiest setup, allows you to Synchronize multiple players in a variety of ways. Here is a screenshot of my setup, I have 2 Squeezeboxes:



Oh, BTW, the currently playing song is not intended as any type of message, subliminal or otherwise! (not that there is anything wrong with that...)
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post #11 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 06:33 PM
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It also can directly tie in to your iTunes music libraries & playlists.
It is vastly simple to use iTunes and convert all your music to Apple Lossless.
( I know there is much debate/evidence that ripping via EAC sounds better ).

The music server software can service more than one Squeezebox device.

- Andy
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post #12 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The Gizmodo overview:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/s...mer-189484.php

Nothing really new here though.

Michael
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post #13 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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You know, to be honest, this device could also serve as an opportunity for many people to experiment with a high-end outboard DAC. The reviews on the AKM DAC look quite good, really; and this device does take digital inputs.

Michael
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post #14 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 07:02 PM
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Hmmmm....I wouldn't trade my Sonos ZP80, with CIAudio VDA2 outboard DAC for it.

Phil
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post #15 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 07:17 PM
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it's not audiophile unless it can stream redbook audio CD to a DAC over AES/EBU and with a master clock coming from the DAC. Which according to the data sheet it seems to be able to do.

I would have to evaluate one with my DCS DAC to see if it would actually work... the DCS is finicky when it comes to locking on remotely clocked transports (why I don't know... I thought easier tracking should be one advantage of master clocking from the DAC).

But $1700 sounds pretty pricey for essentially a ethernet to SDPIF interface... ok, there is some software involved, but still.

This would make for a fun redux of our transport bakeoff... if this unit could perform indistinguishably from the DCS Verdi transport, now that would be something cool. THough I would still need the Verdi for SACD.

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post #16 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free View Post

Hmmmm....I wouldn't trade my Sonos ZP80, with CIAudio VDA2 outboard DAC for it.


that's because you don't have an external DAC with master clocking...

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post #17 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanadams View Post

September 18th!

It's an estimate, but we're usually dead-on with our ship dates.

seanadams,

Did you work on this project?

Can you explain the three separate jitter specs? Are the digital inputs auto-sensing?

- Steve O.
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post #18 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Did you work on this project?

Yes, I know the hardware inside and out.

Quote:


Can you explain the three separate jitter specs?

Not completely, in the confines of this little text box, but i'll give it a shot

Jitter, like any kind of noise, accumulates at each component or wire, so it is instructive to report it at a few key points in the system. When manufacturers talk about jitter it is not always clear where and how it was measured, or if they just pulled a number out of the sky. Our measurements are taken using a high speed scope and specialized software, looking directly at the clock or spdif signals. This gives a very high level of precision and the ability to see minute relative differences during the process of designing incremental improvements in board layout and such. It would be hard to describe everything with a single number, so the three points indicated are:

Oscillator: this is the IC and crystal which generate the clock signal to begin with.

DAC: this is right at the clock input pin on the internal DAC, after the signal has traversed through one other IC and a few inches across the PCB.

S/PDIF receiver: this at the end of a cable connected to the intrumentn with a 75 ohm terminator, and indicates what an external s/pdif receiver would "see".

Quote:


Are the digital inputs auto-sensing?

If you mean in terms of which one to use, no, they are individually selected as separate inputs.
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post #19 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanadams View Post

Yes, I know the hardware inside and out.

This is cool! Care to answer more questions?

1) What other DACs were considered during the project?
2) Was USB/IEEE1394/I2S never on the table?
3) Why no upsampling options?
4) After-market modifications: Is the Transporter mod-friendly? Was the team inspired by mods of previous Slim Devices products?
5) Can the faceplate graphics be customized/skinned?

- Steve O.
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post #20 of 298 Old 07-24-2006, 10:02 PM
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// 1) What other DACs were considered during the project?

We also tested the top-of-the-line parts from Burr-Brown(TI) and Analog Devices, not just their eval boards, but also in our own designs as a complete system including the super regs. With a couple exceptions all the high-end parts performed well, but in the end we preferred the AK4396 by a hair.

// 2) Was USB/IEEE1394/I2S never on the table?

I just don't understand the fuss over USB/Firewire for non-desktop use, and i2s is scarcely any improvement over s/pdif as an inter-chassis interconnect because it is clumsy to hook up, and does nothing to isolate jitter. The best solution for an external DAC is to put the oscillator right at the DAC, and then "slave" the external source to that clock. This is what we support by way of the word clock input, and we can also slave to an external s/pdif source feeding the digital input. Although clokc outputs are not widely available on outboard DACs, if we're going to be the "chicken to someone's egg" this is the best solution.

// 3) Why no upsampling options?

It could be added later in software... what benefits are you looking for?

// 4) After-market modifications: Is the Transporter mod-friendly?

Definitely more so than SB3 - more room in the chassis, larger board, lots of power etc.

// Was the team inspired by mods of previous Slim Devices products?

With the exception of the Super Regulators, no.

// Can the faceplate graphics be customized/skinned?

Yes... already there are several new display modes that use the dual screens, including a stereo spectrum analyzer, but more will be added.
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post #21 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 06:19 AM
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Sean,
What's a "325 MHz 8-way multithreaded RISC processor"?

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #22 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanadams View Post

I just don't understand the fuss over USB/Firewire for non-desktop use, and i2s is scarcely any improvement over s/pdif as an inter-chassis interconnect because it is clumsy to hook up, and does nothing to isolate jitter. The best solution for an external DAC is to put the oscillator right at the DAC, and then "slave" the external source to that clock. This is what we support by way of the word clock input, and we can also slave to an external s/pdif source feeding the digital input. Although clokc outputs are not widely available on outboard DACs, if we're going to be the "chicken to someone's egg" this is the best solution.

PCs as music servers definitely goes hand-in-hand with the iPod/mp3 player trend. Given that there are external USB DACs in the market at competiting price points... To fully take advantage of the Transporter, a user will also have to get a pro audio card with AES/EBU, and have a PCI slot available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanadams View Post

// 3) Why no upsampling options?

It could be added later in software... what benefits are you looking for?

I'm not asking to upsample mangled mp3s... more like what can be done with the Perpetual Technologies P1A or upsampling done ala Anagram SRC. The results can sound nice with certain types of music.

Is there a window open before release for product revisions, based on user input?

- Steve O.
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post #23 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

...To fully take advantage of the Transporter, a user will also have to get a pro audio card with AES/EBU, and have a PCI slot available.

I disagree completely. I use an Infrant NAS which streams the bit-perfect audio via ethernet to both of my Squeezeboxes. I use the PC interface to build playlists, etc, but most of the time (particularily at night or when guests are over) my PC is not even turned on. My NAS has over 1000 CDs on it in FLAC format. I even listen to FLAC files on my portable player at the gym.

None of my music files are accessed on my PC by Slimserver, but they are backed up on it's big HDDs.
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post #24 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

To fully take advantage of the Transporter, a user will also have to get a pro audio card with AES/EBU, and have a PCI slot available.

huh??? This is just plain wrong - miles off base... but since I don't know where you're coming from, I'm not sure what to say. Transporter (or Squeezebox) is not like a "DAC for the computer". The whole point is to give you access to your music _away_ from the PC!
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post #25 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 08:27 AM
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seanadams,

I was looking at it strictly from an external DAC perspective. Lowest jitter of the Transporter would be via AES/EBU.

- Steve O.
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post #26 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetlag View Post

This is far from a $20K component

Depends on the type of computer and hard drive you hook it up to, no?

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post #27 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grant View Post

You know, to be honest, this device could also serve as an opportunity for many people to experiment with a high-end outboard DAC. The reviews on the AKM DAC look quite good, really; and this device does take digital inputs.

FWIW, I have a SqueezeBox 2 which I have hooked up to my Dodson DA-218 DAC in my main rig at home. Not quite up to the performance of my reference Oracle transport, but very very close and still very pleasing to listen to. I suspect that this new Transporter will do a superb job...

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post #28 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

seanadams,

Did you work on this project?

FYI - Sean is the CEO of Slim Devices...

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post #29 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorch123 View Post

Lowest jitter of the Transporter would be via AES/EBU.

That would be surprising. AES/EBU's physical interface (the 3-pin XLR) is fundamentally wrong for digital audio.

--Andre
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post #30 of 298 Old 07-25-2006, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

That would be surprising. AES/EBU's physical interface (the 3-pin XLR) is fundamentally wrong for digital audio.

--Andre

How so?

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