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Great CD sound from DACs in New Squeezebox  

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've made some interesting discoveries during the last month regarding the playing of CD's directly and after ripping them to my computer.

My wife and I are business partners in a software company and we decided to give ourselves matching Christmas presents of ARCAM Solo's and speakers for our offices. These are very highly regarded two channel receivers with built-in CD players (list price $1599). They are connected to System Audio 505 small bookshelf speakers lising for $599/pr. We hooked them up and they sounded terrific!

After a week or so, I realized that I found switching disks throughout the day to be a pain so I decided to see what would happen if I loaded some music into my computer.

I'll skip the attempts that failed and jump right to the one that works great. I loaded about 50-60 disks into my computer in WAV format losing no info. I put a second network card into my computer and connected it via a short ethernet cable to the ethernet port of the Slim Devices Squeezebox device. The outgoing RCA Audio cables connect to A NAD C272 Power Amp (no Pre-Amp needed).

The Squeezebox is a Network Music Player with bulit-in Burr-Brown DAC's. I bought mine through the Slim Devices website for $250 (shipping included). It's about 6inches by 4 inches by one inch deep and is sitting right on top of the power amp.

The resulting sound quality through the SA speakers is (to me) identical with the sound quality playing the original disk in my wife's office. I brought the ARCAM Solo home and am enjoying it in my bedroom.

I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post.
post #2 of 8
Now compare that to just playing WAV files from a decent Sound Blaster card... (:
post #3 of 8
I recommend getting you SB3 modified by either redwineaudio.com or bolder cable company.

After modification, the SB3 analogue out can hold itself against many DACs, CDP costing thousands dollars!!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Clepto: I tried a Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeMusic card with MP3, WMA and WAV files through the ARCAM Solo. They all sounded worse than the CD through the ARCAM. WAV sounded better than the other two formats. This is what prompted me to go down the Squeezebox road.
95bcwh: Thanks for the tip. I checked out the redwine website and I'm seriously considering making the mods. Thanks.
post #5 of 8
Thanks, op, great post. I've got the Solo (with Totem Arros) and am thinking (daily!:-) about getting the squeezebox.

I also run music from the computer to my HT using the Tivo, and while the interface is nice, I expect that the Squeezebox will sound better than the DACs in the Tivo.

I wish the Solo had digital inputs so I could use its DACs (it does have a CD player after all).

Also, for my main system I'm thinking of upgrading to the Denon 4306 (from an Onkyo 600), taking advantage of the ability of the Denon to serve as a client for prorietary music server software. That way I'd use the 4306 DACs. But I gather that the interface is not great.

post #6 of 8
I have the Bolder modded SB3 and I can tell you that it is a home run. The sound quality is at least the same and the ease of use will make playing CD's a thing of the past.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I dropped off my SB3 at Redwine Audio last week. I'm picking it up on Monday and I'll post my impressions. I went for the audio upgrade only. Since I play this device for most of the workday, Vinnie felt that the battery power option would not be viable.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I installed my modified squeezebox after picking it up fropm Vinnie at Redwine Audio.

It's taken a good sound and made in even better.
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