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wireless 24/96 options?


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Hi, first post!

 

I own a Squeezebox Duet and have fallen in love with the ability to stream from my hard drive to my stereo. Wireless is really my only viable option, due to house configuration.

 

I feel the need to upgrade to a better dac, so the 2 options I keep coming back to are:

 

--investing in a better external dac for the Squeezebox (stereo) end of the chain. I can see buying something like the $600 Music Hall dac, or even splurging for a Benchmark.

 

--obtaining the ability to stream 24/96... while I'm at it. This seems to lead me exclusively to the Logitech Transporter. $2K is a pretty steep. I do like that the internal dac is pretty well regarded, and that digital inputs would allow some versatility, like an external dac.

 

Assuming I take the 24/96 option, are there any viable options other than the Transporter?

 

Thanks!

 

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I have been using the HDX-1000 from

http://www.gizmodaddy.com/storefront/

 

Tim has been helping me with the setup and is very responsive. I have been playing around with it for a few months and I can help as well

 

Most people have been using it for video and have ignored its audio capabilities. It can stream wav and flac from your computer via your home network up to 24/192. Yep up 24/192 and ps it does not say it can do it anywhere...what are they thinking! It actually sounds very nice via hdmi or spdif or optical. It has sterio analog output, but I have not used it. You can also put a harddrive in it and store/play stuff that way. Out of the box it will not display coverart, but I have been able to get it to work...very nice.

 

I am in the process of modding/upgrading it, but I would have to kiil you if I tell you what I am doing....hehehe. Its top secret until I hear the results:)

 

Oh yeah it also plays movies and pictures. It makes the slim duet look like a toy....hehehe

 

re

 

jr

 

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Move your library to a NAS and get a MacMini (for the 24/96) and DAC in your listening room. You can get a Mini and a Benchmark for the price of the transporter and have a better DAC than the transporter along with local storage and more flexible playback options as well as other goodies in the mini like photo or movie playback to a TV. Or just move your library to a MacMini. Then you can add Airport Express's for other rooms wireless streaming and only support 24/96 in your main listening room.

 

How may listening rooms do you have? What format is your library in? How much storage do you need?

 

Its interesting how many configuration "gotchas" there are in computer playback as everyone has a slightly different set of requirements. It seems to usually start with not wanting to move the PC or MAC into the listening room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I like the idea of the nas next to your pc. You download, you convert, you upsample or whatever in your pc room and stream to your player in the audio room. Using the hdd in the audio room is a pain. He would need to transfer the files over the network and that is very slow. I know you can drops cds into the mini and so on, but he does not want to use it as a computer in that room.

 

jr

 

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Thanks, but I am going for *simplicity* as regards location of computer vs. location of stereo. I have a couple terabyte external HDs attached to the computer, which is just ultra-convenient. There really isn't room in the listening area to set up another computer; this would just complicate things too much.

 

My current PC> wireless (Squeezebox) > Pre-amp configuration works great for me, so I'm looking to work within this context.

 

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Room #1

Old Sony Vaio Laptop (far from the audio room, computer says low for signal strenght) with a 15$ wireless card. Drobo nas with 3 1t drives with music, videos and pics via usb to laptop. External Pioneer for ripping via usb to laptop. Oh yeah fyi you could drop a cd in the player and play it via the hdx.

Room #2

wireless router and hdx wired with ethernet cable. HDX to my processor via hdmi. You can also loose the wire between router and hdx and use a usb wireless thing just use the one they sell or it might not be compatable with the hdx. Oh yeah fyi you could access digital music on the internet as well.

 

Right now I have kent poons 24/192 release playing. I had to convert it to wav...not a big deal. Oh yeah fyi no fan. ***having problems with 24/192 trying to fix it. Ill keep you posted****

 

Really, speed is not an issue! I was playing a ripped copy (my copy ;) of the dvd 88 minutes. The hdx upsamples to 1080p and streams it....no issues. Actually, the picture quality is really good!

 

Oh yeah fyi you can direct hook up a ubs harddrive to it and off you go.

 

I love this machine! Keep you posted on the upgrade!

 

re

 

jr

 

 

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"Right now I have kent poons 24/192 release playing. I had to convert it to wav...not a big deal. Oh yeah fyi no fan. ***having problems with 24/192 trying to fix it. Ill keep you posted****"

 

Its fixed...thank goodness! It was poor signal strenght thats all. I have the 24/192 playing wireless again.

 

re

 

jr

 

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My setup has room #1 with the computer/external HDs, and a wireless router. This would have to stay as is, since it's my office. Would the HDX in room #2 (which I presume would have a usb wireless antenna) then "see" room #1?

 

I also assume that I'd need to use the TV to monitor. (I'd need to update my TV, but that's overdue to happen, anyhow.)

 

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Other 24/96 streaming options are available ... but probably higher cost than the Transporter.

 


    Linn's range of DS streamers all do 24/96 - starting with the Sneaky DS (has built in amp along with normal line outs) at £900 going up to Klimax DS at around £16000 (prices from memory so may be wrong)
    Naim's HDX music server can also stream files including 24/96 files - thats around £4500.
    I think the TA device also streams 24/96 and the PS Audio Perfect Wave will ... not sure of their costs.

 

Anyway mostly those devices make the Logitech Transporter look amazingly cost effective.

 

ELoise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Elf the ps-audio will due up to 192 its initial cost will be 3k then in dec you would add the network card about 500 bucks (not official) more. I dont think it will be wireless, but wired. We will have to see what they due. I am saving my pennies for this bad boy. I hope its great.

 

bzlrbi the hdx will require a usb-wireless adater (under 50bucks) that would plug into the unit at the back. I have not tried it this way and I am not sure if it will work work with the 192 files. As you see above the signal strenght/speed matters It should, but you never know. I have one usb card reader that works with the 192 files and one that does not...go figure. Let me think about it. Remember its very flexible and you can put a 1t harddrive in it as well or connect to a usb drive directly...you can even connect a usb cd player and play cds.

 

If you get into it I will show you how to add an app that will give you coverart previews.....killer

 

jr

 

ps it has several video outs and yes you need at leat one connected. the old tv will be fine, but wait till you see pics and movies in 1080p.

 

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Okay so my stupidity and inability to read what's written comes up to bite me ...

Those audio devices I listed are mostly wired ethernet not wireless ...

 

 

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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If you want to hear what jitter is really like, get the iCron wireless USB devices. They do work at 24/96. I have one, and I actually worked with them to get it working with audio streaming. Sent them hardware and software. Unfortunately didn't turn-out as good as I had hoped.

 

Also, make sure you dont step in-between the antennas or you will have drop-outs.

 

Steve N.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the transporter. I have had it for a few weeks now. It does CD audio VERY well! As far as "high res" I have not really noticed much of a difference. I have downloaded a few 24/96 files/albums from HD tracks etc. They sound very good as well, but I would have trouble telling the difference between 16/44 and 24/96. Of course, it is hard to compare because I am largely a rock/blues fan and most of the high res stuff is classical/folk etc.

 

I understand the allure of high res audio. I have been tempted to buy a good CD/SACD player for some time now. It just never made sense due to the expense of re buying my music collection, and the lack of software etc. The holy grail for me has always been to get the best possible redbook playback (I have about 600 CD's). If I had 10-20K to blow I would get an EMM and not look back!

 

It seems to make sense to me to buy a player/server that does redbook as well as can be expected for the money, with less of an emphasis on high res playback. As 16/44 playback gets better and better (ie. going to HD based playback etc.) I believe that the difference between 16/44 and 24/96 etc. will become less and less. Plus - most of high res material out there probably wasn't recorded in 24 bit. I do believe that the future of high end audio will be the high res downloads, but don't bet the bank on it. SACD was also supposed to be the answer but it never really took off.

 

The current high end wave is low jitter. The transporter is very good about jitter, but that isnt the end of the story. We have to look at the benefit of ripping the CD data to HDD, WiFi delivery of the raw data (packets) and the digital and more importantly the analog sections of the DAC.

 

We have to pay for good quality here. I believe it is worth it. I recently sent back a cheap Musical Fidelity DAC - V-DAC. Out of the box it sounded bad. So much so that I really didn't have much hope for it. The price was great! The transporter sounded quite good out of the box. Right after I hooked it up wife even commented "that sounds good". Her usual comments about anything audio is "I cant tell the difference".

 

I also just sold my Rega Apollo. I was pleased with its sound for the 2 years that I owned it. When I got the Transporter there was no question it was going up for sale. It was not hard to sell! Everyone is out there experimenting with different pieces of equipment trying to find that sound that they are looking for. It's fun and its also frustrating. Sending the V-DAC back to AA was a difficult experience. I pride myself on making good judgments based on research etc. I look at reviews a little differently now!

 

Eric

 

System: Winsome labs Mouse t-amp modified, Magneplanar MMG's modified, Audioquest Granite speaker cable, Silver Audio interconnect, JPS labs digital power cord, MIT z-cord power cord, HSU sub.

 

 

 

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I will give an update; it should arrive sometime this week. I found the deal via audiogon.com. I already have the "Controller" remote, which came with the Squeezebox Duet I purchased a few months ago.

 

Apparently there is also an iphone app that you can use in lieu of the Controller, too... and I gather there's a windows-based one, too.

 

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This crossroads were are in now is fascinating! It blows my mind that there is STILL a difference in sound with (what you would think is) a pure digital interface ie. the asynchronous USB ex. Wavelength DACs over various qualities of USB cables! I would think that digital transferred without the clock connection would be purely digital - hence it would either be there or not there! - there is no digital code for jitter or other non digital artifacts/distortion.

 

Is it just that we are able to "compare" different cables and thus find a difference? When it comes to WiFi we cant compare the difference between, lets say the sound of WiFi through humid vs. dry air? We would think of that as ridiculous! Or is it! I tend to think that it is. I also have satellite TV. Clouds and pollution have never seemed to have any effect on picture/sound quality. Is that because I cant switch out different atmospheric conditions between my receiver and the satellite and "notice" the difference!

 

sorry for bringing this up!

Eric

 

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Eric wrote... "I also have satellite TV. Clouds and pollution have never seemed to have any effect on picture/sound quality.

Actually atmospheric condition do affect satellite TV, however this is not a good analogy. Satellite transmission is one way. There is no way for your satellite receiver to say "hey, I've done a checksum calculation and I've not got the data correctly, can you resend it" now your wireless network can do this, normally in a fraction of a second so you don't notice it. If however your wifeless devices are too far away, it's having to continually request the data to be resent, and each time the wireless base station has to go back to the first device to request the data again so it can retransmit it to the second device.

 

Anyway thats why it's far better whenever possible to use wired connections.

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Gang,

 

Yes it is a mystery to me why cables have an effect. But look at the cable history. Years ago people said why would an interconnect change the sound it has very little if any impact on the signal. Well that was wrong...

 

Wireless is always going to be noiser and harder than wired. With wireless you are basically radiating at microwave levels which will emit noise radiation at a lot higher levels than wired ones.

 

Also there is a lot of loss in bandwidth with wireless. In wired it streams only the data. In wireless you have to packetize the frames and have handshaking and over head associated with routing and so forth. In most cases it requires 20-40% more bandwidth to pull this off.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

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