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Difference betwween Squeezebox type device and DAC

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I was thinking that a Squeezebox performs a digital to aanalog conversion of music files and also allowed music management.


But in another post it was indicated that you could hook your Squeezebox into a DAC. Could someone please clarify the role and applicaton of a device like a Squeezebox vs. a DAC?





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The Squeezebox has a DAC in it. The noise goes to the dac, which does its thing and sends the analogue audio to the audio out phono plugs. These can be connected direct to your amp - job done.


However, the Squeezebox also has two spdif digital outputs - one coax and one Toslink. This allows you to connect it, via either of the outputs, to your own dac. This is how I have mine connected - Squeezebox-->coax spdif output--->Tact 2.0s (room correction and dac duties)-->amp.


FWIW I have always found an exterior dac to be better than the dac inside the Squeezy, but YMMV of course!


So, you don't actually need an external dac, you can use the one in the Squeezy, but if you have one then the connections are there for you to experiment and see which you prefer.


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Same as with all audio components, I'm afraid, Mike, it's completely subjective - if it sounds good then it is good!


Here's my take on it. As a general rule, I assume I'll get what I pay for - so the more I pay the better it will sound. That's complete rubbish, of course, but without making at least some assumptions it's impossible to get started! So, I have the Squeezy, I'm using the internal dac and it sounds great. The audiophool starts itching! I do a bit of research and fix a price point. What's on offer at the price I can afford to pay. I search the forums, read the reviews, ask around and settle on a couple that are 'fit for purpose'. Then I get out and listen - not always easy but it needs to be done. The other way is to buy on FleaBay and, if I don't like it, move it on at, hopefully, not a lot lost. I've had most succes at hifi dealers because there you can ask for a dac swap and everything else will stay the same. I at least get some idea of whch of those two I prefer, anyway!


Personally I can quite readily detect the differences between low end and mid range, say something at £200 and something at £1000. Once I get over that price point I very quickly come up against the law of diminishing returns and it gets much harder to justify the outlay. I also don't think dacs are anywhere near as important a part of the chain as almost any of the other components. Start with what you need it to do, fix a price point and a little bit of research will normally lead you straight to the one that will suit you! There aren't that many around!


But my advice would be that if you're happy enough with the dac in the Squeezy, then a new dac need not be a high priority. Get the rest of it sorted out first and come back to the dac later, once you're happy and settled into the whole 'computer audio' thing.


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The way I look at it: a Squeezebox type device is just a specialist computer. Like any computer, it can output an analogue signal (straight

to an amp) OR you can connec it to a DAC for higher quality audio.






...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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