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I'd greatly appreciate some thoughts on the route to take. I currently use a wireless Squeezebox & an Apogee mini-DAC. From what I gather, USB may sound better, so if I bought the USB card for the Apogee ($200, I think), how easy would it be to use my FLAC/EAC files already burned? I have them in use on a PC downstairs, but have them backed up on an external drive.

 

Would I hook up the external drive to my laptop (Dell) and then connect the laptop to the USB/mini-DAC? I know many have said a Mac is the way to go, but I would like to stay w/ a Windows laptop. What software would I need to install on the laptop (something like J River?)? Am I not asking any questions I should? Is there a "USB FAQ for Dummies" I should be reading? Many thanks for any insights....

 

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You have the exact set-up I was contemplating stlue. I have the Squeezebox and wanted to add the Apogee. Did you feel that the Apogee improved your musical insights over the stock stand Sqeezebox DAC? Please let us know how it sounds and what the rest of your system comprises.

 

This would be much appreciated.

 

As to the insights you want, I'm sure there will be lots around here with the experience necessary to give those insights you wish to receive.

 

Cheers

 

Baxtus

 

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Hi stlblue - This would be a simple transition from a wireless transport to a wired one. The only thing different is the USB cable to the DAC instead of wireless with the SB.

 

You will be able to use all the same FLAC/EAC files on hand. You will connect the external drive to your laptop and the USB DAC to a different USB port on the laptop. The you're off and running.

 

I been talking to a lot of people about applications lately and the one that is really coming out ahead for Windows based machines is MediaMonkey. I've spent a little time with it recently and it is darn good. JRiver is another one I often recommend. Don't worry about using a Windows machine. Good sound is available on both. I just prefer Macs because they are bit perfect right out of the box and I don't have to worry about sound quality effects with every update.

 

The USB for dummies is something you won't find anywhere. This is one of many reasons I founded this site. The lack of real solid information geared toward audiophiles is an issue. But, this site can do wonders for you if you ask the right questions. If you don't know what to ask just start out with one concept at a time and through a good conversation with everyone here more questions will come up.

 

For example there are tons of ways to tweak your proposed setup but discussing those before you have a good understanding of everything wouldn't really help you. Just keep asking and we'll get you where you want to be :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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System includes stock Squeezebox w/ Maui Mods power supply, stock Apogee mini-DAC, Glow Amp One (http://6moons.com/audioreviews/glow/one_2.html) w/ a few mods currently being done to it by Bolder Cables, and Altec 604E's, completely redone by GPA, w/ Iconic x-overs.

 

The mini-DAC is much better than the Squeezebox DAC (w/ improved PS). I love this little moddest system and will stand pat (for a long while, at least), except for NOS tubes, an improved PS for the Apogee, and maybe going USB w/ it if it's "worth" the added cost/troubles. I could happily live w/ the Squeezebox/mini-DAC...probably not the Squeezebox alone (although Bolder Cables apparently does some great mods for a stand alone SB...have heard one).

 

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Thanks so much for your kindness and help, Chris. It is sincerely appreciated. So, if I go USB, I guess I lose remote capabilities (unless I get a Mac?)? Is the sound of USB that much better to warrant getting off my butt every couple of songs? ;^)

 

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There are a few remote control options for you. I haven't looked at many Windows based remotes in a while, but I believe there are many more options than on a Mac. The application called Signal works on PCs and can be used with an iPod Touch or different devices. Here is a link http://www.alloysoft.com/

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Thanks for replying.

 

The reason I asked was that I had been very dissappointed with the stock sound from the Squeexebox. I love the concept though - the fact that it will natively play FLAC or AIFF, makes absolutely NO mechanical noise in the listening environment, and the software is open source.

 

Your input is most appreciated.

 

Baxtus

 

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There is no black & white answer to which one is better. It all depends on the implementation of each. I'm guessing the FW will allow you to playback up to 24/192 tracks whereas the USB will not get over 24/96 at the most.

 

Jitter is also a consideration, but without hearing both pieces there is no way to tell if it matters to your ears and that's what really matters.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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