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Squeezebox Duet


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I have a pc based music server system utilizing a Benchmark USB DAC. I have achieved excellent quality sound with it, which I do not want to compromise.

 

If I bring in a Squeezebox Duet to my system, will my sound quality suffer? I like the idea of the convenience, but not at the expense of the sound. From the research I have done there seem to be divergent opinions on this.

 

I want the Duet it strictly for the remote control capability.

 

thanks

 

Shaq

 

 

 

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Shaq,

 

I can only talk about the sonic characteristics of the Squeezebox 3, which I believe won't differ much from the Squeezebox3, especially when you only use the digital output.

 

Lots of people are lyric about the device, however it is far from perfect. What I miss is musicality, it's like there is only a flat layer, and there is missing something, a richness. The high tones are really disturbing to me. I used the Benchmark for some time, using a CD player as transport btw and was quite impressed with the sound, especially for the price ! So I believe there are better ways to connect the Benchmark.

 

Jeroen

 

 

 

 

 

linux musicserver, jeff rowland aeris da, jeff rowland coherence series II, pass x250.5, audio physic caldera mkII & acoustat spectra 22 & Genelec 8050

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I too have a Squeezebox 3. It streams FLAC extremely well to the optical input of my Beresford DAC, although the Squeezebox's analogue output is very poor in comparison.

 

If your DAC cannot receive S/PDIF either optically or electrically, then you have a problem - Squeezebox or Duet is not for you.

 

You could direct you questions to the Slim Devices forum, remembering that they are all devotees!

 

http://forums.slimdevices.com/

 

Brian

Squeezebox Classic - Beresford Caiman-Gator DAC - Quad 520f with Dada refresh - Quart 980s German Tower Loudspeakers.

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Jeroen,

 

I'm not sure I understand the Duet's connectivity, but it looks like I would plug my Dell Vista music server into the Squeezebox receiver, then out from there into my Benchmark DAC via SPDIF.

 

If I utilize this connectivity, are you saying that the insertion of the Squeezebox will degrade my sound quality?

 

thank you

 

Shaq

 

 

 

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Shaq,

 

In my opinion it will degrade your sound quality !

I use the Squeezebox now, but am looking for something better.

 

The Duet can be plugged in your Dell using a cross-cable or via a router. It can also be used wireless.

 

But why not use a good soundcard and place that in your Dell and connect that to your Benchmark ?

 

Jeroen

 

linux musicserver, jeff rowland aeris da, jeff rowland coherence series II, pass x250.5, audio physic caldera mkII & acoustat spectra 22 & Genelec 8050

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I've been *very* happy with my system which uses the Slim Devices Transporter (plus the "Controller" remote, identical to the one provided with the Duet) as the source, connecting to the Berkeley Alpha Dac.

 

Even though the Transporter is more expensive than the Duet, as far as I can tell the *digital* output on both units provide the same sound quality. So, I don't think sound degradation is the issue, but you should be aware of the limited sample rate support of the Duet.

 

Being able to playback 96kHz files is important to me (which is the main reason I still keep the Transporter in the chain, but there are cheaper ways to do this).

 

That said, don't underestimate the convenience of the Controller remote. Once you get used to sitting back and using the scroll wheel to choose albums/tracks/playlists on its color display, it's really hard to go back to anything else...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The sound quality of the Duet will largely depend on the use of a quality DAC .

 

I am using a the Duet into a Bel Canto DAC 3 , and the DAC straight in to a Canary CA 301 MKII

tube amp ( 4 X 300B tubes) , the Bel Canto has also a pre-amp built in with a stepped attenuator volume control, the speakers are Dali Helicons 400.

 

I stream the music from a MacBookPro wireless to the Duet, the music is stored in lossless format.

 

A B comparisons between this set up and and a high quality Canary Audio CD2 player coupled with an expensive Canary Audio pre-amp did not reveal any differences, not to my ears anyway.

 

I play several instruments and I agree with the previous poster that the convenience of being

able to access music with the remote and play along without having to walk back and forth

to change cds is just absolutely great.

 

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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High Peter - It's very simple to setup and use. In general, you tell iTunes to look for iPod Touch remotes, then input a code (one time only) and then the Remote application gives you total access to your complete library. If you get one and can't get it working I'll help you and I'm sure there are many other Computer Audiophiles who will jump in and offer a hand.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Hello again Chris

 

I have my Ipod touch connected to iTunes on my MacBookPro, I have the remote "apt" downloaded on my iTunes, where exactly do you tell iTunes to look for a remote ?,

I tried everything in the menu , no luck , I must be overlooking something that is probably

totally obvious to everyone else but me.

Little hints please, I don't need much to get going.

 

Thanks

 

Peter

 

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Hi Peter -

 

Make sure you've sync'd your Touch and the Remote app is on your Touch.

 

Make sure you check the box in iTunes preferences to look for iPod Touch remotes.

 

Launch the Remote app on the iPod Touch. When you try to control a library it will ask for a one-time 4 digit code.

 

On your computer look for the little Remote application logo on the left side by Devices I believe. When you click on the Remote logo on the left it will give you the code to enter in the iPod Touch. Then you're good :-)

 

Let me know how it goes.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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  • 4 weeks later...

Shaq,

 

i have a Benchmark DAC1 Pre (and had classic DAC1 for several years before that). I've been pushing Apple Lossless via USB from my music server by way of my Mac laptop for some time and agree with you about the excellent quality.

 

Recently, I added a Squeezebox Duet, so I wouldn't need to carry my laptop into the listening room every time I wanted to listen there. This has allowed me to conveniently AB test these two digital inputs, since the DAC1 Pre has multiple digital inputs.

 

Caveat: We did turn off all digital volume attenuation within the Duet and iTunes. Volumes sounded identical to our ears. I didn't level match using a digital multimeter. Experts have advised matching volume levels to within 1/4 dB for truly accurate ABX testing.

 

I conscripted by kids (in their twenties) to aid in blind AB listening across a variety of source material. None of us could perceive any difference in the S/PDIF out of the Duet vs the USB out to the DAC1.

 

I find the convenience of the Duet's Controller so compelling that I'm tempted to use it even in critical listening situations. Of course, if I'm listening to 24/96 source material, I can always fall back to the laptop (the Duet receiver won't pass greater than 24/48kHz).

 

BTW, some folks have advocated spending amounts several times the cost of the Duet system for high-grade linear power supplies to replace the admittedly cheap external switch-mode supply. If you're staying in the digital domain, this would be a waste of money, IMHO, since the internal SM supply will still be part of the path. Extensive modder experiments and measurements on diyaudio.com have born this out.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

hi,

 

new squeezebox duet owner, after calling tech support and being assured that the digital

out would pass and not down-rez 24/96 and other high resolution WAV files being passed to

my wadia 27ix. i've used my ziova network media player to stream 24/96 WAV but the limited

screen on the ziova cried out for a more user friendly UI, hence the squeezebox duet.

 

now i'm finding that this may not work (doesn't here) and the above post says the receiver won't

pass greater than 24/48 (so tech support gave me bad info).

 

can someone confirm this? if so, this will have to be returned less than 24 hours after it's purchase.

 

thanks

 

 

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The specs are quite clear

 

http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_duet.html#outputs

 

The duet handles only up to 48K

 

A Transporter will handle up to 96K

 

Latest versions of the Squeezecentre server will downsample 96 > 48 on the fly, but that is not what you want.

 

You were mis-sold the product.

 

I use a Squeezebox classic with external DAC and love it, but almost all my FLACs are 16/44.1

 

 

 

Brian

Squeezebox Classic - Beresford Caiman-Gator DAC - Quad 520f with Dada refresh - Quart 980s German Tower Loudspeakers.

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i agree...........the specs say only up to 48k but the latest squeezecenter supports high rez audio, so i thought perhaps the online specs were out of date, hence the call to technical support which gave me an incorrect answer

 

i'm going to return it and hopefully there will be a full rez digital output version soon.........i can wait

 

thanks for the quick response.................time to move my attention to the next step...... i want to upgrade my DAC since i've about given up on wadia having an upgrade for the 27ix

 

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Yes, only up to 48K with a Squeezebox, but you have to ask yourself if you can here the difference between 48 and 96, and especially between the native 96 and the same 96K file down sampled to 48K for streaming to the Squeezebox.

 

And if you can hear the difference is it so significant as to spoil your enjoyment of the music.

 

Chasing numbers for their own sake is a rather sterile occupation.

 

As I said, you were sold the Squeezebox under false pretences: but why not give it a chance? It isn't a lot of money, and at the very least it will give you access to some pretty impressive hibit internet radio?

 

Brian

Squeezebox Classic - Beresford Caiman-Gator DAC - Quad 520f with Dada refresh - Quart 980s German Tower Loudspeakers.

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