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Squeezebox Boulder Audio Digital ONLY Upgrade - Page 4

post #46 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude
I'm new here, but I post on the Slim Devices forum a lot. Just to give you an idea of the quality of the SB3 as a transport, John Atkinson of Stereophile is currently reviewing it, and says he has to strain to hear any differences between the SB3 and Ayre C-5xe (used as transport), which costs ~$6,000 (USD). FYI, check out this thread over on the SD forum:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=22301
Wow. That tells me a lot about the Ayre. Then again, straining to hear anything has never helped me hear it better, just makes things sound strange.

Anyway, not sure if John is testing with the stock PS, but the difference is NOT subtle between the DV50/D70 dac combo versus the SB3/D70 combo. It may be that the D70 is just bringing more out of the DV50 than it can with the SB3.

Neil
post #47 of 64
if anyone is interested in doing the Red Wine Audio digital upgrades/battery mod, here's a good offer...rather than having to wait 4-6 weeks for the RWA to mod your squeezebox.

http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/v...ic.php?t=26815
post #48 of 64
I've tried 3 different coax cables and an optical cable between the squeezebox and my Lavry Black DA10. There was one coaxial cable that clearly stood out and all 3 coax cables beat the optical.

The winning cable is 1.5m in length and made with beldin 75ohm coax. The connectors are cheap RCA's that are presumably 75ohms. A buddy of mine has since replaced the connectors with nice BNC connectors and RCA adapters... sounds identical.

Rob - You need to come over and hear it buddy, send me a PM!
post #49 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
I've tried 3 different coax cables and an optical cable between the squeezebox and my Lavry Black DA10. There was one coaxial cable that clearly stood out and all 3 coax cables beat the optical.

The winning cable is 1.5m in length and made with beldin 75ohm coax. The connectors are cheap RCA's that are presumably 75ohms. A buddy of mine has since replaced the connectors with nice BNC connectors and RCA adapters... sounds identical.

Rob - You need to come over and hear it buddy, send me a PM!
Done and done. I was trying to hold off on starting the daily harassment about how you're finding the Squeezebox...I wasn't sure that you'd got it up and running yet, but now, now you will know no peace until I'm able to check it out.

PM is enroute.
post #50 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
I've tried 3 different coax cables and an optical cable between the squeezebox and my Lavry Black DA10. There was one coaxial cable that clearly stood out....

The winning cable is 1.5m in length and made with beldin 75ohm coax. The connectors are cheap RCA's that are presumably 75ohms. A buddy of mine has since replaced the connectors with nice BNC connectors and RCA adapters... sounds identical.
Who makes this cable? Where can it be puchased? What was different about it than the other two coax's? By that I mean, what specifications were different (not how did it sound different) - helpful to know what about those cables made them not stand out versus the winning cable.
post #51 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones
Done and done. I was trying to hold off on starting the daily harassment about how you're finding the Squeezebox...I wasn't sure that you'd got it up and running yet, but now, now you will know no peace until I'm able to check it out.
hehe... I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you. I have only ripped 10 albums or so, but am enjoying the radio features [more of a fun thing than a Hi-Fi thing]. If you want I can rip dream theater as I think the Wife has some of their CD's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by heymaceo
Who makes this cable? Where can it be puchased? What was different about it than the other two coax's? By that I mean, what specifications were different (not how did it sound different) - helpful to know what about those cables made them not stand out versus the winning cable.
A friend of mine Renato [looser101] made it for me. You can read some scattered impressions of the digital cable shootout in the most recent Hamilton meet thread.

From what I remember, the highs were better resolved. Cymbals just sounded more 'right' with the winning cable. I also noticed it in the piano and bass guitar. Sort of a smearing of detail with the other cables. I suspect it has something to do with timing.

Winning cable 1 - Belden 75 ohm coax cable [standard stuff] with VERY CHEAP rca terminations.

Winning cable 2 - Though the first was great it somewhat offended my sensibilities, so Renato made me a second cable with the same belden 75 ohm coax cable and some nice looking BNC connectors with RCA adapters. It sounds identical to the first and gives me more versatility. I think I might replace the RCA jacks on the Squeezebox and Lavry with BNC at some point.

Losing cable 1 - Hand braided teflon coated silver, solid core, 4 22 AWG wires [two signal and two shield], nice looking vampire clone RCA's, around 6 inches in length. I made this myself a while back just to see if I could. Nice looking cable, though I should have reinforced the connectors better. Sounded the worst out of the coax digital cables.

Losing cable 2 - Off the shelf digital cable from Radio Shacks 'High End' line.

Losing cable 3 - The optical. Music sounded dead by comparison.
post #52 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
hehe... I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you. I have only ripped 10 albums or so, but am enjoying the radio features [more of a fun thing than a Hi-Fi thing]. If you want I can rip dream theater as I think the Wife has some of their CD's. A friend of mine Renato [looser101] made it for me. You can read some scattered impressions of the digital cable shootout in the most recent Hamilton meet thread.

From what I remember, the highs were better resolved. Cymbals just sounded more 'right' with the winning cable. I also noticed it in the piano and bass guitar. Sort of a smearing of detail with the other cables. I suspect it has something to do with timing.

Winning cable 1 - Belden 75 ohm coax cable [standard stuff] with VERY CHEAP rca terminations.

Winning cable 2 - Though the first was great it somewhat offended my sensibilities, so Renato made me a second cable with the same belden 75 ohm coax cable and some nice looking BNC connectors with RCA adapters. It sounds identical to the first and gives me more versatility. I think I might replace the RCA jacks on the Squeezebox and Lavry with BNC at some point.

Losing cable 1 - Hand braided teflon coated silver, solid core, 4 22 AWG wires [two signal and two shield], nice looking vampire clone RCA's, around 6 inches in length. I made this myself a while back just to see if I could. Nice looking cable, though I should have reinforced the connectors better. Sounded the worst out of the coax digital cables.

Losing cable 2 - Off the shelf digital cable from Radio Shacks 'High End' line.

Losing cable 3 - The optical. Music sounded dead by comparison.

well its really no surprise that the belden won against those other cables. losing cable 1 wasn't 75ohm, losing cable 2 was from radio shack (no surprises there), and with losing cable 3 optical is usually worse than coax especially if its not glass toslink.
post #53 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by yo2tup2
losing cable 2 was from radio shack (no surprises there)
Yeah, but it was a digital cable... I would be surprised if they didn't at least try to make it 75ohm.

I'm not saying I tested the best cables on the market, just showing that digital cables definately do make a difference.
post #54 of 64
Thread Starter 
Assuming you have a digital cable that is as near to 75 ohms as possible, there shouldn't (technically) be a difference should there? I mean, they sell $1000 virtual dynamics digital cables. LOL.

Neil
post #55 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvg
Assuming you have a digital cable that is as near to 75 ohms as possible, there shouldn't (technically) be a difference should there? I mean, they sell $1000 virtual dynamics digital cables. LOL.

Neil
Though I've never actually heard it, the reasoning behind this cable seems to make a lot of sense and explains the differences between digital cables, even if it probably is exaggerated and overpriced. I'm normally against ridiculously expensive cables though, and I'm not saying you need that one, but it just seems to help explain the differences.
post #56 of 64
If anyone wants a killer power supply for the squeezebox at low cost, use the HeadRoom red 'brick' battery pack! I just had it lying around, loaded it up with fresh batteries and plugged it in, and all I can say is WOW! This thing sounds like a serious source! I agree, that switcher it comes with is pretty evil. I haven't run it long enough to get a sense of run time, but at 1A it should run for about 20 hours methinks.
post #57 of 64
i can't believe i forgot to mention this. if you're sb3 is new, the firmware version is probably 28. Revert it back to version 15, and you'll notice an improvement in sound quality. Version 15 is considered the "audiophile" version.
post #58 of 64
How long does that battery pack last? Have you tried rechargables?
post #59 of 64
Rechargeables aren't going to work. The total voltage will be 4.8 unloaded, which will sag under load to well below the minimum voltage (I discovered that when using a set of almost dead D cells - they measured a total of 5.2V unloaded, but when plugged into the squeezebox that sagged right down to 4.0V). The sqeezebox is actually quite picky about an under voltage supply. So, it's not exactly a permanent solution ($10 for a 4 pack of decent D cells), but if you don't mind switching between the two power supplies, it's the very best you could possibly get without modding.
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by yo2tup2
i can't believe i forgot to mention this. if you're sb3 is new, the firmware version is probably 28. Revert it back to version 15, and you'll notice an improvement in sound quality. Version 15 is considered the "audiophile" version.
Can you point me to some more information on this? I found a thread that mentioned it, but little there to really support the choice of v15.
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