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Squeezebox 3 compares to which CDP/DAC? - Page 2

post #16 of 63
A bit OT, but I know of at least one person on these boards who uses a 47 Labs Progression DAC/Squeezebox with outstanding results. I wish I could remember his name/handle. I met him at the first National meet. We spoke for a while about digital and he knows his stuff. I think he was using Hornshoppe horns as well.


post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by omendelovitz View Post
The SB3 stock is comparable to an ipod SQ-wise IMO. Modded PSU would boost it's performance to an entry level CDP SQ. VDA-2 is a HUGE improvement, but keep in mind you need really good equipment down the chain to get the results I mentioned from the DAC, you need a good amp/set of cans. see my sig for more info.v
I use Flacs-> SB3 -> VDA-2/VAC-1 -> Audio Alchemy HPA-1 and then to either HD-580's or Grado 225's. I found that the new Dac nicely extended both highs and lows and really helped resolve instrument placement. I'm replying just to point out that the VDA-2 sounds much better than the SB3 even with my relatively humble equipment downstream.

Bazile
post #18 of 63
Omendelovitz, I'd like to upgrade the cans, but my requirements are rather stringent. The IEMs don't work when I'm lying on my back, and great big cans like the 650 would cause some problems too. So, I bought the HD25 as a compromise. They aren't as good as the E500 when sitting up, but when lying back they're much better.

I'd still like to get better cans. They need to be small. They need to be sealed as I'm in a noisy environment (I use earplugs routinely in order to sleep). I'm hearing good things about Audio-technica W5000 but don't know if those are physically small enough...
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazile View Post
I use Flacs-> SB3 -> VDA-2/VAC-1 -> Audio Alchemy HPA-1 and then to either HD-580's or Grado 225's. I found that the new Dac nicely extended both highs and lows and really helped resolve instrument placement. I'm replying just to point out that the VDA-2 sounds much better than the SB3 even with my relatively humble equipment downstream.

Bazile
Similar experience here too. The VDA2 makes a considerable improvement over the SB3 analogue outs.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by omendelovitz View Post
Perhaps I should clarify - The stock SB3 sounds better than an iPod, but we're not talking significant differences.
FWIW to me the stock SB3 sounds a lot better than a stock 4G iPod - clearer, quieter, more extended treble, more depth of bass. In each case this was through an SR-71 into ER-4S's.

I haven't heard the 5G or 5.5G iPods, but I understand them to be better than the 4G.
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazile View Post
I use Flacs-> SB3 -> VDA-2/VAC-1 -> Audio Alchemy HPA-1 and then to either HD-580's or Grado 225's. I found that the new Dac nicely extended both highs and lows and really helped resolve instrument placement. I'm replying just to point out that the VDA-2 sounds much better than the SB3 even with my relatively humble equipment downstream.

Bazile
I think it's you who are humble, not the equipment. Although not as expensive as others, quality-wise, your equipment is high grade.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by episiarch View Post
FWIW to me the stock SB3 sounds a lot better than a stock 4G iPod - clearer, quieter, more extended treble, more depth of bass. In each case this was through an SR-71 into ER-4S's.

I haven't heard the 5G or 5.5G iPods, but I understand them to be better than the 4G.
I have the 5g iPod, which is likely why you notice much more SQ improvement over your iPod (imo). My 4g was also meh...
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by omendelovitz View Post
The SB3 stock is comparable to an ipod SQ-wise IMO.
Are you talking about the headphone outputs (in which case I agree) or the analog outs (in which case I don't)?

And to the original question: I A/Bed the Squeezebox against a DAC-1 and couldn't tell a difference between them.
post #24 of 63
Just to clarify my earlier statement about the VDA-2, I was simply trying to state that the anaolg outs of the squeezebox sound quite good for the price. I completely agree, as I said, that the VDA-2 sounded better, however to me it wasn't enough to keep the VDA-2 in my setup - Flac->SB3 ->VDA-2/VAC-1 ->Gilmore Lite/DPS ->HD600. Hence, I am now waiting for a my main squeezebox to have the full Bolder analog mods done to see if I like this better. Regardless, the squeezebox sounds pretty darn good for $300 and going beyond quickly hits a point of diminishing returns.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by omendelovitz View Post
I have the 5g iPod, which is likely why you notice much more SQ improvement over your iPod (imo). My 4g was also meh...
I must say I strongly disagree with your thoughts on the sound quality of the sb3 through analog out to an amp.

all tests were with beyer dt990 '05.

I extensively compared it to a corda aria(using usb from the mac mini so it was dac and amp) and also against an ipod 5g 30gb video ipod/jumbo cryo. besides the corda aria all were using the RSA Tomahawk as an amp.

I also used the corda aria with some pretty good nordost blue heaven ICs from the sb3 and felt the TH sounded better from the sb3. but I did not compare these two very much.

I found the sb3 and TH combination using a decent monster cable ipod rca to mini($40) to be rather significantly better than either of the other combitinations.

it was immediately clear the highs were much clearer and sparkly sounding while the soundstage seemed to have better definition.

Overall I simply found it to sound a lot better. I was shocked and surprised, to be honest. I was not expecting the TH to sound so great being fed by the sb3. It was a VERY significant step up from the ipod and jumbo cryo.
post #26 of 63
The analog outs of the SB3 are DEFINITELY better than the SQ coming from an iPod! pshaw!

Speaking of which, that reminds me of a question... Since you are still able to control the volume via the SB3, how does that compare to a true line-out? Is that still a true line out? The SB3 has an RCA jack, but I remember reading that you would need to increase the volume to 100 to simulate a line out signal and increase the signal to noise ratio? Yes, I'm a newb concerning this, so please correct me if I'm wrong!

Thanks!
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by utep10 View Post
A linear power supply would also make a noticable improvement from the SB's coaxial digital out as well.
more info please! How does the linear PSU achieve this and what are the tangible results? My Welborne linear PSU is coming back from the labs as we speak and I was considering selling it as I figured it would be somewhat redundant since I'm only using my SB3 as a transport...
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by omendelovitz View Post
more info please! How does the linear PSU achieve this and what are the tangible results?
You have to consider that everything starts with the power. Think about it like drinking water - sure you can drink just about anything that comes out of your tap but run it through a filter and while it might not look a whole lot different it clearly tastes better. At least that's how it's been explained to me.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by omendelovitz View Post
more info please! How does the linear PSU achieve this and what are the tangible results? My Welborne linear PSU is coming back from the labs as we speak and I was considering selling it as I figured it would be somewhat redundant since I'm only using my SB3 as a transport...
If you feel you don't need that PSU, I'll take it off your hands!
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by n_maher View Post
You have to consider that everything starts with the power. Think about it like drinking water - sure you can drink just about anything that comes out of your tap but run it through a filter and while it might not look a whole lot different it clearly tastes better. At least that's how it's been explained to me.
Thanks Nate, that's a great start, and I do agree, but as an engineer, I'm curious about the theory behind it as well. Any other electro-geeks like myself out there know this answer? Cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
If you feel you don't need that PSU, I'll take it off your hands!
When the time is right, we'll talk.
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