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Squeezebox/Transporter question

post #1 of 164
Thread Starter 
I want to buy one of the 2 for streaming music from the internet to my speaker rig. Question is whether I will see any additional benefit from the Transporter vs Squeezebox. Is the music streaming compressed or no and how will the Transporter give a better sound? I have already plugged in my laptop and it sounded pretty darn good!
post #2 of 164
I'm pretty much in the same situation. I've decided to primarily use my CD player with my headphone rig and also with speakers when I get around to that part of the system but still want to use my computer as a source from time to time. As my laptop will usually be some distance from the rig, I need a wireless solution. I'd initially thought the transporter was the way to go, but after thinking things through, I'm pretty sure I'm just going to go with the Squeezebox. If it were going to be a primary source for me, I'd probably spring for the transporter but in my setup, I'm not sure I can justify the price.
post #3 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitris View Post
I want to buy one of the 2 for streaming music from the internet to my speaker rig. Question is whether I will see any additional benefit from the Transporter vs Squeezebox. Is the music streaming compressed or no and how will the Transporter give a better sound? I have already plugged in my laptop and it sounded pretty darn good!
Both the Squeezebox and Transporter will handle uncompressed files (FLAC, Apple Lossless) over a wired or wireless network.

The decision on whether to buy a Transporter or Squeezebox depends on the rest of your system. With the Transporter, you have an integrated control center and high quality DAC -- just add a power amp and speakers and away you go.

The Squeezebox may be a better choice if you already have a DAC that you like as well as allowing you to retain your current preamp.

I have 4 Squeezeboxes - two of them driving outboard DAC's - and couldn't be happier with the sound and convenience.
post #4 of 164
I have 3 Squeezeboxes and use 2 with DACs, the third just analog out to my preamp. All stream Apple Lossless music and all sound very comparable to my very expensive CD players--Linn Unidisk 2.1 and Ayre CX-7e. If you don't plan on using a DAC and have a really good system already, get the Transporter. If you plan on using the Squeezebox unit as a secondary source or have a DAC the plain ole Squeezebox will be absolutely fine. There are also mods you can get for the Squeezebox including upgraded power supply (HIGHLY recommended; a popular one is available from Bolder.com) or modded digital or analog output sections (also available from Bolder.com). The audiophiles forum at forums.slimdevices.com has a lot of info on the various units, mods, and comparison between SB3/Transporter.
post #5 of 164
Thread Starter 
I think the question comes down to whether internet radio is compressed files or not. If yes then the sound quality difference wont be huge between the 2. Otherwise if they are not compressed then the Transporter with the internal DAC should have the top hand. I have a nice cd-player and I dont plan on running my computer as source. I only need the device for wireless internet radio. I guess for $249 (spring offer) you cant go wrong with the squeezebox. If later I upgrade my cd-player to something that can get digital input then I will benefit even more.
post #6 of 164
Internet radio streams are always compressed. Data rate depends on what decision the broadcaster made. Most of them run at 128kbps, which is equal to what most people use on their portables.

I debated the Transporter/Squeezebox question and ended up buying the Squeezebox because I needed a headphone output. Alas, the headphone amp isn't very good. I did more research and bought a DAC with headphone output, and this combination sounds very good. It's cheaper than a Transporter, too.

If you're interested in details: the DAC is Benchmark's DAC1, with Sennheiser HD25 headphones. Probably not the best system available, but a certain sonic delight for me. I'd recommend this set-up to anyone looking for good bedside music. I drive the Squeezebox via Ethernet cable with a Powerbook and an offboard hard disk.
post #7 of 164
Thread Starter 
Ok i ordered a Squeezebox right now for $229. I will post my impressions once I have it at home and put it in my system. For the money I think its worth tryiing at least. Much as I like the idea of buying the transporter $2000 is a lot of money. Maybe in the future...
post #8 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitris View Post
Ok i ordered a Squeezebox right now for $229. I will post my impressions once I have it at home and put it in my system. For the money I think its worth tryiing at least. Much as I like the idea of buying the transporter $2000 is a lot of money. Maybe in the future...
I think you did the right thing. We were running them with Headroom Microdacs and they sound pretty nice. The Transporter is very good but I would not get it for internet streaming. I will probably get a SB3 to use with downloads of live music which are lossless but not high quality recordings.
post #9 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitris View Post
Ok i ordered a Squeezebox right now for $229. I will post my impressions once I have it at home and put it in my system. For the money I think its worth tryiing at least. Much as I like the idea of buying the transporter $2000 is a lot of money. Maybe in the future...
$229?? Where??
post #10 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenW View Post
$229?? Where??
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...=226387&page=2

Thanks to another head-fier my wallet isnt completely empty.
post #11 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitris View Post
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...=226387&page=2

Thanks to another head-fier my wallet isnt completely empty.
I was just at the site and the page said the SB3 starts at $299. Upon digging deeper, I see that the white version is $50 less and on sale at the moment. $50 for the color?? Hey, I would have missed that except for your reply. Thank you.
post #12 of 164
Thread Starter 
Yes looks like the all black SB3 is more attractive. Oh well for $50 I can put up with the duo-color! Let us know what you think when you receive it.
post #13 of 164
I own 2 Squeezeboxes and one Transporter. They are set up as follows:

The Transporter is connected to my main audio rig via the balanced analog outputs into my Sim Audio preamp, which is in turn connected via it's balanced outputs into my Sim Audio amp. I bought a Transporter for this set up for several reasons. First I did not own a high end DAC and second a Squeezebox/DAC combo with a DAC that has balanced outputs would not be much less money than a Transporter alone. Also the Transporter can be purchased new for less than it's $2000 list price if you shop around. I paid $1650 for mine.

The first Squeezebox is connected to my bedroom system via it's analog outputs (RCA jacks).

The second Squeezebox is connected to my home theater system via optical digital out into my Marantz receiver.

My impressions of the sound of each set up are that the Transporter playing back FLAC or APE files (both file types use lossless compression) sounds the equal of my MacCormack universal disc player playing the original CD of the same material.

The Squeezebox's analog output is okay but could use some improvement and for the one in my bedroom I'm planning on getting an outboard DAC in the near future or I may upgrade my Headroom Desktop amp by adding a DAC module to it. Right now I'm leaning towards upgrading the Headroom amp since it would mean having to add one less box to an already crowded night table.

The Squeezebox's digital output is very good and the one in my home theater system sounds equal to the digital output of my Marantz CD/DVD player.

So basically if you have an outboard DAC or a home theater receiver with digital inputs than there is no reason to get the Transporter unless you want a better DAC or a DAC with balanced analog outputs, which is what all the extra money buys you. The digital output of the Squeezebox is more than decent enough to feed an outboard DAC and capable of producing a very pleasant and highly musical sound.

And yes, the white version of the Squeezebox is available directly from Slim Devices for $249.00, including shipping until Memorial Day. Plus if you use the promotion code "LIVE365" you get an additional $20.00 off so that the final price is $229.00 for a brand new, factory sealed white Squeezebox 3.

As the Squeezbox/Tranporter tells you when you first turn it on:

Free Your Music
post #14 of 164
Ralph, have you heard of any software conflicts involving the software? The reason I ask is that a friend told me that they don't like each other so well.....at least in terms of the software that is.

Have you heard anything on this? Google didn't turn up much so I'm wondering if it's a problem unique to his setup.
post #15 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenW View Post
Ralph, have you heard of any software conflicts involving the software? The reason I ask is that I'm in the process of changing up my rig a bit. I have an Opus 21 on the way and probably will let my Stello go shortly. I'd really like to have the option of using my computer as source when the mood strikes hence the thought of adding the SB3 to the mix using the coax. I've also got the Slingbox and Slinglink turbo in the chain on my home network and a friend told me that they don't like each other so well.....at least in terms of the software that is.

Have you heard anything on this? Google didn't turn up much so I'm wondering if it's a problem unique to his setup.
I haven't encountered any problem with the Slimserver software other than I find that it doesn't play nicely with Spyware Doctor. When I have both Spyware Doctor and Slimserver running Spyware Doctor will slowly begin to eat up the computer's resources until the system slows to a crawl. So I just turn off Spyware Doctor when Slimserver is running.

As for your specific questions, the best place to try and get an answer would be the Slim Devices' forum.

http://forums.slimdevices.com/

In fact, I may post a question about my Spyware Doctor/Slimserver problem to see if I can get a workable solution.

One more thing, once you get a Squeezebox you will most likely find that you're not just "using my computer as source when the mood strikes" but rather using the computer as a source more and more each day. I truly believe that these music streaming devices are going to have a major impact on how we distribute and store music in our homes.
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