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Logitech's Squeezebox Touch - opinions sought on quality - Page 2

post #16 of 314

How it performs with an external DAC is going to depend a lot on the DAC.  I really like my Touch with the DAC I have, but I'm sure I wouldn't be as happy with it if I didn't like the DAC as much as I do.  Versus the cd player it will give you some versatility though...you can change the sound up by changing the DAC.

 

Like I mentioned earlier, I really don't like the Touch too much as a stand-alone.  If you're not planning on eventually using it as a network player, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

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post #17 of 314

If you're buying a within the next couple of days, I found a good deal.  Crutchfield.com has them for $274.99 incl. shipping through 4/16, and you can then use coupon code 3a825 to get an additional $20 off.  $254.99 with free shipping (and they're fast!) is as cheap as I've ever seen it.

 

From the reading I've done, the Touch is a major upgrade from the classic in sound quality, but my research agrees with the earlier post about the benefits of modding.

 

I'll be using my Welborne Labs power supply, and I've had my Touch from Crutchfield shipped directly to Wayne at Bolder Cable to work his magic on it.  He's doing the digital-only mod package, after which I'll be using it with my Benchmark DAC1 Pre.

 

Wayne's mods to my SB3 have treated me well for several years now, but lately I'm getting into 2496 hirez stuff, so I'm moving up to the Touch.  He should have it in hand tomorrow, and usually has very fast turnaround.  Hoping to have my Touch by mid-week, then need to let the break-in begin...

 

Squeezebox is great stuff.  Besides the Touch and the modded SB3, I also have a Radio and a Boom.  Plus iPeng on my iPhone and iPengHD on the iPad.

post #18 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post

Hi, guys

 

I am about to buy the logitech sb touch and I am gonna but a dacmagic or other similar dac to increase the sound quality. but before that I have 2 questions:

1.how does the sb touch sound with an extenal dac compare to a $1000 cd player(I have a rega planet 2000), cause I am thinking about replacing my cd player with sb touch

2.how does the sound(sb touch with external dac) compare to ipod classic with wadia 170i?

I will be using the sb touch as a standalone player and put in a 16gb sd card, if a full cd is about 330mb in flac, so I should be able to fit 48 cds in that sd card, which is more than enough for now maybe.thanks

 




I have used my Touch with a Bel Canto 2.5 DAC and find the sound competitive with my Musical Fidelity A5 CD player, which is a $2500 player.

 

I'm not sure your average $500 DAC is much better than the built-in DAC in the Touch.  You should listen first, before shelling out cash for something that might not be much of an upgrade, if any.

 

I agree with others however that it is not so good as a standalone player.  Much better if you are running Squeezeserver on your network somewhere.  As a music server the Touch is quite good, and with a great DAC the sound is competitive with the best transports.  But I fear you might be disappointed with the kludginess of the Touch as a standalone player!


Edited by DeadEars - 4/14/11 at 1:10pm
post #19 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by nspindel View Post

If you're buying a within the next couple of days, I found a good deal.  Crutchfield.com has them for $274.99 incl. shipping through 4/16, and you can then use coupon code 3a825 to get an additional $20 off.  $254.99 with free shipping (and they're fast!) is as cheap as I've ever seen it.

 

From the reading I've done, the Touch is a major upgrade from the classic in sound quality, but my research agrees with the earlier post about the benefits of modding.

 

I'll be using my Welborne Labs power supply, and I've had my Touch from Crutchfield shipped directly to Wayne at Bolder Cable to work his magic on it.  He's doing the digital-only mod package, after which I'll be using it with my Benchmark DAC1 Pre.

 

Wayne's mods to my SB3 have treated me well for several years now, but lately I'm getting into 2496 hirez stuff, so I'm moving up to the Touch.  He should have it in hand tomorrow, and usually has very fast turnaround.  Hoping to have my Touch by mid-week, then need to let the break-in begin...

 

Squeezebox is great stuff.  Besides the Touch and the modded SB3, I also have a Radio and a Boom.  Plus iPeng on my iPhone and iPengHD on the iPad.




Wayne is a stand-up guy and does great work!  The Touch is already pretty good as a front-end device to a DAC.  I'm sure Wayne will quell the low level of jitter that it produces.

 

OTOH I'm not convinced of the benefit of a power supply upgrade on the Touch.  I tried mine with a laboratory-grade HP bench linear power supply and really did not hear an improvement that would stand up to blind testing.  If it were me, I'd save my money for some more hi-rez downloads!

post #20 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEars View Post


I agree with others however that it is not so good as a standalone player.  Much better if you are running Squeezeserver on your network somewhere.  As a music server the Touch is quite good, and with a great DAC the sound is competitive with the best transports.  But I fear you might be disappointed with the kludginess of the Touch as a standalone player!


"Kludginess"....I like it.  That about sums up my experiences with the Touch as a standalone.  The last meet it somehow got the impression that it needed to upgrade, but of course since there was no wireless network the upgrade kept failing.  What the heck was going on, I have no idea, since it had been working on WiFi just the night before.  After messing with it for like 15 minutes, I got it to start working again.

 

I'm definitely thinking of sending my Touch over to Wayne for the digital only mod after my next batch of stocks vest.  I'd probably just send my old one to him and use my old SB Classic while the mods are being done.  There's a bunch of expenses crossing my plate this month, so I need to wait for the extra money and I'm trying to exercise SOME restraint and pay down my credit cards, otherwise I'd have emailed him about it today.  tongue_smile.gif

 

post #21 of 314
The SB Touch has been confirmed by several sources, both Stereophile and the site linked in this thread, to be bit perfect. Assuming you also use the digital out of your CD player and it doesn't do anything to the sound, there is not reason why it should sound any different - the data is exactly the same.

However, using it as a standalone music player with just an SD card seems to be a bit of a waste - additionally, many people have reported problems when using it in this way, especially with larger libraries - crashes, severe interface lag ect...

Regarding your comparison with an ipod classic, unless the ipod classic has bitperfect digital out (which I'm pretty sure it doesn't), chances are the SB will compare very favourably, as the stages at which fidelity is normally lost are handled entirely by your higher end equipment.

Ultimately, the SB is a bitperfect digital transport, and as such will do justice to anything you plug it into.
post #22 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post

Hi, guys

 

I am about to buy the logitech sb touch and I am gonna but a dacmagic or other similar dac to increase the sound quality. but before that I have 2 questions:

1.how does the sb touch sound with an extenal dac compare to a $1000 cd player(I have a rega planet 2000), cause I am thinking about replacing my cd player with sb touch

2.how does the sound(sb touch with external dac) compare to ipod classic with wadia 170i?

I will be using the sb touch as a standalone player and put in a 16gb sd card, if a full cd is about 330mb in flac, so I should be able to fit 48 cds in that sd card, which is more than enough for now maybe.thanks

 


I've had 2 Rega Planet2000's and listened to them together for 3-4 years.
While it doesn't sound 'digtal' it achieves that by severe treble rolloff giving ( on speakers, on headphones the result will be different) a very small laid back soundstage and a grayish undynamic sound. I nevertheless prefered it to same price alternatives from Sony, Arcam and Rotel but it did not really made me happy. The successor, the Apollo did! Very musical organical sound and extended yet smooth treble. Finally, after over 20 years of hardly tolerable CD players one I could enjoy and afford!
But when I went Squeezebox the Apollo had to go. I had 3 respected DAC's (Meier Stagedac, MHDT Havana, Audio-GD Re5DSP) but none of them gave me musical pleasure like the Apollo did. And I missed it for the 2 years I was searching. Then the Rega DAC came.
Differently voiced then the Apollo it shares its effortless natural musicality and adds tonal purity and full bass. Right now I'm listening to it out of the Touch and it is hard to concentrate on listening analytical since the music is so Irresistable; so yes, IMO Touch + dac can make an excellent source. Just pick the right dac, the Touch as a transport is fine.
post #23 of 314

That's a nice review of the Rega DAC.  It's on my short list of DAC's I want to try.  I think you just bumped up the priority a bit.  Thanks!

post #24 of 314

Good for you.

But give it some time; the Rega DAC is not a sensational sounding dac, like f.i. the Meier Stagedac; when I heart that one at first I was instantly impressed by its enormous 3D sound stage with pinpoint imaging and deep deep bass. Only days later I realized it did not let me relax and enjoy the music, wowing me instead with spatiality and details which got tiring to me.

The Rega DAC is the other way around; it does not do anything remarkably good, until you sit, take your time to listen to your music and suddenly it strikes you with how easy it lets you enjoy the music instead of bothering you with audiophile analysis-things. Hard to explain, but easy to recognize once the coin drops.

post #25 of 314



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEars View Post






Wayne is a stand-up guy and does great work!  The Touch is already pretty good as a front-end device to a DAC.  I'm sure Wayne will quell the low level of jitter that it produces.

 

OTOH I'm not convinced of the benefit of a power supply upgrade on the Touch.  I tried mine with a laboratory-grade HP bench linear power supply and really did not hear an improvement that would stand up to blind testing.  If it were me, I'd save my money for some more hi-rez downloads!



Yeah, but I already have the power supply from my Wayne-modded SB3, which has been demoted to a system not worthy of Wayne's mods.  So may as well...

 

post #26 of 314

Please tell me that someone pulled the trigger on the Crutchfield Touch sale?  I love passing along a good bargain...

post #27 of 314

damn, I ordered it from amazon yesterday and that cost me 280, I'll see if I can refund it and buy from Crutchfield.com, I am sure they are selling below cost already.

post #28 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post

The Touch is a very good platform to start from (unless you already have a Transporter).  Either way, they need to be modded to pull the maximum performance out of them.  In the case of the Touch, you'll want to replace most of the caps, replace the oscillator with a low ppm TCXO, and get either a high quality linear regulated supply or a battery supply for it.  You can take the Transporter even further because of the workspace inside the unit.  Unfortunately, the Transporter doesn't have a USB drive or SD card like the Touch does.  But out of all the Squeezeboxes, the Touch is surely the best.

 

By the way, Squeezebox just came out with a remote app for Android a few weeks ago.  Why they didn't make one for the iPod and iPad is beyond me; perhaps they are working on it; I'll have to check the SB forums.


Are the components smd in the Touch? In other words - is it possible to solder with ordinary soldering iron?
Also: What clock would be a good choice?
I am thinking in terms of maximizing the performance of the digital out to a high quality dac (Audio-GD Reference 7.1).
Another option could be putting the Audio-GD Digital Interface between the Touch and the dac if it would reduce jitter.
A possibility could be a software hack making the Touch sending out through the USB port into the A-gd DI.
Stereophile wrote that the SB Touch with this software hack turned it into a high end audio transport.
Any qualified opinions about this?
post #29 of 314

I know nothing about the hardware modifications, they do sound interesting, though I'm quite happy with the Touch as an untouched (haha, eh, sorry) digital source.

I did experiment with the software hack, and found the difference insignificant.

I also had a dedicated power supply, a Russ Andrews Squeezepack for a while; again I found the difference with the sock power supply insignificant.

However, we all have different ears and different systems, and the sensitivity of the DAC for jitter (and perhaps RFI and EMF?) no doubt plays an important role in how big the differences will be.

Strangely I found the difference the digital cable made remarkable, a Digiflex cable sounding bland a Bolder cable sounding clear but slightly too bright and an Oyaide sounding smooth, the golden midway (that was with my former DAC, ther Audio-GD Ref5DSP). I can't explain why.

 

I use wireless on the system listed in my sig; wireless might be less good because the wireless receptor has to be on, but the idea of a PC close to the Touch and DAC somehow doesn't feel right to me.

If the PC is placed near the audio system a digital interface sure makes sense to me, as shielded cables and power filters would do. If you use USB I think the need for an interface would grow.

Please note all these are assumptions from me and I've no experience in practice

post #30 of 314

The idea of keeping the PC away from everything is interesting to me as well. I can't say that I've really noticed any noise or problems associated with the PC being in close proximity, but the idea still seems unappealing. I know the jitter measurements are equally low regardless of the connection so it just makes sense to keep it somewhere else and stream wireless.

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