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Do streamers affect the sound?

Discussion in 'audio' started by rockingdoc, May 11, 2019.

  1. rockingdoc

    rockingdoc pfm Member

    I am currently using a Squeezebox Touch into a Chord Hugo via optical. The Squeezebox is on a wired ethernet connection to a remote dedicated Mac-mini, also on wired ethernet. The Mac-mini hosts Roon running Tidal, and has an SSD attached with all my rips.

    My question is, is there any sonic benefit in upgrading the SBT, and if so, what to?
  2. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Almost certainly none through the same dac.
    zippy likes this.
  3. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Have a listen and see what you think
  4. radamel

    radamel Music Fiend

  5. rockingdoc

    rockingdoc pfm Member

    My ears say the SBT sounds very different from the Mac straight into the DAC, but that is comparing apples with oranges?

    Quite difficult to audition different streamers in my own home setup.
  6. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo


    I'd be happy to help.
  7. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    The only difference is the quality of the optical out on the mac and sb
  8. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    If there is a difference it will be minimal. The Touch is an excellent transport, as good as many others.
  9. Fourlegs

    Fourlegs Trade: WAVE High Fidelity digital cables

    If they are both optical then they ought to be the same. The question might be if the power supply from one of them creates a ground path for RF to get into the Dac. In which case that might account for any difference.
  10. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    Isobarik and Zombie like this.
  11. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

    Are you employing EDO? ;)



  12. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer fourhundredandthirtytwo

    I have three different streaming/digital data ways of playing music. All sound identical now..
    Controversial i know, but i did notice replacing the NAS's SMPS which is my roon streaming + server brought about the equalisation

    With the QNAP you can install roonserver on the OS which can be controlled via the roon app (iPad/iPhone/Windows laptops) and use it as a streamer. Simply take USB out from the NAS to a DAC.
  13. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Interestingly, this was on my mind too.

    I've just made a Rasperry Pi Squeezebox and ordered a Hifiberry digi+ pro. I don't know if the board will sound better than the standard output from the Pi, or whether the pro Hifiberry sounds better than the others. Neither do I know if this solution is better sounding than using a Behringer U-Control UCA222, or a Hifime UAE23HD used as a USB to optical converter.



  14. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    Will be interesting to hear your thoughts.
  15. DavidS

    DavidS pfm Member

    I have sbt with MCRU linear ps with Ethernet connection using ripped wav files, this doesn't even get close to my Audio Note transport.This is using Audio Note 2.1 sig dac.
    Fretbuzz likes this.
  16. rockingdoc

    rockingdoc pfm Member

    I have a couple of SBTs, and used to run EDO on them when using USB output into a USB/spdif converter. However, for some reason my Roon core wouldn’t see the SBT using this connection. That’s why I uninstalled EDO and changed to Toslink whick my Roon sees, but I didn’t realise that the EDO could have an influence on the SBT optical output.

    I also have a quite few “upgrade” power supplies lying around which I use for them; Teddy Pardo etc. Not convinced I can hear any improvement.
  17. rockingdoc

    rockingdoc pfm Member

  18. theadmans

    theadmans pfm Member

    Yes this is a great read. I bought a Squeezebox Touch years ago on an Amazon half-price sale for £135

    Great product - such a shame that it was discontinued by Logitech...

    I have built three SBT clones using a Raspberry Pi with a pushed on Wolfson Audio Card:-


    I can then output via the yellow digital coaxial rca phono jack to the DAC of my choice.

    I have them dotted about the house - great multi-room system and cheap as chips!

    The quality is superb when linked to the Creek 50CD CD player / DAC in my main system. I just stash the little Pi round the back of my Hi-Fi rig and control it via an android tablet app.

    The enthusiasts that keep Logitech Music Server going ensure that you get the very best quality 320kbps BBC iPlayer streams (and fix them as soon the BBC do any updates).

    That £135 original SBT was the best Hi-Fi product I have bought this century - absolutely revolutionized my listening.

    I laugh when I see a streamer like the Leema Acoustic Elements reviewed in this months Hi-Fi World....

    The £1300 Leema does the same thing as my £50 Pi lashups. Like the Pi there is no screen on the expensive Leema (you operate it headless via an app).

    According to Noel Keywood the Leema has its quirks:-

    "There were some occasional glitches. Whilst the Leema always popped up on the router’s client list, it didn’t always appear on the iPhone; a phone re-boot was the cure. And I became familiar with pressing the reload button of the Browser and Play To client lists as items would mysteriously disappear from them.

    ....playing large (e.g. 24/192) files in succession would trigger a ‘file format unsupported’ message that would only clear by re-loading the primary Browser list of sources."

    The conclusion of Hi-Fi World is that the £1300 Leema is "Excellent and worth considering".

    ....now let me consider this - £1300 for something that has glitches or £50 for something that works flawlessly....hmmmm?
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  19. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    Yes I agree, the Squeezebox Touch is magnificent. And now you can use it as a Roon endpoint, or from JRiver, you don’t have to suffer the limitations of LMS if you don’t want to. Best Buy in the last couple of decades.
  20. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member


    Adam, do you please have a link for the rpi case, or did you print it yourself?



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