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  How good of a DAC is the Logitech Transporter
I have a Squeeze Box 3 digital out to a Tri-Vista 21. I am considering upgrading to a transporter main reason to get HI-RES native 96/24 FLAC download music which the transporter supports.
My question is the transporter a great sounding stand alone DAC and will I hear a difference between 48/24 through my present up sampled Tri-Vista 21 vs. 96/24 native supported transporter.
Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-29-09
  Responses (1-70 of 70)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

06-29-09: Kgturner
logitech offers a 30 day money back guarantee on the transporter. just do a head to head in your own system so you don't have to rely on other's opinions. it might be a bit of a hassle to have to ship it back, but you'll gain firsthand knowledge which is far more valuable.
Kgturner  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-29-09: Shazam
When I tried it, the characteristics of the DAC in the Transport fell on the refined side with good detail. While I think it performed quite well, I prefer a more vivid sound and went with a modified PS Audio since almost all my digital collection is redbook. If you are willing to shell out an extra couple grand, you can get the output moded by Modwright with a tube stage. I heard it at RMAC and it was superb, but out of my price range at the time.

That said, I just plunked down my deposit on the new PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC - which is essentially the same thing as the Transporter once the bridge is added. Again, I prefer the more vivid nature of PS Audio products and am getting good money on my trade in.

All things being equal, the performance of the Transporter was exceptional in my opinion. Here is the stereophile review if you want more detail.

Shazam  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-29-09: Audiogalore
That is just the point and thank you for your opinion, however I would appreciate some feed back and hear experiences and thoughts that would lead me to that direction. Like you rightfully said it could be a hassle trying to have Logitech to take back product. So that being said is the reason were it would be nice hearing some experience.
Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-29-09: Audiogalore
Thank you Shazam for your feedback, I also heard that the transporters DAC sound was more analytical. I have a Tri-Vista 21 tube DAC that I like very much and find it very musical. I guess I was hoping to have both worlds using the Logitech also as a stand alone DAC with the digital input to my Mark Levinson 37 transport. Than it would be ideal and I could replace it with my present TRI-Vista 21.
The PSAudio PWD with the generous $1000.00 trade in offer seem great. However after some research on that device, I found that the features are great but the benefits less.
1) The bridge will not be wireless and for me that is very important.
Good Luck with the PWD when it arrives.

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-29-09: Richlane
Hi Audiogalore,

I have a Logitech Transporter and it has a good DAC, but not a great DAC. The sound may be described as a bit analytical as you've mentioned above. Although I have never listened to the Tri-Vista DAC, I doubt that the Logitech DAC will satisfy you, especially since you're use to listening to a tubed DAC. I have compared the Transporter DAC to a Benchmark DAC1 and a Bel Canto DAC3. I preferred the Bel Canto, then the Benchmark and then the Transporter. All comparisons were done using Apple Lossless files.

However, I will still wholeheartedly recommend that you consider purchasing the Transporter to use as your Music Streamer, as it is a big step up from the squeezebox which I also own, and especially since the Transporter will natively handle 24Bit/96Khz, which the squeezebox will not.

The Transporter is a great front end for the money, especially when hooked up to an external DAC. I'm currently using an MBL 1611F DAC, that can handle 24/192. I recently downloaded a few test tracks at 24/96 that sound amazing. I certainly plan on expanding my 24/96 collection, heavily in the next few months.

For what it's worth, I also compared the MBL 1621A transport to the Logitech Transporter and although the MBL 1621A was clearly better and 10 times the price, it certainly wasn't embarrassing for the Logitech, nor was it worth me getting up off the couch to change songs every few minutes. I would equate the sonic difference to, upgrading your stock power cables to high-end power cables.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Audiogalore
Hi Rick:

Thank you for that detail reply, IMO I have audiophile grade power,interconnects and speaker cable as posted on audiogon.

I am a firm believer having a quality DAC pulls everything together. The most important part of the audio chain is the transducers, then the source than tweaking the balance of the system. I agree that the Red book CD at a handsome price does sound better. However I must admit the ease and comfort at endless hours enjoying a properly setup music server allows you more involvement.

I have recently also downloaded some HDTrack HI-RES 96/24 and found the sound very liquid with a quietness and more air between the nodes of the given listening musical piece, even in 48/24 through the SB3. I had considered the PSAudio PWD, previously mentioned, but after carefully thinking the process over, I really like my present setup and I think I am going to seek a transporter using my TRI-VISTA 21.

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Jglim
Hi Rick

I was just writing on another thread that the Squeezebox 3 vs my Weiss Jason CD player into my Weiss Medea was very disappointing. Some people have suggested using an antijitter device between the computer and DAC. Have you found the Transporter to be equivalent to a high end CD player?

Jglim  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
I will definitely say that the Transporter should not disappoint you, and yes it is close to some of the best transports available, as I've stated above in comparing it to the MBL 1621A transport.

I do not have any anti-jitter devices and I am getting phenomenal sound out of my current setup. I suspect that you may have some incorrect settings in your MAC Audio MIDI Setup or your iTunes setup. Furthermore the Transporter is much better than the Squeezebox, especially when using a balanced AES/EBU 110 ohm Digital Interconnect.

As it's getting late tonight, 2:30AM in NY, I will be happy to discuss this with you further, tomorrow.

Have a good night,
Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Jglim
Would appreciate your advice on the settings of the itunes and MIDI. Did not realise that this could affect the sound. The big difference I am getting on SB3 vs my dedicated CD player is the loss of ambience and space. Playing jazz at the pawnshop through the CD player, I get all the cues that it is a live recording in a fairly large venue. On the SB3, it sounds like its recorded in a soundproof room.
Jglim  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richard_stacy
this is a great thread and mirrors kind of where i am at in the process. jglim's description above of the congestion from his sb3 is similar to what i get running digital out from sb duet to theta casanova. because of this, i have been considering upgrading to the transporter or another dac. i think it is just the limitations of the sb. i do have a pretty revealing system.

rich-were you stating the digital out of the transporter is significantly better than the digital out on the sb?

Richard_stacy  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Jglim
Hi Richard,
I have people telling me that the Weiss Minerva DAC is a good device to consider, which allows output via firewire from the MAC to the DAC. But at just under $5000 its a pretty expensive option especially for those of us who already own a good DAC. The transporter is also not cheap and if used purely for streaming seems to be wasting the DACs in it.

So I too am still looking for a good solution to replace my CD transport but not my DAC.

Jglim  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richard_stacy
jglim...that would be a pricey solution (the weiss dac) and out of my range at this point but the transporter is within reach. i just wonder how much f an upgrade it would be. i have gotten allot of conflicting input regarding transporter dac vs theta+sb vs theta + transporter vs external dac...tough choice with all the options. i just know i am not satisfied with the sound i am getting with my sb + theta...
Richard_stacy  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Jglim
From my reading of other people's reviews (no personal experience with transporter myself), the use of the transporter seems to outperform a DAC in the 2-3K region. It is probably a bit unfair to compare it to the weiss combo as it is a lot more costly and retrieves details that leaves a lot of lower end CD players behind as well.

My disappointment was with the inability to stream music via the SB3 that in theory should have significant advantage over any cd player that has to do real time reading of disc and error coding.

Jglim  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
Hi Guys,

I haven't listened to the Squeezebox 3 in my main rig for about 1 year and at that time I was using a Bel Canto DAC3 with the Transporter for the comparison, so this morning I hooked the Squeezebox up to my MBL 1611F DAC using a $40 optical monster cable, that I had borrowed from my MacPro and the Transporter was sporting a Kubala-Sosna 110 ohm AES/EBU Digital Cable and a Zu Audio Bok power cable.

I'm sure that we have all read the same threads claiming that the Squeezebox is as good as the Transporter is, if you're using an external DAC. Well, gentleman, after listening to the squeezebox this morning through some very expensive gear, I'm hear to say that you're both right, the squeezebox sounds terrible. In audiophile terms the squeezebox is lacking in; resolution, transparency, ambience, dynamics, harmonics, decay and PRAT and it's not even close. The Transporter blew the Squeezebox out of the water just like the shark was blown out of the water in the first Jaws Movie. So, this is what the Transporter is capable of when using an upgraded power cable and a high quality balanced digital interconnect.

So to be fair, I then used the cheapo monster cable hooked up to the MBL DAC and the Transporter just to see how much of the difference was attributed to the Cable and how much was attributed to the the different streamers. Well, let me tell you that the audiophile improvements followed the Transporter however, not nearly to the same degree while using the Kubala Digital Cable. I would also like to point out that the optical monster cable is terrible, however I didn't have a long enough 75ohm Digital SPDIF cable to reach all of the equipment in question.

I could also tell you that, you will be further rewarded when using a high quality balanced digital 110 ohm cable and upgraded power cable. In the past, I have also had great results with the relatively inexpensive ZU Audio Ash 110 ohm AES/EBU digital cable.

There is a website that talks about the Audio MIDI setup for the MAC and iTunes, which I will look for. But the consensus is that you must have the Digital Volume on your MAC fixed at the Maximum Volume. So, go into your MAC Applications folder, click on the Utilities folder, then click on the Audio MIDI Setup, then choose the Audio Devices tab, then under the PROPERTIES FOR pulldown; select built-in Digital Output, then under Audio output on the bottom right side, I have selected source: Digital Out, 96khz 2ch-24bit, (keep in mind that these format settings are only as good as the quality of your source music files) I believe your settings for DEFAULT OUTPUT AND SYSTEM OUTPUT, should be Built-in Line output if you have external speakers hooked up to your MAC.

These settings will fix your Volume Control to max, so that you will not clip any digital bits with the MAC's digital volume control. You have to restart iTunes for these settings to take effect.

Let me know how it goes.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richard_stacy
wow, great post rich! thanks for your efforts and this begins to answer some of the questions i had about the sb limitations even in the digital domain. so it sounds like the transporter, with a good digital cable and power cord (which i would be using an mit digital reference rca for now and an mit oracle ac1 power cord) is head and shoulders above the sb. i will be investing in a decent xlr digital cable if i switch to a source that has the output, most likley mit also.

regarding the volume control, i use windows and just keep the computer volume fixed at 100.

thanks again rich and don't mean to hijack the thread audiogalore...

Richard_stacy  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
I forgot one setting. I also have BOTH the Default Output and System Output: set to Built-In Digital Output, but then your computer speakers may not play, unless you have an external DAC in between your computer speakers. To set the Digital Volume to Maximum, more permanently you must also select: DEFAULT OUTPUT as Built in Digital Output and to get external speakers to play without a DAC you will probably need to set, System Output to: Built-in Line Output.

My external speakers work with both Default Output and System Output set to Built-in Digital Output, because I have a Benchmark DAC in between my MAC and Computer Speakers.

Sorry, if any of the above settings are incorrect, but It's quite confusing to convey the settings, so maybe somebody else could find the website that better explains the settings.

Also make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes, and Squeeze Center, and make sure that your EQ settings in iTunes are turned off. I'm also using the Apple Lossless Format for Redbook and the Songbird Jukebox for the MAC with FLAC format for my 24bit/96khz files, since iTunes can't handle these, then you have to point your Squeezecenter Program to the appropriate High Def Music Folder where you stored your High Def, Songbird Music Files.

But as stated above you're right the Squeezebox is not very good, however, I continue to recommend the Squeezebox to non-audiophile friends and family, however if you're reading this, than you will most definitely enjoy the Transporter.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
You're Welcome!

If you select the Volume Control to Maximum, then this should essentially have the same exact effect as stated above, be sure not to blow out your desktop speakers when switching back and forth.

Hopefully, Audiogalore won't view this as a hijack, because he also raised some interesting questions and he also had some similar concerns.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Audiogalore
Hi Guys:

I definitely do not feel hijacked as a matter of fact I thank Rick sharing his fact finding and comparisons of the two units. Whom better, the MSL 1611F DAC is top shelf Stereophile A rated piece.

I have a saying "garbage in garbage out" what I truly mean, is the sources used the SB and the transporter are exposed with the proper cabling and D/A converter. With a sub-standard DAC the garbage in theory does not show the total suspect and the comparison is not as widely noticeable.

Again thank you for your support on this issue Rick. I will now seek out a transporter to replace my SB3.

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
Hi Jglim,

Quote from Jglim: "From my reading of other people's reviews (no personal experience with transporter myself), the use of the transporter seems to outperform a DAC in the 2-3K region."

In my experience this has not been the case. As stated above, I feel that although the Transporter DAC was no slouch and it may certainly be considered pleasing, it was not able to outperform the $1000 Benchmark DAC1, nor the $2500 Bel Canto DAC3.

In other words, I feel that the Dac in the Transporter is good enough to allow an audiophile who doesn't own an external DAC, to live with it happily for a year or so, until they may be able to upgrade to a stand-alone DAC.

However, when the Transporter was used as a stand-alone Transport, I felt that although it lost the shootout, it did hold it's own against the 10 times more expensive MBL 1621A Transport.

I hope that helps you.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
Hi Audiogalore,

I'm glad I was able to help. You are exactly right!

With the Squeezebox used as the Front-End the sound was abysmal and with the Logitech Transporter leading the way as the Front-End the sound was phenomenal, even though both front-ends were hooked up to a top-notched DAC, during the shootout.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Audiogalore
Rich, I also take it that you were streaming 96/24 as your test when you had performed your comparison of the two units this morning.
Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
No I didn't, because the Squeezebox can't handle 24Bit/96khz, it max's out at 24Bit/48Khz and I don't have any 24/48 music files.

I should also point out that I always keep the Digital Volume Control all the way up, on the Transporter and so I did the same for the Squeezebox. Both were ultimately running through an MBL 6010D Analog Preamp that controls the volume.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Audiogalore
Okay Rich fair analysis, I am curious with the thought, when I spoke to a tier 2 Logitech technical rep. they mentioned the only difference in sound would be 96/24 domain. As a Electrical Engineer, I follow your process of elimination and trust your integrity as a end user and the real world with the associated in-out circuitry that you based your test on.

Again thank you for your support on this issue.

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane
Hi Audiogalore,

I'm not surprised he said that, he's probably a support tech answering the phone (I have no idea), however even engineers who are not audiophiles like yourself, don't understand the reasons why these differences occur. I know some very bright non-audiophile engineers, that don't understand why more expensive cables and interconnects sound better then cheaper ones, and some of them can't even hear the differences.

The Transporter was specifically designed to satisfy us audiophiles, according to the original company Slim Devices which was bought out by Logitech a few years ago.

If you go to the Logitech website take a look at the specifications of each.

The only thing that I could ascertain from the Transporter specs are as follows:

Word clock input for synchronization with an external clock
Linear-regulated power for all clock paths
Dedicated high-precision crystal oscillators (no PLL, no resampling)
Standard IEC-958 (S/PDIF) or AES/EBU encoding
Optical connector: TOSLINK 660nm
RCA connector: capacitor-coupled 500mVpp into 75 ohms
BNC connector: transformer-coupled, 500mVpp into 75 ohms
XLR connector: 4.7Vpp into 110 ohms

So, if Word Clock synchronization, lower jitter, larger linear regulated power supply, higher signal to noise ratio, a 110 ohm XLR digital output, a larger and heavier chassis, and the ability to upgrade the power cable, all doesn't make a difference according to Logitech, than I'm not sure why they are charging $1600 more for the ability to use a 24Bit/96khz DAC, which I don't even like. This is all tongue and cheek of course.

I've been an audiophile for over 25 years, and I am absolutely positive of my impressions, and I actually believe that you would bet on me instead of that Logitech Technician. The simple fact that you could appreciate the weaknesses of your squeezebox, tells me that you too will also enjoy a Transporter just like I do, especially through the 110 ohm digital output.

I have some really nice gear, there is no way that I would ever have thought that I would be using a Logitech Transporter as my Digital front-end source. I'm telling you..... Faaahgetaboutit...., it wasn't even close, the Transporter destroyed the Squeezebox.

I will also tell you that as more high-end companies start focusing on Digital Streamers, then I will probably upgrade to one of those products down the line. Right now its, Linn, Soolos, Logitech, Sonos and the PS audio which isn't even available yet.

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Audiogalore
Rich you are absolutely right not because I am a Engineer certifies me an expert on the sound of ones and zeros. As matter of fact trial and error is the best test. Example and proof is your total demonstration that we all testified today and that alone is money to the bank.

I guess my dilemma is that I do not have balance inputs on my Melos 333 line pre-amp. and I know there will be some degradation taking balance out of the Transporter directly to my Power amp. I believe this month Absolute made mention of same.

We all know as we speak there are changes being made to the next generation digital and that eventually Red book CD as we know it will die. At present after numerous research on digital front end the transporter is the closest to getting it right.

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Richlane

Audiogalore Quote: "I guess my dilemma is that I do not have balance inputs on my Melos 333 line pre-amp. and I know there will be some degradation taking balance out of the Transporter directly to my Power amp. I believe this month Absolute made mention of same."

Yeah, I'm still here!

You don't have a dilemma. I believe that the Absolute Sound Article that you are referring to was talking about using the Analog Outputs of the Transporter, (either balanced analog out or unbalanced analog out) which implies that you will be using the Internal DAC of the Transporter and therefore, if you were to go directly into a power amplifier, then you would be forced to use the digital volume of the Transporter which can trump bits and cause a loss of resolution.

From what I gathered from you, this is not what you will be doing. You will be using the 75ohm SPDIF Digital Outputs of the Transporter to your external Tri-Vista DAC, then to your Melos 333 Preamp using your analog RCA Cables. So, you will be able to put the digital volume all the way up on the Transporter (so not to lose any bits of resolution) then you will be using the Analog Volume Control on your Melos Preamp. You will not be losing anything except the difference between a 110 ohm digital cable (because your DAC doesn't support this) and a 75 ohm digital cable, as well as the difference between a fully balanced Preamp/Amp setup, but you don't have that now, so you won't lose anything.

I was using a 110 ohm AES/EBU Digital Balanced Out Cable (which is a single Digital Cable) from the Transporter to my external DAC, not a Balanced XLR Analog out. The digital cable that you will be using is a single 75 ohm Digital SPDIF Cable.

Does that make sense?

Rich

Richlane  (Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Audiogalore
Thank you for the correction, I some how lost track of myself and started to thinking about the internal DAC and got ahead of myself. I really meant to to say the digital output of the transporter. Rich I have been doing this wacy hobby too long approx. 35 year it known as a "senior moment". You are correct the downside of the TRI-VISTA it as minimum inputs/outputs, oh well that is the Brits for you!
Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-30-09: Wireless200
Of metrics that can be measured, the Transporter outperforms the DAC1. For example, it has a lower noise floor.
Wireless200  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


07-28-09: Sugarspice
I own the Transporter, a ML390S, a Proceed CDP and a Weiss Medea. Firstly, please ignore the Stereophile review, I found it wholey inaccurate and overstated the analogue capabilities of the Transporter. Anyone with a "normal" hifi system I'm sure will be delighted. It is certainly a sonic match for a dedicated CD player in the same price range. As a system combune it with active speakers (eg Meridian) and you'll be impressed. The ML390S (6K) is an extremely well and accurately reviewed CD player / DAC pre. When fed via the XLR digital output from the Transporter, the ML390S DAC section reveals a greater ambient detail, a naturalness that bridges the realism barriers to that special emotional connection... The Weiss Medea (10K) via a ML XLR digital cable is an upgrade of about the same proportions albeit with the usual diminishing returns... The rest of the system is Graaf OTL's with Feastrex wide range speakers, all linked with top end Nordost, very revealing but hugely satisfying. I would avoid any mods to the digital section of the Transporter, (ala Fleebay) it already measures very well. I'd maybe conceed to the Bybee inline filters... DPAWS
Sugarspice  (Answers | This Thread)


07-29-09: Audiogalore
I have been fact finding all inputs from this thread and have purchased a transporter to replace my Squeeze box 3 as my music server source.

Okay, I have a few things to share regarding external DACs. I have tried now 3 DACs in my present setup. The Tri-Vista 21, Bel Canto DAC 3 and the Benchmark DAC 1.

The Tri- Vista 21 is the most Dynamic with the biggest sound stage.

The Bel-Canto separation and placement of the music was the most accurate.

The benchmark was analytical and thin.

The Transporter stand alone as a DAC was quite impressive and low noise the sound signature was not as warm as the Tri-Vista 21 tube DAC, but certainly a even match to the Bel Canto and certainly out performed the Benchmark.

With the proper setup Transporter and 100% fixed digital volume in order not to lose any bit resolution, a neutral to warm interconnect cables and a analog pre-amp, a pre-amp with some tubes more preferred. I found the analog output stage of the transporter pretty darn close that rivals any other sweet spot audiophile critical listening source.

Enjoy music!


Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


07-29-09: Sbank
Audiogalore, so are you saying that if I want to add a music server to my setup(that has a tube linestage, and currently a cd transport feeding a Trivista21 dac), and I am on a tight budget, that the internal dac of the Transporter will sound almost as good as with the Trivista21 as the dac?
Sbank  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


07-29-09: Richard_stacy
audiogalore-thanks much for the post. i have been very curious about how the transporters dac compared with the usual suspects, bel canto dac3, benchmark, etc. from the ears/systems of others. from what i have read, it is pretty close and just becomes a matter of synergy, preference, wires and preamps choice. between your efforts and rich's, you have given us quite a bit of information on these questions many seem to be asking. thanks again!
Richard_stacy  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


07-29-09: Swampwalker
Sbank-If your budget allows, I would sell the DAC you have and get Dan Wright to mod a transporter for you. I am now using a MusicVault server sending FLAC files wirelessly to a MW transporter; analog out to Doshi Alaap line stage/Doshi-Lectron amp to MMs. Could not be happier. NOt sure what your budget is, but MusicVault server is pretty close to plug'n'play w/o spending big bucks, plus it can be configured to back up your network. It also auto-rips your CDs; just slap one in the drive and it spits out in a couple of minutes. I also have a USB DAC/headphone amp hooked up directly to the MV; no need for a squeezebox for my office. The basic Transporter can be had for well under list; the basic MVII server is under $1650. You can then compare your external DAC to the internal AKM DAC, but the analog output stage and PS is where Dan Wright works his magic.
Swampwalker  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


07-29-09: Audiogalore
Sbank: I would not sell your Tri -vista 21 at a lost to gain the same from the Transporter.

The Tri-Vista 21 tube DAC with my ears sounds more dynamic and with a bigger sound stage than that of the transporter properly setup. That being said, there is more than merely trying to squeeze a few drops out of the issue.

For one with the Transporter you will gain a music library at your finger tips along with a vast amount of internet Radio. Plus with Hi-Res music the transporter supporting 96/24 will differently sound better than any Red book CD no matter the investment cost hands down.

On the issue about modifying the Transporter with Mod Wright, that will cost more than what you could get for your Tri- Vista 21 listed on the open market. The Tri-Vista 21 being tube and heavily designed with a digital stage and left/right analog staged power-supplies is why the thing weighs 40 lbs. and built like a tank. With a quality neutral sounding digital cable will give better return overall than to modify the transporter.

Hope this helps clarifies some of the thoughts and we all should network our experiences, as we gain more from the real world.

Cheers!

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-05-09: Sbank
Audiogalore & Swampwalker, thanks for the suggestions. Since my budget is tight, and I've already ripped AIFF files via itunes onto a pair of external drives(one as backup), I hope to just use a Squeezebox3 now as my budget is tight, feed it digitally via my Stereovox dig. cable, into the Trivista21 dac. Then down the road I can consider upgrading when budget allows. Sound reasonable?
FYI, hearing good things about the new PS Audio stuff, and saw an interesting demo of the new Ayre dac. Cheers,
Spencer

Sbank  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-06-09: Audiogalore
Hi Spencer:

I had the same setup. SB 3 with a upgraded power supply, Digital output to a Tri-Vista 21 as one digital source and it was quite good in critical listening setup in my system.

I have been using now for 2-weeks a transporter and find the comparison the same.

The transporter does native 96/24 and the SB-3 upto 48/24 and again out through the Tri-Vista 21 that will upsample to 24/96 I find listening to downloaded Hi-Res no difference between the two source.

I consider headphone listening the most accurate and detail listening experience and really testing sound reproduction.

Testing results I used a AKG K1000 which is considered the best headphone on "planet earth", connected to one of the best sounding Amp, a Cary SEI with 300B Western tubes.

IMO keep your SB 3 as your musical server source. The transporter is a great device if you need to have a DAC and in your case your Tri-Vista 21 tube DAC is better than the transporter internal DAC.

Enjoy,

Harold

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-06-09: Wslam
I use a stock Transporter. Also have a TacT 2.2XP and a EMM labs DCC2 SE (my digital stuff).
Lets just say the Transporter DAC breaks new ground imho at this price bracket. You will need to spend a LOT more to get a LITTLE better sound. It's certainly not the last word in DAC, but for the money, it's the steal of the century. (not to mention the entire SqueezeCenter platform is just fantastic... flexible + quality)

Wslam  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-13-09: Sbank
Harold,

Thanks, that's exactly what I hoped to hear. Cheers,

Spencer

Sbank  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-13-09: Audiogalore
Hi Spencer:

You are welcome, I think it is only fair that true testing of the components are measured with our experience and the best accuracy that we have available to us and then share results and fact finding among each other like yourself.

This really put us closer to the real world and help us all understand the determination and madness we audiophile geeks have for this passionate hobby.

One thing for sure we spend allot of time and money consequently trying to extract and squeeze for the reproduction of sound as intended during recording without and making it to clinical and believe you me that will certainly be tackled in a near thread to come... hint, "PWD"!

I have been doing this over 30 years and still prefer my Vinyl listening, but must say Digital has come along way, and find myself being able to listen longer with less fatigue.

Finally I must say from this thread it has shown the values and worth of the Transporter.

I personally must say thank you to Rich sharing his own experience of the Transporter.

It is an excellent investment for all the things it does with so many features and true benefits.

It is really hard to find a single component that lends so much. With the Squeeze Center interface and occasional firmware update has certainly, outside of vinyl turned my listening experience to another level, especially with 96/24 hi-res downloads.

Enjoy Music!

Harold

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-17-09: La45

Gentlemen,

I love my Transporter. It has taken a bit of work but its finally at a point I can enjoy its convenience. I chose not to mod it. IMHO its probably worthwhile but I chose to "tweek" the sound. I chose a highly shielded power cord that improved its performance and made sure its isolated with the right material, and thats critical. Purchased a power strip that has built-in AC noise conditioning. The key was adding Alan Mayer design Power Reference II on the main AC outlet along with the surprising tweek that should get the Audio steal of the century, the DIY filter.

Final analysis, its a keeper until I decide on which DAC to try. This discussion is highly appreciated and all opinions good or bad are welcome. Dynamics is never a problem with this player as much as refinement.

The sound improves as you lower the volume. I do my critical listening at 4:30am in the morning so very little AC noise, neighbor noise, TV or other incendiary distractions to chew on.

Note: Red Wine Audio Signature 30.2 Battery power supply
Grover IC SC (patented emi/rfi shield
95db efficient speaker ..So noise is not tolerated AC or otherwise.
Alan Maher design AC filtering treatments and custom design isolation for the Transporter.

Luis

La45  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-18-09: Audiogalore
Hi Luis:

In regards to the external DAC, reading your comment it seems to me that you are taking things in the right steps to the process of elimination.

Isolation and tweaking are the core and fundamental to achieve and maximize proper sound imaging.

I quote you saying that the Mod Wright is probably worthwhile. I feel it is going to definitely change your present sound signature.

The sound would become more defined with more of a warm sound and help eliminate that clinical dry digital presentation.

IMHO, why not consider a digital out external Tube DAC, such as the Tri-Vista 21 which also allow you the flexibility to switch back and forth with digital out and using the internal Transporter DAC.

This will also give an edge as to the different presentation and you can probably get one for more than half the price of a Mod.

I have this setup in my system and it sounds great, with allot of flexibility for upgrade and not sterile to just one sound.

Enjoy Music!

Harold

Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-19-09: Ophitoxaemia
i have had my transporter for about 3 weeks now. it is replacing a linn genki in my aktiv two lk-140 bi-amped ninkas linn system.

the transporter makes even the genki sound warm and fuzzy by comparison. the detail is a step up, the noise floor invisible and the clarity astonishing. high volumes are far less fatiguing than the genki, which is no slouch itself.

the only thing i am not completely used to is the sound of the treble, e.g. cymbals. it might be just so accurate my slightly aging hearing is the limiting factor.

i have been meaning to try some of the software emulation of tube components. just for fun.

one thing i am looking forward to trying is the 24bit/96khz files.

lastly, having your whole library at you fingertips (i am using ipeng on an ipod touch as a remote) is really revolutionary.

the cd player is dead.

Ophitoxaemia  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


08-19-09: Audiogalore
Hi Ophitoxaemia:

The Linn Genki was a decent sounding $ 2000.00 CD player 10 years ago and is still considered as a great player.

The Transporter has a Wang Jung re clocked processor that contributed to the lower floor noise in the DAC circuitry which helps eliminate the jitter and clock error.

That is why Dan Wright also consider the DAC as one of the best and only tackles the Analog stage for improvement.

The present voltage regulator and analog stage op amp cascade circuit is modified by Mod Wright, Dan replaces this section of the solid state analog stage, by adding the rectifier and driver analog stage tube circuit along with a beef up P/S to deliver that dynamic and warm sound which in return removes that clinical dry sound from the stock unit.

Some people might call it tube coloration.

The analog stage of the stock Transporter can be conquered by using a quality warm interconnect pair to a analog pre-amp and fixing the Transporter volume 100% and using the analog volume pot of the pre-amp tube preferred, which will take the sound to a more warm and less clinical.

Your Transporter downloading HDTrack 96/24 Hi-Res will outperform the best of the best red book CD unit.

Enjoy Music!

Harold


Audiogalore  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


04-10-10: Artmaltman
The Touch has a newer DAC, presumably a new digital design. How would it compare to a Transporter?
Art

Artmaltman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)


05-08-10: Metronet
I have not auditioned a Transporter and would very much like to compare the Balanced output to the Touch's unbalanced one.

On the other hand, to have a more fair comparison I did test out the Touch's unbalanced out with a Philips LH200 CD player unbalanced out to a Accuphase C-202 balanced out to a P-102 powering a set of Totem Staff speakers. My friend and I could not really tell a difference, in fact the Touch actually presented a bit more clarity.

Interested enough, I also compared the Touch's digital out to a Mhdt Havana DAC amp-direct to the Accuphase P-102 with -12db attenuation and it is remarkable, it sounds warm and absolutely musical (although my friend isn't really quiet used to the tube(?) sound the Havana produces).

I say the Touch is very very good.... for an unbalanced output and the AKM4420 can be compared to the DAC Philips LHH200 uses back in the old days.

Metronet  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-13-10: Mathguy
The Touch is fine, but it is no match for the Transporter, not really even close. Also, things get even better still, when using the Transporter balanced outputs...
Mathguy  (Answers | This Thread)


06-15-10: Justmember
i am pretty sure and convinced that the Transporter is very very good at the price range and maybe one of the best, but it is a 2006 product (right?), nothing wrong with that i know, but will there be a Transporter II (or something like that) out soon? any rumours yet? or, any serious competitors (similar league, similar price...) yet?

i wish Logitech brought out cut down versions of the Transporter, e.g. Transporter without the built-in DAC, or DAC without the streamer/transport, that would have been much easier decisions for many many people, me being one of them, because i can sort of try one at a time, this would be more flexible.

from what i gather from many forums (including this great forum) and reviews about the Transporter, it seems the general consensus is that the Transporter is extremely good as a digital transport (almost peerless), but the DAC, as good as it is claimed, is at best on par with the likes of Benchmark DAC1, Bel Canto DAC3 etc., and therefore one could reasonably confidently conclude that: Gee, i wish i did not buy that standalone DAC, or, another way to put it, i really want to buy it, but $2000 just to use the transport part of it? probably not...

at least that is exactly what i am contemplating at the moment. mind you, i haven't got a DAC yet, so i might still go for it.

raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-16-10: Dotsystem
When the Transporter was released, 'miracle' DAC chip maker AKM already had a better DAC chip available.

If hi-rez playback is a concern, the Transporter is limited to 24/96. There is no indication that Logitech will upgrade it or release a derivative product in the future.

Dotsystem  (Answers | This Thread)


06-16-10: Justmember
thanks for the tip Datsystem, yes, i was actually also thinking about that, i mean the 24/96 limit, but then again (1) how widely available is music with higher than 24/96? (2) i can always purchase another new transport/streamer to go with the Transporter's built-in DAC (via digital inputs?) when higher than 24/96 is supported, which i don't think there is yet. the very latest Squeezebox Touch that was only released late last year is only 24/96.....well, i guess there isn't such thing as completely future proof in this hobby, the best you could do is to get the best at the time and then enjoy it for as long as you can, and that is what i am planning to do :)

i went ahead and bought the Logitech Transporter from overseas, will report back once i have got it and once i have had a chance to try it in my system, which is ATC integrated SIA2-150 and ATC monitors SCM40's with Chord Epic Super Twin speaker cables and Monster 1000M RCA interconnects (i can only hope they are good synergy!)

cheers
raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-17-10: Aplhifi
(2) i can always purchase another new transport/streamer to go with the Transporter's built-in DAC (via digital inputs?) when higher than 24/96 is supported

Yes, but the wireless transmission in the Transporter is asynchronous so the master clock jitter the AKM DAC see is very low, unlike the S/PDIF input where the master clock comes from the digital receiver and can be 100 times more, at least.

Since I believe AKM DACs are really special (and I use them in all of my products), there is no doubt that the AK4396 DAC in the Transporter is nice (although inferior to the latest 32 bit AKM top-line DACs, IMHO!). Of course, it is all implementation, so "everything matters". And we can't really blame AKM for introducing much better 32 bit DAC solutions after the Transporter was released.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Alex Peychev
www.aplhifi.com

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-17-10: Justmember
Thanks Alex!

So are you suggesting that I should use the wireless on the Transporter if and when possible and it's always better than other types of connections?

Cheers
Raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-18-10: Aplhifi
Hi Raymond,

Yes, that is correct; the clock jitter coming from the S/PDIF receiver (all digital inputs) is very high compared to the low jitter clocks used for the wireless.

IMO, this is the major reason why many prefer audio stream from their computer/server against a CD transport. Of course, IMO again, a CD transport can sound better than computer audio, but that is another story. :-)

Best,
Alex Peychev

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-18-10: Justmember
hmmmm, thanks again Alex! learning something new every day in this amazing hobby...i haven't got a cd transport and will probably not get one (it's dying anyway in my humble opinion, at least not as essential as before), so i guess i should be happy with my Logitech Transporter and computer.
Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-18-10: Chesebert
The low-jitter attribute of wireless also applies to regular wired connection. Many actually prefer wired over wireless because of the reduction in emi/emf from turning off the radio antenna/receiver in TP.
Chesebert  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


06-18-10: Justmember
yes chesebert, i was going ask that, i have no problem using wired, well, of course wireless is always attractive because it is convenient, but i guesss i would overcome the "inconvenience" to gain performance.

thanks
raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-19-10: Aplhifi
Sure, wireless or wired with LAN cable, the clock jitter remains very low. Of course, you can experiment and see if you hear a difference between the two.

Best,
Alex Peychev

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-19-10: Justmember
i doubt i would be able to hear the difference though, i mean between wireless and wired.

i know the Transporter doesn't have USB, but how would USB compare to network or S/PDIF performance wise? as high end as the Transporter is, it's a shame Logitech/Slim Devices forgot to include something as simple as an USB, which even a dirt cheap transport/streamer would have one these days.

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-20-10: Mathguy
I believe a USB solution would still ultimately involve an S/PDIF conversion operation - and thus there would be no reason to use USB with a Transporter. A main feature of these SlimDevices units is to avoid any such S/PDIF conversions - the network connection avoids S/PDIF and gives an optimum connection medium.

Also, regarding whether there are "better" AKM dac chips available, keep in mind that Sean Adams (designer of the Transporter) implemented the chosen AKM dac chip in a very optimized way. Here's a quote-snip from him:

Sean Adams: "However, in the case of Transporter there is a very large improvement over the manufacturer's specs because we are using the chip in a far more advanced design than AKM's evaluation board. For the THD+N figures this is especially due to the jung regs and the selection of certain passives in the amps/filters. The clocks are very important too, but this isn't meaningfully reflected in THD+N tests."

Mathguy  (Answers | This Thread)


06-20-10: Aplhifi
I've been evaluating the Hiface USB to S/PDIF from M2Tech. With my asynchronous DAC, the Hiface considerably outperforms my Transporter (both upgraded or stock). The Hiface was connected to my Sony VGN-SZxxx Sony Laptop streaming wirelessly audio files from the same server used by the Transporter. Player is Foobar with KS plug-in.

As for the DAC/Analog stage of the Transporter, it is the same as in the AK4396 datasheet recommended circuit for balanced + single ended output (page 35, fig 17). As you can see, there are coupling capacitors at the DAC outputs and NJM5534D Op Amps.

"However, in the case of Transporter there is a very large improvement over the manufacturer's specs because we are using the chip in a far more advanced design than AKM's evaluation board."

I think I'll point AKMs attention to this statement. :-)

Best,

Alex Peychev
www.aplhifi.com

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-20-10: Justmember
Alex, your Hiface/DAC outperforms the Transporter, maybe because your DAC is simply better but not because Hiface USB-S/PDIF is better than network?

Fiface is more a convenience device instead of an enhancement, right? if i stream wirelessly (or via ethernet) from my laptop to the Transporter, then i don't think using an USB-S/PDIF would improve over network, right?

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-21-10: Aplhifi
Raymond, I am evaluating Transporter and Hiface as "digital transports" with my DAC using S/PDIF connection (I am not interested in the Transporter DAC/Analog section). So, I wouldn't say that Hiface is just a convenience and, unlike Transporter, it is 192KHz/24bit capable.

Best,
Alex Peychev

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-21-10: Justmember
Alex, i see...

I know the Transporter is only capable of 24/96 natively, will it make it 24/192 by simply adding a Hiface interface? i mean, ultimately you will need to use the Transporter's digital out to go into your DAC, is that digital out 24/192 or 24/96? i am interested in your experiment, let us know your findings please :).

best regards
raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-22-10: Aplhifi
Raymond, the Transporter is limited to 96K so adding Hiface will not help. Even when used as a digital source to an external DAC, the Transporter still can't do more than 96K. Of course, the newer Slim Servers make possible the playback of audio files with higher resolution, but these are being down-sampled to the 96K limit.

What you can do is experiment with a Hiface plugged to your laptop, feeding the Transporter digital input. In this case you will have 192/24 capability. But as I previously mentioned, the clock quality will be greatly decreased because it will come from the digital input receiver that uses PLL for the clock recovery. In other words, you will not be able to hear the full capabilities of the Hiface.

I will let you know about my findings once I complete the evaluation but, so far, at equal playing fields, I strongly prefer the Hiface. In fact, I like it so much that I will be using M2Tech USB interfaces in my digital products.

Best,
Alex Peychev
www.aplhifi.com

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-22-10: Justmember
Thanks Alex!

Sorry but I am still confused at one thing.

You mentioned:

"the Transporter is limited to 96K so adding Hiface will not help. Even when used as a digital source to an external DAC, the Transporter still can't do more than 96K."

But then you also mentioned:

"What you can do is experiment with a Hiface plugged to your laptop, feeding the Transporter digital input. In this case you will have 192/24 capability."

What is point of feeding the Transporter with 192/24 if the Transporter is only capable of 96/24? I think I might be missing something here.

Regards
Raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


06-23-10: Aplhifi
I am sorry for the confusion, Raymond!

When used as a network player (wi-fi or LAN), the Transporter is limited to 96/24. This is due the processor they are using, I would guess.

When used as a DAC with its digital inputs, the Transporter can do 192/24 because the DIR (Digital Interface Receiver) and the DAC chips (both made by AKM), are capable of this resolution.

Best,
Alex Peychev
www.aplhifi.com

Aplhifi  (System | Answers | This Thread)


06-23-10: Justmember
beautiful! that makes sense, thanks Alex! you see, i am just a beginner here :)

regards
raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


07-03-10: Justmember
got my Transporter last week, have been testing it with my Denon AVR 4810 and some cheap speakers while waiting for delivery of my ATC SIA2-150 integrated amp (to go with the ATC SCM40's floor standers), so i guess i can't really comment much yet except to say that so far i found the TP built-in DAC no different to the Denon built-in DAC's when playing 2-ch music (i was hoping an improvement), but then again i am only using a dirt cheap dvd player as transport (one of those $50 chinese no name ones), so maybe no point concluding on anything yet...

however, i have a problem, the knob in the middle does not always respond to "click" (push) - it's intermittent, sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, does anyone know why??

thanks in advance!

cheers
raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


07-14-10: Justmember
anyone?
Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)


07-15-10: Nwavesailor
You might try gently pulling the control knob 'out' just a bit to gain a touch more clearance. This will allow a bit more movement and you may see an improvement in this selector switch when pushing in the control knob.
Nwavesailor  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


07-17-10: Justmember
thanks Nwavesailor! it seems to improve a bit by doing that, but still now 100%....maybe something is not quite right with knob, i will have to live with it i guess, and use the remote instead most of time.

cheers
raymond

Justmember  (Answers | This Thread)



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