Attention: Squeezebox Users
I will keep this short and to the point:
If you want to maximize your Squeezebox potential as a transport over s/pdif, and/or want to solidify the analog rca connections read on:
1)Remove your Squeeze from the rig, place face down on a soft something.
2)Beg, borrow, buy, or steal a Torx T-10 driver.
3)Remove the two screws holding the front cover to the back cover.
4)Turn over, take off front cover.
5)Remove 4 Torx screws holding the PCB's to the back housing.
6)Carefully pull the PCB assembly up and out.
7)Beg, borrow, buy, or steal a GOOD 50-100 watt iron. I used an ancient weller dual 100 (inductive heating).
8)Locate the s/pdif rca on the rear.
9)Using the best silver solder you can find (resist selling it for $), hold the iron tip to the rca body adjacent to the bracket that 'secures' it. Don't use too much. Just get a nice flow, don't hold it on too long, no more than a few seconds ought to do. Make sure you don't melt the plastic, of course. Don't goob it all up thinking that if a little is good more is better. It isn't.
10) Repeat the same for the left and right channel rca jacks.
11)Inspect to make sure you did not get solder where it should not be or otherwise foul things up.
12) Reassemble. Whole operation takes less than 30 minutes.
13) If you have a good dac, DAC1, bel canto dac3, etc....and your using sb3 as transport over s/pdif prepare to be amazed. No joke.
Why would this do anything positive you ask?
Over time the cheap-as-dirt (no offense to Slim devices, I realize the BOM costs had to be optimized to be able to sell the thing for $299) rca connectors lose their grip to the ground connection of the PCB. How? Well it's inherent to the design of the cheap rca's. The barrel ground shield is not continuous cast to the frame, which IS soldered to the PCB pads. The barrel, after repeated audiophile connection mate/demate frequency (meaning some huge number per month) will losen considerbaly from the frame. bad enough. Worse is vibration when playing music. This makes for poor grounding (signal return). It's especially nasty on the s/pdif. I suspect I had been plagued by this issue for at least a year.
The other day I was wondering why the DAC1 HDR did not sound as good as redbook via oppo. I was looking around in the back, happened to bump the s/pdif cable and noticed the 'locked' led pulse (meaning not locked). This led me to the frightful discovery that the ground connection was hosed.
Even if brand new this RCA connector style is a real POS and has no place in high end audio (sorry). If you do the soldering right you basically have a real ground path that is not subject to vibration and loss.
The improvement is vast. The major improvement is in the lower frequencies. I mean drastic improvement. For instance, the bass drums in Mark Knoplfer's Shangri La " Pay to play" had a depth of impact I never had before. I swear I could actually "see" the drum kit. I suspect my ground was pretty poor, hence the dramatic improvement. Everything else is also improved significantly, ambiance, decay, detail... suddenly making me realize, this is what it's all about.
I'm not one for gushing these days, but this is a simple, cheap and effective way to boost your SB3 performance right now! It was such a dramatic improvement that I had to report my findings. Time to drink some Jack's Pumpkin Ale and watch Soprano's on dvd (major catch up).