Transporter owner here,
I am a bit biased I guess but I think this thing is the next best thing to sliced bread. I have zero regrets with purchasing mine despite a few quirks here and there. This is of course assuming that its being used as a, well, Transport.
IMO, I don't think using it as a Premp to feed an amp directly is a viable option despite it having all the connections and volume control to do so. Reason being, unless you have the volume fixed to 100% you aren't getting full output from the device and will suffer from reduced dynamic range.
I think the device shines when used in the two scenarios listed below:
Use it as a Transport that feeds another DAC/PRE (ie..Benchmark,BelCanto.. Etc)
Use it as a Transport/DAC feeding a standard Preamp
I know its been out for a few years but I find it curious that Logitech is doing away with a product that seems to be ahead of it's time and unique. Either they have something newer and perhaps better coming or the bean-counters are saying that high-end niche products do not help the stock price.
If I cant use it as a preamp then I would just use it as a Transport/DAC as you suggest. But now I'm back to wondering if I should'nt just put a DAC on my Sonos unit.
Buy the Squeezebox Touch and use a quality Dac.
As Ozzy says, is the Transporter any better than a Squeezebox Touch with, say, a Wyred4Sound DAC? Any thoughts on comparisions? I'm currently using the W4S with a SB3.
Good question Ncarv. My original post question was supposed to be: Is the Transporter old news?
Can I get better sound than the Transport with a $1500 budget by purchasing a newer DAC like the W4S and connect to my Sonos? Is the squeezebox a better wifi head end than my Sonos? AND..is there a solution that would eliminate my pre amp? that would allow my budget to increase as well.
A lot of questions I know! HELP!
Consider going ALL OUT and getting a Modwright modified Transporter. This mod adds tubes to the signal to give it that tube magic and raises the bar substantially. You can find them used fairly easily here on audiogon. Check out this review from 6Moons: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/modwright3/transporter.html
I almost did but it was a little out of my $$ range and I've never had tubes so I was a little apprehensive. Would'nt a tube DAC give you the same effect?
Vincent, all things being equal (whatever that is!), the Wired4Sound DAC has volume controls and can connect directly to your amp without a preamp . . . in fact, that is the way it supposedly sounds best. I have not tried it yet as I am in the process of reconfiguring my system, have a couple of things out for repair, and need to first get things positioned right to try it.
In the meantime, it seems the issue is how the DAC in the Transporter compares to an outboard DAC and whether there are any other differences the Transporter offers over the Squeezebox and an outboard DAC.
Thanks Ncarv, The fact that the W4S DAC can (and should?) work without a preamp is pretty huge. Since I only have digital sources in my set up that would work. Also, I have always beleived that the fewer intermediate steps (and D/A and A/D conversion) done the better.
Any feedback from people using the W4S DAC without a pre?
Any other preampless (?) options?
Based on my own experience and past research I think the transporter has certain features that allow it to potentialy offer better SQ then the less fancy alternatives previously mentioned such as the SB3/Touch and Sonoos
For me, the fact that the Transporter came with balanced and AES/EBU outputs was a huge plus over the other options at the time. I also believe it offers superior wireless streaming performance, especially with high Rez files. I think it has a faster processor and more ram then the other SB devices to help reduce dropouts (which I have never experienced anyway). This doesn't really matter to me much though as I have since moved to hard wired because I feel it sounds better in my system.
I run my SBT into a BelCanto DAC3 via AES/EBU then I feed my amp directly from the XLR Balanced outputs of the BelCanto. I have no complaints and feel no need to upgrade at this point.
If I had to do it over again I would purchase the new Bryston media player and feed it to my BelCanto or similar DAC/PRE and call it a day
Thanks Eniac. A Bryston BDP-1/BDA-1/Bel Canto combo fed by a SB would be a great set up. I use a Bryston amp already. I do need the wireless capability for my situation though.
Do you prefer the sound of the Bel Canto DAC over that of the Transporter or do you need the DAC3 as a preamp?
In response to "Vincent" post I have actually never used the DAC that comes with the Transporter in my system. I use the BelCanto DAC3 exclusively for its DAC/Pre capabilities.
I have a Transporter (as well as 3 Duet's) and the Transporter is a great piece of kit. There is still nothing that does what it can years after its release.
First, it's more versatile than other solutions because it has more inputs. With the streamer to DAC route you are already using up one digital input for streamed music. The Transporter converts the music internally, so you still have all the digital inputs to use for other devices such as PVR and DVD player.
It has both balanced and single ended outputs which not all other DAC's have.
The volume control is digital attenuation, which I'm pretty sure is the same method that W4S uses. The single ended outputs of the Transporter have jumpers that can be set though to match your power amp if you do want to use it as a pre-amp. The jumpers don't affect the balanced outs.
Another good thing about the Transporter is it's resolution. Stereophile measured almost 20 bits of resolution, which is still pretty much state of the art performance, so you can attenuate its output quite a bit before it becomes audible. It's other measurements are also superb.
You can also control the Transporter with either wi-fi or IR. You can control it with your smartphone, the supplied remote, your computer/iPad or your learning remote. I have it programmed into my Harmony One so that when I choose an activity the Transporter automatically selects the right input for the desired activity.
It also reduces the box and cable count by combining the transport and DAC into one, and the display is a nice bonus that no other DAC can match.
If that wasn't enough, it also sounds pretty good too.
Thanks for the feedback on the Transporter, you make a strong case. I would be looking at an 'SE' version which removed the front knob and the TransNav control from the front. I'd rather have the old version but functionally they are the same.
It is interesting how quickly digital music technology is evolving. I just want to be sure that I really like what I buy because it will be obsolete VERY quickly.
How do I connect my Transporter (which I love) to my Ayre QB9?
Don't know if you are still looking, but the logitech website is showing the transporter se right now at $1299 instead of the normal $1499. Plus, it appears that they have some trade up program where you can give them an old piece of logitech kit and get 20% off. I don't know if that works with a "sale" price, but if it did, that would drop the transporter SE down to a little over $1K.
Its nice to know that the transporter offer more options. More importantly to me though, is the difference in sound.
Is there anyone out there who has both the duet and the transporter who can tell me from their personal experience with standard redbook CD sources streaming from a computer, how the sound from the digital out from the Logitech Transporter compare to the Squeezebox Duet?