i couldn't tell the difference between my squeezebox 3 and shigaraki transport, both feeding a shigaraki dac. just my ears in my system. ymmv.
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I have a Redwine Audio modded sb2 that runs off a 12 volt scooter battery.I have had many cd players at prices up to 2000 and will choose the sb2 every time. Add the convenience of operation and you realize the CD will be an extinct medium very soon and record companies as we know them will cease to exist
I have a SB3 that runs its digital out into a Lavry DA-10 DAC. I've got no urge to change to anything else. I sold my CD player a couple of years ago and haven't looked back.
I've also got a Duet in a second system that runs analog out to the amp. While it is not up to the external DAC, for the money it is very good - easily the equal of CD players several multiples the cost of the Duet IMO.
Just do it. You'll thank yourself. I'll wager here and now, that you will literally be thrilled and as excited about music and your system, as you have ever been. To experience a really good music server for the first time is about as cool as it gets in this hobby. Don't think in terms of sonic gain; think in terms of a whole new experience. Being able to sit in your chair and access your (entire) music library without ever having to get up is simply incredible. To do this with no loss in sonic quality makes it no less than amazing.
The Duet is so affordable it's a no-brainer. It's a great place to start. Once you understand the whole concept (it will revitalize your music hobby) you can decide if you want to spend some bigger bucks on a high-end server. There's no reason to give up your current transport either. Just include the Duet in your system and see if you can discern any differences.
Youll have fun.
Let us know
I run an SB3 to a Benchmark Dac1 with both optical and via silver IC's. I have slso used various transports, some cheap, so not so cheap, feeding the DAC1 and have to agree with all above, it's not worth using a transport and having to change CD's vice sitting and using a remote to cue up album after album.
I also, to my ears, am unable to hear a difference from SB3 to DAC1 on either IC's or optical feed. Someone else might hear it, but my wife and I don't/can't.
The ease and convenience of using a music server just gains you much more listening time, versus changing CD's. Of course I still mess with vinyl, so I get my share of time changing, cleaning, etc, etc.
I have the Squeezebox Duet and run a coaxial out into one digital input on my Cambridge 840C. Since the CD player is also the DAC, it's not surprising I don't notice a difference.
The server runs on an Ubuntu box in a quiet Antec case in my loft, which is also where the wireless router is, but the Logitech software will also run on a NAS.
I'm very impressed with what Logitech has done with this system, particularly the number of third-party plugins available. I use the Custom Browse and Custom Scan plugins to make it easy to browse my classical music files.
The downside is the time needed to rip CDs and retag files. I use abcde to rip CDs, and I wrote my own program to handle the custom tags for classical music.
It all comes down to the quality of the DAC after the duet. The Altmann DAC with the Duet beats any transport I have tried in my system including a Meridian transport, a modified Denon and a modified Oppo. Plus you can't beat the convenience of controlling your entire collection from the remote. Using a power supply like CIAudio instead of the wallwart that comes with the Duet with the Duet improves the sound.
I've done both. My experience is that as long as you have a good wireless connection there is no difference in sound quality between the two connection types.
Some people do have wireless difficulties due to competing networks or other interference issues. In that case a wired connection would be preferred.
I was using a SB3 to a Benchmark DAC1 with PCX XLR mod. Then it was replaced with a ModWright Transporter in order to play 24/96 files.
Recently I bought a Duet to control the Transporter and a Logitech Boom to replace my analog boom box.
I run everything wireless ... Squeezebox server on my laptops and music ripped to an external USB drive.
I compared to several transports and can't hear any differences.
FWIW, to watch BluRay and SACD, I bought a ModWright Oppo BDP83 with the XLR mod. The Transporter has a wireless bridge where the Oppo uses for internet connection.
Gotta love technology!!
I'm a bit of squeezebox junkie. I have a duet, sb3, touch and boom, all running wirelessly. They sound great. I would recommend getting the new Touch over the Duet. My Duet has been the least reliable of all of the devices in terms of connectivity, etc. Plus the Touch has more features and flexibility.