Logitech Touch--AFAIK, the newest of the three, GUI on unit, simplest remote, coax, optical, and USB outs.
The USB is an input but can be patched to be an output.
Will I need a Wi-Fi router to use the remotes?
Ability to handle 24/96, 24/192, DSD, etc.?
Touch will play up to 24/96 via analog and output up to 24/192 via digital.
Squeezebox is more flexible with hirez support, Sonos is more elegant and simpler to use.
I recommend the Touch because of the 24/96 playback capability and the fact that you can apply the money you save over the Sonos to a nice outboard DAC that will really make the Touch "sing."
I used a Duet in conjunction with several DACs and enjoyed excellent playback fidelity and user-convenience for more than a year. A decent DAC however (with either the Logitech or the Sonos) is necessary. Thats why I would go with the cost-savings of the Touch. As stated however, the Sonos will provide you with a more user-friendly interface.
If you've iPad then I'd strongly recommend using either iPeng or SqueezePad (to name 2) as the Squeezebox system remote. It is distinctly superior to using the Duet.
I'd recommend coax over optical
Hey John. I am in the FW area and have a Squeezebox Duet setup in two systems if you'd like to take a look and listen. It doesn't do hi res but you can hear how good it sounds with ripped rebook CDs. I may go touch for my main rig so I can do hi res. PM me if you want.
Sonos ZP90 doesn't support 24/96? I was going to try Sonos w/ DAC (SPDIF COAX). I only play Red Book CD's ripped in Apple Lossless.
Over the course of the last couple of weeks I've spent a lot of time trying to understand PC audio and how one can make it sound good.
A few points to consider:
Most people spend a lot of time trying to figure out the hardware end of it without realizing the software end of things. iTunes as I've just discovered isn't the best solution for good digital playback. iTunes uses a filtering process that doesn't ensure you get bit perfect audio through any transmission to your DAC (Toslink, Coaxial, USB or otherwise). If you're on a PC look for third software to rip, organize and most important to play back your music. J Rivers Media is a good place to start. For MAC users I'd suggest Amarra, PureMusic or AudioNirvana (free too boot).
There is debate about Optical and Coaxial. Most hardware engineers still suggest Coaxial as Optical will introduce more jitter (and with PC audio jitter is introduced more frequently because of all the processes involved in transmission). 1.5 meter Coaxial or if you must use Optical a glass fiber based solution from the likes of Wireworld or Van Den Hul.
Lastly, from everything I've gathered the Squeezebox units output the least jitter and have the ability to use digital coaxial, which is the best possible 'wireless' streaming out there however I've used the Squeezebox units and wasn't overly impressed with it's interface. Having said that I didn't use an iTouch for control.
From all I've read the best possible computer solution seems to be a Mac Book Pro (or Mac Mini if you care to settle) running Pure Music or Amarra using a glass toslink adapter with all files ripped in AIFF connected to an established low jitter DAC. This setup would allow for iPhone/iTouch control and the Mac Mini is small enough that wireless transmission is all but un-needed.
For more information I'd recommend visiting Computer Audiophile.com as there is a great deal of stuff going on there and people are really trying out new ideas and reporting successes and failures.
I can only say that I use the Logitech Squeeze Box Touch with router and Tosiba laptop with external drive. No issues with dropouts and I am using the Squeezebox Touches
internal DAC. It sounds better than my 5000$ McIntosh CD player. Get the Touch---Value plus
I have read that Pure Music, etc, doesn't have any control over 'streaming' wireless music quality when directed to a remote processor like the Squeezebox etc.
Other than that, the Squeezebox Touch is an endless source of enjoyment.
Squeezebox touch's internal DAC sounds better than a Mac CDP? Gotta file that under things I've learned in 2011.
Several people I know have Squeezeboxes, a few different versions. They pretty much all experience dropouts and/or severe lag.
Sonos sets up their own network, thereby reducing a lot of this. I've heard the next generation Sonos stuff will play high-res.
Not holding my breath for high-res capability though. Very little stuff is available in high-res, let alone true high-res. Of the stuff that's true high-res, hardly any of it is music that I want to hear anyway.
I use a touch feeding an Eastern Electric tubed dac through a stereolabs reference coax digital interconnect.I have zero dropouts via streaming from my puter in the other room and thats with 24/96 material as well.Blows away my previous Cambridge 840 cd player.Not so much with the Touch"s internal dac but with the EE dac using Telefunkin nos tube just amazing sound coming out of this combo!Only complaint is the Squeezesever interface...Have had many problems scanning very large library and spent many an hour with tech support...but its worth it..will never go back to spinning cd"s again.
I've had ZERO dropouts or lag using the Touch.
I too have ZERO lag or ZERo dropouts and I use a wireless router in the adjoining room
I'd recommend SBT after being completely disappointed with Sonos ZP90/ZB combo. You need either your computer (music files) or NAS connected to wireless router (connected to DSL/Cable modem). And you may need an additional ZB (Sonos enjoys pushing this). You can't connect NAS directly to ZP90/ZB, but supposedly you can wire ZP90 to computer, although this didn't work for me. In the end the Sonos is over priced to me for what you get compared to SBT. You can use wireless, wired or USB with SBT. I had "rebuffering" issues with mine and ultimately returned it. Would have been fine with ethernet or USB drive but I didn't care for the interface/GUI (wouldn't show all album artwork either).
SBT when it's working is just a wonderful device. I'm using it's own analog out (undecided re what external DAC to use) and it sounds great. BUT- when there's trouble logitech support won't give "official" network/NAS advice; the effectiveness of their support is very dependent on the tech assigned to your case. In my case, my troubles were compounded by having a mixed windows/apple/Time Capsule/Netgear setup. It finally was sorted out (apple tech support being the most helpful). Seems that the money saved on the hardware is offset by the time spent debugging their software-particularly their network server. My advise is to avoid mixing OS and network devices and if there are problems cut your losses on the nonhelpful tech and try later- hopefully the next tech is more helpful.
Thanks again to the forum for all your opinions. Right now, though, no one system seems to have it all (hi-res support, easy-to-use GUI, true plug-n-play hardware compatibility, etc., etc.). So I'll wait this one out a bit more, and just keep ripping my CD's with iTunes in ALAC.
But I've also been considering an Olive O2, which costs significantly more than Sonos or SBT, but is still affordable, and which can also address a dedicated [Olive] music server. It can address music on a HDD on a PC, Mac, or NAS as well.
Music storage apart from a computer or a NAS certainly does have its advantages. For instance, power supplies, connectivity, and user interfaces can be optimized for hi-fi use rather than for computer use.
Also, it seems that Olive have really applied themselves to the issue of metadata parsing (a big bugger with iTunes, particularly with classical music, which has been criticized ad infinitum in the buff mags and blogs). I mean, Mozart WAS definitely an artist, but I think I'm looking for the performers who recorded [any particular example of] Mozart's music when I search!!
Anyway, I can get an O2 to use on my main system, addressing music files on my network, and transfer those files to an O3 server when the time comes. The O3 lacks digital outs AFAIK, but I'm sure it'd do quite well as a music and CD player in my second system as it is.
As well, it's the only Olive server that I can currently afford, but in its current configuration, its storage capacity at 500GB is a little light. According to my calculations, my current CD collection, when completely ripped, will easily exceed that number, and that's exclusively Red-Book-to-ALAC. HD audio is a real byte-eater which can easily triple my storage requirements as more music becomes available on better-than-CD downloads.
Right now, though, I have few HD files, as my primary digital source is iTunes on a Mac (G4), addressing my music files on a PC. But, at the suggestion of many of y'all, I'll try one of the iTunes plugins that have been reviewed favorably here and elsewhere, and continue to wait a little longer.
You can use a standard web browser even on handheld mobile devices to control the Touch as well as the remote that comes with it and the installable controller programs for Ipod, Android, etc.
The newer Logitech devices are very flexible, reliable and easy to use I find.
I use a Touch and A SqueezeRadio and love both. Will likely add more down the road.
Pandora works and sounds great also. HAven't tried the other installable apps yet but there seems to be quite a few + more coming regularly.
My only issue is that Logitech devices do not seem to display composer information, at least by default.
I've used all that you have listed as your options. Here's some of my opinions.
First, I like the duet controller the best. Just awesome. And it can control the touch and transporter, if you want different zones etc. The cr sonos controller just didn't do it for me. I also have the iPad app for the SB duet, and I still prefer the duet controller? Plus it has headphones out on it just in case.
The duet doesn't do hi res, the touch and transporter, and sonos do. I bought the duet because it doesn't. I am using it with an older dac that only does redbook res. But it does it really well!
For hi res stuff, my computer, a PC, has a spdif out, and I run it to my main dac, or to a pop pulse wireless USB transmitter, and they both do a phenomenal job. Though wireless has it's issues. I use either the SB server or jrriver. And the iPad can control all with either the SB app or splash top. You can get it going really easily, without spending a lot of money, just look at the software, the controllers,and hardware in that order. See what you can live with. Good luck!