Make Internet Radio Sound "Better"?


Apart from the dac one chooses to use, are there any tweaks to make Internet Radio sound "better"? Or are you limited by your Internet connection?
Marcober
marcober
If you are using a squeezebox, Bolder Cables does a mod for the digital output or analog outputs or both. Also choose a good digital cable if using an external DAC. You might also want to investigate upgraded power supplies for the squeezebox and software mods alluded to in the Audiocircle forums.
I am using a Squeezebox Transporter with a Cary Xciter dac and very good quality cables. But I want MORE!
Listen to good quality stations like radio paradise or WWOZ and get the right DAC.

Define "more". Sound quality of the better sources should be hard to distinguish from CD quality at least with most types of music.
The limitation isn't usually your Internet connection or the equipment you have to reproduce the signal once you receive it, it's the resolution of the digital stream that's being sent, and that's not something you can do anything about.

Most Internet radio stations provide a 128 kbps signal, at best, which is about the same as the lowest quality mp3 file you're likely to encounter. A good DAC and other downstream equipment will make the best of that signal but that's more a matter of doing no harm than improving the low resolution source.

But, even with that limitation, Internet radio is a terrific way to discover new music, along with Pandora, Mog, Spotify and other online resources.
decent internet radio will likely outperform most any fm radio in a pure tech
ical sense. whether you like it or not is another story.
Check out this link for stations that braodcast in 192 kbps or better:

http://192kbps.internet-radio-guide.net/

Using the new Stello U3 to run this into my DAC with good results.
If you look at Shoutcast, you can search by bit rate. I limited my search to the highest option, 360(?) kbps. While this is not itself a guaranty of better sound, it does narrow the field a bit. Some of those stations sound really good, IME.
The question could better be articulated as: how can the signal itself be enhanced apart from playing it through every dac on the market?
Marcober
Chain of command:

The source: Not much you can do there. GIGO or "it is what it is". Find your best source.

The DAC: You're not asking about that.

Cables: Well, there's the digital from the DAC and the ic's from the DAC to the pre. Maybe you could squeeze out a little more enjoyment there.

The END: Room, speakers, amp/pre. I had "enhanced success" yesterday when I changed "just" a digital cable. I have a couple systems. I enjoyed my Maggie/ss a little more, then last night I fired up my SET system and it sounded a little better also.

Done squeezing for awhile.
Look for stations with a higher bit rate, it will sound better. IMO.
I have heard 64 kbs stations (and less) sound really good (as good or better than good FM though different) and 128kbs stations sound so so.

So the stream rate is a good indicator of potential but not always a good indicator of actual results.
Based on your advice I purchased a Stello 3 however the Squeezebox Transporter does NOT have a USB output to go into the Stello. Does this mean I wasted my money based on your advice or am I incorrect?
Marcober
"Based on your advice I purchased a Stello 3 however the Squeezebox Transporter does NOT have a USB output to go into the Stello. Does this mean I wasted my money based on your advice or am I incorrect?"

That device looks like it is designed to go from computer USB to DAC.

If your device (Transporter) does not have a USB output, I think you are out of luck.

My recommendation would be always check device interfaces for compatibility, especially in the computer audio world BEFORE BUYING else these kinds of things are quite likely to happen.

These things happen along the way sometimes. Its a learning process. I'm sure many of us have made similar mistakes.

A vendor satisfaction guaranteed or return policy of some sort is always good insurance, especially if a major investment is involved.
You are the one who recommended the Stello.
I clearly stated that I was using a Transporter. You should be more careful before handing out advice. People think you know.
Marcober
"You are the one who recommended the Stello."

me? Really? I plead innocent.

I think you are mistaken. Check the posts. Cdente mentioned it from what I can tell. I never heard of the gadget until I checked in response to your inquiry regarding if it will work after you apparently bought it.
10-27-11: Marcober
You are the one who recommended the Stello.
I clearly stated that I was using a Transporter. You should be more careful before handing out advice. People think you know.
Marcober


That's what you get for taking the advice of a bunch of nuts on an audio forum!!!!
marcorber, i can't see where anyone told you to buy a stello 3--one member (not the one that you're apparently screaming at) merely mentioned he was using one to listen to 192kbps stations. in any event, if you're transporter doesn't have a usb output, maybe you can use a usb to toslink adapter (such as behringer ufo2020, which costs around $25) to connect. but check it out for yourself--i don't want to be yelled at either.
Adapters might be an inexpensive solution but are usually workarounds and not optimal. Try it and see. No guarantees.

I have thick skin ( I hope) so you can yell at me if you want, but always a good idea to at least make sure you are yelling at the right person.

Strike 1: bought incompatible device because someone apparently mentioned it (not me)

Strike 2: unless other communication occurred outside this thread, it appears that the mere mention was taken as a recommendation. An honest mistake maybe, but still strike 2.

Strike 3: yelling at someone for recommending it who did not even mention it prior

Technically your out already, but to hell with the rules. You only live once....

Marcober, seriously, you are on a bad roll in regards to making mistakes, so please be careful driving and crossing the street. An audio gadget not working should be the worse thing that happens to you!