Network digital players--any good?

OK, the Squeezebox is seemingly passe so looking at other options for the wife to stream stuff off Pandora, her Ipad and probably for me off the PC. Also, currently using an old Preamp and running the ST through my Cambridge Audio CDP DAC. So, it coudl be time for a preamp, DAC and streamer OR all 3 rolled into one...which seems to be a growing thing. SO, anyone got input on this...familiar with the current stock. I found both a Marantz unit and a Musical Fidelity CLIC1 for sale at Music Direct and Audio Advisor. Probably more mid-fi? I am kind of out of my knowledge base looking at this stuff. I see much higher priced unis from Bryston etc but I am looking more around $1000. IS any of this stuff worth looking at?

Showing 1 response by audioengr

I have a lot of experience with many of these. I think you are better off to keep the Touch and just improve the jitter from it. Buying a combination product usually involves compromises, particularly to what counts most, the jitter.

The jitter of the SB Touch can be reduced by adding:

Synchro-Mesh reclocker
Dynamo power supply
BNC-BNC cable with RCA adapters

This combo is $1548.00, all with 30-day money-back less shipping.

What is important here is to know that the jitter is the #1 issue with digital, so don't take a step backwards in this regard. Put your money where it makes the biggest difference, and that is not the DAC. After you have this reclocking solution it does not matter whether your source is a Touch, Sonos or a $50 DVD player from Walmart. They will all sound great.

The DAC is certainly important too, but it is much more expensive to get a significant increase in performance here compared to lowering the source jitter.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio