SB Duet Sound Quality Improvement?


Recently set up the duet. Originally went rca and found the s/q acceptable but not close to my cd player. Switched to digital optical and the sound opened up. Image front to back and side to side became stable and well spaced, bass had the presence that I am accustomed to and the mids sounded very good. Only downside noticed so far are the highs. There is an etched grating quality that I want to tame and I feel that there is more to be had. Many seem to think the squeezebox is capable of replacing high end cd players given the right approach.
Current system:
sb receiver to Lite Dac Ah to B&K Reference 20 to Bryston 3bst to Gallo 3.1.
I'm thinking about a tubed dac or linear power supply to tame the highs and possibly round out the other areas. Which would be the best starting point?
Have just begun looking at tubed dac's and the paradisea seems to get very good reviews but I am open to suggestions. Price range will be less than $700.00 and used is fine.
Thanks
Steve
scoly1
The problem is jitter. The way to solve it is to reclock the digital output, or completely redo the digital output stage, upgrade the power supply and replace the clock.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I don't believe a Squeezebox can replace a high end CD player without expensive modifications, which frankly negate the inexpensive simplicity of the device, IMO.
Tvad
May have overstated when I said "high end" though I have seen those claims. I will never have high end but would like to approach.
Audioengr
So an upgaded power supply may be the better first step? Then look into the digital output upgrade?
Thanks
Steve
Scoly1 - the upgraded power supply will make an incremental improvement. Not sure if its worth the effort or money though. There are very few modders that can do the digital output and clock upgrade well. I dont do it myself.

Steve N.
www.boldercables.com

Wayne’s upgraded power supplies make a world of difference. I have the statement digital/analog mods and the ultimate power supply with the nirvana option. The sound is so good that I sold my reference SACD/CD player and have not looked back.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, look into the Channel Island Audio VDX-9.0 for the Duet. It retails for $279.00. I'm going to try one in my office system in the next couple of weeks.

www.ciaudio.com

I use a little Flipstart UMPC with a couple of 500GB 2.5" hard drives hanging off of it as a music server. I have over 2300 CD's ripped in lossless. You cannot beat the convenience of having all of your CD's instantly accessible. A lot of times I just leave it on random playback, which is a great way to rediscover your collection.
Use the SB3 or the Duet as your transport. Go digital out to your dac.
Buy a good linear power supply like those from Acopian for a reasonable price.
The final step would be a digtal out modification.
The SB3 or Duet digital out to a high end dac, rivals most cd players.
MR Bill
I've looked at the acopian ps that has been recommended. The one I saw was $100. Is that the one you recommend?
Do you have a high end dac recommendation?
Thanks
Steve
Originally went rca and found the s/q acceptable but not close to my cd player. Switched to digital optical and the sound opened up.
Were both of these solutions from the digital out of the SB into an external DAC? When I first read your post, I assumed the initial RCA solution was using the SB's analog outputs.

I don't believe a Squeezebox can replace a high end CD player without expensive modifications, which frankly negate the inexpensive simplicity of the device, IMO.
But not the convenience of a music server, which is why you'd get a SB in the first place. eh?
Drubin, the OP wrote in his original post:
Many seem to think the squeezebox is capable of
replacing high end cd players given the right
approach.

I'm not one who believes this is true, depending on the high end CD player
being compared.

Clearly, if convenience is the primary reason for owning a Squeezebox, then
performance equal to a high end CD player may not be necessary.

I purchased my Squeezebox as a secondary, non-reference source, that I
could use primarily to wirelessly stream background music from my computer
located in a room other than our listening room. I use it with the DAC
onboard my APL Denon 3910.

However, I was very surprised at the excellent sound quality of the
Squeezebox's stock analog outputs.
Scoly1,
I would recommend the Benchmark DAc or the Bel Canto Dac3.
Both punch way above their price performance wise.
Drubin
First connection was rca out from sb to the prepro. Even my wife noticed that sq was considerably less than with the cd player (arcam). We then connected the optical out from sb to the Lite dac ah and dac's rca to the pre. Much improved.
Mr Bill
Thanks for the recommendations. Will do some checking.

Audioengnr
Is there a reclocker for a moderate price that would solve some of the issues?
I am not at the level that the sound needs to rival a $10000 setup but would like to head that direction.

Balancing a h/t with 2 channel is certainly a challenge. If what I need is a new pre that would be fine as long as it moves me in the right direction.
Thanks
Steve