Obviously the power supply, dac, and SoundCheck mod all make incremental improvements. If money is an issue and you don't hear any clicking sounds through your speaker using the stock walwart, I would say hold off for now. Get a wireless adapter like the Netgear WNCE2001 and install SoundCheck's mod. I heard a big difference than stock SBT. When I upgraded to the Channel Island Audio power supply, it refined the music and added a smoothness but IMO not as big as SoundCheck's mod. I keep the screen on for my wife and the difference between having it on/off is not that big to my ears. There is a difference but not enough to annoy my wife.
I haven't heard the SBT using analog out since I already had a DAC so can't comment there.
Get the dac right first then see.
I first used the Squeezebox Touch hardwired to my router and using its internal DAC and analog outs. I found the sound to be decent but not great.
I purchased the Eastern Electric DAC Plus and connected the Squeezebox to it using a coax cable. This was a remarkable improvement.
I did turn off some of the Squeezebox services but not all that were recommended, so just enough to operate it without much incovenience.
I am extremely happy with the sound from this inexpensive and simple music server.
OK, got it: the DAC is the next best step. But for that I'll have to wait about 9 months.
So on to alternatives.
Rbautista, I had forgotten about a wifi bridge. Good point! What is the difference between the Netgear piece you suggest and a simple wireless router set to receive (connected to the Touch through ethernet)?
I guess power supply will be delayed until after the bridge + Soundcheck mods.
Any other opinions?
I think your problem is that you are using the analogue outs. The SBT is a heck of a value, but at it's price point it can't be expected to do everything well. I suspect using it the spiff will sound much better and eliminate the click. I wouldn't waste what sounds like limited funds on a new power supply.
Dacs are really cheap now, and many CD players and pre amps or AVRs have decent digital ins. On the second hand market you can probably get
Something suitable. There are some great headphone amps that have Dacs and have digital ins and outs for under $200.
I have a SB Transporter connected to a Cary dac. I am only interested in Internet radio. Is there any product that would give me improved Internet radio? Is the sound quality able to be improved upon?
I listen to Internet Radio with 3 devices in different systems. They are Apple TV, the Marantz NA 7004 streamer, and the sbt. Allowing for differences in the systems, I don't detect a whole of difference with Internet Radio. Given the relatively low bit count possible, i would not expect to be able to improve much on the sbt/cary dac that you currently use.
The bridge will allow you to connect to an existing WiFi network. If you already have a router that has the capability to extend your current WiFi network, that will work too. You will get more Ethernet ports that way.
If the funds are low, the used market is a good way to go for a good dac. If that is still out of your reach, the SoundCheck mod is your next best bet. One.good thing about the mod is, if you don't like the way it sounds, all you have to do is a factory reset. Check the SBM forum under audiophile section to read more about other peoples findings and opinions.
BTW, if you were to buy on the used market what you be your budget?
Look at the Touch forum... There is a lot of debate on external power supplies, and while they were effective with the earlier products it doesn't add anything to the SB Touch.
I disagree completely. I am using the CIA PS and Starsound Sonoran power cord with my Touch into a MHDT DAC. I thought the outboard PS was a nice improvement, especially in making the sound more organic and less mechanical.
"I thought the outboard PS was a nice improvement, especially in making the sound more organic and less mechanical."
Which mhdt DAC I'm wondering?
I use Sb Touch to mhdt Constantine in my main rig and to mhdt Paradisea in my other 2 channel a/v system and have no issues in these regards in either case that I could identify. Of course, each case is different. After getting the right DAC, teh power supply is probably the place I would look next if needed for further tweaking, but in my case I am content and feel no reason to mess with a good thing.
I am using the Havana. I really had no objections to the sound with the stock ps, but the upgrade improved the areas mentioned even further.
Thanks for the info. Might give a power supply a try someday. I think the OHM speakers I use give me an advantage in those areas compared to many and are the main reason why I am content at present. I suppose you can never get enough of a good thing though......
What I meant in my original post was whether or not trading the Transporter for a different player or tuner... Can you enhance the sound quality of Internet radio from tuner to tuner? Or all pretty much alike? Or how to upgrade the power supply of Transporter?
No wall wart on Transporter!
IMO - The analog outs from the SBT are good enough for most streaming radio stations. There may be a couple of stations, like Linn Radio, that may warrant a dedicated DAC but not to go overboard if streaming is all you'll be doing.
My upgrade to a dedicated DAC really changed the entire listening experience when playing hi-rez audio files. This is true even though I'm using the wall-wart. I was lucky enough to have a spare dedicated circuit that was convenient to plug the SBT's wall-wart into. The outlet is also a PS Audio Soloist, so this setup may be helping the power supply situation without having to go linear or battery.
Thanks folks for the good feedback, and sorry I wasn't replying - took 2 weeks off to the middle of nowhere, without wireless signal or electricity.
Like Kenneythekey, I have a dedicated power line where the SBT sits on its own, so maybe a linear power supply isn't going to help as much as in other people's cases. I'm hearing no clicks whatsoever now.
Rbautista, I like to buy gear and hold on to it for a good while, and I'm thinking about $1000 on a DAC. Right now the Metrum Octave looks most appealing. I wish it did 24/192 though (looking beyond SBT). Considering how much has happened in the last 12 months in terms of DAC advancement and prices dropping, who knows where will I sit in 9 months!
My router is a Linksys WRT-120N. Maybe I can add another one sitting by the Touch and set it to operate as a receiver? Sounds like my next step. Then the Soundcheck Toolbox 3.
Will get busy with this and report back. Keep the feedback coming!
I too hold on to gear for a long time.
I own the latest Eastern Electric DAC Plus and love it. It's just around your price point. However, I'm not familiar with the Metrum. The DAC Plus can be push-button switched from Solid State to Tube and rolled for both (tube and op amps).
The MiniMax Plus has me interested as well. Some people love it. The fact that it doesn't have the volume control as its predecessor is a plus, as I intend to keep my pre.
Many consider it's tubed option as a plus. However I have a tube pre and a tube amp and wonder if a tubed DAC is really convenient for me. What's your experience with it? What was your reference for sound prior to the EE Plus?
All of my amplification is tube.
I switched the DAC to solid state and I also performed a recommended tweak of removing the tube when switching to solid state. In both cases, I preferred the tube option, but I replaced the stock tube with a Psvane 12AU7.
With the prices of American and European tubes escalating, I decided to give the Psvane a try at a more affordable price. The results were stunning, and I'm sure that other 12AU7 types will do very well. Many times, another tube will improve certain characteristics while giving up something else. I could not identify any particular loss with the Psvane. It does run a little hot, so I'm not sure of its life expectancy. I also have a variety of American 12AU7 tubes that I will try as well, but I don't hurry anything, so more fun later.
Here's what I reported back to Bill of Morningstar Audio, the distributor of the DAC Plus:
...With the tube (Psvane) notes are held longer, so there is more information in the air between the instruments/vocals. Without the tube notes are cut off shorter, so I find the overall sound less believable and more digital. The resulting illusion, to me, is less satisfying...
The DAC Plus is my first modern DAC, but I did a lot of listening at the shows in Denver and Montreal which I attended. I also own an old Theta DS Probasic III that was an excellent DAC of its time.
The way that the digital markets are constantly reinventing themselves, I did not want to make a huge investment in a DAC that would quickly turn into an outdated Theta, for example. I was blown-over by how good the DAC Plus sounded for $1,000.
I would suggest that you keep on asking your questions and get all the advice possible, as there is little hope for auditioning and comparing the tons of really fine boutique products that are out there.
If you want to try a solid state DAC, I recommend the Northstar DAC. It came very close to my Lector DAC and was a step above my Bel Canto 2. I know the Lector is tubed base, but with the tubes I have now it just beat out the Northstar.
The Northstar also has USB async in case you want to go that direction down the road.
Without any doubts, I say apply Soundcheck's Mod first. It may hold you off on buying a DAC for a while to save up more pennies.
Here is what I have done.
1. Boulder Mods to Touch.
2. Boulder Power supply.
3. Zu Mother Power Cord to Boulder power supply.
4. Power supply plugged into my Synergistic Powercell.
5. Boulder upgraded umbilical cord.'Nitro"
6. Morrow Audio D4 digital cable with Eichman silver RCA's.
7. Using Dac section from my Cary 306 SACD.
8. Use only Ethernet