Squeeze box vs. CD player

It's time to upgrade by CD player, currently I have a Toshiba 5190 DVD player which I intend to keep for DVDs.

I've been reading about the Squeeze box as I already have my CDs ripped to my PC using EAC in lossless format.

How does the Squeeze box compare sonically to a $1000 new or used cd player?

What will I need to spend on a cd player to get an improvement over a $1000 modified squeeze box?

thanks in advance
The answers are it depends. :)

1) Stock SB was reviewed in recent Stereophile newsletter I believe. Might take a look at that. My guess is it competes well with most stock $1000 one box units.

2) A modded SB (I have an RWA full mod with most recent approach), is quite good. Total cost is around $800 with battery option. It would be better than most $1000 onebox solutions IMO. Mine is still breaking in, but sounds quite good.

The $1000 price point is where your questions become hard to answer.

I am using a TRL modified Sony dvp ns900 (shown at CES).
The total cost is around $1100 (mod is $750 and player used was $350). Many feel this unit is comparable to anything out there. Reviewers hear it and buy it. It is great digital. I make no claims about where it falls in the overall pecking order and could care less, but it is extraordinary by any measure.

There are also Modwright units that can be found here on Agon used for $1500-$2000 that many feel are in that same elite category.

My point is you can great digital for $1000-$2000.

The RWA SB3 is very good and the streaming interent radio is
a lot of fun. Is it as good as the TRL Sony 900? No.

If you add a dedicated DAC to it, then it can improved so you have that flexibility. Music on the hard drive also has soem real advantages.

There are also many other PC Audio solutions that people like (Empirical Audio, etc) that take maybe a higher end approach to PC Audio.

So, the answer is it depends. :)

I am of the belief that great digital, whether PC Audio or onebox solutions do not have to cost a fortune.

Good luck. Try Audiocircle Redwine Audio circle, look at Empirical Audio website, and do searches on Audio Asylum and here on PC Audio.
I added a Slim Device SB3 about 3 months ago, using it as a "transport" to a DAC & my heavily modded Rotel CDP (Audiocom II Clock, BG caps in the power supply rails & fast recovery diode upgrade) has been collecting dust since then.

I recently replaced the stock power supply which came with the SB3 with a Bolder made to order power supply (with Jensen caps) & after a period of breaking in, the SB3 sounds even more amazing.

I auditioned the Meridian G08 before I went for the music server route. IMO, the SB3, Bolder ps & my modded DPA DAC (BG caps) sounds at least as good vs the Meridian & all this for under US$1k.........
From my experiences, the SB or any other digital music system does not sound as good as the original CD being played through a good quality cd player. Depending on the system and your own sensitivity, this difference could be a lot or a little. I currently own a Sonos digital music system and I rip to 256VBR using EAC. The quality is acceptable to me. I did not hear enough of an improvement going from VBR to lossless to justify the added storage required (I have over 40K songs). For really critical listening I keep a stash of cds around that I can play on my Cary 303/300 cdp. Using a digital music system as a transport is another story. I would think that using a great DAC could make a huge difference in sound quality over using the mediocre internal DAC of digital music systems.
I think you can have wonderful results with a squeezebox and a good DAC. This way you have the great features of the Squeezebox and have the sound you want. Of course, you have to have or buy a good DAC.

Check out this review of the Squeezebox:

If you have your music already ripped to a hard drive then either the SB3 or the Roku to a DAC would be the route I would go. Going to a DAC there is no reason to upgrade the SB IMO. I recently choose the Roku to feed my MF Tri-Vista DAC replacing my Theta Data Basic II transport. I honestly cannot tell the difference between streaming the music and the Theta.

Good Luck.

I have played around with the Squeezebox (all of them SB1, SB2 and SB3) extensively. The stock SB2 or 3 using analog out is surprisingly good, perhaps stonkingly good given the price, but not high-end. The stock SB2 or 3 using digital out can reach high-end quality but depends on the DAC, and can be bettered by a good (read kilobuck) transport. The difference however IMO is totally outweighed by the greater ability to listen to what you want to listen to. If its about the music, then I wouldn't trade the SB convenience for the slightly better sound of a good transport. You don't have to get the SB modded expensively to raise the bar to match a good transport though. Get a good linear power supply, stuff a couple of Black Gates in the SB2 and you have a really excellent digital source. You just need one Black Gate as a bypass cap on the DC input and another to replace the so-called 'big-ass' cap. You can go further and put a transformer output in but that may tax a few people. IMO this takes the SB2 to a level where it is very hard to develop a reason to buy a high-end transport. The SB3 is a little tougher because it is harder to stuff things inside the smaller box. Getting the Bolder or Red Rose Mods done improves things further, but not a lot in terms of digital out. The analog improvements wrought by these mods can mainly be achieved with 10 minutes of soldering and a couple of Auricaps. But with these mods you don't have to get out a soldering iron, just your check book, and you have something easier to sell when something better turns up. I have gone the route of doing my own mods and the SB2 competes favourably with the likes of the Meridian 500 and the TEAC T1 in my system (Currently Prima DAC, Nuforce Ref9.02 and Verity Fidelio, connected by Jena). I wouldn't think of going back to getting a CDP.