Squeezebox Mods Effective On Digital Output?

I am considering the Bolder Digital Enthusiasts Mode for my Duet. I’ve heard from Agon members who have done so and appreciate the improvement. I have also read several reviews of the Bolder/Duet mods that claim the analog mods are a considerable improvement, while the digital mods offer only very slight improvements. I am using an external DAC, so I am not interested in the analog mod.

Also, I may have to contact Bolder on this, but does anyone know if the internal power supply mod that Bolder does would be compatible with the external Channel Island power supply – as opposed to the external Bolder power supply? Since they’re both 9 volt DC, I assume there will be no issues??

Thanks -
I would check with Wayne at Bolder - you will find him very friendly and notably lite on the BS - though as you would hope and expect he believes in the benefits of what he does.

Waynes mods historically have fallen in to two major categories. First, he has done some circuit modification often in the form of minimization with an attendant lowering of noise. Secondly he does a lot of parts optimization - Blackgates etc. Not sure if he does anything with the clock but I would have to believe you will end up with a more stable SPDIF output that you can be sure is 75ohms.

Have not played with the Duets, but all three of the original SBs are 5v not 9v. Sean (chief designer/founder) is very fond of manufacturing efficiency and parts interchangeability so I would check that. He also used a 5v connector that was a little less then mainstream so there may also be a fit issue.
Thanks for the helpful info Ckorody. The Duet does utilize the 9v DC, while the other Squeezebox devices do utilize 5v. I looked on Bolder's site but didn't see an email. I'll go back and give the site a better looking over....
I found the Digital Mod to be worth the money and generally agree with CKorody about what the mod actually consists of. If you are looking to do anything about re-clocking the SPDIF, you would have to go to something like the Pacecar...in which case you might as well really bite the bullet and purchase a DCS stack minus the transport, and add a Transporter! I've heard it sounds better that way :-)

As for the power supply. I just use a military-spec linear 5v DC...If the Channel Islands PS is 5v you should be fine...really any linear power will do.

The Duet requires a 9v DC PS, whereas the SB2 & SB3 require a 5v.

I appreciate your input.
I would look into a good reclocker before dumping a lot of money into sb mods.
I would look into a good reclocker before dumping a lot of money into sb mods.

Run with that thought Robr45...put some meat on them there bones!

Which re-clocking devices work with the SB Duet; does re-clocking the Duet require a mod, or can you buy a device and simply connect it; do you have personal experience with re-clocking an SB device...how's it sound???
I have the Bolder digital enthusiast mod to my SB3, which primarily concentrates on power supply upgrades and reducing the signal path of the digital output. A new voltage regulator is installed and the the analog outs are removed altogether. I use the modified SB3 in conjunction with a BPT battery power supply and run the digital out into the DAC of my GNSC modded Opus 21. The combo is very good and I really couldn't be happier with the results. Even good quality mp3 streams sound excellent. The most obvious result of the mods and battery power supply is a lower noise floor and quieter background.

Of course, the other school of thought is reclocking the digital signal and I looked at this before modding the SB3. I decided against it because I believe that my DAC/Opus 21 offers sufficient jitter reduction. IMHO, the effects of jitter in modern digital devices are largely overrated. Jitter is inherent in every digital device, but the levels at which jitter actually becomes audible is a controversial subject in the audio community, so I suggest you do your research before diving in. On the other hand, I think its hard to go wrong in maximizing the power supply of most any audio device, so I went that route and am glad I did.

If I were to go the reclocking route, I would look at the Empirical Audio Pacecar and use it in conjunction with a DAC modified to accept an IS2 input from the Pacecar (a Benchmark dac, example). I would be skeptical of any reclocking device that simply feeds back into your DAC via SPDIF, since SPDIF is a known jitter producer and arguably would diminish the effects of the reclocker.

Your experience is very pertinent to my current quest. Really, all I want to do is take the Duet to a higher level of performance (and not just measurements on paper). I have been considering the Bolder mods, but the Robr45’s input regarding re-clocking devices perked my curiosity. My DAC has been modified and has very low jitter, but to be honest, I’m not sure what that means in regard to it (the DAC) being feed jitter from the Duet. If the Duet sends jitter to the DAC, does that DAC’s low jitter rating mean that it (the DAC) adds very little jitter to the signal it is fed, or does it mean that the DAC actually reduces a good portion of the jitter that it is fed?? I wonder if there is any documentation available on the comparison between a “Bolder type” modded SB vs a stock SB with a re-clocker (both being fed into a good DAC)?

As a result of the Bolder mod, what does the reduced noise floor and quieter background do for the overall musical presentation of your SB3? Does it add any clarity to any of the frequency ranges, or reveal more information in the music, does it gain your system any “finesse” (think nuances), or add to the transparency of the music being played?

These are the specific areas that I am trying to address. In this, my particular quest, I do not care about increasing the soundstage or enhancing imaging, I want to gain transparency and enhance the system’s ability to resolve details (which may equate to “clarity” and “better controlled/defined bass”, or enhanced detail/finesse). These are the areas that my current server is lacking in (albeit not by large margins).
Unfortunately, we have ventured into territory that I am not really qualified to speak on, at least in technical terms. But, based upon my extensive reading of articles and opinions on the on the subject, it is my "opinion" [emphasis added] that if you are using a quality transport and quality cables into a quality DAC, then the jitter that you would try to correct by reclocking may be so minimal that it is of no consequence - i.e. inaudible - in the first place. I would check with your DAC manufacturer to see how your DAC handles jitter. It's possible that it reclocks the signal on its own, especially if its an upsampling DAC. Just my .02 on that issue. Again, I would encourage you to read all you can on the subject and draw your own conclusions.

As to the bolder mods, in "my system" the lower noise floor offers exactly what you seek, i.e. a greater clarity and detail retrieval. You often hear, in audiophile terms, of "music emerging from a blacker background", and I think that terminology applies here. I experienced the same results when I added a battery powered preamp to my system and also when I had my Opus modded, which also included significant power supply upgrades. So, I suppose the Bolder mods just fall more in line with my system goals than a reclocking device. YMMV.
Thanks Cruz123. The Bolder mods are less expensive than a good re-clocker and I tend to agree with your opinion regarding jitter. I did contact Wayne, who said he was initiating a price increase at the end of this month. I don't know if my budget will allow me to get it done before that timeline.

Thanks again.
What DAC do you use?

My first thought is to look at that first.

Jitter reduction device second. Some DACs may accomplish that for you.

I'd only do mods to the SB after all else fails, but I suspect it should not have to come to this.
Mapman, I'm not having any issues with my WiFi, I just wasn't sure - after reading what I mentioned above, whether or not I was "streaming" the full 24/48 sample rate. Evidently, from what I'm reading, I have in fact been receiving the full sample rate via WiFi. My music server does not sound bad at all; I just want to take advantage of any tweaks/mods that can take it to another level. I am running the Duet through a Cullen Stage IV PS Audio DL-III. I have the Channel Islands 9v external power supply replacing the Duet's stock wall wart. I would like to gain some additional transparency (a high end music server – if possible) thus, my search regarding mods & re-clocking.
Geez Mapman, I have too many threads open. I actually just answered you (above) based on the tread I began on WiFi. If you read the above post, you were probably scratching your head....dooooouugh!

It's late here!