You might want to look into the Antelope Audio Zodiac series DAC's. I am using the Zodiac+ DAC with my Squeezebox Touch and it sounds fantastic. they just released their basic model Zodiac for $1695 that is the same except less inputs and outputs. They have an oven controlled clock that is very accurate. I have heard the Weiss is also excellent but it is more money-around 5K
Thanks. I got a good deal on the Transporter SE. Will give this a try first before getting another DAC
Not a significant surprise to me that the squeezebox's DAC is as good as or even preferred over the Benchmark. I've never been impressed with the Benchmark Dac. I have not heard the Antelope, but have read good things - but then again I also read a lot of good things about the Benchmark and after hearing it couldn't believe the positive comments.
Same thing with the Rega original disc players - lots of glowing comments about how great they are. When I finally had a chance to listen to one, yuck, I couldn't believe what I was reading by others vs. hearing myself.
With DACs, I am of the belief that so many of these "new", latest greatest chip-set dacs are put together cheaply and the key components of a good audio component are just neglected.
Every audio component needs to have a good power supply to sound its best (that means weight and cost). Same thing with other parts and its circuit design. Just having a good chipset doesn't make a good DAC, in fact, I have heard many great DACs with older chipsets (but great power supplies, circuits, outputs, etc. . . ) that just blow away some of these new DACs that only consist of the "newest" chipset.
I would love to know your thoughts on the Transporter SE. I am currently letting one burn in for 100 hours. It has a couple more days....i will then run it into the Pass X-1 on input 1 and a PS Audio Dac III on input 2 and compare the Transport SE with the PS DAC. Just remember to Have fun!
I just got an original (used) Transporter which is identical design save for the front knob and compared to my friends Touch. There was no comparison, the Transporter won hands down when used as Source & DAC, likely due to the improved power supply over the Touch.
You can also get a newer firmware which allows you to change between a sharp and slow roll off. Some say the slow roll off has a more natural sound at the expense of the top most "air". I haven't had enough time yet with the piece to A/B the two modes but I ran the Touch comparison in slow roll off mode.
I haven't had much comparison to any standalone DAC's but I'm curious to try mating it with a Burson DA-160.
Thanks everyone. I've just ordered today so it will take several days for me to try it. Will update my findings.
Just got my Touch two days ago and I was amazed at the improvement in sound over the Squeezebox 3. I'm going to run it tonight through my Wyred4Sound DAC and listen for any difference.
While the sound is far superior to the SB3, I'm a bit disappointed in the user interface.
What's the point of touch screen when it's across the room? Also, the text is too small to read from across the room, the brightness control is not easy to use, I can't tell when I use the remote if it powers on or not, I can't access artists alphabetically in Rhapsody by pressing a letter on the remote, the buttons on the remote are too small compared to the SB3 remote, and other issues I can't remember right now.
Anyone else have these or other problems? Or am I just missing something? (OK, I may be missing something, but I mean with regard to the Touch!)
I use the Touch from about 12 feet away and can still see it well, but if you get a long way away, you would have trouble.
I'm questioning whether you will hear much of a difference between the Touch analog out and the W4S dac added in - maybe a little different. Let us know how it turns out.
@Mr_bill, you probably have better eyesight than the average middle-aged person.
@Ncarv, I highly recommend iPeng. I never use the Touch's screen or remote. There's also an Android app.
My impression is that the Touch screen is meant to be used by someone who putters around the house listening to music in the background and then walks up to the screen to set the playlist. I think a receiver-only box controlled via an iOS or Android app is a better way to go, but it probably doesn't have any sex appeal.
Logitech also offer a free remote app on iOS and Android as well.
Got my Transporter SE yesterday and love the sound quality so far :)
How does it compare to the SB Touch in sound quality?
The sound is cleaner, more transparent, the soundstage is a bit bigger, and the high is a bit more extended (but not bright by any mean).
I use a 'Touch into a Dacmagic using the coax plugs. Amazingly great sounding in my system, much better than the 'Touch alone...and the Dacmagic was around $300 used.
I went with an mhdt Constantine for lower cost than Benchmark a couple of years back and have not looked back.
I use it with SB Touch, Roku Soundbridge prior, and my Denon player/recorder on occasion.
The sound quality is consistent and absolute top notch in all cases.
A very good SS DAC that shares some traits with the other popular tube mhdt DACs. Which sounds best will be a function of the rest of the system it is in and listener preference, though I suspect the COnstantine performs better in a pure technical sense (more like Benchmark) than the Paradisea tube DAC that is somewhat comparable in price, at least with teh stock GE tube.
Well, I'm returning the Transporter. My unit's display goes on/off frequently on its own. I may stay with the Touch + external DAC.
I have not tried the Touch's built in DAC in my system yet.
Its on my list of things to do...
I had the benchmark previously and thought it was a bit bright sounding for my tastes too. The dac in the touch is not bad sounding but I recently purchased the w4s dac 1 and it sounds much fuller and detailed compared to the dac in the touch. The sound was more open and cleaner too. The dealer where I bought the dac 1 recommended it over the dac 2 since the touch does not output thru a usb and I saved $500.
I went with W4S after hearing both it and the Benchmark.
The Benchmark is just way to bright while the W4S punches way above it's weight class in tonal richness without stridency.