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Old 22nd March 2008, 08:24 AM   #1
fork is offline fork  United States
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Default Technical Questions about Digital Setup

Hello,

I'm trying to find answers to a question about technical issues that might effect the audio quality of the digital setup I'm trying to implement. I will be using an I2S Preamp/DAC unit that has jacks for USB and Toslink.

The standard setup most people will use is as follows: Laptop -to- USB -to- Pre/DAC.

However, I have a Desktop that's on the other side of the room from the stereo (about 18 ft). I'm thinking about implementing the system this way:
Desktop- to -WiFi Transmitter- to -Squeezebox (or Linksys Music Bridge)- to -Toslink- to -Pre/DAC

My Question is whether my setup creates any compromises in the audio quality (like added Jitter from the Squeezebox or anything along those lines) which I would avoid by going direct from USB?

One more question: my understanding is that by using the Toslink out on the Squeezebox it bypasses the Squeezebox DAC, making the Squeezebox simply a receiver of binary data, therefore, there is no reason to be concerned about the quality of the power source (regarding noise). Is this correct?


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Old 22nd March 2008, 10:08 AM   #2
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Any answer to your questions will depend greatly upon your expectations. Does your system qualify as audiophile? Do you?

Apparently, according to recent threads most diyers won't notice a difference if you sent all data to an AM radio

USB at it's popular state is not easy to optimise. You may end up with a really good sounding USB dac or something barely acceptable. In my experience it depends on how your PC is set, the PC hardware, the usb interface, etc.

The squeezebox is not less compromised, specifically if Toslink is involved.

"simply receiver of binary data" is a fiction without a real life equivalent because of the embedded clock.

The only way to know what sounds acceptable to you is to try with your own hardware/software.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 06:53 PM   #3
fork is offline fork  United States
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Specifically, the system will consist of Red Wine stereo components and Zu speakers; highly sensitive equipment that will definitely pick up differences in audio quality. I'm not a DIYer in this instance; I'm just putting together retail components and trying to understand whether the setup I'm thinking about entails any disadvantages over the USB setup described in my question and what those are.

If I am interpreting the response from Analog_SA correctly, then yes, the addition of the Squeezebox will introduce additional noise, even if the data is transmitted to the DAC via Toslink?
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Old 23rd March 2008, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by fork

If I am interpreting the response from Analog_SA correctly, then yes, the addition of the Squeezebox will introduce additional noise, even if the data is transmitted to the DAC via Toslink?
Noise? Certainly not. There will be some jitter. Whether this will sound better than USB will depend greatly upon the USB implementation. What do you have in mind?
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