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Old 24th May 2011, 02:16 PM   #1
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Default Squeezebox > DAC vs PC > DAC Audio Quality?

Hello, is there anyone with first hand experience of comparing the sound quality of a PC with DAC to a Squeezebox with DAC?

Hopefully someone has run nice playback software like CMP +Cplay or XXxhighend or something like that and compared to a Squeezebox.
I'm interested to hear anyone's impressions on the matter.
Thanks.
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Old 25th May 2011, 05:33 AM   #2
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Just thought I would bump this up the que...
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Old 25th May 2011, 06:24 AM   #3
danico is offline danico  Hungary
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Hi Erin,

You didn't tell us what kind of DAC you compare.
Anyway Squeezebox can be good after some mods.
Separate DAC boxs can be used with other components and there are few
cheaper DAC that not bad sounding. (Audio Alchemy DAC in the Box, Musical Fidelity V-dac, Micromega dac duo, Cambridge Audio,etc)

There are some dac chips that worth to try:
Buffalo Sabre32
Wolfson WM8740, WM8776,
Cirrus-Logic CS4398
Burr-Brown BB1702
PCM1792
AD1860, 1865
TDA1541
TDA1543 very easy to build a dac from this chip.
TDA1549

If you wanna use your pc you need a good sound card anyway to get decent digital out.
For your PC I recommend ASUS Xonar DS, its cheap and almost as good as the Xonar Essence ST.
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Multimedia- ASUS Xonar DS

Forget about Creative sound blaster they are junk.

Or go for DIY, there are many good DACs around.

I hope I could give you some idea.
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Old 25th May 2011, 06:28 AM   #4
danico is offline danico  Hungary
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Some other search about dacs:
World_CD_DAC_championship

CD DAC Lampucera lampizator

squeezebox
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Old 25th May 2011, 08:48 AM   #5
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Thank you danico, I am very familiar with DACs.

I am really wondering what is a better source.

1)The PC > soundcard > SPDIF > DAC
2)PC > USB SPDIF converter > DAC

OR
PC or NAS > Squeezebox > SPDIF output > DAC?

I am hoping there is someone who has compared the above and can say with some informed certainty that one is better than the other, or perhaps they are all as good as one another?
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Old 25th May 2011, 12:23 PM   #6
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I use a Netgear Stora NAS feeding Squeezebox Touch with coax output to a Hlly DMK IV preamp/DAC for most of my listening and I occasionally feed the USB output from my Dell laptop running JRiver Jukebox to the Hlly. The basic sound quality of these two sources is comparable but I find that low level hash finds its way through from the PC when the switchmode power supply is plugged in. When the PC is running on battery it is much improved but still not as black a background as the Touch.
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Old 25th May 2011, 12:30 PM   #7
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Interesting. Thank you

Keep the comments coming
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Old 25th May 2011, 12:32 PM   #8
danico is offline danico  Hungary
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how about Apple Airport Express??
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Old 25th May 2011, 01:37 PM   #9
dickl is offline dickl  United States
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don't over look the Behringer Ucontrol UCA 202. External USB, self-Powered with RCA in and out and headphone jack and control. Not fancy, but good sounding and $30 USD everywhere. I have a couple of them and love them.

I use one for my soundcard oscilloscope. I believe the chip is a Burr-Brown.
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Old 25th May 2011, 01:42 PM   #10
kec is offline kec  United States
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Haven't compared the squeezebox, but I really like my setup - see sig below ---v
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