I am grudgingly doing the digital thing...

One thing is for sure, Squeezebox was way ahead of its time, and under appreciated for how good it was given the accessible price point.
The old Slim Devices office in Mountain View, Ca was about 5 miles away from my house. I stopped by there a few times when there were still in business and bought a few items during their annual open house sale. They were nice people and made a very good product. I still have a few old Squeezeboxes lying the house, a few of which are still in use. Of course they're now more than 10 years old, which in digital time is really ancient. I think that a raspberry pi with a dac hat is a better sounding solution, although not plug and play.
 
Help me out guys. I have a 2TB external drive full of FLAC files from CDs I've ripped to it over the years. I just did it through my computer. In comparison, will mine not sound as good?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Help me out guys. I have a 2TB external drive full of FLAC files from CDs I've ripped to it over the years. I just did it through my computer. In comparison, will mine not sound as good?
Not at all, they will sound the same, they both use FLAC. What @Redboy is using to rip his CDs is in fact a mini computer, the only difference is that his "computer" runs a custom stripped down version of Linux as the operating system (called Sonicorbiter), optimized to be a music server (as well as a CD ripper).

So that computer can't do normal computing tasks like web browsing or sending emails, it doesn't have any programs to do so, nor does the lean-Linux operating system allow for it. But that's OK because it's whole intended purpose is to act as a music file server, or you could also consider it a networked attached storage or NAS, that can be accessed by other computers on the same network, and also by playback Renderers ("streamers") such as a Raspberry Pi, or the Sonore microRendu for example.

So it's a central repository for music files, that can stay powered on 24/7 (uses 11 watts), freeing up your daily driver computer for those daily driver type tasks. The CD rip quality will be the same, but where it truly excels is acting as a music server, there it is better than a standard computer, because it is not constantly being bogged down/distracted by any standard computing processes, it is only serving music files.
 
Thanks for the explanation Mikey. Next question: back in the day, I had an office with a desktop system but now I just work on my laptop wherever I want so I'd like link my TB into my main system. What is a good DAC?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the explanation Mikey. Next question: back in the day, I had an office with a desktop system but now I just work on my laptop wherever I want so I'd like link my TB into my main system. What is a good DAC?

I'm not sure I understand the question, I don't know what a TB is?

If you mean you wish to connect a DAC to your system, there are loads of choices and you'd need to check that out based on a stated budget etc... there isn't just a one size fits all answer there. Anything from a Topping D10 @ $69, right on up to rarified air DACs costing many thousands of dollars can fit the bill, it would come down to your budget and the connected system's attributes.

However I'd caution that directly connecting a laptop to a DAC typically sounds mediocre at best, despite what a certain "science-based" measurements oriented site might claim. We have many members here including myself that know for sure a laptop directly connected to a DAC sounds subpar. I do not recommend it, especially not a Windows laptop, however Mac laptops don't sound great either when directly connected to a DAC in my opinion.

I don't wish to derail Nate's thread with that deep discussion, the only tie in is that he has chosen the exact opposite of what I think you are describing, and that's the whole idea of a dedicated music server, with separate Renderer endpoints or "streamers" that actually connect to the DAC(s) in each room that needs music playback. Thats called distributed or networked music, and it is far superior to directly connecting a laptop to a DAC, though admittedly it is also more costly, especially if you already own said laptop. While you certainly can use a laptop as the server itself, it shouldn't be the endpoint "player" that connects to a DAC and ultimately the stereo system.

You should start a new thread for that discussion, as the posts may or may not relate to this existing thread, and the direction it is ultimately headed in.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
a) TB is a town in southern Maryland.
b) TB is a terrible bacterial disease that still causes much morbidity and mortality (as they say in the health biz)
c) TB is an abbreviation for terabyte (a unit of information equal to one million million (10^12) or, strictly, 2^40 bytes)
d) all of the above
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
a) TB is a town in southern Maryland.
b) TB is a terrible bacterial disease that still causes much morbidity and mortality (as they say in the health biz)
c) TB is an abbreviation for terabyte (a unit of information equal to one million million (10^12) or, strictly, 2^40 bytes)
d) all of the above
I’d go with option “c” and he’s likely referring to his hard drive? Hopefully it’s not option “b” in the form of tuberculosis!;)
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
a "grudgingly doing the digital thing" question, if I may.
Having conquered the use of an NAS to listen to music :) I am now fiddling with using a little tablet-thingy to access* the NAS's music files.

So... it works... but I was thinkin' the little tablet would make a nice handy -- umm -- terminal to use on a real hifi. Is it possible to get the digital data from the tablet's USB port to an outboard DAC? I thought it'd be easy-peasy, but this particular tablet, at least (an old, old Dell "Venue8" running Android) has only what appears to be a micro B USB connector on it. The DACs here (and all of 'em I've seen, I suppose) that support USB have B connectors on 'em.

Do I have a gender problem -- or worse?

Can it even be done?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
but this particular tablet, at least (an old, old Dell "Venue8" running Android) has only what appears to be a micro B USB connector on it. The DACs here (and all of 'em I've seen, I suppose) that support USB have B connectors on 'em.

Do I have a gender problem -- or worse?

Can it even be done?

Perhaps, but there was more than just one single model of Dell Venue 8. Can you provide the specific model that you have, as well as the Android version it runs?

If it were originally loaded with Windows 8.1, and someone wiped it and installed Android, that particular model likely will not work. However if it came stock with Android (7000 Series aka 7840), it might work.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Perhaps, but there was more than just one single model of Dell Venue 8. Can you provide the specific model that you have, as well as the Android version it runs?

If it were originally loaded with Windows 8.1, and someone wiped it and installed Android, that particular model likely will not work. However if it came stock with Android (7000 Series aka 7840), it might work.
jeepers. I thought I was asking a hardware question. Danged digital stuff. :confused:
It is a Venue 8 3480 that was kindly given to me by a Polk Audio forums regular in one of that forums' more than occasional "Karma" threads.
My intent was for it to be a beta test to see how my wife liked using a tablet. That gambit sort of died on the vine. ;)
At any rate, it's here and it kinda, sorta works (i.e., it works, with some eccentricities that I suspect relate to its superannuated state). It's a little slow but I have gradually gotten it to do most of the things I've asked it to. I am way out of my depth, though, as a guy who eschews "mobile" technology, O/Ss and jargon/quirks.
My belief/understanding is that it was supplied with Android and currently is rockin' 4.4.1 (ummm... KitKat)
https://i.dell.com/sites/csdocument...heets_Documents/en/new-venue-8-spec-sheet.pdf

One of its most salient eccentricities: I cannot update the OS. I tried to and it simply says "cannot connect to server". No offer of help, nada. A little googling wasn't helpful, either. It works fine as a way to access* a browser.

The Google Play app store thingy is a little funny, too. I can't access* that, either (similar grumbling about servers), but if I google an app and follow the link to Google Play, it works fine.

I've probably invested 10 or 20x the time in the tablet as a platform than it was worth, but I do have a certain penchant for dogged persistence in (to quote Animal House) at futile and stupid gestures. :smoke

________________________________________
* "Access"...

1594511455787.png


Hey M. Don (DC) has a nice DAC in the Emporium.
Oh, I gots a nice enough DAC. Couple-three of 'em actually (one is pretty ancient, though).

PS looked at the Emporium listing -- that DAC looks to have a full-sized USB 3.0 B connector on it, which would be even weirder to deal with.
1594511787692.png
 
Last edited:

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
jeepers. I thought I was asking a hardware question.
You were, but it always helps to know the details rather than guess at them.

In this case I think it will work, however, there is conflicting information on the inter web as to whether or not this particular tablet model is On-The-Go (OTG) capable... aka USB host mode.

If it is capable of USB host mode, you still need a proper OTG cable and you should then be in business.

I will offer the opinion that this is not the way to go, not only does being tethered by a wire on a handheld wireless device get old fast, but one of the Achilles heels of this type of device is the somewhat fragile micro USB port, the solder joints are known to fail after too many mating cycles, and repairing that is very involved micro surgery requiring supreme steady handed dexterity, a magnifier, and pro soldering skills.

You'd be better off saving those micro USB mating cycles for actual charging, if you regularly connected and disconnected that tablet from a DAC, the micro USB port would be in serious jeopardy.

Should you wish to roll those dice and also don't care about the tethering aspect, then you would also need a suitable Android music player app, the gold standard being UAPP, but Onkyo HF player is also quite good.

Why not use your snazzy DLNA software media server found on the Synology NAS as the music library, the tablet solely as a controller, and a Raspberry Pi as the endpoint/streamer/player connected to the DAC?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
PS looked at the Emporium listing -- that DAC looks to have a full-sized USB 3.0 B connector on it, which would be even weirder to deal with.
You can use a USB 2.0 Type B cable/plug in a 3.0 port which is fully backward compatible, it fits and works, though obviously only at 2.0 speed and it leaves a small gap at the top of the port.

But if you have several DACs already, then one or more of them should suit your current need.

That Bryston BDA-1 is a one fine sounding DAC, however it hails from a time when USB audio was not ready for prime time, i.e. a USB 1.1 input, so called "adaptive mode" only, using the ubiquitous for that era Burr-Brown (TI) input receiver capped at 16-bit/48kHz resolution.

That particular DAC sounds roughly five thousand times better through its AES/EBU or BNC inputs.
 
...and you can't make me like it!! 😒


Fifteen months ago, I sold my Bel Canto CD2 because I knew I needed a push to get started ripping my CDs... That didn't work!

I thought I'd try a streaming service, but I haven't gotten around to it. I listen to the radio, instead.

I have tried (honestly!) to read and learn and understand about setting up a music server but it's all so gosh darn awful to read -- my brain shuts down in mere minutes! Computer audio, yuck!! It's like an oxymoron...


But now I'm committed!

I just paid for an SGC sonicTransporter i5 CDR with a 1TB SSD drive. That should arrive soon. Now (as I understand it), I need to figure out an endpoint streamer and a DAC of some sort (don't laugh -- I don't own one!). I've done a little reading and am intrigued by the NOS dacs from Border Patrol and Audio Note, but I am sure there are zillions of other options that will hurt my brain. 🤕

Oh, and I need to choose a software solution to drive it all, too. Roon? 🙄

Crap. This is gonna be painful.


(help?)

I have a MHDT Labs Orchid NOS DAC. It's tube buffered and has coupling capacitors that can be changed to taste. I've used their DAC's for more than ten years. Linear tube audio in Maryland is the US dealer. DACs & Streamers — Linear Tube Audio

You may want to look into the Arcam rPlay or Bluenode streamers. I have the Arcam and use it to stream Tidal and internet radio. It's discontinued but there is one for sale here: Arcam rPlay Streamer $285 Simple to set up and use, even for a Luddite like me. I access it via my iPad. Dunno if it's Roon ready. The Bluenode is Roon ready.


I would not spend a lot on the endpoint streamer, but that's just MHO.

I'm not going the server route until something simple is available.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
Hey, you all thought I'd abandoned this thread, didn't you?!

Nope, I'm just slow. Not as slow as @marantzfan, mind you, but still pretty slow. 😛

@MikeyFresh and I have exchanged lots of messages in the interim, and in the past months I picked up a microrendu, an SGC 7v linear power supply for it, and a Topping D30 Pro DAC...

...and suddenly, just like that, I have fancy digital music!

Until last week, I'd been using the sonicTransporter i5 as a fancy jukebox to serve up music to my phone with Plex, but I installed the 60day free trial of Roon that came with the microrendu purchase. Seems pretty nice, so far.
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Hey, you all thought I'd abandoned this thread, didn't you?!

Nope, I'm just slow. Not as slow as @marantzfan, mind you, but still pretty slow. 😛

@MikeyFresh and I have exchanged lots of messages in the interim, and in the past months I picked up a microrendu, an SGC 7v linear power supply for it, and a Topping D30 Pro DAC...

...and suddenly, just like that, I have fancy digital music!

Until last week, I'd been using the sonicTransporter i5 as a fancy jukebox to serve up music to my phone with Plex, but I installed the 60day free trial of Roon that came with the microrendu purchase. Seems pretty nice, so far.

1622952232191.jpeg
Better late than never....I actually need to get my digital stuff in order.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Hey, you all thought I'd abandoned this thread, didn't you?!
I was worried sick.

Nope, I'm just slow. Not as slow as @marantzfan, mind you, but still pretty slow. 😛
I dunno, last I checked Anthony had setup a couple of digital streaming Roon endpoints for his own system, and one utilizing the UPnP protocol for his Dad too. I think he's got a leg up on you.

..and suddenly, just like that, I have fancy digital music!
Hey now! That is a fancy-shmancy digital setup going on there. Well done! I'll be curious to hear your impressions on the Roon experience, and also your take on the microRendu/D30 Pro too.

Congrats on getting this arranged Nate, even if the whole thing was only undertaken grudgingly so, now you reap the dividend in the form of music listening enjoyment. Those early pandemic lock-down CD rips payoff big.

I double dare you to add a trial of Qobuz at some point.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
dunno, last I checked Anthony had setup a couple of digital streaming Roon endpoints for his own system, and one utilizing the UPnP protocol for his Dad too. I think he's got a leg up on you.
Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?? 😆

Hey now! That is a fancy-shmancy digital setup going on there. Well done! I'll be curious to hear your impressions on the Roon experience, and also your take on the microRendu/D30 Pro too.

Congrats on getting this arranged Nate, even if the whole thing was only undertaken grudgingly so, now you reap the dividend in the form of music listening enjoyment. Those early pandemic lock-down CD rips payoff big.

I double dare you to add a trial of Qobuz at some point.
Mike, thanks for the extra encouragement along the way. Your occasional nudging certainly helped me past the grudging, and at the moment I am happy as the proverbial pig!

:dance
 
Redboy- I've been living w Rendu and ROON for a couple of years now and couldn't be happier. Best transport SQ I've heard in my system and ROON is a blast once set up and running.

Guys-
Anyone familiar with ART-Legato USB/SPDIF convertors? I loved mine but it died and I cant seem to connect with Pat at ART. Anyone talk to him lately or know how to contact him? Thanks
 
Top