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Jim Tavegia
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Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Kudos to "Phile" to opening eyes to music servers. When you look at JA's test data and then read (twice) WP's review it make one wonder if someone is looking at a $2K player that you should pause long and hard at the Slim Devices unit. There are great Cd players that do not have the DAC specs this unit does. If it is about the music, this may be the future. A little pricey? Perhaps.....

Now that I have jumped into DSL and a wireless router at home, (am I getting hip or what?), and surf the web unattached anywhere in my home can this be far behind?

Glad to see people taking advantage of new ways to get music to us in another WP article and glad to see JMR taking advantage of it. Are real, important changes happening in the music industry at break-neck speed, or is it just me slowing down?

CECE
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

DSL is a small step above diali-up. Why don't you go to a real system and get cable modem, faster faster faster more reliable also

nastir
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
If it is about the music, this may be the future.

Streaming audio *IS* the future. Now, we need to convince the Music Industry/Recording Engineers, and everybody with an iPod/mp3 mindset, that LOSSLESS files with preserved dynamic range is the ONLY way to go.

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I've had a friend read me some of the review. Still waiting to get my issue.
I've posted a number of times here about the quality of the Transporter (TP)

The TP comes VERY close to the Ayre, so close it can be a matter of opinion and taste which one a listener prefers, it's that good.
TP 2,000
Ayre 6,000

Maybe the TP isn't pricey after all :-)

I would enthusiastically recommend anyone to take advantage of Slim's 30 day audition policy before you buy a CD player in any price range.
The TP has transformed the way and the amount I listen to music.

BTW, I still listen to vinlyl on my full blown LP12, Lingo , Graham combo

So I am not a digi head, techno guy. The TP was easy to set up for this over the hill techno-phobe.
And the slim forums are filled with helpful people who are exceptionally patient (they even put up with me)

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I am at 100 MBPS, and cable service here is awful. I could do HughesNet since I have Driect TV, but I am not paying them over $400 to use their dish. They (Bell South/AT&T) gave me full credit for the router. If Hughes wants to get in the game they need to learn it is about subscribers, not hardware.

Also with Direct TV I have both east and west coast network and PBS station channels so if my wife misses some thing at primetime east coast she can see it again at 11PM EST from west coast feeds. Who needs TIVO.

CECE
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

DSL can't do 100MBPS can it? cable modem can, at least that's the system most nodes ain't though. I thought most DLS is like 800Kbps or something, it's still over a piece of copper WIRE!!! WIRE!!! Oh Oh, now here is where WIRE MATTERS!!! RG6 for cable modems etc..not the tiny phone wire in teh walls of most houses. didn't have any direction arrows on teh roll of RG6 though when i looked, how come audio wire puts arrows on it?

RGibran
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Careful Jim...

As I was reading it for the second time I could feel a tingling sensation in my back pocket!

I really need to put Tom on "ignore" and rip the front cover from the magazine and trash it!

30 day return policy? What a freakin' joke....they know those suckers ain't comin' back. No fair!

I'm screwed. Talk about "I want this stuff"!

RG

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Diane's desktop, which I also use is at 100mbps. My laptop is at 48mbps as I cheaped out and bought the slower card. That is still significanly faster than dialup.

And this is still with Nick doing online gaming with his PS2 through the router, under strict parental supervision...of course.

The question becomes if you are looking at a $2-3K CD player...this device is worth looking into not only for sound quality with your current music library, but what ever the future may hold for full format downloading without DRM.

The problem is I need to buy 2 Neumann KM 183's for about $1600 and then you spring the Slim Devices on me.

"Honey, where is my W2 and Turbo Tax?"

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

You may be getting 100 MBPS on your local network, but there's no way you're getting 100 MBPS download speeds on your cable connection.

Go to http://www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/, and do a speed test.

As for the Transporter, if you already own a decent DAC, save your money and get a SB3 and a linear PSU.


Quote:
I am at 100 MBPS, and cable service here is awful. I could do HughesNet since I have Driect TV, but I am not paying them over $400 to use their dish. They (Bell South/AT&T) gave me full credit for the router. If Hughes wants to get in the game they need to learn it is about subscribers, not hardware.

Also with Direct TV I have both east and west coast network and PBS station channels so if my wife misses some thing at primetime east coast she can see it again at 11PM EST from west coast feeds. Who needs TIVO.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Rgibran,

These guys are all in cahoots. These writers at "Phile" know we're easy. At least it is not some pair of $40K speakers that are more than both of my cars. LOL

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Rgiban,

You definitely should not come by the house and listen to the TP, unless you want to lighten your wallet :-)
I really should get a commision from Slim.......................hmmmmm....... could pay some of that Jesuit tuition..................

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Your recommended test site said: 4.7mbps, 5 mbps and asked me what state I lived in...like that should matter. It was the same whether it was the direct connected desktop or my laptop wireless.

CECE
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

He said he has DSL, which is nowhere need the speed of a cable modem. Cable modem SYSTEM is the 100/10. I think the man needs to do some research on what DSL is, they usually run like 750 Kbps...nowhere nere Mbps. DSL is already obsolete when you order it. It's just really a help for those who ain't got the cable service available. Cable modem is the fastest. For residences. If you have been using dialup and you go to DSL, you think you are at some blazing speed, it's all relative, get cable then you are at much higher speeds. Then teh next gen of cable modem is gonna obsolete it all too. Cheaper better faster, just like everything else. Except wires.

CECE
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

They ask the state for reference, they accumulate the data as a survey. and yes it can mattter, since different companies servie different areas. And there is a difference. Some companies do it better, faster, more reliable.

CECE
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

You need to UPGRADE your vehicles. then you have a new reference for audio speakers, it's all relative

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Those are excellent speeds for DSL or cable, but it's a long way from 100mbps.

We don't get performance like that from the DSL, cable or the wireless providers where I live.


Quote:
Your recommended test site said: 4.7mbps, 5 mbps and asked me what state I lived in...like that should matter. It was the same whether it was the direct connected desktop or my laptop wireless.

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Actually, none of this is germane to the Transporter. Music you have already loaded on your hard drive is streamed to the TP via wifi.
I never have dropouts and the sound is superb.
Bandwidth has nothing to do with it.
Bandwidth would only apply for downloading , not playback . So isn't bandwidth
discussion a bit OT on this thread ?

Very few audiophiles download music because of the lossy nature of the music file.
Also DRM is an impediment.
Bandwidth might apply to radio streaming but DSL is more than adequate for that purpose.

Monty
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Technology and I have decided to go in different directions. The older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity.

I'm going to be one of those crusty old farts that I used to shake my head toward. Some people find new technology to be exciting and fun, I find it overly complicated and either stressful or annoying. I can usually tell if a product will interest me based on how many pages the instruction manual has.

Heck, I don't even use my word processor in my computer. I write things on paper.

What was the topic we were discussing?

ohfourohnine
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I'm with you, Monty. Technology, for its own sake is boring. I got into it for the music it delivers.

Dial-up gets me as much of the net as I want. I still have no trouble finding LP's, CD's, and SACD's. If I'm still around when there are no more sources of hard copy music I'll have to consider whether to investigate the then current technology or just settle for the music I already have. As Scarlett said, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Given the current rate of development, any "hot" technology you jump on today will be passe in a few months. If things go as I suspect they will, my strategy should let me avoid the birth and death of at least ten generations of the "latest technological breakthrough".

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Monty and cheapskate, you guys should really listen before you form an opinion.
The Transporter is not about technology, it is about a great source for music. The Tp is the most musical digital source I have owned and comes close (for me it rivals) the exalted Ayre in its musicality and resolution.

I have listened to more music and enjoyed it more since I bought the TP.
I have had 8,000.00 + CD systems in my system that didn't sound as good as the TP.

The icing on the cake is the ease of set up and consequent ease and effortless organization of your music library.
Imagine organizing your library with the touch of a button.

However, this convenience is still secondary to the amazing musicality and fidelity of the TP.
If it didn't sound better than any previous CDP I have had I would not have bought it.

Think of the TP as one of the very best CD playback systems on the market regardless of price , then add in the convenience.

Also there are enginers who say that streaming file playback will have inherently less jitter than cd playback. They claim this is a superior digital source.
I don't know, I'm just a musician, but it does sound better to me.

Give it a try.

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Monty and cheapskate if you're happy with the performance of your current digital equipment and don't need the convenience
of PC based music access, relax. IMO, the SB and TP don't sound any better than a good CDP/DVDP, and are far short of the best transports/DACs.

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I think Stereophile disagrees with you on that one

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
The icing on the cake is the ease of set up and consequent ease and effortless organization of your music library. Imagine organizing your library with the touch of a button.

However, this convenience is still secondary to the amazing musicality and fidelity of the TP.

Hard disk based systems are indeed pretty neat but they are not that easy, at least if you listen to classical music.

While most discs are recognized there is a great deal of inconsistency in the databases. For example, the "artist" field may be filled in with the name of the performer (such as Hilary Hahn), the composer (such as Bach) or the name of the conductor. If the name of the composer is chosen, is it "Bach", "J.S. Bach", "Johann Sebastian Bach" or "Bach, J.S"? All of these examples will organize your library differently and can make it a challenge to find a particular disk - especially if you don't know that the system has filed it under "Hahn" rather than Bach, or under the name of the conductor, or the name of the orchestra, etc. The databases appear to do a much better job with pop and rock however.

The databases also make mistakes with missing track names, misidentified pieces of music, etc. Thus, getting the library organized can take a bit of work. Also, once you make an editing change the software no longer knows that you already have a copy of the disk in your collection and will copy it again without prompting you as the information is different. This can be an issue if you have more than fifty CD's or so ("Did I already load this disk or not?") These are just annoyances, but the units are sold as it there is no effort and this is far from true.

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Transporter; it does appear to be a great DAC and an excellent music server interface. However, while many find the idea of ripping all of their CD's to a computer or server appealing, there are many that simply don't want the hassle and expense of setting up and leaving on a computer or NAS to hold their music. $2,000.00, plus a computer or NAS, plus the energy to rip one's CD's, plus a good sized USB drive to back everything up (or a RAID) is quite an investment. I'm not convinced that this is cost effective.

I have a music server, it works very well and it sounds as good as the DAC that it is connected to (the analog outs are OK). FLAC encoded files sound as good as the original CD. Yet I am still not convinced that a music server is the way to go, at least for me. It's pretty easy to walk to my CD's and grab one to play. The server also can't play SACD's of course.

Now if one is addicted to shuffle play it is much easier to use a server...

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

tomjtx-
I have a $50. DVDP that sounds better than the SB3.

Elk-
Excellent post.

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Good for you.

However I have been talking about the Transporter , not the SB.

The TP in my system (Rowland/Watt/puppies) for my ears sounds great. And came very close to the Ayre in my system.
You might have a different experience and/ or different aural preferences, that's what makes the world go round. :-)

Enjoy your listening, I certainly do.

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Elk,
I am a classical musician and have a lot of classical music in my HD and it isn't as easy as other genres. However it hasn't been problematic for me.
I use Itunes and slim integrates very well with it.
I can also browse album art covers and do a search for pesky categorizations.
I can do all this from my laptop on my couch and it takes much less time than getting up and thumbing through my 1,500+ cd rack.

Bottom line for me is it's easier than a CDP and sounds beter than any other digital source I have had and comes so close to the Ayre that it is a preference call IMO in my system.

So, despite a few quirks with the classical category it is still easier than searching for the CD.

As for cost , I didn't have to buy an extra computer. Just used an old e-mac in the study. External HD's are so cheap now the only extra cost was 150.00 for a 500gig HD!
That will store a lot of CDs at ALAC or FLAC.

Anyway , I was just trying to make a friendly sugestion that people might
consider giving the TP a try.
It revolutionized the way I listen and has added to my enjoyment.

I hope it hasn't sounded like I was criticising anyone for not trying, that was definitely not my intention.

ezkcdude
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I think the idea of serving up music files via the computer is pretty much a no-brainer for us younger folks. And while I understand that there are some holdouts who doubt the utility of this, or criticize the audiophile "cred" of the devices, I have yet to see anyone who's actually tried it express these negative opinions. I think the doubters are afraid that if they move on to this technology, it will negate their previous investments in CD players/transports. Maybe so, but if it is really about the music...need I say more? My advice is to start with the SqueezeBox and mate it with your current DAC via the SPDIF output (let's face it, most of the audiophiles here probably have one, anyway). Rip a few CD's and test it out. It will only cost you $299 and some time. How much do you guys spend on cables or other tweaks in a year? Isn't it worth it just to see what all the fuss is about?

Monty
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I think there are a lot more people like me than you think. We aren't making judgements on the sonics of the technology. We merely appreciate simplicity because we don't want all the features.

I remember when picture-n-picture came out for televisions. I thought that was the neatest thing since sliced bread and bought a new Sony TV. After studying the manual for several hours and playing with all the new features that my TV now incorporated, I discovered that I rarely if ever used any of them. I also discovered that when I accidentally pushed a button that engaged one of those fancy features, I sometimes would have to get out my instruction manual to figure out how to undo it. I quickly learned that what I wanted was a good picture and a simple remote.

I have had to relearn that lesson a time or two.

Like Tom said in an earlier post, I'm not bashing the technology, nor do I care whether or not other people find it interesting and fun. I'm simply making a casual, personal observation about my aversion to much of the technology that offers far more features than I care for.

Cell phones are another example of a great technology that I have little use for. I like having a cell phone for the convenience of being able to easily communicate, but all I want from a cell phone is durability, battery life and the ability to place and receive calls...that's it. My cell phone instruction manual is over 100 pages long and I've read maybe 5. Well, you get the picture...

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Monty,
I'm with you on cellphones and simplicity.
That's why I like the TP. It has simplified the way I listen to music.
Admitedly, I am a bad organizer. I hate to file my CDs and they tend to pile up on the floor.
Now that doesn't happen and eventually I'll put all my CDs in storage.

When I buy a CD now I just put it in the computer and press import instead of play and I'm done. I don't have to search the CD rack to file the Cd, don't have to look for it again when I want to hear it.
It's the simplest and most convenient way I've ever listened to music.

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

ezkcdude-

You "younger folks" seem to be satisfied with MP3.

I have a SB3. I agree it's very easy to set up and Rip CDs, but it's sound quality via it's analog or digital outputs is no better than a $50. DVDP, much less a decent CDP or transport. Maybe the TP is better, but I'm not going to spend $2K to find out.

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
Elk,
I am a classical musician and have a lot of classical music in my HD and it isn't as easy as other genres. However it hasn't been problematic for me.
I use Itunes and slim integrates very well with it.
I can also browse album art covers and do a search for pesky categorizations.
I can do all this from my laptop on my couch and it takes much less time than getting up and thumbing through my 1,500+ cd rack.

Classical musician here, too! Trumpet. I also do a good deal of location recording.

I have an Olive Symphony. It is reasonably easy to use my laptop to edit the entries via WiFi using any Internet browser. I don't have a Mac and haven't used iTunes but I understand that the Olive's interface is very similar (the company that makes them makes a lot of Apple peripherals). It isn't that it is hard, it just isn't as brainless as the marketers make it out to be.


Quote:
Bottom line for me is it's easier than a CDP and sounds better than any other digital source I have had and comes so close to the Ayre that it is a preference call IMO in my system.

So, despite a few quirks with the classical category it is still easier than searching for the CD.

The Slim Devices units do have excellent interfaces that allow ready access from across the room via remote. Others should emulate this.

From all reports, the TP sounds excellent. There is absolutely no reason not to try it if your only potential objection is sound. Moreover I like that the TP has lots of digital connectivity so it can be used as a stand alone DAC.

I am a bit troubled by the price however as there are a lot of excellent DACs for less money and the WiFi/ethernet connectivity components are cheap.


Quote:
As for cost , I didn't have to buy an extra computer. Just used an old e-mac in the study. External HD's are so cheap now the only extra cost was 150.00 for a 500gig HD!

That will store a lot of CDs at ALAC or FLAC.

Indeed! At least 1,100 FLAC'd CD's I would think.

I have an extra computer, but also have an emotional block to leaving a computer on all the time. Of course, I could boot it up just when I listen but somehow this seems really silly. I like that the Olive is all in one and consumes only 7 watts even with its hard drive zipping along. The only disadvantage is that it's display, while wonderful, is too small. I do have to rely on an external DAC to get truly good sound, but I had one anyway.


Quote:
Anyway , I was just trying to make a friendly suggestion that people might consider giving the TP a try. It revolutionized the way I listen and has added to my enjoyment. I hope it hasn't sounded like I was criticizing anyone for not trying, that was definitely not my intention. .

Absolutely not! You are providing a user's perspective and this is great. I would not have tried the Olive but for having a friend with an entirely digital system with multiple SB's throughout the house fed by a large NAS. All his music is on it. He also points out that not having to store all his CD's in one place has made a lot of space available.

As one that had (and still has) a mental block to music servers I should be able to articulate why this is, but I cannot.

At first my concern was the sound. An SB with a linear PSU feeding a good DAC addresses this problem. So does the TP.

I don't like a computer running all the time as they are noisy, power inefficient and hot. So? My tube amp is inefficient and generates lots of heat. Perhaps if I was one that left a computer on all the time anyway as a lot of people do perhaps this wouldn't bother me.

It isn't fear of technology, I love gadgets and computers.

Thus, I am giving it a shot although in a somewhat wimpy way.

As for naysayers, I don't understand damning the concept simply because it doesn't appeal to you. (This comment isn't aimed at any anybody here, just a general obserevation.)

Keep us informed as to how you find the TP over time and if you have any additional observations v. the Ayre. That's quite a compliment to the TP that it plays in this league.

rwalmsley
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Am I correct in understanding that the Slim Devices unit is a DAC, not a server. The music is actually stored on an external hard drive in a computer or another device, not in the Slim Devices unit.

Has anyone compared it to actual servers like the Cambridge Audio or Olive Symphony played through a high quality DAC? Does the innards of the actual server (the computer, Cambridge Audio or Olive Symphony units, for example)have an effect on the sound or does the DAC cure all preceding ills?

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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
Am I correct in understanding that the Slim Devices unit is a DAC, not a server. The music is actually stored on an external hard drive in a computer or another device, not in the Slim Devices unit.

That is correct. The TP needs to be connected to the host computer via WiFi or Ethernet. I use a Mac mini, which is frugal with its power demands, BTW, with a Squeezebox feedng my Levinson or Benchmark DACs.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
Has anyone compared it to actual servers like the Cambridge Audio or Olive Symphony played through a high quality DAC? Does the innards of the actual server (the computer, Cambridge Audio or Olive Symphony units, for example)have an effect on the sound or does the DAC cure all preceding ills?

I have the Olive. I have compared CD's played on the Olive's CD drive, files played off of the Olive's hard drive (FLAC encoded), and the same CD played on my transport all going into the same DAC. I can't hear a difference.

Hard drives are believed to avoid some sources of jitter, but not all. Good modern DAC's have excellent jitter rejection in any event. Thus, this does not matter much either way.

The analog output of the Olive is very good, but not excellent. I am sure that the Transporter's analog outs sound better. I doubt that its digital outs sound any different played through the same DAC.

The Mac Mini does sound like a great choice for an efficient server.

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I looked at the Mac Mini, it has a SPDIF output so it doesn't need the services of a SB or TP to connect to your favorite DAC, but if you stick it in your listening room it's SMPS will pullute the AC, and it's internal HD space is limited and you still need a display.

IMO, if Sonos packaged their product's wonderful display remote and wireless connections with a NAS HD, you'd have a very efficient solution.

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I think that those using a Mac Mini use it just as a server and place it outside of the listening room.

The Sonos does look like a good choice. The remote with built in display looks great. The only downside is that you need two of the Sonos ZP80's, plus the remote, to connect to a NAS. This is $1,000.00 (plus the NAS).

As I understand it, the SB will do the same thing for $300.00 with an included remote.

It appears that it just comes down to the interface one prefers as they both will happily feed an outboard DAC.

struts
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Elk,

I agree with your analysis although I would point out that that the Sonos system is designed to be inherently multi-room. It sets up its own encrypted mesh network rather than piggybacking your existing fixed or wireless LAN. That's why you need at least two units to tango (unless your Mac mini and your big-rig are both in the same room, in which case you wouldn't need a streamer at all). So even if the start-up cost with the Sonos is higher the marginal cost per room (of adding a source component, i.e. a ZP-80 versus an SB3) is about the same.

I went the Sonos route for two main reasons:
- I wanted to listen to radio in the kitchen where I didn't have an existing system and the ZP-100 all-in-one was the perfect answer. I may well put ZP-100s in other rooms in the house in the future (as soon as the kids are old enough to get iPods I just know they'll be asking Santa for ZP-100s!)
- The UI was a huge selling point for me. I think it is a fundamental design point that JA failed to emphasize in his review. We are not talking about a 'remote control' the control is remote. The whole UI has been moved off the box and into your hand. I noticed that the OEM remote included with the SB3 comes in for some stick on the Slim Devices forums, especially when the first Transporter customers found out that 'luxury' model was shipping with the same plasticky wand. Others claim that the SB3 display is hard to read across the room. I don't know, but I do know that the full-color display on the Sonos Controller is very easy to read sitting there in the plam of my hand!

I am sure the Transporter is a great sounding product and I am sure the Digital-to-Analogue conversion is state-of-the-art. However, I decided for my own system that investing once in a really good quality digital preamp (after a mezmerising listening session at my local dealer the Boulder 1012 simply sold itself) would save having to reinvest in a decent DAC (Transporter, decent CD player, ..) every time I add a new digital source. The 1012 has analogue inputs too, even a very good phono stage(!) so I don't lose anything in backwards compatibility.

The Sonos ZP-80 sounds simply fantastic playing ALAC or FLAC files off my PC driving the big-rig via Toslink. I am sure the SB3 would too, as would the Transporter, but I decided that for my money any sound quality advantage gained using the Transporter as a digital source (only) would be most unlikely to outweigh the convenience benefits of the Sonos UI.

Your mileage may vary.

Good luck!

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Excellent points, struts!

The Sonos is indeed meant to be its own system. I guess one is trading off buying a means to network (for example, a WiFi server) for buying two Sonos ZP80's. It works out to being about the same.

I can understand that the ability to easily add ZP-100's is a bonus for non-critical listening. I don't have a desire for this so this is not something I had considered. Good thinking.

I fully agree with you that a handheld remote with a good screen on it is wonderful. I just purchased a Nokia N800 partially because it makes such a great remote for my server. I now have a beautiful, fast, handheld display that makes it easy to search for and choose music to listen to. This is a fantastic tool, albeit a little expensive. Then again, with universal remotes in the $300 range the Nokia seems perfectly rational - especially since it is a full featured Internet tablet as well.

Going with the Transporter to use only as a digital source does seem very cost inefficient. Either a Sonos or Squeezebox is then the way to go.

It sounds like you have a great setup!

struts
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

Elk,

Again, it seems like we've been through similar thought loops here.

Thinking through the issues to prepare a comment I made to another thread on this topic I came to the same conclusion, namely that the Nokia N800 was actually the gadget most closely resembling the Sonos controller from a 'consumer electronics DNA' perspective.

The difference is subtle but, I believe, significant - at least for the broader market. The N800 offers a web browser interface where one can presumably run the SB, Olive etc. equivalent of the Sonos desktop controller. The Sonos controller on the other hand has a physical UI (scroll wheel, buttons) that is suited exactly to the purpose of controlling the Sonos (audio) system, no more, no less. For instance, as Apple have ably demonstrated a scroll wheel is particularly well suited to browsing the sort of broad/shallow tree structures that characterise the typical iTunes database.

A generic web-based interface is of course more powerful, but also maybe more intimidating to non-PC-literate users. I have a physical 'back' key but no volume + and -?? To a PC- (or, more correctly, web-) savvy user this is of course an excellent solution, and as you point out, probably even competitive in price-performance terms.

The frustrating thing is that the Sonos controller does not support IR (RC5) so can't be used as a system remote to control any 'legacy' home electronics equipment (the Boulder, for instance, comes with a lovely little 'sculpted' remote to add to your burgeoning collection!) I believe this applies to the N800 too. I think the company or companies that crack dragging RC5 (and, by extension, system remotes) into the tablet/Wi-Fi era are likely to be big winners in the race to 'control' the living room in the era of converged computer//TV/audio.

Anyway, it sounds like you too have a system well optimized to your needs, I bet you're enjoying 'fine tunes' too.

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

You have really thought this through!

A scroll wheel (with push to select) would be a wonderful addition to the N800. It would be great with the music server and on many web pages even if all it did was scroll through embedded links. I want it.

I have a back button, but the volume control that can be invoked controls only the analog outputs and is somewhat buried in the menu

buelligan
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:

Quote:
If it is about the music, this may be the future.

Streaming audio *IS* the future.

Streaming audio will certainly be in my not at all distant future.
BTW
Dear Wes,
Did you perchance use the X-PSU with the X-DAC v3? I'm just curious because once I get my SB3, I will have exactly the combo you compared to the Transporter...AND I NEED YOU TO VALIDATE MY AUDIO DECISIONS AND SAY THAT IT'S JUST AS GOOD AS A TP! Just kidding...Great review of an exciting product category.

miles
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

I was thinking Of replacing my dvd player with a cd player. I read the review Of Slim Device and started thinking that Slim would be a better way to go. I have Sim Audio i-3 intergrated Amp, and Energy Veritas 2.3i's. So what all do I need to get this Slim Device going?

miles
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
That is correct. The TP needs to be connected to the host computer via WiFi or Ethernet. I use a Mac mini, which is frugal with its power demands

Do you have any problems at all with the Mac Mini. Like drivers,pops and pauses in the music coming from the mac?

Editor
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
Do you have any problems at all with the Mac Mini. Like drivers,pops and pauses in the music coming from the mac?

No. Unless, that is, I place the SB3 so far away from the WiFi base station that I can't get guaranteed full-bandwidth transmission/reception. In that case, you need to use the SlimServer's compression option, or use a wireless repeater.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

kana813
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery


Quote:
I was thinking Of replacing my dvd player with a cd player. I read the review Of Slim Device and started thinking that Slim would be a better way to go. I have Sim Audio i-3 intergrated Amp, and Energy Veritas 2.3i's. So what all do I need to get this Slim Device going?

Assuming you've already ripped CDs onto your hard drive, you'll need to install the Slim Server software on your PC,
and connect the PC to a wireless router. Everthing else
you need is included with the SB.

barty
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

So how are people that actually purchased the Transporter like them? I got mine in today and got it hooked up to my (Mac) network just fine. A solid and good-looking component. I swapped the interconnects from my CD player (Tube Research Labs modified Sony 2000ES) to the transporter and then connected a similar pair back in to the CD player and one of the inputs in my integrated amp (VAC Avatar Super) going into Silverline Sonatinas (v1). Power is supplied by a Sound Applications Reference Linestage. It's a good mid-to-upper system, nothing really crazy expensive.

I have almost 900 CDs ripped into Apple Lossless in iTunes. The Slimserver integrated itself nicely. Still tough to navigate through that much music but time will tell on that front.

With no break-in on the Transporter, I was very impressed by the sound of the unit. I though "just as good as my CD player" Score! I then did some A/B comparisons between the TRL Sony and the Transporter. One thing that could be easily heard was a different presentation. Maybe a little more midrange and the low and high frequencies seem slightly muted on the Transporter. Less dynamic. There was definitely more sparkle on the Sony on Beck's Lost Cause from Sea Change. And the acoustic guitars on Patty Griffin's brand new album jump out at you more. It just resolves the highs (the details in the highs).

So a couple of questions. For those that have actually listened. Is it likely that the highs will open up with some breakin time? Do you hear similar presentations from yours? I'm certainly not saying yet that I wouldn't want to live long term with it. Maybe my TRL mod was better than I thought.

Any comments or thoughts?

struts
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Re: Slim Devices and Music Delivery

In a similar vein I wonder if there are any lucky folks out there using Transporters with dCS (or EMM) gear? I would be very interested to hear about your experiences.

Particularly any observations on sound quality comparing TP to a reference disc transport playing uncompressed 16/44.1 programme when a) PLL jitter reduction is applied and b) an external wordclock is used.

Specifically :

  • Comparison between TP and disc (e.g. Verdi) running both straight into the same DAC (e.g. Delius or Elgar) using embedded wordclock and no upsampling
  • Comparison between TP and disc running both into the same DAC via a Purcell i) 'straight' (i.e. only reclocking datastream) ii) upsampling to 24/192 iii) upsampling to DSD
  • Comparison between TP and disc when both are receiving word clock from an external source (e.g. Elgar or, even better, Verona)

Based on my simplified view of the world I just find it very hard to believe that once jitter is as good as removed from the equation there can be any residual difference.

Someone somewhere must have tried it. The question is are they reading this forum??

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