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Gideon
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Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

In my living room I currently have a pair of Wilson Watt2 Puppy3 's, with a mid-90s era Fosgate pre-amp and Hafler amp. I'm planning to rip my CDs to an Infrant NAS using FLAC and feed them into the living room using Slim Devices. I need help deciding between the following three alternatives:

1. Buying the Transporter and feeding the analog o/p into my Fosgate
2. Buying the Squeezebox3 and using its digital o/p into a DAC, still using the Fosgate as a pre-amp (in which case, which DAC?)
3. Replacing the Fosgate with a processor/preamp like an Anthem AVM 30 or even Statement D1 and using its DAC (again, which one?)

Money is a criterion, as is value for money and future-proofing.

Thanks!

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

I have Watts > Rowland
I have a transporter (TP) and am very happy with it.
I have a Squeezebox and had a LavryDAC10 which some think is better than the Benchmark.
I sold the LAvry and kept the TP.

I thought the TP was better but the Lavry is very good and it could be just personal preference.

I thought the TP came close to the Ayre which is pretty high praise.
Aberdeen mods the TP and I will audition that and post impressions on the Slim forum.
I think the TP is one of the best buys in audio, but don't take my word, they have a 30 day trial offer.
Good luck and please post your thoughts once you hear everything.
Tom

RGibran
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Re: Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

I have a Squeezebox digital out into my Arcam processor and find it more than sufficient for non critical listening, and admit I have to strain a bit, or perhaps be overly picky about any differences between that combo and my CD player analogue out to the Arcam in Pure Direct mode. The dedicated player still gets the nod however.

I

tomjtx
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Re: Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

Just to clarify, I think the SB with PSU>Lavry is comparablr to the TP.
Some people slightly prefer the Lavry others the TP
I like the 1 box TP look and slightly prefered it's presentation
If you spend 150 for a SB psu then it's 1450 for SB>LAVRY
V 1700 for the TP (you get a free SB with TP purchase)
So a 250.00 difference.

I should sell my as new SB and Bolder/Elpac but I've been kind of lazy :-)

Elk
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Re: Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

And you can put the extra SB on a Tivoli Model One table radio. I have a friend that did this. It's a cute combo, works great and is a great conversation starter.

Gideon
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Re: Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

Thanks, RG. I'm not planning to go to surround sound in this room. My thinking on the processor/preamp was that my Fosgate probably needs to be updated at some point, and that current generation processor/preamps have DACs built-in, thus obviating the need for a seperate DAC if I went down that route.

-Gideon

struts
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Re: Slim Devices Transporter vs DAC vs Processor/Pre-Amp

Gideon,

You don't say if you use any other analogue sources (for instance, do you need phono capability?) or what sources you listen to most, however assuming you get bitten like the rest of us and end up pretty much exclusively listening to streamed music my vote would be for 2 or 3.

  • you probably want multiple digital ins (for future expansion)
  • you probably want multiple analogue ins
  • you probably want a high quality analogue volume control that doesn't attenuate the signal by reducing its resolution
  • you may even want quaint old-fashioned things like a headphone socket or a tape loop

The Transporter meets the first criterion, but not afaik the other three.

How you achieve this is somewhat dependent on the budget and the quality of your Fosgate preamp (no experience myself). As rgibran points out, judging by the reviews and comments on the forum the Benchmark DAC-1 seems to be the fave rave sub-$1k and has been for a while. I have never heard one myself but depending on which CD player you have (you don't say - presumably you have one though if you have CDs?) the benchmark may be a big step up (or down).

However for neat packaging, and avoiding the degradation (sonic and financial) of additional interconnects I wouldn't rule out a good DAC/preamp either. Depending on how it stacks up against your Fosgate pre going that route might even improve on your analogue sound quality into the bargain. I can, for instance, recommend the Grace m902 headphone amp (which can accommodate balanced and single-ended analogue and digital sources and provides single-ended line outs as well), although I should stress I have only listened to its headphone out extensively myself.

Anyway, good luck. I agree that the industry appears to be at a watershed and the best way forward is far from clear. However as 'Farbro Barbro' famously said "there are no short-cuts to the perfect sound" (sorry, Swedish in-joke that's impossible to explain - just couldn't resist it).

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