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nastir
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Squeezebox Touch review

Bravo to Kal, for a very informative review of the Squeezebox Touch (not to mention JA's great illustrative measurements). I particularly applaud Kal's experimentation with, and reporting, about John Swenson's (unofficial) USB output "tweak" which I was not particularly familiar with. However, I'm wondering if it was perhaps just the Ayre DX-5 DAC itself that elevated the performance of the pair, and wonder if similar tweaks could be implemented for Toslink or S/PDIF output as well (which is how I'm feeding my Benchmark DAC). Regardless, looks like the "sky is the limit" with this latest Squeezebox iteration!

Hopefully Logitech will incorporate some of the proven software "tweaks" into future firmware upgrades.

Regardless, I think the growing "buzz" about the Touch will definitely catch the attention of even the most digitally-jaded audiophiles!

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
Bravo to Kal, for a very informative review of the Squeezebox Touch (not to mention JA's great illustrative measurements). I particularly applaud Kal's experimentation with, and reporting, about John Swenson's (unofficial) USB output "tweak" which I was not particularly familiar with. However, I'm wondering if it was perhaps just the Ayre DX-5 DAC itself that elevated the performance of the pair, and wonder if similar tweaks could be implemented for Toslink or S/PDIF output as well (which is how I'm feeding my Benchmark DAC). Regardless, looks like the "sky is the limit" with this latest Squeezebox iteration!

I think it is the Ayre DAC that makes the match as there really is no tweak other than rerouting the digital output to USB rather than S/PDIF which, btw, is almost equally spiffy via my old Meridian 861v4.


Quote:
Regardless, I think the growing "buzz" about the Touch will definitely catch the attention of even the most digitally-jaded audiophiles!

I hope so.

Kal

Grosse Fatigue
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Will Turntables Become More Few?

(GWt)

Oblitarated by the Squeezebox, extinct like the dinosaurs?

Squeeze out the Sonos?

I wonder what a Corey Greenberg or a Tom Norton would have written about the Squeezebox Touch.
For the most exciting feature of the Squeezebox is to litterally surf world music with programs like Pandora, like one surf the net with Windows Explorer, not to download, not to make lists which is just the icing on the cake.

Nowadays this magazine like its web site have mediocrity written all over it. From the first page to the page before the last one it is a bore to read.

Freako
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?

IMO that will never happen. Many youngsters are into vinyl, and a dedicated crowd will stay with vinyl forever. The number of youngsters going into hifi as such will become fewer than before, and thus never end up with vinyl. But extinct? Never...

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?


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IMO that will never happen. Many youngsters are into vinyl, and a dedicated crowd will stay with vinyl forever. The number of youngsters going into hifi as such will become fewer than before, and thus never end up with vinyl. But extinct? Never...

Good. That will help maintain the market for my LPs.

Kal (currently restoring a TD-124)

Freako
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?

Don't tell me you're selling out...

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?


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Don't tell me you're selling out...

I have been trying to sell my LPs for years but I have not yet figured out how to do so without effort and with a fair return.

The Thorens fell into my lap, so the restoration project is mostly motivated by curiosity. If I end up listening to the LPs, all the better.

Kal

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Okay so I finally received my copy of the October Stereophile, the one with the Squeezebox Touch on the cover, and I instantly read through Kal Rubinson's first rate and very thorough review.


Quote:
The two-channel SACD tracks offered a more relaxed and spacious sound than even the hi-rez downloads, but the difference wasn't huge.

Now my real question is why does Stereophile keep pushing the almost dead SACD format? I understand the fasination with vinyl since there was and still is a huge amount of very good vinyl available but there has never been nor will there ever be a huge amount of music available on SACD. On the other hand, there is still a chance for high resolution downloads to become popular enough so that a wide range music (besides the standard audiophile dreck - think HP's Super Disc List but try not to get sick) will become available for download. If my understanding of present day digital recording is correct, just about every new recording or remastering is done in high resolution, i.e. 24 bit and 96 kHZ or above, so the files can quite easily be made available for download with a minimum amount of work on the part of the record company.

For the sake of fairness I should mention that Kal does say that the Touch plus a good external DAC is the equal of, if not outright better than, a CD transport and external DAC or just a CD player.

Another bit of confusion on my part is why does Stereophile, the self appointed gate keeper of high quality audio, not raise more of stink about the poor sound quality of most, if not all, internet audio streams??? 192kbps mp3 is most definitely not high quality audio. The bandwidth is available and now it's time for internet audio streams to take the next step up to flac or other lossless format streaming.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Jazzfan,

Don't get too mad at the folks at Phile, they are just trying to keep the last current hirez format from the hearse. SACD is still a great format, and yes 2496 should become more available in the near future.

My question is, is their a guide or link to which streams are "higher resolution" than the 192s you are seeing now for the most part?

Personally, I still think the higher pricing of hi rez formats will keep sales low as we 1%'rs are a small market. As my Echo Indigo card has died I now shift my priorities again to a new recording ADC, but you and Kal have sold me on the Squeezebox Touch.

I saw on another forum guys complaining that they could not find it at a discount and I had to laugh about how cheap and great does something need to be for people to not think a "discount" is important. I think the price is a bargain.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
Okay so I finally received my copy of the October Stereophile, the one with the Squeezebox Touch on the cover, and I instantly read through Kal Rubinson's first rate and very thorough review.


Quote:
The two-channel SACD tracks offered a more relaxed and spacious sound than even the hi-rez downloads, but the difference wasn't huge.

Now my real question is why does Stereophile keep pushing the almost dead SACD format?

I will give you two reasons why I do:
1. It ain't dead yet as I still get new ones at the rate of several per week.
2. It is incumbent on me to compare the D.U.T. to the other existing options.

Kal

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


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My question is, is their a guide or link to which streams are "higher resolution" than the 192s you are seeing now for the most part?


Try these: http://radiobit.50webs.com/
http://www.thestreamguide.com/index.php?...rtfield=bitrate

Useful but not completely reliable.

Kal

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Thanks. They are now in my favorites.

Quite a few links off the Squeezebox site, but many low bit rate, but still a great selection.

Freako
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?


Quote:

Quote:
Don't tell me you're selling out...

I have been trying to sell my LPs for years but I have not yet figured out how to do so without effort and with a fair return.

The Thorens fell into my lap, so the restoration project is mostly motivated by curiosity. If I end up listening to the LPs, all the better.

Kal

Makes me sad. Vinyl rocks big time. I sure hope you'll end up enjoying your LP's

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?

Our LPs are at least the equal, and really much better, than streams at 192. I will never stop playing lps.

As a sidenote, it appears that the Wind Ensemble from the Universtiy of West Georgia is going to be playing a concert in conjunction with the Stereophile Show in Atlanta in the spring. Very nice. I am very happy for Dr. John Bleuel and his fine group of musicians. Those who attend will enjoy.

RGibran
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


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My question is, is their a guide or link to which streams are "higher resolution" than the 192s you are seeing now for the most part?

One can always go to www.shoutcast.com

Select Genre from left table

click 'bitrate' column header on right to sort by highest

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Will Turntables Become More Few?


Quote:
Makes me sad. Vinyl rocks big time. I sure hope you'll end up enjoying your LP's

Perhaps, even if they don't "rock."

Kal

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
One can always go to www.shoutcast.com

Select Genre from left table

click 'bitrate' column header on right to sort by highest

I've tried that but they cannot distinguish classical from classic rock, so the listings are compromised.

Kal

jazzfan
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:

Quote:
Okay so I finally received my copy of the October Stereophile, the one with the Squeezebox Touch on the cover, and I instantly read through Kal Rubinson's first rate and very thorough review.


Quote:
The two-channel SACD tracks offered a more relaxed and spacious sound than even the hi-rez downloads, but the difference wasn't huge.

Now my real question is why does Stereophile keep pushing the almost dead SACD format?

I will give you two reasons why I do:
1. It ain't dead yet as I still get new ones at the rate of several per week.
2. It is incumbent on me to compare the D.U.T. to the other existing options.

Kal

Kal,

Thank you for the responses (both here and on the Squeezebox forum) but more importantly thank you for the great Touch review.

My comments were more about the sad state of affairs with respect to high resolution audio and internet audio streams than about some shortcoming in your review. I'll try to clarify my feelings on these issues.

With the advent of networked music players there now exists the ability to have true high resolution audio available for a reasonable cost. And yes I realize that SACD is not dead yet but it is most certainly on life support with respect to jazz and classical music but it is definitely DEAD with respect to popular music and new releases from most larger record companies. On the other hand some of the larger record companies are beginning to pay attention to the other formats of available for high resolution audio, e.g. the 24 bit Beatles USB "apple" and some releases available as 24/96 on sites like HDTracks. What is needed to turn this ripple into a wave is more demand and at $300 the Touch can hopefully help to push that demand along.

So sure SACD is nice and sounds great but the industry is not going to suddenly re-embrace this technology. However the industry just might become interested in hi-rez downloads if there is a demand for it.

My second pet peeve is the miserable state of internet audio streams. Have you seen how nice a picture can had using Netflix's "Watch Instantly" feature? I'm pretty sure that the bandwidth used to stream an HD movie is more demanding than the bandwidth required to stream lossless audio. Again we, as audiophiles and consumers, must demand better audio quality or it is just not going to happen.

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


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I've tried that but they cannot distinguish classical from classic rock, so the listings are compromised.

Kal

Fortunately your ability to quickly visually distinguish the two doesn't seem compromised.

SpecificOcean
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Well, Kal, this review pushed me over the edge. I want a Squeezebox now! ...

So let me see if I understand...I COULD connect a NAS hard drive, load CDs onto it, AND connect to my wireless network to stream Internet radio stations to me receiver...right?

BTW, you'll love the TT once you get it up and going (but won't you need to get a vintage quadraphonic amp/receiver for "music in the round"?)...lol.

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
So let me see if I understand...I COULD connect a NAS hard drive, load CDs onto it, AND connect to my wireless network to stream Internet radio stations to me receiver...right?

Partially correct since you don't have to load CD's onto your hard drive to stream Internet radio via the Touch. In fact you don't even have to have your computer running to stream Internet radio via the Touch, all you need is for the Touch to be connected to the Internet via your network.

Connecting a NAS hard drive, loading CD's onto the hard drive and connecting the Touch to your network will allow you to wireless stream whatever audio is on the NAS to the Touch.

Works great and sounds wonderful - what more could one want for $300?

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:

Quote:
I've tried that but they cannot distinguish classical from classic rock, so the listings are compromised.

Kal

Fortunately your ability to quickly visually distinguish the two doesn't seem compromised.

Nope. I keep that facility finely tuned.

Kal

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

I showed my Oct issue of Stereophile to 2 teachers at school and they said on payday they are buying one. They thought that it was the neatest thing audio they had seen all year.

Now is when Dr. Kal and Jazzfan say, "I told you so".

jazzfan
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
I showed my Oct issue of Stereophile to 2 teachers at school and they said on payday they are buying one. They thought that it was the neatest thing audio they had seen all year.

Now is when Dr. Kal and Jazzfan say, "I told you so".

Jim,

I won't say "I told so", I'd much rather say "enjoy and welcome to the club!"

And one big word of warning: BACKUP!!!!!

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Jim,

I won't say "I told so", I'd much rather say "enjoy and welcome to the club!"

And one big word of warning: BACKUP!!!!!
-------------------------------------------------

Is that me, personally, or meaning to buy a back up HD? lol

I couldn't resist, uless you really meant the first part!

jazzfan
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Is that me, personally, or meaning to buy a back up HD? lol

I couldn't resist, uless you really meant the first part!

Now Jim if I had meant you personally I would have said "back off! if you know what's good for you" (spoken in a deep voice with a thick Brooklyn accent, which is where I grew up).

I am however quite serious about the recommendation, no not recommendation but actual requirement for taking the backup of data very seriously. After losing quite a bit of my digital music library due to an insufficient backup scheme and having to slowly re-rip all my jazz CDs I now make sure I have a full mirrored backup set at all times.

While I fully understand that JA and the rest of Stereophile's writers might feel that the non-audio aspects of maintaining a hard disk based digital music library should be an area best left to the computer magazines, as a reader of many computer magazines I can confidently state that these magazines do not give the subject matter complete coverage. nor do they give any coverage with an avid music listener, let alone an audiophile, in mind. So what we're left with are self appointed computer audio specialists like the Computer Audiophile doing a rather poor job and providing lots of really bad information.

Is it any wonder why I keep harping on JA and Stereophile to stop standing on the sidelines and jump into this area with both feet. A device like the Touch clearly shows that computer based audio is here to stay and will only get bigger and more important with time.

Believe it or not what programs one chooses to use for things like CD ripping, file renaming, file tagging and music library playback and management do have a big impact on one's overall enjoyment of one's collection. Although these programs most likely will not have much effect on the sound of one's music, other things such as ease of use, learning curves, speed and compatibility, all play a part in making a difficult task more manageable.

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
....
Works great and sounds wonderful - what more could one want for $300?

They want surround sound, just like for SACD when they started this new column and named it "Music in the Round"

Goofy name for a column
I can see myself holding hands dancing and chanting jewish songs with Rubber Duck and J V Sirenus then, dizzy, falling happily over each other
SACD was a flop but we got stuck with the column

Freako
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Rubber Duck:

Voulez-vous danser "en rond" avec moi ce soir??

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
SACD was a flop but we got stuck with the column

True but Kal is one of the better reviewers and I enjoy his writing.

By the way, if using the digital output on the Touch and connecting it a AV receiver which can decode DTS then you can stream a DTS encoded flac or wav file and the receiver will decode it into surround sound. I know that DTS is not high resolution like SACD but it is surround.

Kal Rubinson
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Quote:
True but Kal is one of the better reviewers and I enjoy his writing.

Thanks.


Quote:
By the way, if using the digital output on the Touch and connecting it a AV receiver which can decode DTS then you can stream a DTS encoded flac or wav file and the receiver will decode it into surround sound. I know that DTS is not high resolution like SACD but it is surround.

Yes, it works just fine but you must keep the volume control on the Touch at 100%. Any setting lower than that will change the bitstream and the DTS signal will be corrupted.

Kal

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
Rubber Duck:

Voulez-vous danser "en rond" avec moi ce soir??

I don't speak French, but I do understand that you are asking for a dance, politely. No thanks, I'm not that much into French guys. Send your sister instead.

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
...I know that DTS is not high resolution like SACD but it is surround.

Funny that obsession with surround sound
Music in the Round, etc

DTS encoded live music is fine but actually if one wants surround sound all he has to do is to use a Meridian processor and this is how I listen to music in my home cinema room with 5 full range NHT 3.3s

Surround sound is a misnoming as it is more about a good center speaker (and not dinky speakers like most) than rear speakers in my opinion

Surround sound can actually be achieved with two or three front speakers only, the processor taking over

It is way overblown to attract the gogos (5 speakers, then 7 speakers, 11... where do you stop?) unless you own a commercial movie theater and sell magazines and hardware

My audio set up is stereo. One don't need rear speakers with electrostatics and horns

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

We're going to have to start a new category: mail order brides!

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
Surround sound can actually be achieved with two or three front speakers only, the processor taking over

Like many of your pronouncements, this is incomprehensible and I know I will regret asking but:

Care to explain how 3 front speakers create surround sound?

Kal

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

The same way 2 speakers boom boxes were capable of doing it 10 years ago: sound processing.

I see the home cinema of the future with only two, maybe 3 front speakers, no rear speakers.

Surround sound speakers will go the way of THX speakers in the 90s.

You are already regretting asking...

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
The same way 2 speakers boom boxes were capable of doing it 10 years ago: sound processing.

I see the home cinema of the future with only two, maybe 3 front speakers, no rear speakers.

Surround sound speakers will go the way of THX speakers in the 90s.

You are already regretting asking...

Actually, no regrets, at least, yet.

Are you saying that with interchannel processing among the front speakers, one can synthesize the perception of stable rear sources? I know this can be done with DSP but, afaik, no one has demonstrated it in a domestic product with speakers.

Kal

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Now you have done it. I am off to Radio Shack to buy some speaker wire and I am putting 2 rear speakers up in my 3.0 system with my front 3 Triangles and moving my Sony SACD/DVD player into my man cave and cranking up at least 5.0 in my SACDs.

Dr. Kal is out rummaging in his garage trying to find his swell Dynaco 4-channel Decoder box. Keld and I have just been using our Dick Tracy Decoder "rings", but now I am getting serious.

I'm usually so out of phase it may not make a difference. I DO really think I prefer discreet rear channels. That much I know.

8:20pm: I 've just listened to Diana Krall in SACD 5.O and now Warren Bernhardt's Amelia's Song, his piano in the right speaker as recorded. O.K. I'm "IN THE ROUND".

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Quote:
We're going to have to start a new category: mail order brides!

That exists already, but they're all Russian or Phillipines.

Freako
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Quote:
Now you have done it. I am off to Radio Shack to buy some speaker wire and I am putting 2 rear speakers up in my 3.0 system with my front 3 Triangles and moving my Sony SACD/DVD player into my man cave and cranking up at least 5.0 in my SACDs.

Dr. Kal is out rummaging in his garage trying to find his swell Dynaco 4-channel Decoder box. Keld and I have just been using our Dick Tracy Decoder "rings", but now I am getting serious.

I'm usually so out of phase it may not make a difference. I DO really think I prefer discreet rear channels. That much I know.

8:20pm: I 've just listened to Diana Krall in SACD 5.O and now Warren Bernhardt's Amelia's Song, his piano in the right speaker as recorded. O.K. I'm "IN THE ROUND".

There he goes. One more stereo freak lost to the jungle of surround sound

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Just an occasional vacation. A tweak for under $20.00 can't be a totally bad thing. I've not gone to the dark side have I?

Senility...a mind is a terrible thing to waste, I mean lose.

Freako
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Who are you again?

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Echec et mat

Fake surround sound with 2 speakers, simulated surround sound has been around for a while in lowly gear actually and even sometimes implemented in TV sets

- "SRS" is the oldest one
- Bose has "True Space Digital Signal Processing"
- DTS has "Surround Sensation" technology

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

You are so plain

You could at least say yes but
tonight, sorry, I have take my dog to the doctor,
for example

rvance
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

Hey Jim. Congrats on your willingness to try new things.

I've had a high rez discreet 5.1 and 5.2 system since 2000 (OMG, 10 years!) and I love it for music and movies. I've avoided the bi/di/tri-pole rear speakers to avoid "diffusing" my multi-channel music. My rear speakers use the same driver array as my fronts, but in smaller, stand-mounted cabinets (Wharfedale Pacific Evo's). Of course, I also enjoy my 2 channel stuff and vinyl as well. Best of all worlds, IMO.

Enjoy your hobby, I say.

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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
You are so plain

You could at least say yes but
tonight, sorry, I have take my dog to the doctor,
for example

But I have no dog!

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review


Quote:
Echec et mat

Fake surround sound with 2 speakers, simulated surround sound has been around for a while in lowly gear actually and even sometimes implemented in TV sets

- "SRS" is the oldest one
- Bose has "True Space Digital Signal Processing"
- DTS has "Surround Sensation" technology

Yech. They all suck.

Kal

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Squeezebox Touch review

I only have about 10 MC SACDs and I had a unused pair of small speakers, and no small woodland animals were harmed during this experiment as AD would say. I listened to a Spyro Gyra mc SACD as I had to smooth over the last minute GA loss to R-Kansas today.

Gonna be a long-en this year. Red-shirt freshman QB for GA played well today. Aaron Murray is a keeper. His new best friend became wideout Durham today. 2 great catches today.

I'm gonna enjoy what I have the then when I buy my Squeezebox I will run digital out from it to my Pioneer Elite.

3 RCA classical Red Seal SACD 3 channel reissues up for tonight's listening.

Braves up 3-2 to the Mets in the bot 8th. Hope they can make the last few weeks interesting.

Braves won, Phillies need to lose today and tomorow.

Grosse Fatigue
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Joined: Nov 22 2007 - 7:04pm
Re: Squeezebox Touch review

I desagree

Low end speakers sound much better that way
Boom boxes 15 years ago sounded much better the minute you hitted SRS

2 or 3 front speakers in the home is the future, even for movies (the L ch and the R ch can handle the rear field)

Grosse Fatigue
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Joined: Nov 22 2007 - 7:04pm
Re: Squeezebox Touch review

You invent a dog

At my social club when I ask the concierge if I have any message he never answers no
He answers: "Not yet"

Freako
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Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Squeezebox Touch review

I have enough diagnoses as it is. Better not invent imaginary playfriends too

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