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  1. #1
    Ajani
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    Just Ordered a Squeezebox Classic

    So now the wait begins. I took the plunge and ordered a Squeezebox Classic today and according to the UPS site: it's intransit... so once I get it, I'll give an update on functionality and set-up.... My review on sound quality won't be anytime soon, since I haven't purchased a decent audio setup yet (I won't mention what I'm using now - it's kinda depressing).

    This will be my 2nd time using a computer based music system. 2 years ago I had a mac-mini as my music server... but this time around I wanted to try a 'TV free' option... so I went for the Squeezebox...

  2. #2
    Ajani
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    Well... the Squeezebox has landed in the country... so I should receive it in a few hours... I'm anxious to see if it works well... and whether the screen will be good for scrolling through songs...

    Just felt I should add this update since the Computer Audio section seems to be so dead, whenever spanky goes away.

  3. #3
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    let us know how it works

    I wonder how good it works too, I've read quite some good things about it, but I never get to try one out (well, then again, my pc is about 1.5 metres away from my stereo ) but it could be a good idea for dad's stereo upstairs...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  4. #4
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    let us know how it works

    I wonder how good it works too, I've read quite some good things about it, but I never get to try one out (well, then again, my pc is about 1.5 metres away from my stereo ) but it could be a good idea for dad's stereo upstairs...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    I just collected it from customs...and was charged only a 1/4 of the duties I was expecting

    Too bad I won't be going home to set it up for another 2.5 hours

    Anyway, I'm anxious to see how it works compared to using my previous mac mini and tv setup... Off hand the Squeezebox has the advantage of not requiring a tv (which is a major plus) but I really wonder if the LCD screen will be big enough to be good for scrolling through albums... especially compared to when I had Apple's Front Row application running on a 52inch LCD screen (Being single in Canada, sure allowed for frivolous expenditure on electronics - ok enough reminiscing on the good old days)...

    I'll write an update later tonight after I've tried out the Squeezebox...

  5. #5
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    (Being single in Canada, sure allowed for frivolous expenditure on electronics - ok enough reminiscing on the good old days)...

    I'll write an update later tonight after I've tried out the Squeezebox...
    Where are you now brutha?

    I'm looking forward to reading your impressions. It's against any conventional audiophile wisdom that this should work...but I bet it's a better alternative than you imagine.

  6. #6
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Where are you now brutha?
    One of the smallest countries in the world - St. Kitts....

  7. #7
    Ajani
    Guest
    Time for my initial impressions:

    Keep in mind that these are based on using the Squeezebox with a LAN cable and headphones... When I get my wireless and audio setup running, I'll give another update...

    1st off - the sound to my headphones is a definite improvement over the laptop (not that any of you would likely be using the Squeezebox like that)...

    Now for the real question: setup and functionality

    Setup was actually fairly straightforward: Plug in the player and follow the onscreen instructions... meanwhile (or better yet, before) you download the squeezecenter software and create and account online... very easy...

    Squeezecenter then imported my itunes library and playlists (very nice)...

    and off I went...

    Functionality is in some ways better and some ways worse than using a mac-mini running apple's front row media application... there are 2 major advantages to the Squeezebox:

    1) You don't need a TV.
    2) Your music is not disturbed by using the computer!!!! that was a huge problem with using the MAC.... surfing the net etc... would cause my audio to drop out and do strange things...

    The only real drawback compared to the mac is that the display really can't compare to using front row on a large tv... but if you want a better interface you can always pay the extra $100 and get the squeezebox duet (I think I'll buy one eventually and use the classic in my bedroom with my mini-system)...

    Another problem (not for me, but for many "audiophiles") is that the Squeezebox is essentially a shiny black plastic box... but seriously, for $300 what can you expect???

    Based on my experience so far, I think the squeezebox is an excellent solution for listening to music stored on your computer...

    Updates to follow....

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Glad you like it. I got one a couple years ago, and am still using it. Best $300 i ever spent.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

    FREE RADICAL RADIO: Hours of free, radical MP3s!

  9. #9
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Ajani did you get a stereo yet?

  10. #10
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Ajani did you get a stereo yet?
    Yes and no... My wife was kind enough to buy me a (groan) mini-system to use until I can buy my stereo... But the wait is now longer than ever, because we started construction on a house this week... so my stereo is on hold until after we buy furniture/appliances, pay closing costs and all that other useless stuff...

    I suspect I'll Lose my patience and drop my plans from a Monitor Gold GS20 and Musical Fidelity X-T100 to a Monitor Audio Silver RS6 and Marantz PM7001, in order to ensure that I don't end up waiting a year or more to get my stereo...

    In the meanwhile I get to relive my years as a teen (I remember how excited I was when I bought my first Panasonic mini-system at 16.... somehow I don't have quite the same enthusiasm over one now)...

  11. #11
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    Glad you like it. I got one a couple years ago, and am still using it. Best $300 i ever spent.
    The Best $300 I ever spent used to be a Marantz CD5001 (once I don't include wild nights in the strip club while I was single lol) but I can definitely say that the Squeezebox is now my favorite use of $300...

    It justs works like it's supposed to... convenient!!!! I can't wait till I have it hooked up to a decent stereo so I can really judge it's sonic performance (even if that were to fall short, I'd still think it's a great value since I can always add a DAC)...

  12. #12
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Right, I use the digital out of mine, going into a high-end setup.

    Have you gotten into the Internet radio stations yet? That's one of my favorite things about it -- I now have a really killer collection of material, thanks to discovering a number of stations I love.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

    FREE RADICAL RADIO: Hours of free, radical MP3s!

  13. #13
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    Right, I use the digital out of mine, going into a high-end setup.

    Have you gotten into the Internet radio stations yet? That's one of my favorite things about it -- I now have a really killer collection of material, thanks to discovering a number of stations I love.
    So far I've just tested out a few random stations... but my initial impressions are quite positive... lots of variety, so I'm sure I'll find a few favorites soon....

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    So far I've just tested out a few random stations... but my initial impressions are quite positive... lots of variety, so I'm sure I'll find a few favorites soon....
    Right, it doesn't matter what kind of music you're into, there's something out there that's right up your alley.

    I highly recommend the RadioIO set of stations. Worth paying for the commercial-free version.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

    FREE RADICAL RADIO: Hours of free, radical MP3s!

  15. #15
    Ajani
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    So another quick update... I got the wireless up and running... and it works beautifully so far... I haven't heard any breaks in the songs or anything else that might give away the change from LAN cable to wireless...

    Also, I've gotten used to the simple 1 line screen on the Squeezbox Classic and from my listening distance of about 8 feet I find it very easy to read and use...

    So quick question: Has anyone tried connecting the Squeezbox directly to an amp? Essentially using the Squeezebox as Transport, DAC & Preamp...

    I'm torn between buying an integrated amp or just getting a power amp (with the power amp I suppose I could always buy a pre later if necessary)...

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    So quick question: Has anyone tried connecting the Squeezbox directly to an amp? Essentially using the Squeezebox as Transport, DAC & Preamp...
    Yes, but for the safety of your speakers, you want to put *some* sort of attenuation between the SB and your amp.

    Do a search on the Slim Devices forums for this topic, there's a great deal of discussion about it. Apparently the problem is this: People have said that on rare occasions, the SB will put out a blast of white noise at full volume. It's never happened to me, but other people have said it's happened to them.

    If you were running your SB directly into the amp, that could damage your speakers (and maybe your hearing.)

    There are simple devices you can put in between the SB and the amp to prevent this from happening. Search the forums, and you'll see people discussing this.

    The other thing is that if you rely solely on the SB volume control, low volume levels result in slightly poorer sound, I think. There is also discussion of this on the forums.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

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  17. #17
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    True

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    ....

    The other thing is that if you rely solely on the SB volume control, low volume levels result in slightly poorer sound, I think. There is also discussion of this on the forums.
    As I understand it, use of a digital volume control effectively limits the bit rate and thereby compresses the sound, the effect of which would depend on the music, I suppose. Better to use some sort of analog attenuator.

  18. #18
    Ajani
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    Thanks Mike and Feanor...

    Though I haven't experienced any white noise (so far anyway), based on the possibility of white noise + likely bit rate compression (which I assume will be audible), I think I'll just stick with an Integrated Amp to be safe...

    Thanks again for the advice...

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