Squeezebox Touch users: digital output?

mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
My DAC should be arriving soon. I was planning to use the SBT's digital coax output, but have read about the app that reconfigures the USB port for digital output. Has anyone here tried this? I'm afraid it might be more trouble than it's worth, especially since it doesn't seem like it's been tested with my DAC (Marantz HD-DAC1). In any case, I'm expecting a nice improvement over using the analog output.

https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?94512-Announce-Enhanced-Digital-Output-app-USB-Dac-and-192k-Digital-Ouput
7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic

Comments

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,712
    edited July 25
    KISS. Using USB for audio adds a whole lot of different variables to contend with. I don't think USB was ever really designed or intended for audiophile use to be honest.

    If I were you I'd just instead focus on finding a nice digital coaxial cable that is at least 1.5m long.
    Got Dayens?
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,126
    Agreed. Nothing wrong with digital coaxial output from that device in this situation. That's how I have all four of mine connected.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Toshiba HD-DVD Player; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 Preamp; Sonic Frontiers Power 2 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Pioneer Elite SC97 receiver; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 421
    I am running 'Enhanced Digital Output' from the 3rd Party App list, and using the digital coax output.

    My understanding is that the app adds support for two things:
    - External USB dacs using either USB audio class 1 or 2 protocols [USB 1 dacs normally state they support up to 96k sample rates, USB 2 dacs normally state up to 192k]
    - Support of 176 and 192k playback via the standard digital output

    My interpretation, perhaps wrong, is that the latter point enhances the digital coax output. But this is probably dependent on the digital music source.

    Either way, I think you will hear an improvement over the analog output.

    Side note: Is anyone besides me using the Spotty app since native Spotify support was discontinued?
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    jdjohn wrote: »
    I am running 'Enhanced Digital Output' from the 3rd Party App list, and using the digital coax output.
    Pretty sure the SBT I purchased here is also running this app (says something about enhanced digital output when it boots up). That's what got me thinking about USB.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    Clipdat wrote: »
    KISS. Using USB for audio adds a whole lot of different variables to contend with. I don't think USB was ever really designed or intended for audiophile use to be honest.

    If I were you I'd just instead focus on finding a nice digital coaxial cable that is at least 1.5m long.
    Why did you mention a minimum length? If I go with digital coax, I was planning to use one of the 2-foot cables I purchased here.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    Emlyn wrote: »
    Agreed. Nothing wrong with digital coaxial output from that device in this situation. That's how I have all four of mine connected.

    Yeah, I know. I was just wondering if anyone had a significantly better experience with USB. Sounds like probably not, but this is my personal "best" setup, so I'm going for best I can do with what I have. I'll probably be going for some power cable upgrades next.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,126
    If you haven't already tried one you may want to find one of the external power supplies. I bought one of those but it stopped powering up after a while. It did lower the noise floor a bit when I had it. The improvement wasn't enough to make me want to buy another one though, but by then I had moved on to a better source component.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Toshiba HD-DVD Player; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 Preamp; Sonic Frontiers Power 2 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Pioneer Elite SC97 receiver; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    Emlyn wrote: »
    If you haven't already tried one you may want to find one of the external power supplies. I bought one of those but it stopped powering up after a while. It did lower the noise floor a bit when I had it. The improvement wasn't enough to make me want to buy another one though, but by then I had moved on to a better source component.

    Got one when I bought the Touch. :)

    https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/172440/sb-touch-w-power-supply
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    Clipdat wrote: »

    I'll have to consider that as part of the next cable upgrade.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 421
    Speaking of cables and the SBT, I will say that using an ethernet cable for the router connection is better than wi-fi. And using a quality ethernet cable can make a difference as well. I tried two different patch cables from Home Depot, but was still having buffering issues. I tried the second one after thinking the first one was bad. Nope. I finally ordered a custom-made CAT5 cable from BJC, and no more buffering problems. They actually send a test report for each cable they sell after terminating the ends which ensures correct pin-out, etc. https://www.bluejeanscable.com/networkcablereports.htm

    While I was looking into all this, I found a good article that showed test results of off-the-shelf patch cables available at typical retailers, and wow...quality was pretty bad. The cables were good enough to use for typical networking purposes, but throughput was slow under demanding conditions like streaming. Typical network traffic sends files of a few megabytes back-and-forth, and then the real processing work is done on the computers, so substandard cable might not get noticed. But with streaming, it's a constant flow of data, and bad cable will reveal its flaws.
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    I ran about 40 feet of Cat6 that I terminated myself... Seems ok. No buffering, even with hi-res streams.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    jdjohn wrote: »
    I am running 'Enhanced Digital Output' from the 3rd Party App list, and using the digital coax output.

    My understanding is that the app adds support for two things:
    - External USB dacs using either USB audio class 1 or 2 protocols [USB 1 dacs normally state they support up to 96k sample rates, USB 2 dacs normally state up to 192k]
    - Support of 176 and 192k playback via the standard digital output

    My interpretation, perhaps wrong, is that the latter point enhances the digital coax output. But this is probably dependent on the digital music source.

    Either way, I think you will hear an improvement over the analog output.

    Side note: Is anyone besides me using the Spotty app since native Spotify support was discontinued?
    Interesting on the USB enable, you guys. Pretty cool. I've had nice results with a switch to USB audio from SPDIF variants, so I'm a little interested in this, and whether it can offer a similar improvement.

    I'm using the Spotty Plugin, yes. Love it. Better than the original ever worked. Have you noticed that it broadcasts in flac sized bitrates now?

    So grateful for the continued community development for the Squeezebox Touch and other Squeeze related players. I love the platform, it works really well for me with all the different services available, as well as local files on my Everything PC, as well as multiple device syncing for multi-room audio.

    I've found that evaluating system adjustments is more productive if you know what you're listening for. Sometimes it just jumps out at you, or it's something you know to listen for from other experiences. It's not just sound quality. For example, one type of connectivity may sound similar in general, but may offer an improvement in imaging, which most casual listeners might not pick up on. I think this is one of those things that sets the audio freaks apart from music lovers. (In care you're all the audio freak variety.)

  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    I'm very happy with the SB platform and don't really have a desire to move off of it. Two Touchs, a Classic, and four Duet Receivers. I just like the way it works. My FLAC library is on a NAS. For streaming, my service of choice is Slacker. Yeah, 320 max, but I only use it for casual listening around the house (as well as for running and in the car). Should I ever need additional SB hardware, and decent used gear isn't readily available, I'd probably consider a DIY solution, like this: https://www.hifiberry.com/blog/a-high-end-squeezebox-replacement/
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    That's a cool diy variant!
    I built a couple of headless ones using the HiFiBerry DAC+, their case, and run piCorePlayer on them. I control everything with Orange Squeeze for Android, or through the web browser hitting the local LMS. Would be nice to have a touch screen to see and control locally, though.

    I think they ended up costing around $135 - $150, maybe? You can even just get Digi+ Pi hats to output digital to your own DAC if you prefer.
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    Yeah, I might even build one just for fun some time!

    FYI, I had been using Squeeze Commander for Android up until recently, when I noticed it was no longer in the Play store. I had also discovered a glitch in that it failed to recognize album artists vs individual track artists. I switched to Squeeze Ctrl and love it.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 421
    msg wrote: »
    That's a cool diy variant!
    I built a couple of headless ones using the HiFiBerry DAC+, their case, and run piCorePlayer on them. I control everything with Orange Squeeze for Android, or through the web browser hitting the local LMS. Would be nice to have a touch screen to see and control locally, though.

    I think they ended up costing around $135 - $150, maybe? You can even just get Digi+ Pi hats to output digital to your own DAC if you prefer.
    So Orange Squeeze works with the Spotty app? I had wondered about this...

    Really a shame that Logitech abandoned SB. It was way ahead of its time.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,396
    I loved the SB interface. Intuitive, easy, powerful. Used to love to do "play music by year."
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; Belden 1694A Dig Coax | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,912
    edited July 26
    When I had the SqueezeBox, I modded it for I2S out using a Twisted Pear Teleporter. With I2S, clock is separate of data stream where SPFDIF has clock embedded and DAC must sort it out. Some DAC chips do a better job with SPDIF than others. I2S input can be a significant improvement with some DAC chips.

    The Teleporter required two, could be set for transmit or receive. One in the DAC received the I2S signal from the SB. I2S over a couple feet run is too long and can cause clock errors. In CD players I2S is usually a few inches at most. The Teleporter was good for over a 100 foot run, if you needed it that long.

    Speaking of data cables, I use Blue Jeans data cables for my audio. Quality of termination and cable can be tested. I had issues with a store bought data cable that his cable solved. I started a thread here about it. And you are not talking a large cash outlay for the tested cables.

    https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/data-cables/index.htm

    ".....every Ethernet patch cable we sell comes with its own individual test report, run on a Fluke DTX-1800 certification tester, showing that it meets or exceeds the applicable spec. If it doesn't, we won't sell it."

    v6iaevic9m81.jpg

    5kr88hh08of8.jpg

    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 4,618
    edited July 27
    SCompRacer wrote: »
    When I had the SqueezeBox, I modded it for I2S out using a Twisted Pear Teleporter. With I2S, clock is separate of data stream where SPFDIF has clock embedded and DAC must sort it out. Some DAC chips do a better job with SPDIF than others. I2S input can be a significant improvement with some DAC chips.
    Dang it! Isn't anything in this hobby simple?!? ;) Never heard of I2S before (or I²S, evidently)...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I²S
    I may have to pretend I never read anything about this, at least for now.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : Sunfire SDS-12 : Yamaha Aventage RX-A2040 : Adcom GFA-7500 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Roku SE : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @ 120"
    5.1 - Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 x 4 : ProCenter 1000 : Klipsch Sub-10 : Pioneer Elite SC-91: DIRECTV : LG OLED55B6P : Roku Premiere+
    Garage Duty - polk Monitor 10s : Pioneer A-717 Integrated Amp : Squeezebox Classic
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,270
    jdjohn wrote: »
    So Orange Squeeze works with the Spotty app? I had wondered about this...
    Really a shame that Logitech abandoned SB. It was way ahead of its time.
    I agree, way ahead, though I have to wonder whether it would have a place today. I figure most people are probably just using smartphones and Bluetooth or aux cables, not that the SB was ever aimed at that market segment.

    Indeed - Orange Squeeze works with everything you can setup and access in LMS. Updates are very infrequent, but you can write to the app developer and he actually writes back. Cool dude. Into bikes and orange stuff.

    It's got some neat shortcuts, like swiping in from each of the left or right sides of the screen to access your Browse list or your different players, respectively. The Browse list is neat. You can customize the menu to show any app, or a select from a set of preset shortcuts. Well worth the five bucks, I think it costs.
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 421
    msg wrote: »
    I agree, way ahead, though I have to wonder whether it would have a place today. I figure most people are probably just using smartphones and Bluetooth or aux cables, not that the SB was ever aimed at that market segment.
    If they had stayed in front of smart device apps, yes...no doubt. I remember earlier apps that linked to Logitech Media Server, and could control several devices. I think they abandoned smart device apps too soon, and missed the boat.
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