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New Slimdevices product - Transporter

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sleepysurf

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Quite impressive, with audiophile-grade pricing as well! Audiophiles have been clamoring for this for quite some time, so it's not really a surprise for those of us already smitten. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the high-end community reacts. Frankly, I can't imagine anything surpassing the fidelity of my SB2+Benchmark DAC-1 combo, but this is indeed one SLICK package (esp the black anodized finish). The power supply design, and myriad input/output options are very impressive. Slim is ready to slug it out with the audio big boys now. Bye bye redbook CD!
 

Joey_V

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Just saw that today.. geeez..

$2000?!

And I have to scrimp for the $299 SB3!
 

IWalker

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Ah!

But it has a CLEVER KNOB! It says so right on the page! That's worth the extra $1700 to me :p
 

Audiophiliac

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I like Slim Devices products, but not enough to buy them. If only they offered some kind of GUI....something visual other than the VF display.....whether a controller with a LCD on it (like SONOS), or a video output for on-screen display, or ability to integrate with Crestron-type touchpanel.....

I just dont like the idea of having tens of thousands of songs available, and having to search and scroll through them using a 1 or 2 line display on the unit itself. Seems rather "Sony 400 disc CD changer"-ish to me. :)
 

sleepysurf

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Audiophiliac said:
I like Slim Devices products, but not enough to buy them. If only they offered some kind of GUI....something visual other than the VF display.....whether a controller with a LCD on it (like SONOS), or a video output for on-screen display, or ability to integrate with Crestron-type touchpanel.....

I just dont like the idea of having tens of thousands of songs available, and having to search and scroll through them using a 1 or 2 line display on the unit itself. Seems rather "Sony 400 disc CD changer"-ish to me. :)
Actually, the remote works exceedingly well, and you can adjust the display size and brightness to view it even from across a large room. For those who REALLY want handheld control, you can use a wireless handheld PDA (or laptop) via the Slimserver software for FULL graphical interface, which is still cheaper than the proprietary Sonos remote. Plus you could surf the net, read Bios of the artist playing, etc. etc. while listening.
 

mirage98

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I agree about the remote. When queue'ing up small amounts of music it works VERY well. When you use mods like lazy search it becomes very simple to load your favorite album or song. You can also view the folders directly if you have a different categorization scheme than Album/Artist. When I'm not using the remote I normally use my laptop which really works great when managing the player. You should definately give it a try.
 

Joey_V

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When I get the SB3, I'm going to make sure to run the Palm remote program.... that's going to be real pimp for sure. :)
 

kirkawall

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Hi,

How might the sonics of, say, this SB3 and Transporter combo compare to a good CD-only machine (MF? Krell? Moon?)? In the same ballpark? I'll have to replace my CDP at some point in the next while and am very intrigued by the Olive network servers and similar units but there's relatively little about these in the mainstream HiFi press. What's your sense of their audiophile credentials?

thanks and best,


k
 

TomDac

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I don't know much about these types of devices, but after reading this thread, I poked around a little bit and I REALLY like the look of the SONOS and it's remote.

I know it's pricey, but if you can do lossless digital playback and can't tell the difference from redbook CD, then I would be very interested to get one and eventually ditch my CD changer.

Does anyone here have one? Comments?
 

Steve

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TomDac said:
I don't know much about these types of devices, but after reading this thread, I poked around a little bit and I REALLY like the look of the SONOS and it's remote.

I know it's pricey, but if you can do lossless digital playback and can't tell the difference from redbook CD, then I would be very interested to get one and eventually ditch my CD changer.

Does anyone here have one? Comments?
My thoughts exactly. The Sonos system looks really good on paper (or on the web). I was contemplating a traditional whole house sounds system, but this has changed my mind. I really like the single remote that contols the whole house.
 

socialxray

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I've had a Squeezebox3 since Christmas. I've ditched CDs altogether and listen via my Squeezebox3. To my ears it sounds AWESOME. It does require a like geekyness to figure it all out; from downloading the slim server to ripping CDs but it was worth it. And believe me managing your music is 80% of the work but maybe most people are not as meticulous (obsessive?) about their music as I am.

You will definitely need a good tag editor. Something that can help you sift through thousands of songs. I currently use Media Monkey but Foobar2000 is good too but a bit more complicated to figure out.

I use FLAC and rip CDs using EAC with REACT. This setup does have a learning curve and the usefulness of REACT my be lost on newbies but it is a great program. hydrogenaudio.org is a good starting point for research. My advice is to have patients.

Warning about hydrogenaudio.org: the forum is slightly elitist so if they trash your post because it is "dumb" question, don't take it personally. There is a LOT of good info on the forum.

Of course you could even make things easier (but less flexible) by using Microsoft or Apple software to rip amd manage your music but I choose not to use those for all sorts of political reasons. (I'll spare everyone the details.) Plus all of my software is free. Yeah yeah I know MS and Apple are free too but you pay with your music library's freedom. Ok ok I'll stop now.

This all probably sounds far more complicated than it really is so I will cut to the chase.

Sonos is a slick product but from what I understand you will still have to rely on third party software to rip and manage your music (just like Slim Devices). The key to Sonos is the remote. You can get this capability with a Squeezebox using a wireless PDA, PSP, Internet connected Cell Phone, Nokia 770, or any device that can connect to your home network and has a browser. (It just isn't as flashy as a Sonos remote, at least not yet.) Squeezebox is more flexible, has an OUTSTANDING user community, and is cheaper.

Since the slim server's interface is a webpage I can access my music from anywhere in the world as long as I have an Internet connection. (Requires a DNS service, which can be had for free, and port forwarding on your router to be configured.)

The slim server software is open source software with all of the plus's and minus's that come with open source software. Lurk on the forum for a bit to get a feel for the community and the Squeezebox http://forums.slimdevices.com/

Just remember that you will see a lot of issue being discussed because people write to the forum when they have problems. That is not indicitive of the experience I have had with the product. As a matter a fact I just ordered a second Squeezebox3.
 
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ghouluk

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at last - a topic i know a little about (doesn't happen often)

i've been running squeezebox since it was wired and version 1 - and have only got as far as upgrading to sb2 before i started ripping it apart to make my own "improvements" (subjective of course)

i have an email i sent in april 2004 suggesting an audiophile squeezebox (and something that didn't look like a clock radio ;) ) - and was told to watch this space as they had something exciting in the pipeline - now either they owe me royalties for the idea ;) or its been a long and painful development process.

i run 4 sb2's throughout the house and a couple of softsqueezebox's in the office, and around 12-18 months ago i started trying to build something a little more "hi-fi" out of it. mostly easy stuff - recasing to 19" mount, some decent feet, rebuilding the power supply to something a bit better, and obviously feeding the output into my dac.

All my musc is flac encoded, and i've got just over 1Tb available (i do own the originals of these)

subjective performance results

CD - benchmark 100%
sb1 - 50%
sb2 (standard) -60%
sb2 (tweaked) -65%
sb2 (external dacs) - 85%

I've compared the tweaked squeezebox with the standards, and i reckon its about 5% better, of course using the external dacs is a whole new board game (and is unfair comparison) but i think this gets me pretty close to the sound out of my CD.

I don't see anything in the specs of the transporter that tells me why this figure will get any higher (possibly disabling wireless would be useful to improve the quality - but not convinced)

the power of slimserver is in its opensource, and the ways that you can hack it around to do more of what you want and less of what you don't....if they charged me $2000 for slimserver and threw in a free transporter, maybe i'd feel better about it ;)

I also don't see $2000 worth of kit in it......my mods cost around $220, with the majority of that being on the custom front panel i had made up. I'd be really interested to see a review of the product, and kudos to slim for going all out on this one....but won't most audiophile's who run SB or consider a similar system be already running with external dacs?

just my thoughts

cheers

Rob
 

Steve

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ghouluk said:
All my musc is flac encoded, and i've got just over 1Tb available (i do own the originals of these)

subjective performance results

CD - benchmark 100%
sb1 - 50%
sb2 (standard) -60%
sb2 (tweaked) -65%
sb2 (external dacs) - 85%
I don't understand why a SB using external dacs would sound any different (better or worse) than a CD transport with the same dacs.

Is your CD setup using better dacs than the sb2 w/ external dacs?

Is there something in the conversion to FLAC that comprimises the source material somehow?
 

amey01

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Steve said:
I don't understand why a SB using external dacs would sound any different (better or worse) than a CD transport with the same dacs.

Is your CD setup using better dacs than the sb2 w/ external dacs?

Is there something in the conversion to FLAC that comprimises the source material somehow?
I don't understand why, and I don't know anyone who can understand why, but there are clear differences with different digital data streams. It is just something that 2006 science can't explain, however maybe 2007 science will be able to explain it.

Just like there are well documented and accepted differences between CD transports, drive mechanisms, connection methods (electrical generally superior to optical) even digital interconnect, there are clear differences when a real CD transport feeds a DAC versus some crappy computer feed.
 

Joey_V

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You know what I wish the SB3 had that the Transporter has?

I wish the SB3 had some digital inputs/analog inputs so I could use it as a stand alone preamp if I needed to. I think the Transporter has Digital Inputs... seems to me that my Rotel RC1070 preamp is going to get less and less use when my SB3 arrives and I wish I could sell the preamp and just stick with the SB3, but alas, no preamp capability other than the music it streams.

I was hoping to get a Rotel RCD1072 but now it seems that I need to keep my preamp. Though, I know what you're thinking, why get a cd player when the squeezebox is there?

Good question. Maybe I'll scrap the preamp and the cdp idea and just stick with the SB3 straight into the RB1090 amp. I dont know why I end up talking to myself in the same post.
 

mirage98

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Joey,

You'll enjoy the SB as a preamp. Though it isn't recommended I haven't had a problem yet. All of my cd's have just ended up in FLAC format on my computer and I have yet had the need to hook up any other input. Why not use the money from your preamp to buy an external DAC paired with the SB? How are your summits? I just purchased Odyssey's and I've caught the audio bug.......
 

amey01

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Joey_V said:
You know what I wish the SB3 had that the Transporter has?

I wish the SB3 had some digital inputs/analog inputs so I could use it as a stand alone preamp if I needed to. I think the Transporter has Digital Inputs... seems to me that my Rotel RC1070 preamp is going to get less and less use when my SB3 arrives and I wish I could sell the preamp and just stick with the SB3, but alas, no preamp capability other than the music it streams.

I was hoping to get a Rotel RCD1072 but now it seems that I need to keep my preamp. Though, I know what you're thinking, why get a cd player when the squeezebox is there?

Good question. Maybe I'll scrap the preamp and the cdp idea and just stick with the SB3 straight into the RB1090 amp. I dont know why I end up talking to myself in the same post.

You'll just have to sell your SB3 and get a transporter then, won't you. Seriously, have you considered a passive preamp - Unfortunately I can't remember the brand, but I do recall hearing of one that had a direct throughput so it was able to perform switching duties only. That way, you could use its switching function for the SB3 and you could use the preamp function as well for connecting a CD Player, etc. You'll have to do more research!
 
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