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Best way to connect Logitech Squeezebox

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

mahiruha

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Hello,
I am trying to connect my logitech squeezebox with my onkyo tx-sr705 receiver. Currently I am using the supplied RCA connector for connection. I am wondering if anybody could explain me if I use coaxial cable should I get a better sound quality.I am mainly playing ripped wave files from my pc through my wireless network.
Thanks in advance,
mahi.
 

smedhavi

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Hi mahi,

Squeezebox has a good DAC, which has a slightly different character compared to the Onkyo receiver.

Your receiver has enough connection options. So I would personally recommend connecting both, the RCA as well as digital coaxial cables. This would help because the laid back vocal or acoustic oriented music would sound better through RCA, while the coaxial connection would work better when you demand more aggression. Having both the connections would help you make the decision over the long term and through more patient hearing, rather than on advice. You should listen to your favorite music (something you are very familiar with), through both the connections and decide which one you prefer, for what kind of music.

Having said all that, a two channel analog amp would work even better :)

Thanks,
Sharad

Note: Make sure you set the volume control on the squeeze box so that the receiver sounds as loud as it sounds through the coaxial connection.
 

mahiruha

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Hi Sharad,
Thanks for your reply. Really appreciate it. But I am bit confused regarding one thing. You said to connect using both coaxial and standard RCA connector but I am not understanding how two connections can be used at the same time. How logitech decides which connection to use to send the signals to the receiver. On the other side I am thinking ( I may be completely wrong) that since the logitech is reading wav files from the hard disc so it is essentially reading digital signal. Hence if I use analog cables so that signal is converted by squeezebox dac to analog and then sent to the receiver as analog signal. My assumption is if i use coaxial digital cable then then the dac will send the original digital signal.Hence my feeling is coaxial will perform better.
Thnaks,
Mahi.
 
Last edited:

odyssey

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Just to complicate things a bit further :D

1. Sound quality can be improved with a nicer linear regulator PS, you should be able to buy it in any decent electronic store or off of ebay

2. Sound quality is also linked in part to the different FW that is running on it, pls look through the Squeezebox forums to get an idea.

3. The internal DAC is pretty nice for the money...

cheers
Sridhar
 

smedhavi

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Yes you are right.
Squeeze box gets the digital signal from the hard disk, and passes it on as digital through the coaxial out. It also converts it to analog and gives it on RCA. Both these signals are always coming out, so nothing to choose or select.

I am suggesting that you connect both these cables to the receiver. For example, RCA can go in to the 'CD IN L/R', while coaxial can go to the "DIGITAL COAXIAL IN 2" assigned to DVR. Now you can play your favorite song and listen to it by selecting DVR on the receiver. Then play it again and listen to it by selecting 'CD' on the receiver. Adjust the volume on the Squeezebox to get the same amount of sound, without touching the volume knob on the receiver.

Let us know which one you liked and why?
We too want to learn from your experience :)

Thanks,
Sharad
 

mahiruha

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Hello I fianlly got a chance to test if the RCA or coaxial sound better. I manged to get MX coaxial cable for Rs 200.I am not sure about the true quality of this cable as sumaria is selling coaxial for 1600 and profx selling for 4500. But for test case I think this MX cable will provide some guidence. The fisrt song I picked is tu hi re from the film Bombay. It has lot of vocal elements with flute one of my favourites. To my ear the clear winner is RCA cable. I felt the voice has more depth and also the tabla and flute both sounded very natural. My second pic was oscar winning tune jaya ho.
In this case I found the coaxial is producing more energy compared to the RCA cable. I have also experimented with a greek musicians composition similer to Yanni and I found when it involves more instruments coaxial performs better than the RCA. Hence the final verdict is I am keeping them both just change them to find which one performs better. I am also planning to put a optical cable also and see how it performs. finally I am feeling that after this squeezebox I really won't look for a CD player. Firstly because it offers very good sound quality and secondly for a lazy person like me it saves lot of hassle of changing CDs to listen to different music.I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everybody who has taken time to answer my original question.
Cheers,
Mahi.
 

smedhavi

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Thanks for sharing this with us Mahi.
Your experience helped me reconfirm my understanding of the sounds produced by these systems.


I am also planning to put a optical cable also and see how it performs

I would not expect this to be any different from what you got from the coaxial connection, unless that cable was not of good quality. So while the difference between the sound signatures for RCA and digital connections were mostly due to the different DACs being used, any difference in sound between coaxial and optical connections can mostly be attributed to the cables themselves.
...for a lazy person like me it saves lot of hassle of changing CDs to listen to different music.

I have an easier solution to this problem. My equipment rack is located next to me, not in between the two front speakers. Further the disk players are at an accessible level while I am siting on the sofa.

regards,
Sharad
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My primary setup:
* Panasonic BD30 Blu-ray, NAD C542 CD player, Project Debut III TT with NAD PP2,Denon DRW-585 Cassette Deck
* Denon AVR 2809, NAD C372 Amp
* Monitor Audio RS6 with Definitive Technology Super Cube II subwoofer
* Projector: Plus U5-111 (Next on the line for upgrade)
 

mahiruha

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Hi Sharad,
Saw the pictures of your equipment and the room. It gives me a fairly good idea what a audiophile's room should look like. The cabinet design you have provided is very useful and I am planning to custom made something like that. One thing I would like to ask you regarding my room. My room is pretty huge about 25' by 17' . The problem is I have a full size snooker table (12' by 6') at the centre of the room. so you can imagine I am not left with much space for my audio arrangements. What I understand that this table is significantly hampering the audio performence. I have also put lot of boxes under the table. Do you think if I remove those boxes from under the table it will help in improving the audio performence ?
I also loved your fixed frame screen. I have bought a screen bout 8 months back but it has developed some unevenness as it is a pull down screen hooked at two points. So I want to go for a fixed frame screen with a even surface. How did you get your screen and how much it cost you?
Thanks,
Mahi.
 

venkatcr

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Hello I fianlly got a chance to test if the RCA or coaxial sound better. I manged to get MX coaxial cable for Rs 200.I am not sure about the true quality of this cable as sumaria is selling coaxial for 1600 and profx selling for 4500. Mahi.

I would suggest you should try slightly better cables (available around 1 to 1.5K). They would make a tremendous difference to the quality of sound. If you don't want to invest, see if you can borrow some cables from a friend and try it for a few days.

Cheers
 

moserw

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Depends...
I have an easier solution to this problem. My equipment rack is located next to me, not in between the two front speakers. Further the disk players are at an accessible level while I am siting on the sofa.

Sharad,

Very impressive setup. Especially the furniture to neatly store all media. I've lost a lot of CDs and LPs just because I was too lazy to store them. Now of course I have learnt my lesson with time.
 

smedhavi

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Thanks for the comments everyone.

Mahi, some answers to your questions:
My screen is not made of fabric, it is a special paint, but I did talk to a few vendors about doing the fixed fabric screen. The options ranged from 15 to 30K. I would recommend that you go for that as the paint is pretty expensive and not easily available in India.

Removing the boxes from below the snooker table would not help much unless they are blocking your view of the speakers. Make sure the table is not sitting between you and the speakers (line of sight). Can you move the table to one side of the room? So that you can use the other half of the room for audio? The good part is that snooker table as not as reflective of sound as some other tables are.

Thanks,
Sharad
 

mahiruha

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I would suggest you should try slightly better cables (available around 1 to 1.5K). They would make a tremendous difference to the quality of sound. If you don't want to invest, see if you can borrow some cables from a friend and try it for a few days.

Cheers

Hi Venkat,
A shop in calcutta quoting 1800 for cambridge audio coaxial cables. Any experience with these cables. They also have qed for 3500. Is it really worth that value?Unfortunately I don't have anybody here from whom I can borrow a cable and try.
Thanks,
Mahi.
 

venkatcr

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A shop in calcutta quoting 1800 for cambridge audio coaxial cables. Any experience with these cables. They also have qed for 3500. Is it really worth that value?Unfortunately I don't have anybody here from whom I can borrow a cable and try.

Both these are expensive though QED is very good. CA, I am not sure. Most probably they are just branding some one else's cables. Not wort it.

Look for brands such as Bandridge, Eagle, DAC, Atlona, etc. You will get them much cheaper. I would say a coaxial at around 1000 max is a good buy.

Cheers
 

mahiruha

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Hi Venkat,
Thanks for your suggestions regarding cables. I was talking to all these audio people over and then finally decided to make a trip to the actual shop to see and listen what is happening. In fact it was first visit to the desecent hifi shop. The guy over there showed me various cables and I really liked the DAC coaxial cable and it was in your suggestion so I just bought it. But then this guy showed me some really good looking cambridge audio RCA stereo cable. I thought all these time I was wondering about the coaxial but if I get a really good analogue cable to replace the supplied one it shoud improve the sound quality. So I bought that RCA cable from Cambridge audio for 2400 and plugged both the DAC and Cambridge audio to my squeezebox. THe quality of sound has improved a lot in both of those. But to be honest the gain of the sound reduced a bit. I am not sure if it is related to the wireless signal strength of my home network as my computer is in my bedroom 1st floor and the sound system is in second floor. Hence I am guessing the better cables are demanding more bandwidth which my squeezebox is struggling a bit to deliver. Anyway thanks again for your suggestions.
Cheers,
Mahi.
 

venkatcr

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So I bought that RCA cable from Cambridge audio for 2400 and plugged both the DAC and Cambridge audio to my squeezebox. THe quality of sound has improved a lot in both of those. But to be honest the gain of the sound reduced a bit. I am not sure if it is related to the wireless signal strength of my home network as my computer is in my bedroom 1st floor and the sound system is in second floor. Hence I am guessing the better cables are demanding more bandwidth which my squeezebox is struggling a bit to deliver. Anyway thanks again for your suggestions.

This is nothing to be concerned about. Cheaper cables do not have the correct impedance nor proper shielding. The immediate effect of this is that you could have a lot of noise travelling, in addition to a larger focus on higher frequencies. The net effect is that you would hear the sound 'brighter'
which will make you feel that there is more gain.

A better cable will filter out external noise completely, and transfer all frequencies properly. You may need a comparatively higher amplification, but the sound will be clean and good across all frequencies.

Cheers
 
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