Squeezebox Touch and Cyrus XT-SE comparison

WinterRacer

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HiHi,System 1 is Cyrus XT-SE, Cyrus DAC-X, Roksan Caspian Pre and mono-bloc poweramps, Monitor Audio PL100 speakers, QED cables.System 2 is the Squeezebox Touch, AVI ADM9.1 + AVI Sub.Given reviews, price differences, etc. I'd expect the be able to hear a difference between the Squeezebox and Cyrus transport but connecting both (Squeezebox and XT-SE) into either system and comparing side by side and they sound identical to me.I'm interested in people's views on this. Are they in fact the same (for all intents and purposes), are both downstream systems not revealing enough, do I have duff hearing or do I have learn to listen differently? Or is it something else?I look forward to people's views on this.

Hi,

I have two systems that in their own way I consider pretty good. Particularly the AVI setup.

System 1 is Cyrus XT-SE, Cyrus DAC-X, Roksan Caspian Pre and mono-bloc poweramps, Monitor Audio PL100 speakers, QED cables.

System 2 is the Squeezebox Touch, AVI ADM9.1 + AVI Sub.

Given reviews, price differences, etc. I'd expect the be able to hear a difference between the Squeezebox Touch and the Cyrus XT-SE but connecting both (Squeezebox and XT-SE) into either system and comparing side by side CD vs FLAC and they sound identical to me. BTW, I'm not saying the AVI and Roksan/MA systems sound the same, they definitely don't.

I'm interested in people's views on this. Do the Squeezebox and Cyrus sound the same (for all intents and purposes), are both downstream systems not revealing enough, do I have duff hearing or do I have learn to listen differently?

Or is it something else? I look forward to people's views on this.
 

ReValveiT

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The Touch does sound brilliant for sure (better on its own, IMO, than through the rDac) but I'm (mildly) surprised to hear it sounds as good as the Cyrus.

Interesting indeed.

:)
 

WinterRacer

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Initially I was surprised and not a little disappointed too. However, the way I see it now is I can stop worrying about it and just enjoy the Squeezebox as it sounds just as good and does so much more than a CD player.
 

tino

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acalex said:
You just convinced me to buy the SB touch! :D

Any idea where I can get it at a discounted price online? Thanks

Acalex ... I managed to get one about a month ago for £150 from Amazon. The price tends to fluctuate quite a lot, and sometimes there are special discount codes directly from Logitech for people who have bought directly from them before. Recently there was a one day only 40% discount code.

I think the Squuezebox is excellent value for money at the price I paid and the sound quality is very good. The convenience of the user interface (screen and remote control) is a major attraction as you don't need to spend extra on another device to control it. You will however need a separate PC/NAS to get the best out of it (even if you can attach a USB drive to it, the performance is not as good as having a separate device to host the Squeezebox server software)
 

acalex

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tino said:
acalex said:
You just convinced me to buy the SB touch! :D

Any idea where I can get it at a discounted price online? Thanks

Acalex ... I managed to get one about a month ago for £150 from Amazon. The price tends to fluctuate quite a lot, and sometimes there are special discount codes directly from Logitech for people who have bought directly from them before. Recently there was a one day only 40% discount code.

I think the Squuezebox is excellent value for money at the price I paid and the sound quality is very good. The convenience of the user interface (screen and remote control) is a major attraction as you don't need to spend extra on another device to control it. You will however need a separate PC/NAS to get the best out of it (even if you can attach a USB drive to it, the performance is not as good as having a separate device to host the Squeezebox server software)

Tino, thanks a lot for your info! I indeed have a pc with all my music on it and planning to add a NAS which will be hard-wired to my router (like the SB touch) since everything is sitting in the same room. Indeed I find a lot of different prices...for now the cheapest I have found is around 220 eur....cant find anyhting less. On the logitech website the price is 300 eur...crazy.

I will keep looking for the best offer...I am now convinced to run the Sb alone (with no DAC) and buy a separate better quality USB DAC to connect to the pc. So I might resell my rDAC and get some money out of it...
 
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Anonymous

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I'm very happy with the Touch, but admittedly have not heard any other streamer to compare. To my ears, it sounds better wired - long Cat 5 ethernet to Apple Time capsule router - than WiFi( it is g spec. not n) I bought QED performance 2 interconnect, but surprised by little improvement over cheap wire in the box. Not wasted, as I replaced my old CD interconnects, Van der Hul the 1st, with it and big improvement there!
 

nads

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WinterRacer said:
Initially I was surprised and not a little disappointed too. However, the way I see it now is I can stop worrying about it and just enjoy the Squeezebox as it sounds just as good and does so much more than a CD player.

as I keep on saying the DACs in the Touch are very good.

I used to run a DacMagic with the Old SB3 and had an improvement but with the Touch it is just not needed. there are tips out there for modding the touch for better sound as well but I can not be bothered with the hassel for what I see as would be such a small gain with my system.
 

acalex

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tinitus said:
I'm very happy with the Touch, but admittedly have not heard any other streamer to compare. To my ears, it sounds better wired - long Cat 5 ethernet to Apple Time capsule router - than WiFi( it is g spec. not n) I bought QED performance 2 interconnect, but surprised by little improvement over cheap wire in the box. Not wasted, as I replaced my old CD interconnects, Van der Hul the 1st, with it and big improvement there!

I am indeed getting the SB as cheap as I can, listen it through and start comparing to some other streamer (like marantz NA7004 and Sneaky Linn) to see if there is any difference...if I find those streamer as a better match for my musical taste then I am going to resell the SB (shouldm't be losing too much)
 

WinterRacer

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nads said:
as I keep on saying the DACs in the Touch are very good.

I used to run a DacMagic with the Old SB3 and had an improvement but with the Touch it is just not needed. there are tips out there for modding the touch for better sound as well but I can not be bothered with the hassel for what I see as would be such a small gain with my system.

I agree, but for this comparison, I wasn't using the DAC in the Touch. It was either connected to the optical input of the AVIs or the coax input of the DAC-X.

Although I haven't done a direct comparison, I'm currently using the analogue outputs of the Touch in the Caspian pre-amp and it sounds just fine to me.
 

WinterRacer

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tinitus said:
I'm very happy with the Touch, but admittedly have not heard any other streamer to compare. To my ears, it sounds better wired - long Cat 5 ethernet to Apple Time capsule router - than WiFi( it is g spec. not n) I bought QED performance 2 interconnect, but surprised by little improvement over cheap wire in the box. Not wasted, as I replaced my old CD interconnects, Van der Hul the 1st, with it and big improvement there!

I should let it go, but I have to say it! The Squeezebox uses the same underlying network protocol to get digital data from the Squeezebox Server to the Touch that is used for transmitting data that needs to arrive reliably and without error. With a Squeezebox (and unlike some other streamers) wireless and ethernet will only affect whether you get dropouts or not and not sound quality. I can't explain what you've heard, but try not to worry and just use what suits you best. :)
 

bluebrazil

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confusion.com here, are you saying the sqeezebox is as good as the cyrus transport and dac into your caspians and ma's or comparing it to you playing the sqeezebox into your avi's using their dac. what i would like to know is this ; if you play a ripped cd in flac through your sqeezebox using its dac into the caspians and ma's and compare it to your cyrus cd se and dac x,what do you find the differences? be good to hear what you think, or if this is what you meant?
 

bluebrazil

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aha, our posts mixed, a flac file is a great source and im not surprised you never heard any difference using the same dac. remember that a flac file is a stored medium and that the cd-se is reading on the fly, so to say.
 

bluebrazil

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quoted.....(Although I haven't done a direct comparison, I'm currently using the analogue outputs of the Touch in the Caspian pre-amp and it sounds just fine to me.)

im the same, if it sounds ok why bother faffing about with cables unless your realy bothered about a certain issue. still it would be nice if you comared the squeeze box in analogue against the squeeze box into dac x. i'd buy you a pint if this wasnt the internet :)
 
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WinterRacer said:
HiHi,System 1 is Cyrus XT-SE, Cyrus DAC-X, Roksan Caspian Pre and mono-bloc poweramps, Monitor Audio PL100 speakers, QED cables.System 2 is the Squeezebox Touch, AVI ADM9.1 + AVI Sub.Given reviews, price differences, etc. I'd expect the be able to hear a difference between the Squeezebox and Cyrus transport but connecting both (Squeezebox and XT-SE) into either system and comparing side by side and they sound identical to me.I'm interested in people's views on this. Are they in fact the same (for all intents and purposes), are both downstream systems not revealing enough, do I have duff hearing or do I have learn to listen differently? Or is it something else?I look forward to people's views on this.

Hi,

I have two systems that in their own way I consider pretty good. Particularly the AVI setup.

System 1 is Cyrus XT-SE, Cyrus DAC-X, Roksan Caspian Pre and mono-bloc poweramps, Monitor Audio PL100 speakers, QED cables.

System 2 is the Squeezebox Touch, AVI ADM9.1 + AVI Sub.

Given reviews, price differences, etc. I'd expect the be able to hear a difference between the Squeezebox Touch and the Cyrus XT-SE but connecting both (Squeezebox and XT-SE) into either system and comparing side by side CD vs FLAC and they sound identical to me. BTW, I'm not saying the AVI and Roksan/MA systems sound the same, they definitely don't.

I'm interested in people's views on this. Do the Squeezebox and Cyrus sound the same (for all intents and purposes), are both downstream systems not revealing enough, do I have duff hearing or do I have learn to listen differently?

Or is it something else? I look forward to people's views on this.

As you are running both into DACs for your comparison, the Squeeze and the Cyrus are simply digital format converters - Squeeze from TCP/IP to S/PDIF and Cyrus from CD to S/PDIF.

If both sources have decent jitter performance (the Squeeze certainly does), or the DACs you used were immune to input jitter, then I would have been amazed if they had sounded any different.

Just because the Squeeze looks like a video game and costs £180, there is an assumption that somehow more expensive boxes 'must' sound better.

Not so.
 

John Duncan

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I don't think that they "must" sound better, though I certainly believe that some can and do. However, I'd argue that the differences would be small and hard to pick up blind. So I'm not surprised that the Cyrus and Squeezebox sound more or less the same through the same DAC, no.
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Winterracer.

Quote:

I should let it go, but I have to say it! The Squeezebox uses the same underlying network protocol to get digital data from the Squeezebox Server to the Touch that is used for transmitting data that needs to arrive reliably and without error. With a Squeezebox (and unlike some other streamers) wireless and ethernet will only affect whether you get dropouts or not and not sound quality. I can't explain what you've heard, but try not to worry and just use what suits you best.
smile.png


I agree with your theory, but no doubting what the ears detect! The same file/source streamed via apple tv to pioneer AV amp over the same network is, as expected due DACs and amp/speaker combo, far less engaging but very listenable non the less. I bought the squeezebox touch as a stop-gap internet radio solution and didn't expect too much. For less than £200, it is a bargain and prolongs the life of my present kit for a little longer. I am surprised that certain radio sources, 181.FM the eagle for example, sound much more dynamic that others with the same bit rate. There are many mysteries in the HiFi world!
 

WinterRacer

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andy8421 said:
As you are running both into DACs for your comparison, the Squeeze and the Cyrus are simply digital format converters - Squeeze from TCP/IP to S/PDIF and Cyrus from CD to S/PDIF.

If both sources have decent jitter performance (the Squeeze certainly does), or the DACs you used were immune to input jitter, then I would have been amazed if they had sounded any different.

Just because the Squeeze looks like a video game and costs £180, there is an assumption that somehow more expensive boxes 'must' sound better.

Not so.

Hi andy8421,

Yes, that was the comparison. It was a bit of a turning point for me, I struggle to make sense of hi-fi prices & reviews these days.
 

WinterRacer

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John Duncan said:
I don't think that they "must" sound better, though I certainly believe that some can and do. However, I'd argue that the differences would be small and hard to pick up blind. So I'm not surprised that the Cyrus and Squeezebox sound more or less the same through the same DAC, no.

Hi John, when they sound different do you mean more accurate (better) or just different due to designed in traits?

FWIW, I can't help thinking that the reason they sound the same is that they are both as good as needed, that is, any better and differences are simply inaudible. For example, there's no point reducing jitter below a certain threshhold as people can't hear it.
 

WinterRacer

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bluebrazil said:
quoted.....(Although I haven't done a direct comparison, I'm currently using the analogue outputs of the Touch in the Caspian pre-amp and it sounds just fine to me.)

im the same, if it sounds ok why bother faffing about with cables unless your realy bothered about a certain issue. still it would be nice if you comared the squeeze box in analogue against the squeeze box into dac x. i'd buy you a pint if this wasnt the internet :)

I'll give it a go and let you know. Virtual beer will do! :)
 

John Duncan

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WinterRacer said:
John Duncan said:
I don't think that they "must" sound better, though I certainly believe that some can and do. However, I'd argue that the differences would be small and hard to pick up blind. So I'm not surprised that the Cyrus and Squeezebox sound more or less the same through the same DAC, no.

Hi John, when they sound different do you mean more accurate (better) or just different due to designed in traits?

FWIW, I can't help thinking that the reason they sound the same is that they are both as good as needed, that is, any better and differences are simply inaudible. For example, there's no point reducing jitter below a certain threshhold as people can't hear it.

WinterRacer

To be honest, I don't know. When I say "I certainly believe that some can and do", I have nothing more than intuition to back that up; I haven't yet compared better quality (or more expensive, if you prefer) streamers. I do know that in my system and my room I almost always can't tell a difference between an Airport Express and the streamer built into a NaimUniti playing the same material, but the "in my system and my room" bit is very important, and I'm sure other people could.

My gut feeling is that, whilst improvements are possible (and audible) as you go up the ladder (given the same DAC), the cost of those improvements becomes exponentially large, thus pricing me (and most people, let's be honest) out of the market. This is to the consumer's advantage, though, because they can spend more money on DAC, Amp and Speakers, whether they be in one box or many. I bear absolutely no grudge to those who want to spend more money for better build quality, to match their existing kit, or because it looks cool on the shelf, of course... :)

JD
 

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