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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Improving Squeezebox (Duet) Sound with V-Dac

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2011 19:01:55 -0300

I love my Squeezeboxen - a Duet and a Boom - and the Squeezebox Server (which
runs on Linux! Hurray!).  Being able to listen to all my music on the HiFi is
great (the Duet is a wifi to audio box).  But the sound quality bothered me
slightly - it seemed a little "rough", "aggressive" and "bright".

Now this could be my MP3s, but it seemed to sound the same with flacs,
especially compared to my CD player (Arcam - a UK middle-price "audiophile"
brand).

So I started wondering how I could improve things.  Logitech do sell an
expensive "audiophile" Squeezebox that looks very nice, but which is also
rather expensive.  And the Duet has a digital output.... so I looked for an
outboard DAC.  There are quite a few - it finally seemed like the Music
Fidelity V-Dac was the best balance of (reputed) sound quality and features (I
needed optical digital in).

  http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/V-Series/V-DAC/V-DAC.asp

So I picked one up while in the UK over xmas and have been listening to it for
a month or so back in Santiago.

It certainly doesn't look like much.  And the A/B comparisons I did with the
Duet's audio out didn't show much difference (they had slightly different
volume levels which made comparison hard).  But I am enjoying the music and I
would say that it tends to be "smoother" - which is what I was loooking for.
It doesn't annoy me any more.

So if you are wondering about doing the same, give it a go: you just connect
the Duet to the V-Dac with an optical cable then connect the audio out from
the DAC to your amp.  Nothing else is needed - it just works.  As I guess it
should.

Andrew

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