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Offline bencat  
#1 Posted : 19 March 2012 11:10:32(UTC)
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http://www.logitech.com/...vices/7348?affid=1546795

The above link takes you to Logitech site were they are offering so called Blemished Box Squeezebox Touch units for £129 .
According to the sources I have these are in fact BNIB units which were returned stock from the Best Buy Warehouse closure and due to retial rules they have to sold as Blemished Box and not new stock. Given the price this is a really good way for anyone to get their first toe in the water on Computer / Streaming Audio .

I have to admit I am gutted as only found out about this today and I had already bought a unit on e-bay for £160 so at least anyone else who is interested can get themselves a bargain.
System Theta Data Basic II Transport , Perpetual Technologies PA-1 Upsampler, PA-3 Dac , Concordant Exhillirant Pre ,Krell KSA50 Power , Harbeth Compact II Monitors .
Offline Pete_w  
#2 Posted : 19 March 2012 14:02:14(UTC)
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Thanks for that info. Am trying to order one (I say "trying", Logitech's website has taken my details and disappeared in a funk...). Looks like you can control it from an iThing, so it could be a good (and relatively cheap) way to give my little boy - who's disabled - some control over the music that's being played. Means I have loads of CDs to rip to a NAS drive, but that won't kill me. Thanks for the heads-up!
Offline ashleym  
#3 Posted : 19 March 2012 16:37:35(UTC)
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Thanks for this. I am wavering but I have just ordered a new cartridge so I might have to miss this opportunity.
Offline Geoff P  
#4 Posted : 19 March 2012 17:05:30(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pete_w Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for that info. Am trying to order one (I say "trying", Logitech's website has taken my details and disappeared in a funk...). Looks like you can control it from an iThing, so it could be a good (and relatively cheap) way to give my little boy - who's disabled - some control over the music that's being played. Means I have loads of CDs to rip to a NAS drive, but that won't kill me. Thanks for the heads-up!


Persevere Pete

I have a Touch and it is very easy to use. The i-device and/or Android app is nice but IMO what is even easier is the little remote that comes with it. When using the remote the Touch's screen font enlarges so it is easy to see from a distance. You really only need to press 2 or 3 different buttons including a large FWD - Back key to toggle thru' the search menus to actually playing music. When you put the Touch in standby you get a really large number Clock display which is illuminated so easily visible in the dark and easy to read. All in all very user friendly. Oh and the radio is good as well.

regards
Geoff

Offline Pete_w  
#5 Posted : 20 March 2012 09:01:19(UTC)
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Thanks, Geoff, that's encouraging. Lots of rippage in my future, then. Logitech finally accepted my order, so it should be here in a few days.

We'll try all the controls, but the reason that I think that the iApp will be better is that it doesn't require a grasp of the concept of action-at-a-distance; he understands touchscreens (and mice and pointers, for that matter), because there's immediate close-at-hand feedback - he moves his hand, something happens. An IR remote doesn't generally provide that. If he's motivated enough, though, to play music, then we can maybe use the IR remote as a learning tool to teach the concept. We spend our lives looking for the learning possibilities in everything. BigGrin

Scuse my ignorance, but I haven't read the manual yet, 'cos I haven't got the thing yet, but what does the squeezebox need at the other end of the house ethernet? Can I just have my NAS drive running (Netgear ReadyNAS Duo) and have the SB suck the files off it, or do I need a PC running as well...?

Thanks
Pete
Offline bencat  
#6 Posted : 20 March 2012 09:46:06(UTC)
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Pete

If you check on the slimdevices site it gives a list of the NAS Drives that will run without a computer on so check that first to see if what you are using is listed.

However if you want to use an Ipad / Android tablet then as far as I can tell the PC will need to be on as well. Others with more experience of this maybe able to advise conclusively but as far as I can find this is the case .
System Theta Data Basic II Transport , Perpetual Technologies PA-1 Upsampler, PA-3 Dac , Concordant Exhillirant Pre ,Krell KSA50 Power , Harbeth Compact II Monitors .
Offline Geoff P  
#7 Posted : 20 March 2012 11:04:16(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pete_w Go to Quoted Post
Thanks, Geoff, that's encouraging. Lots of rippage in my future, then. Logitech finally accepted my order, so it should be here in a few days.

We'll try all the controls, but the reason that I think that the iApp will be better is that it doesn't require a grasp of the concept of action-at-a-distance; he understands touchscreens (and mice and pointers, for that matter), because there's immediate close-at-hand feedback - he moves his hand, something happens. An IR remote doesn't generally provide that. If he's motivated enough, though, to play music, then we can maybe use the IR remote as a learning tool to teach the concept. We spend our lives looking for the learning possibilities in everything. BigGrin

Scuse my ignorance, but I haven't read the manual yet, 'cos I haven't got the thing yet, but what does the squeezebox need at the other end of the house ethernet? Can I just have my NAS drive running (Netgear ReadyNAS Duo) and have the SB suck the files off it, or do I need a PC running as well...?

Thanks
Pete


Understand Pete

The nice thing about the Touch is the screen display interacts with the remote so you see the result of each button push appear on its screen.

To run the Touch you need to run Logitech Media Server software (formerly called Squeezebox server) which scans and supplies firstly a listing of all the music on your NAS and secondly once asked serves it up via your ethernet to the Touch. Media server obviously needs to be running to do this and if you can the best place for it is on your Music NAS, though as Bencat says not many NAS will allow it to be loaded. Go here for more info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logitech_Media_Server

Second best place is a PC (or MAC) but that does have to be on. Media server 'remembers' its catalogue once the initial scan is done so it is ready pretty much right away as soon as you start the computer.

You can also plug in USB memory sticks on the back of the Touch containing music files you had loaded them with and the Touch will scan these and then allow you to select from the music you loaded. This allows you to run the Touch without any network connection from what I understand. It is unlikely you could get the Touch to do the same with a USB HDD full of music because it would have trouble dealing with the much larger amount of files but that also maybe possible. Check with Logitech or go to their user forum.

regards
Geoff
Offline Pete_w  
#8 Posted : 20 March 2012 13:48:14(UTC)
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Thank you, all! Interesting stuff.

According, at least, to tha Wikipedia page, my Netgear ReadyNAS is a - the only - Logitech-supported NAS host for their media server, so I might have to try to remember what the hell I set the admin password to when I bought it :-).

Since I'm planning to change PC in the next few weeks - my other hobby is photography, and Adobe, bless 'em, have just dropped support for XP in the latest version of Lightroom, so Win7 beckons - it may be worth the effort in trying to get it hosted nicely on the NAS rather than on a potentially unstable and more-expensive-to-run PC platform.
Offline Pete_w  
#9 Posted : 22 March 2012 18:25:28(UTC)
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If anyone else has been tempted by this, I can report that mine arrived this morning, and it is indeed just a "blemished" box. The outer pretty-printed cardboard packaging has clearly been caught by a knife in some opening process; the knife hasn't gone through, the inner box is entirely intact, as are all the seals. It's a new piece of kit, for half price. Thanks very much for posting this offer on the forum.

For various reasons it'll be a while before I get it set up, but I thought I'd let y'all know that the offer is genuine.
Offline malteser  
#10 Posted : 23 March 2012 17:35:21(UTC)
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Geoff,

'scuse my ignorance but I was under the impression that the Touch was the first Squeezebox product that doesn't need the Logitech Media Server running elsewhere. That's a killer as far as I'm concerned.
Regards,
Frank.

All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinion of any organisations I work for, except where this is stated explicitly.
Offline Pete_w  
#11 Posted : 24 March 2012 15:49:07(UTC)
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Based on reading the manual but not having tried it yet - am installing new Win7 PC - it looks like you can either run the media server on the box where your music is, or you can put your music on a USB stick or USB hard drive and plug it straight into the Touch. Are you saying that NOT having the media server is deal-breaker, or that HAVING it is?
Offline Geoff P  
#12 Posted : 25 March 2012 11:46:47(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: malteser Go to Quoted Post
Geoff,

'scuse my ignorance but I was under the impression that the Touch was the first Squeezebox product that doesn't need the Logitech Media Server running elsewhere. That's a killer as far as I'm concerned.


Frank

If you want to stream from a music folder somewhere in your system via ethernet /WiFi just as with other streamer products you have to 'serve' the music to it, which requires Logitech Media Server running either on a PC/Mac or NAS and scanning your music folder. You can't do this from the Touch since it doesn't have diverse computing capability, only basic functions that support its feature set. I think this quite reasonable when you consider how inexpensive and compact it is.

Checking the user booklet again it indicates that the Touch can scan and pull music off a full size (preferably self powered) USB drive, not just memory sticks, attached to its USB port. In this 'local' mode it does not need an internet connection or Logitech Media Server. It runs as a standalone device via a set of menus on the touch screen which are easily operated by its remote. It can provide an SPDIF, Toslink or Stereo Analog output of the music on the USB device. Obviously you could 'clone' your Music collection off your computer or NAS to this USB HDD. The only drawback is that you would need to update the USB HDD on your PC if you want to listen to new music you add to your Music Folder.

For info it handles up to 96/24 transparently ( no sample rate processing). It will also play files up to 192/24 but down samples these to half rates. I use mine to feed an SPDIF input DAC kit and find it can stream 96/24 reliably using WiFi but I use a wired connection because I have one available.The Radio on it is pretty good as well.

regards
Geoff

Edited by user 25 March 2012 11:53:55(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Pete_w  
#13 Posted : 27 March 2012 20:11:50(UTC)
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Off Topic:

Originally Posted by: Pete_w Go to Quoted Post
Based on reading the manual but not having tried it yet - am installing new Win7 PC


Done! That's several days of my life I won't see again, but blimey, PC's are a bit faster nowadays, aren't they? My old XP box was 6 years old, feels like a new and different world here now. Have been very impressed with how smoothly it's all gone, the only hiccup was an interaction between monitor color profiling and Intel's graphics, but once I typed the right keywords into google I found that a thousand angry people had got there before me and had written down the answer...

Offline malteser  
#14 Posted : 28 March 2012 13:35:04(UTC)
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Geoff, thanks for the response, I wonder why Logitech insist on Logitech Media Server rather than any DLNA server like Twonky?
Regards,
Frank.

All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinion of any organisations I work for, except where this is stated explicitly.
Offline Pete_w  
#15 Posted : 28 March 2012 18:23:10(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: malteser Go to Quoted Post
Geoff, thanks for the response, I wonder why Logitech insist on Logitech Media Server rather than any DLNA server like Twonky?


By the look of it - and I'm just startring to play with it now, I have music coming out - the media server is a much more active participant in the setup than a passive DLNA server would be. I could be wrong, I'm just starting, but I guess that Slim Devices came up with this interface - this partition between client and server - some years ago, probably prior to DLNA, and they're stuck with it.
Offline Pete_w  
#16 Posted : 29 March 2012 18:08:46(UTC)
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Yes, it's becoming clearer to me that the server does all sorts of things - playlist generation, etc - that you might not necessarily expect.

However, I'm a little disappointed that what I'd consider to be basic, rudimentary, functionality - smart playlists, for example to let me play (for example) a random selection of music that I haven't played in the last X days - is completely missing, and in order to add it I'm expected to pay money to some third-party bloke in sweden (Erland Isaksson) that I've never heard of, and anyway I can't because he only takes paypal and I don't have one.

So I'm a bit disappointed that basic functionality, that even Windows Media Player was offering 8 years ago, seems to be missing from the shiny bling bits.

Sorry this reads like a rant, I'm just in the throes of having spent 3 hours trying to work out how to do playlists, only to end up ayt this bloke's website saying "I've decided I'm going to license my 3rd-party plugins and you need to give me money". I don't blame him for that, people need to earn a living, what annoys me is that the device should apparently ship without such simple obvious stuff built-into it.

Offline Pete_w  
#17 Posted : 18 April 2012 11:01:14(UTC)
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Just thought I'd post here about the Squeezebox's sound quality. I've had mine for 2 or 3 weeks now, it's been on all the time and has played 600-700 tracks, so it's probably run in. I bought it as a background-music generator, and for my son to use, and for that it's fab, but I had a spare hour or two this morning so I thought I'd give it a "serious listen". What follows refers to its analogue outputs, I've no idea what it's like as a digital streamer, I don't have an external DAC.

My cupboard is currently a bit bare, so I borrowed some single-ended interconnects off a friend. These are Atlas Navigator; I have no idea where they sit in the great continuum of things, except that he's obviously decided that he has something better to use! The SB is as isolated as I can get it from the rest of the stereo, it's powered by its little wall-wart plugged into a Tacima isolator block.

Playing some fairly straightforward light swinging jazz - Melody Gardot's "Who will comfort me?" - it's actually quite convincing. Her voice had a horrible papery quality prior to the Atlas interconnects going in, but with those wrestled into place the midrange filled out a bit. The timing's not bad, you can tap your foot, there's a believable sense of texture round the voice. Overall, until you play the same track on the CD player, there's no great sense of anything missing, it's presenting a believable picture. The bass guitar lines feel a bit like a line drawing - you can see the outlines but they haven't been coloured in. But it's believable and you could listen to it.

Changing track to ZZ Top's La Grange starts to show what's missing. The air round Billy's voice has gone, the multi-layered guitar parts don't gel into a driving whole, it all starts to be a bit of a mess, a wall of sound. Not convincing, and while you could certainly use the SB to demonstrate to a listener why you feel that Melody Gardot was a good singer, the listener would be much less convinced by ZZ Top.

I accidentally dissected the "wall of sound" effect with "After Midnight", from JJ Cale's "Live" album. I hasn't realised that this simple solo track, where he plays alone to introduce a live gig, was so difficult. But it apparently is. Suddenly the sound has collapsed into left and right speakers, the centre image has disappeared, and JJ's very idiosyncratic timing towards the end of the song just sounds incoherent. The SB draws your attention to it, but in the wrong way!

So, I thought, if portrayal of musical timing is its achilles heel, depending as it seems to on subtle and proportionate detail retrieval, let's break it properly.... "Dark Room", a live performance ("meditation" might be a better word) by John Lee Hooker from the "Alone (#1)" album, is an extraordinary thing. It's free-form spoken Blues, with the guitar taking the part of a cynical and sceptical listener (Read Charles Shaar Murray's book to see this quite extraordinary and unique 5 minutes dissected...), and it's done in front of a real audience. John Lee has his own internal clock, his own rhythm, and the Squeezebox really doesn't get it. As an engineer, I don't know why not, but as a listener, it's clear; Dark Room is a masterpiece, but not when the SB plays it.

So, in summary. For doing background, it's fab. There's something very lovely about having your music collection randomly played to you. It takes away the "choice" problem, in that you can't remember half of what you have, and it creates seques that you'd never have thought of in a million years. And for playing fairly straightforward music, it actually sounds pretty convincing. But it ain't a magic well-kept audiophile secret.


Review notes: Music served over wired ethernet from a Win7 PC, having been ripped by iTunes in Apple Lossless format. Squeezebox connected single-ended into the back of a Music First transformer pre-amp. Comparison CD player is an old-but-musical near-antique, a Linn Ikemi running balanced into the same pre-amp via VdH The Second (Ikemi sounds much better running balanced than SE, for some reason...). Levels matched solely by ear between the sources, roughly 4dB difference, if anything the SB was louder which should have helped it.

Offline Geoff P  
#18 Posted : 19 April 2012 09:22:20(UTC)
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Hi Pete

Thanks for a very comprehensive report of the SBT's analog abilities.

I just want to say that it is as a network bridge to provide a digital out to a following DAC that the SBT really shines at a remarkably low price. The server software and its ability to flip thru' music is also part of that equation.

I evaluated the SBT as a way of providing an SPDIF signal off my networked Music store against alternative solutions such as the Naim Uniti and the Linn Sneaky which while they are quite reasonably priced in hifi terms are at around the 1K mark. My expectation was these would show the SBT a clean pair of heels as SPDIF sources. Not so. The SBT is audibly at the same quality level as this competition.

So while the SBT understandably does not have an impressive analog out performance ( who would expect it at the price?) it is a star as a very much VFM SPDIF signal deliverer...with a great interface.

regards
Geoff
Offline Pete_w  
#19 Posted : 19 April 2012 10:05:40(UTC)
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Thanks, Geoff. That's good to know. We have a friend (the same one posted me the cables) with an rDAC, so next time he comes over for dinner, I'll ask him to bring it...

I have 3 ways forward from here...

1) Do Nothing. I currently have no income, so this is quite an appealing option and probably the one I'll take, but if a magic wand appears over the bank account, then...

2) Buy a mid-range DAC like an rDAC; the Squeezebox has a digital co-ax out, my gorgeous Pioneer 2-box plasma may look good but has what sounds like a cheap stereo soundcard in it (Pioneer were obviously expecting everyone to use external 5.1 decoding), but it does have a TOSLINK optical digital out, so that would feed into the same rDAC (or equivalent)...

3) ...Or make a serious attempt to better the CD player with a high-end DAC. I was thinking Naim DAC, but as I type I'm wondering about the Metrum Octave that y'all have been raving about. Possibly a bit short of inputs, I'd need optics for the TV, co-ax for the squeezebox and a further input for SPDIF from the Ikemi (it's got all sorts on its back panel...)

Cheers
Pete
Offline ashleym  
#20 Posted : 30 September 2012 09:26:24(UTC)
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As an aside, it looks like Logitech have stopped producing the Squeezebox. So first time streamers will have to look elsewhere. Nothing like digital biting you.......
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