DSJ vs. DLIII DAC/Squeezebox Touch

On the basis of sound quality how does the DSJ compare with the DLIII DAC? My current setup has the DLIII DAC driven from the coaxial digital output of a Squeezebox Touch (SBT) which is itself connected via ethernet to a NAS running Logitech’s Media Server. I get very good sound from this setup (somewhat better than CD from my Denon DCD1650AR analog out into preamp.) I’m wondering whether there will be a significant improvement in sound by replacing the DLIII/SBT with the DSJ. Based on a number of posts I’ve read here I don’t expect to drive my Pass XA30.5 power amp directly from the DSJ - I intend to keep my Pass XP-10 preamp between the DSJ and XA30.5.

Thanks

Kofi

Without knowing the rest of your setup, I hesitate to speculate - but my guess would be “No Contest”itwasntme_gif

On the other side of the equation - putting a SBT into the DSJ (assuming that’s your best source) is maybe not a very good match, quality-wise (and I have Touches, a Transporter, and various other SB devices), so that’s another part I can’t really speculate on.

Having said that - I would say on the other hand that the DSJ makes everything you put into it sound better.

badbeef said

Without knowing the rest of your setup, I hesitate to speculate - but my guess would be “No Contest”itwasntme_gif

Thanks, badbeef. The only other component I left out is the speakers, and they are PSB Synchrony Ones. I'd have thought all those DLIII owners out there would have had some comment on this.

DAC years are a little like dog years, the DLIII is a senior citizen in the DAC world. I think it was around about the same time as the Lamda transports.

I replaced my Lambda with a refurbished PWT right around the time they were beta testing the DMP transport. The PWT came out around 7 years ago, and was a real upgrade compared to my beloved Lambda. The Lambda replaced a Cal Audio Delta transport, and at the time, I was actually surprised at the improvement. I replaced the Delta mainly because it wouldn’t play an XRCD of “Mulligan Meets Monk” or maybe it’s “Monk Meets Mulligan”? I’m not near my music collection. I figured it would just get more picky, so when a Lambda was offered by my local dealer, I took it home, where it stayed. I have had a harder time hearing differences in similar DACs.

Bottom line, you get a trial period if you buy direct, a good trade in amount, and as the Beef said, the DSJnr should be much better, especially if you use your Denon as a transport. No idea how much of a liability the SBT thing is. I use a laptop as a dedicated digital source, along with the PWT.

No idea how much of a liability the SBT thing is. I use a laptop as a dedicated digital source, along with the PWT.
thanks for the comments. In case it wasn't clear, my intention is to try and gauge improvement by replacing the DLIII DAC with that in the DSJ, as well as replacing the functionality of the SBT with the built-in bridge of the DSJ (rather than using the digital output of the SBT to drive the DSJ.)

The SBT can benefit from a Regen (or Schiit Eitr is actually better if you don’t need DSD output) using USB out if the receiving DAC doesn’t have a great USB input like DLIII (I had one before DSJr).

I’ve switched from bridge to USB from a SBT on DSJr and if there is a difference it’s incredibly small but I couldn’t honestly tell. To me, this means the USB receiver is likely of very good quality in DSJr.

msommers said

The SBT can benefit from a Regen (or Schiit Eitr is actually better if you don’t need DSD output) using USB out if the receiving DAC doesn’t have a great USB input like DLIII (I had one before DSJr).

Are you saying that the SBT doesn't have a great USB input? I've never used the USB input on the DLIII (only the coax input.)
I’ve switched from bridge to USB from a SBT on DSJr and if there is a difference it’s incredibly small but I couldn’t honestly tell. To me, this means the USB receiver is likely of very good quality in DSJr.
Again, I'm not sure what you are saying here. You don't seem to be making a comparison between the DSJ and DLIII+SBT; that's what I was hoping to hear about.

Thanks.

I’m also confused - it’s been a while, but when I got the SBT, the USB was an input for a hard drive, etc. rather than an output. Did someone make a patch to use it as an output, as with some other tweaks available?

Did the DLIII have a USB input? I thought it was old enough that USB was not included. I just did a search on the DLIII, I thought it was older, but it is still a $1k DAC vs $4k DSJ. So I can’t imagine the DSJ not being a wonderful upgrade.

If you read the OPs reply to me, he wants to eliminate the SBT. I think we can safely say the the DSJ is a better DAC, and with the trial period, he has nothing to lose trying one.

Partialresponse, my original reply was based on me thinking it was a lot older, but my recommendation of trying one still stands.

Jeff - FYI, contrary to Paul’s Posts, where you have 5 minutes to decide if you like what you posted, here you can click the Edit button on your post any time, vs. repeating a post. I may beat Elk to this : )

Also - not responding to the OP, rather to msommers and the OP’s response to him.

[I deleted the duplicate post]

Carry on!

Beef, not sure what you are talking about? Did my post show up twice? I was on my tablet, and was having problems with loading it. I didn’t notice a second post. I know about editing here.

That 5 minute thing is the way Copper is set up too. I have lost content that I wanted to add to a post, as it timed out. I have no problem with the 5 minutes to edit, but once you are editing the clock should be off. Same with those floating arrows to go to the former or next page. They should not be down in the posting window area. I have hit those while trying to correct something, losing all my content. Now I am very aware of them, but in the past had to rewrite a post as many as three times. Now if it happens twice, I just don’t bother.

I wasn’t responding to you specifically, but to all the comments.

Your post appeared twice, the first time one missing a sentence which the second one has. No biggie.

While composing a time-consuming post I suggest copying it to memory occasionally (crtl-c in Windows). This way you can paste it back in if something happens.

Reviving this slightly aged thread. I did buy a DSJ and after 500 hours of burn-in I struggle to hear any significant difference between the DSJ and the DLIII. I’m surprised by this, given the many comments about how good the DSJ is. For reference my speakers are PSB Imagine T3 driven by a Pass XA-30.5 power amp, itself driven by a Pass XP-10 preamp. All cabling is Wireworld (Eclipse interconnect and speaker, Starlight digital coax). I’ve compared the DLIII and DSJ several ways;

(1) Both fed from the digital coaxial output of the Squeezebox Touch, i.e., NAS–power line Ethernet -->Squeezebox Touch–digital coax–>[DSJ or DLIII]–>Pass preamp.

(2) Both fed from the digital coaxial output of a Denon DCD1650AR CD player, i.e., DCD1650AR–digital coax–>[DSJ or DLIII]–>Pass preamp.

I’ve also compared the DSJ Bridge and digital coax inputs, i.e.,

(3) NAS – power line Ethernet --> DSJ Bridge Ethernet input–>Pass preamp
versus
NAS – power line Ethernet --> Squeezebox Touch–digital coax–>DSJ coax input–>Pass preamp

With (3) there’s a small difference in favor of the Bridge input, but with (1) and (2) I struggle to detect the difference between the two DACs. I first made these comparisons at about 200 hours of DSJ break-in, and I’ve repeated them at about 500 hours of break-in. I’ve updated the DSJ firmware to Snowmass 2.01. And after 500 hours I don’t expect the DSJ to improve further.
Is the DLIII really as good as the DSJ or is something amiss?