Alright between now and January, I want to put together a Lossless Digitial file based 2 channel system.
I've pretty much figure there are 4 basic Ideas I looking at on how to do this.
For awhile I was completely sold on going Squeezebox touch and never looking back, however the issues with the onboard server pretty much will require that I run SBS on a separate computer, which I'm not sure I want to do, b/c I would pretty much have to buy the Touch and a new computer. Anyway here are my thoughts and would appreciate yours.
in all options the source/player will be hardwired via gigbit connection to wireless router.
1. Squeezebox touch with or without a separate DAC, Run Squeezebox server on my Current laptop which both the wife and I use with an External HDD attached via USB to the router i'm planning on getting
2. Squeezebox touch with or with out a DAC, run Squeezebox server on a nettop or all in one PC(which I would have to purchase in addition to the squeezebox) in our office space and add an external HDD via usb to router or PC.
3. purchase a new Netop or All in one PC digitially out to a DAC or DAC/pre(ie HRT Streamer or peachtree Decco) via spdif or USB. with external HDD connected to either router or PC via USB
4. New apple tv or other Media Streamer (roku, boxee, etc) connected to a DAC with HDMI or composite to a display. External HDD connected to router via USB.
In all honesty, option 1. is not one I really want to consider unless funds become less available than I think they will be b/c both me and the wife use the laptop and I would like to still be able to listen to music w/o possible interuption while she is on it.
The reason I like squeezebox is the reviews of it state that its analog is already pretty good as is and that its digital out is fairly good as well, but would I notice much of a difference if I digital out from a PC or media streamer to a DAC as opposed to the Squeezebox.