Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Transporter

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Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Transporter

Postby Vansloneker on Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:08 pm

My cousin got himself a Logitech Transporter. While Logitech isn't Hi-End at all, Slim Tech, the company that developed the Transporter apparently was. However Logitech took over Slim Devices and later dropped the Transporter.

The Logitech Transporter is a network music player. It has no internal storage nor USB connector. My cousin has it playing from a NAS (Network Attached Storage). IMHO the looks are rather 80's, with monochrome green displays. The display on the right can show a pair of Vu meters. The displays can be configured to display about anything. The internals seem to be pretty good. Stereophile has a positive review about it. It can be bettered, a Dutch company is offering after market upgrade with better op-amps and tube output stage.

My cousin says it sounds very good and outperforms his Northstar Design DAC and Cayin tube CD player. Earlier this week I could listen a few hours to this device. I was tired and my ears were suffering from a block in the beginning, it bettered later. Also we did not change to other devices to compare. So no in-depth review from me. I can say it doesn't sound wrong. We spent some time on Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album, first listening an ordinary CD (FLAC) then a downloaded 24 bit version. Compared to the remastered 24 bit version the CD sounded rather grainy. On The Chain I felt the guitar was more detailed on the 24 bit version.
I've had another remastered and extended version of the album myself and I ditched it for the normal CD that IMHO in the end sounded more satisfying. Back home I still like that one.

My cousin controls the Transporter with his mobile phone, that looks impressive. The Transporter has digital outputs and can be connected to an external DAC, should one want to. There's an input for a word clock which means if I'm not mistaken, it can be clocked from an external clock with identical timing as other devices clocked from the same clock as it is done in professional environments like recording studios and broadcast studios.
Also it has digital inputs so I suppose it can be used as a DAC too.

Just google to find the reviews.
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Re: Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Transporter

Postby Forrest on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:42 pm

I've been using a Transporter for the last couple of years and have no intention of changing to anything else. Slim Devices' Sean Adams really put a lot of thought and testing into the design to the point where the vast majority of the so-called Transporter upgrades that are administered by the different mod shops are called into question if they are actually improving the sound or merely changing its sonic signature to something different.

. . . and yes, the Transporter works as a superb DAC as well, and you can use it as a transport to drive an outboard DAC. Currently, I have my Transporter driving my DEQX Express via AES/EBU, but it sounds great no matter which of the two units has the primary DAC duty.

Lots of info and support for the Transporter at the Squeezebox forums:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/forumdisp ... udiophiles
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Re: Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Transporter

Postby Vansloneker on Thu May 09, 2013 5:53 pm

A recent visit to my cousin I brought my CD 'The Sermon' from Jimmy Smith. The first track has Lee Morgan on trumpet. He is playing so good, Smith is only backtrack. While I always focus on the trumpet, my cousin pointed my attention to the Hammond Organ and how well the Hammond characteristics were played, even the touch of the keys. And you know what, I've never heard it that way. It was so transparent, silky smooth. Just natural. That experience was revealing the potential of the Transporter to me.
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Re: Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Transporter

Postby Vansloneker on Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:13 pm

You know, the Transporter has always been part of my life. As a young kid, the baker would deliver bread and groceries with a VW T1 (aka split window).
Image
(right click, view image)
There was always some candy hidden in the box with the delivery.

Later, my dad often took home a VW T2 (aka bay window) pickup from work for lunch and we kids would beg him to drive us to school. We would then sit on the loading platform and have fun.
Image
Part of the magic from VWs first Transporters comes from the rear mounted boxer engine. The distance from the driver seat would make it less intrusive. But more important, the boxer laid out cylinder position would mean internal vibrations are absorbed. Many people are not aware of it, but the 2nd and 3rd order vibrations from a straight 4 cylinder engine are very disturbing.

Now I've got a Transporter of my own but it has no VW badge on it. But the similarity is that the crankshaft of an engine sort of does the same as a DAC: convert the useless up/down or on/off energy into an analogue source of power or music. And Logitech is maybe the VW of audio: gear for everyone.
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It is a bit hard to accept that something with 'Logitech' on it can be high-end. But, as told before, it's not Logitech but a device developed by Slim Devices and that company had been acquired by Logitech.
However I've been hearing this device at my cousin several times and became more and more interested in it.
I was able to make a good deal on selling my North Star DAC and purchased this Transporter.

This is a really different beast from the DACs I've had before. First and for all, it is a network player designed to work in symbiosis with a NAS or a PC. It can connect by UTP and wireless. With Logitech software you can control the Transporter and the music it's playing. The software is very versatile in ways to find your music, but, it has troubles playing my carefully composited playlists. The software will run on a PC, and can be accessed with a browser, so virtually any PC, or a tablet or smartphone.
Also, the Transporter can be largely controlled by remote control. It is possible to select music from your library by remote control.

Next, it can play music straight from the internet, the so called internet radio. I have not yet explored this or got it to work.

With SP/DIF rca and optical, BNC and AES/EBU XLR all in and out, it will connect to about anything. Did I mention word-clock, rca and XLR line-out?
It's also possible to use it as a DAC. When using the Transporter as a stand alone DAC, without being connected to the Logitech software, it has a real nag: every time you turn it on you have to select the digital input, it does not remember it. And every time you select a digital input the volume is set at -37.5dB so you have to adjust the volume to 0. 0 equals direct while any other value means some loss. Who ever invented this quirk has to be mental really.

Sonically it's entirely different from my previous DACs. With all changes in the chain, I have to get used to it, and different music will be experienced different (at least by me) so what was a previous particular listening experience is not necessarily transferred to the new situation. And that can be disappointing sometimes. But the new situation will make new discoveries. It is always amazing to me how music I've sometimes known for all my life suddenly can have a totally different point of view and heard in a way I have never heard before. And that is exactly what hi-end is about to me.

With the Transporter often I am truly amazed at how music gets unraveled. Everything falls into place, dull intermezzos become highlights, so many tones and instruments never heard before come alive. It does all this without any strain.
But also some music sounds dull and boring. Or just annoying when it has been compressed, the basses fed up and the voices enhanced. When the mixing was the primary source, you will hear it.
As much as I love pop-music, all the wizardry can really put me off.
That's what I love about jazz: just plain straight recordings. Very few pop-music has say cymbals that can live up to what is heard in e.g. the Blue Note recordings. Blue Note would record straight from the stage to the master tape. No multi-tape, no dubs, no afterward mixing, no effects. You hear that.

Talking about bass, this really has changed. Where I often would turn up the sub as much as socially acceptable, I am now turning it lower and lower. The Transporter gives much better low definition and the way my sub is set now it's to much. I think I will have to lower the roll off frequency to get to grips with it.

Currently I am using the Transporter both as a network player and DAC for my dedicated music PC. The PC with quality sound card and an Apogee Wide Eye digital interconnect. Curiously, at the moment, when I am listening really concentrated I find listening to my PC through the DAC function more involving, lively, the music more up front. The Transporters internal playback compared more analytical and a bit cold.
I have no explanation for this. Rationally, with avoiding the connection from the PC to the DAC the Transporter should be sonically ahead. Do I maybe enjoy jitter? One difference is, I am feeding the DAC from the PC at 96kHz. So there is some upsampling, except for the native 96kHz tracks. I have set the output at 96kHz because for obscure reasons, the sound card does not put out what's been put in but a value configured in the software. Well I only have it for 4 weeks so opinions and impressions can change.

Don't misunderstand me, the Transporter is bloody good at recreating the music from just a few digits. I can't tell where it stands compared to the big names in D/A converting because I never had those. But the reviewers made their points: it's the poor peoples secret affordable hi-end DAC. And I believe them.


*By the way, a T1 nowadays can cost you up to $/£/€ 100,000.00!
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