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dCS Network Bridge

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I lost a bit of interest after finding out it doesn't stream from local file copy like Aurender. I'd still like to hear it out of curiosity but it feels like a missed opportunity, unless I'm missing something.

According to the specs it 'streams digital music from an external drive'. Looking at the pictures it does have a USB connection on the rear panel. So to me it does look a bit like an Aurender, but without external storage. I suspect the vast majority of purchasers would be runnng it via Roon / ethernet though.

 

So I think regarding functionality it looks very versatile.

 

I have listened to the Vivaldi Upsampler and Clock running direct off a USB thumb drive, this sounded very good indeed. It fell down a little in terms of value for money though, with a UK list price of £24K.


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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It looks very interesting to me but I want to know where it streams from. Does it copy to and stream from RAM (apparent SQ gains from doing this with latest Auralic firmware) or does it stream directly from the source (apparently not a good as local streaming)?

 

 

Agree... the 'problem' with £24k gear is the gap between £24k and circa £4k has become narrow of late. This hobby has stopped being money driven - cost of system does not automatically suggest better performance how it might have years ago.

 

 

The dCS network bridge is right in that sweet spot for value if it sounds as good as, for example, an Aurender N10 via AES-EBU (XLR).

 

:-)

 

 

According to the specs it 'streams digital music from an external drive'. Looking at the pictures it does have a USB connection on the rear panel. So to me it does look a bit like an Aurender, but without external storage. I suspect the vast majority of purchasers would be runnng it via Roon / ethernet though.

 

So I think regarding functionality it looks very versatile.

 

I have listened to the Vivaldi Upsampler and Clock running direct off a USB thumb drive, this sounded very good indeed. It fell down a little in terms of value for money though, with a UK list price of £24K.


Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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I asked them... based on their edited answer below if it buffers in several places, by that definition, the final buffer has to be from local memory store - this seems good news and what I was hoping for.

 

I see no reason why this wouldn't be on par with as a diskless, screenless N10 (which I think Aurender should make - I hardly ever look at my screen and prefer NAS storage - AMM is a doddle).

 

"The Bridge buffers a portion of the file internally in several places"

 

Why would't? I don't see dCS making any compromises on how their legacy dacs would sound.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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I open Aurender Media Manager (AMM) and click one button to have the Aurender library refreshed (usually in a few seconds) = quick and easy. I prefer not to have spinning disks in the 'server'.

 

 

Huh? ;-)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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I open Aurender Media Manager (AMM) and click one button to have the Aurender library refreshed (usually in a few seconds) = quick and easy. I prefer not to have spinning disks in the 'server'.

 

OK, got the AMM bit, so what's a doddle? ;-)

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Doddle = UK slang for 'quick and easy'.

 

;-)

 

 

 

 

OK, got the AMM bit, so what's a doddle? ;-)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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I am demoing one at the moment vs N100H - its very good seems bigger in presentation but with all the subtly that the N100H delivers - early days but so far so good.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Good to hear, BTW have you done any USB and/or LAN optimization on the N100H, or is it just 'straight up'?

 

Will be interesting to see which one you prefer after extended listening.

 

Please update us, when ready.

 

;-)

 

 

I am demoing one at the moment vs N100H - its very good seems bigger in presentation but with all the subtly that the N100H delivers - early days but so far so good.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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Somewhat related. I just auditioned a Denali 6000t and plugging my N100h into that made a nice difference.

I've considered the DCS but my Bricasti can't take dual AES and a single wouldn't allow DSD.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Somewhat related. I just auditioned a Denali 6000t and plugging my N100h into that made a nice difference.

I've considered the DCS but my Bricasti can't take dual AES and a single wouldn't allow DSD.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

Single AES works fine for DSD64

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Good to hear, BTW have you done any USB and/or LAN optimization on the N100H, or is it just 'straight up'?

 

Will be interesting to see which one you prefer after extended listening.

 

Please update us, when ready.

 

;-)

 

The N100H is fed from a Melco N1 currently with Melco LAN cables and the USB cable is a AQ diamond. This has made a big difference to the N100H.

 

The DCS is running straight from the LAN with stock cables - having tried swapping things around yet.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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OK, looking forward to your final assessment.

 

The N100H is fed from a Melco N1 currently with Melco LAN cables and the USB cable is a AQ diamond. This has made a big difference to the N100H.

 

The DCS is running straight from the LAN with stock cables - having tried swapping things around yet.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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Very interested in this dCS Network Bridge.

I would connect it to my McIntosch MCD500.

 

Any updates, reviews, experiences, thoughts ... ?

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Very interested in this dCS Network Bridge.

I would connect it to my McIntosch MCD500.

 

Any updates, reviews, experiences, thoughts ... ?

 

I have it connected to a McIntosh D1100 right now. More opinions coming soon.


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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I have it connected to a McIntosh D1100 right now. More opinions coming soon.

Very interesting! Can't wait to hear your impressions.

It would obviously be interesting to see how it compares to the Aurender (A10, N10, etc) devices.

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I have it connected to a McIntosh D1100 right now. More opinions coming soon.

 

I hope that means there is a review of the D1100 on the horizon.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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Hey Chris,

I was curious whether you had some time this weekend to test the dCS on the D1100?

Or did March Madness take over as it seem to have done for most of my American colleagues :-)

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48 minutes ago, iefbo said:

Hey Chris,

I was curious whether you had some time this weekend to test the dCS on the D1100?

Or did March Madness take over as it seem to have done for most of my American colleagues :-)

Zero time this weekend. I cut-over the new CA and slept a total of 4 hours :~(


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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Well - I have been using the Network Bridge for a couple of weeks now and I am starting to form a conclusion.

 

Initial impressions were quite good - but on extended listening, the Bridge is almost completely on a par with the N100H. Both have been playing into a dCS Scarlatti system. 

 

Using the N100H with Stillpoints, Grounded in to a Entreq Silver Tellus and using a Entreq SPDIF cable the sound is controlled and very musical - with a wide and deep soundstage. The Network Bridge without any of these goodies was good - but lacked the base control and sound-staging. Swapping a few things around - adding the Stillpoints and the SPDIF cable - got things much closer.

 

So is there a difference between the devices? At this stage with Firmware V1.0 the answer would be not really. The addition of Roon in the Bridge is very useful - but doesn't warrant the price at this point. Qobuz isn't supported on the Bridge as yet and it seems that is still work in progress. As with most things in the dCS camp - I would expect great things in the coming months as the firmware is updated - but today it is probably no better than the Aurender. 

 

I will keep listening for a few more weeks but it's not making sense at the moment to upgrade to a similar level product with the hope of things to come.

 

I am reliably informed that the new Melco N1Z products will likely be a much more interesting proposition - so I think it makes sense to try one of those at some point as an upgrade to my N1A.

 

Anyone else had the opportunity to listen yet?

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I'm interested in comparing the dCS network bridge to the Aurender N10.

If the dCS is on par with the N100H, I assume the N10 will still be better than the dCS Network Bridge?

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Hi Chris,

Did you have any time to play around with the dCS network bridge? Any thoughts/impressions you can share?

Thanks!

 

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