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Update: for two days, I compared my new dCS network bridge with a combo Naim NAC272 powered by XPS DR and felt that Tidal streamed music was slightly better, more detailed with the Naim. 2 audiophile friends agree with me on this.

I'd give the dCS network bridge 90% of the Naim combo performance.

 

Disclaimer: the dCS was brand new so I'd assume the comparison was maybe too early and I'd need to wait for sufficient burn-in time?

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11 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

Update: for two days, I compared my new dCS network bridge with a combo Naim NAC272 powered by XPS DR and felt that Tidal streamed music was slightly better, more detailed with the Naim. 2 audiophile friends agree with me on this.

I'd give the dCS network bridge 90% of the Naim combo performance.

 

Disclaimer: the dCS was brand new so I'd assume the comparison was maybe too early and I'd need to wait for sufficient burn-in time?

 

This is not meant to be rude (so please don't read it that way) but how have you managed to compare what is essentially a digital to digital converter with a streaming DAC & Preamp? Did you just plug the Bridge into one of the DAC inputs on the NAIM? If so, I'm not sure you could learn much about the Bridge's max capability from the result.

 

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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26 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

I'm using the SPDIF digital out of the NAC272...

both are directly feeding Kii Three active speakers (with embedded DAC).

so I *think* I'm comparing apples to apples here ;)

 

Well you've got an interconnect and 2 SPDIF (out and in) interfaces in the way vs the direct path inside the NAIM. The Bridge is known to sound best on AES-EBU. If you had a separate system and compared only the digital portions of each unit via a DAC input, IMHO that would be apples vs apples.

 

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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that is not correct.

1st path: dCS going out in AES  directly into AES input in Kii Three.

2nd path: Naim goes out SPDIF to digital input of Kii Control driving the Kii Three

To me that's apples to apples?

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13 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

that is not correct.

1st path: dCS going out in AES  directly into AES input in Kii Three.

2nd path: Naim goes out SPDIF to digital input of Kii Control driving the Kii Three

To me that's apples to apples?

 

Doh, LOL... I should really learn to read.

 

Sound like a reasonable comparison then.

 

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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On 28/06/2017 at 2:09 PM, r_w said:

 

Doh, LOL... I should really learn to read.

 

Sound like a reasonable comparison then.

 

There are still variables here - the cable used, the siting of the dCS vs the Naim etc. 

 

On my dCS NB using a entreq premium cable on the spdif out vs an exellent wireworld digital on AES is night and day - the spdif slaughters the AES. 

 

Also, place some Stillpoints under the NB and it will take on a much more focused solid presentation.

 

its really difficult to do a true comparison - as a small change can often have 

Significant effects.

 

if you add a master clock input to the NB it will again move many steps up.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, kblundy said:

There are still variables here - the cable used, the siting of the dCS vs the Naim etc. 

 

On my dCS NB using a entreq premium cable on the spdif out vs an exellent wireworld digital on AES is night and day - the spdif slaughters the AES. 

 

Also, place some Stillpoints under the NB and it will take on a much more focused solid presentation.

 

its really difficult to do a true comparison - as a small change can often have 

Significant effects.

 

if you add a master clock input to the NB it will again move many steps up.

 

 

 

 

Agree, but I obviously got the wrong end of the stick with my 1st response.

 

FWIW, I wasted a small fortune on Naim gear many years ago, it was overpriced and average compared to what I use today. Even though DCS is big dollar (not the Bridge, that's good value) IMHO I'd place my faith in DCS over Naim any day of the week.

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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1 hour ago, kblundy said:

There are still variables here - the cable used, the siting of the dCS vs the Naim etc. 

 

On my dCS NB using a entreq premium cable on the spdif out vs an exellent wireworld digital on AES is night and day - the spdif slaughters the AES. 

 

Also, place some Stillpoints under the NB and it will take on a much more focused solid presentation.

 

its really difficult to do a true comparison - as a small change can often have 

Significant effects.

 

if you add a master clock input to the NB it will again move many steps up.

 

 

 

 

 Hi kblundy,

 

Can I ask what DAC you're using with the dCS Network Bridge?

 

Thanks

 Innuos Zenith SE (Roon Core) > Curious USB/Upton ISO REGEN +LPS-1/USPCB> Chord Hugo TT > ATC SCM 40A

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2 hours ago, pam1975 said:

I added a Mutec MC3+ USB today as external masterclock and felt the SQ improvement was minor.

What do you conclude from this minor sound bump? The NB might already have a decent internal clock? Are you anticipating a major bump if the new REF10 clock is added in?

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11 hours ago, pam1975 said:

I added a Mutec MC3+ USB today as external masterclock and felt the SQ improvement was minor.

 

Interesting though about SPDIF beating AES, I assumed it would be the contrary!

My point wasn't about the spdif vs the AES outputs but the effects of cables connected to them.

 

its all about system tweaking. I have heard much better improvements in presentation by tweaking with stillpoints and Entreq cables and grounding than buying yet another piece of kit. 

 

You have to hear it in your system to see if it makes sense. 

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On 6/20/2017 at 11:28 AM, stevebythebay said:

I wouldn't put the N10 in the same category as the dCS or Naim units. The N10 has internal drives for the music library and offers some network services like Tidal. It has no capacity for external clocks but does have internal power supplies. I think it more a music player that happens to play nice with a network of addition sources.  And price wise and based on more features, the Aurender S20 is a more reasonable comparison, at least with respect to the Naim unit.

 

I see the dCS as more narrowly defined. No internal drives. Just takes Ethernet network bitstream (including Tidal and Spotify) with Roon endpoint support, adds upcoming WiFi and MQA support and sends the "unaltered" bitstream on its way. And it is capable of upsampling or downsampling as needed.  I say "unaltered" to really mean undiminished, since I'm getting far more sonic pleasure from the dCS than anything else I've tried in my system. 

 

I know little of the older Naim technology. So I can't compare how it might fare.  Also, the dCS has no USB output, making it less versatile if a DAC expects that as input. 

 

I had the N10 in my system, replacing a MacMini. I found a nicer result with a microRendu.  Both had been feeding into a Berkeley D-D converter into the AES/EBU input of a Berkeley DAC. Now, using the dCS to replace the microRendu/converter, I'm experiencing a much better sonic result. As always, "your mileage may vary" based on your system. 

------Also, the dCS has no USB output, making it less versatile if a DAC expects that as input. 

 

 

Steve -- That is true now, but dcs is planning to add the usb output capability as a firmware upgrade this summer. Currently it has a usb port that functions as an input for external storage. -- David

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  • 4 weeks later...

BUMP!

 

Are there any users who owned/listened to the Network Bridge. I am extremely interested to read a comparison between NB, N10 and Signature Rendu (assuming that these are the most raved streamers/renderers at the moment). 

 

Three different philosophies in digital playback. Three different value per $ tier. 

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Have them all but haven't done a comparison.

You may be the only person on the planet able  to directly compare the dCS bridge and the Signature Rendu-don't let us down! :)

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>RPi4 (dietpi)>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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4 hours ago, Emerald Core said:

BUMP!

 

Are there any users who owned/listened to the Network Bridge. I am extremely interested to read a comparison between NB, N10 and Signature Rendu (assuming that these are the most raved streamers/renderers at the moment). 

 

Three different philosophies in digital playback. Three different value per $ tier. 

I have never listened to the Network Bridge, but I did have a very interesting conversation about it with a dealer a couple of weeks ago.  The dealer knows me very well, he also knows that I had an interest in the Network Bridge and that I prefer AES input with my Devialet amp.  So the guy has every reason to try and sell me one.  The dealer stocks dCS and Aurender products, amongst other stuff.  Anyway, he told me that they were having difficulty selling the Network Bridge, with some customers trying Network Bridge vs Aurender comparisons and preferring the Aurender for sound quality, this includes the X100, let alone the N10.  Of course the X100 is similar money, although has internal storage, USB out etc.  He then went on to say that they found the sound quality of the Network Bridge to not quite as good as they had hoped, hence the unfavourable comparisons with the Aurender, however, he then stated that things get very much better with the Network Bridge if it is used with a decent external clock.

 

OK, this is second hand stuff and who would trust a dealer!  I am just passing on what I was told, it seamed relevant here. 

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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7 hours ago, Emerald Core said:

BUMP!

 

Are there any users who owned/listened to the Network Bridge. I am extremely interested to read a comparison between NB, N10 and Signature Rendu (assuming that these are the most raved streamers/renderers at the moment). 

 

Three different philosophies in digital playback. Three different value per $ tier. 

In had the N10 in my system for nearly a year before bringing a microRendu/Sonore Sig. LPS into my environment.  And most recently have been using the dCS Network Bridge. Each change has represented a step up (you can read my earlier posts). However, since every system is different, and each of us has differing tastes/expectation respecting music playback, I hope you've the opportunity to bring demo units home for trial. 

Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ WD USB Drive / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler  / dCS Vivaldi DAC / dCS Vivaldi Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral DMA-500 monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers / Shunyata Denali - DPC6 - Sigma Ethernet / Synergistic Research Galileo interconnects / Uptone EtherREGEN switch

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16 minutes ago, stevebythebay said:

In had the N10 in my system for nearly a year before bringing a microRendu/Sonore Sig. LPS into my environment.  And most recently have been using the dCS Network Bridge. Each change has represented a step up (you can read my earlier posts). However, since every system is different, and each of us has differing tastes/expectation respecting music playback, I hope you've the opportunity to bring demo units home for trial. 

 

According to this review the Antipodes DX seems to outperform the N10 as well:

 

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/network-player-reviews/antipodes-dx-music-server/

 

So it might be better to compare the Antipodes to the dCS NB.

 

Matt

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37 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

According to this review the Antipodes DX seems to outperform the N10 as well:

 

http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/network-player-reviews/antipodes-dx-music-server/

 

So it might be better to compare the Antipodes to the dCS NB.

 

Matt

Might be worth a comparison for SQ, but these are intended for very different use cases. The Antipodes is, in its current incarnation, a ripper, Roon sever, and renderer. The dCS serves as a network D-D converter with associated bells and whistles. The Antipodes exists for those looking to have a bit more all-in-one, rather than those who split out Roon Core, music library, and network based renderer. 

 

One bit that got my attention was his description of Roon Mode 1: ..."The added advantage of having both server and renderer / player (RoonReady) in the same device is that they do not need to use the comms layers that sit underneath RAATwhen the two apps talk across a network and according to Antipodes this leads to better sound."  

 

It seems that others have picked up on this approach of Antipodes. See Romaz's post entitled "A novel way to massively improve the SQ of the sMS-200 and microRendu".  I had tested this in my prior MacMini microRendu to DAC setup, with marginal benefit. Have yet to see if my current setup with the dCS would benefit.  

 

I do feel that his descriptions re: the N10 vs. DX echo my own recollection of N10 versus  microRendu. 

Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ WD USB Drive / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler  / dCS Vivaldi DAC / dCS Vivaldi Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral DMA-500 monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers / Shunyata Denali - DPC6 - Sigma Ethernet / Synergistic Research Galileo interconnects / Uptone EtherREGEN switch

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Has anybody tried dCS Network Bridge and Vivaldi DAC together? 

 

May sound silly initially, but bear with me on this.

 

We did various tests on a friends Vivaldi / Aurender W20 system. the W20 into Vivaldi DAC (Dual AES) is of course great. However, when both units are slaved to the Vivaldi Master Clock, the real magic happens.

 

So I wonder. Is getting a Network Bridge and Vivaldi DAC, slaving the NB to Vivaldi DAC's clock, and using dual AES for data, provide the holy grail of computer audio, at fraction of the cost of Vivaldi DAC/Upsampler or W20/Clock setup?

 

Cheers.

Kii Three + BXT, dCS Network Bridge, Stromtank 2500, Roon Nucleus, Echole Power Cables, Mogami + Bocchino AES, SOTM Switch + CAT7

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