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source:  intel nuc8i5 (roon rock) > intel nuc6i5 (win 10, ao, roon bridge, dirac v1) > schiit yggdrasil (gen 5, analog 2)
headphone rig:  bryston bha-1 > senn hd600
two-channel rig:  luminous audio axiom ii xlr walker mod > parasound a21 > monitor audio gx100

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5 hours ago, gazjam said:

Anyone using one as their streamer into a Dac?
Reviews read A+ for it, wondering about first hand opinions...

 

Thanks.

 

What do you want to know ?


patatorz.com / Leedh E2 glass / dCS Vivaldi / Ypsilon Phaethon

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Yes, I do use one. How are you thinking of using it? I am asking as it is primarily intended for those with dCS equipment and not all of its attributes are universal in application.

 

BTW, I note that you have been referred to comments from 2016.  There have been some changes to the hardware since and the control software has had a major upgrade resulting in the Mosaic Controller app.

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I'm upgrading my Streamer and looking for something that would better my heavily modded Oppo 203 streaming i2s into my Dac.

It's a PS Audio Directstream Dac I use, currently use its i2s input from the Oppo for music.
 

The Oppo cant stream DSD from Roon, and I'm sure theres better sounding streamers out there, so I looked to dCS with their reputation as top notch digital.

The Network Bridge would be used purely as a "best quality" streamer for my up to 24/192 and DSDx64, probably over XLR.

(The DS's inputs are pretty "input agnostic" due to the way the dac does it's thing, so not fussed at losing i2s connection.

 

Reviews all A+, just wondering what owners have used before, that the dCS bettered to give me an idea of sound quality.
 

The Oppo replaced PS Audio's own internal Network Bridge as it sounded better, which was a shame as it was a one box solution to DSD, MQA, Spotify connect and all that good stuff.

Thanks for any insight.

 

 

p.s. I'll be selling and downsizing my vinyl rig to fund this, so want to get it right! :)

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I think that the main barrier to your using the Network Bridge is that it really needs an NAS  source via Ethernet connection for local file replay. Although I guess that it may be possible to connect the Oppo to it via USB this will not give you a very good experience with the control system ( Mosaic) as it will only display track title , no artwork and not all of the facilities may be available. Incidentally dCS only officially support Minim Server as the UPnP server. That is not to say others will not work but reliability cannot be guaranteed ( which I am aware of running Twonky which must be changed in the next few days). Also gapless replay may or may not work for you with other feeds as dCS  do their own thing for this.

 

The preferable output connection may well be AES/EBU as the singe connection will provide > 24/192 or DSD64 ( ditto for S/Pdif). For higher resolution the dual AES/EBU connection is required and that in practise limits a user to dCS equipment. The original idea of the Network Bridge was not as a universal streamer but to provide connectivity of higher rate formats to owners of legacy dCS equipment . So one feature that isn't often mentioned is that it will downsample hi-res files so that at owners of older equipment may at least hear them. With a dCS Rossini or Verdi it also provides full MQA decoding.  It is also a Roon endpoint but not being a Roon user I am just reporting that without any understanding of what it signifies 🤔

 

NB: I think that the spec provided on dCS' website may not be fully current.

 

The Network Bridge/Mosaic now provides access to Tidal, Qobuz , Deezer or Spotify ( subject to subscription).  I use the Qobuz facility which, although it doesn't allow access to all of the Qobuz features such as CD booklets, musical essays etc., it does allow access to their playlists and lets the user add albums/tracks to Qobuz favourites etc.and, of course, gives access to hi-res FLAC streaming.   IMO it is a good compromise. There is also a fabulous and enormous selection of online radio stations.

 

Sound? Impeccable would be a good word.  Moving from my previous dedicated PC/ JRiver + ifi USB conditioner system to the Network Bridge ( with Melco N17H/2 as NAS) was spectacular. Friends hearing the Network Bridge here for the first time have been, well shocked. "Uncanny" " F... me. Wow" were just two of the reactions from friends familiar with its predecessor.

 

As I write I am listening to it playing BBC Radio 3 HD tonight's live Prom. Some of the finest sound I have ever heard from these concerts on radio in fifty years of listening ( I also have attended many, many in person and have a fair idea of live sound in that hall).

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14 hours ago, PAR said:

So one feature that isn't often mentioned is that it will downsample hi-res files so that at owners of older equipment may at least hear them.

I have realised that what I wrote is ambiguous.  Using the words "will downsample" implies that it does this irrespective. The downsampling is, of course, a user selectable option and the sentence should read " So one feature that isn't often mentioned is that it can downsample hi-res files so that at owners of older equipment may at least hear them."

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Thanks all for the replies, very helpful.

@PAR

Thanks for the direct experience, was the kind of information I was looking for, I came from an optimised PC/JRiver background myself, and know the quality you can get - so your friends thoughts on the Bridge are quite very informative! 😃

 

I would basically be connecting my "RoonCore" PC (Effectively a NAS for Roon) via ethernet directly to the Network Bridge, using it as a Roon Endpoint, then into my Directstream Dac over AES.
The Oppo would be removed from the chain and returned to solely video duties.

24/192 is more than enough for these ears, and I have a lot of DSDx64 material I'm not hearing properly, so the NetworkBridge is on my radar as the best possible way to get the best sound from my digital files to my Dac.
 

Thanks for the input guys.

 

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10 hours ago, gazjam said:

Thanks all for the replies, very helpful.

@PAR

Thanks for the direct experience, was the kind of information I was looking for, I came from an optimised PC/JRiver background myself, and know the quality you can get - so your friends thoughts on the Bridge are quite very informative! 😃

 

I would basically be connecting my "RoonCore" PC (Effectively a NAS for Roon) via ethernet directly to the Network Bridge, using it as a Roon Endpoint, then into my Directstream Dac over AES.
The Oppo would be removed from the chain and returned to solely video duties.

24/192 is more than enough for these ears, and I have a lot of DSDx64 material I'm not hearing properly, so the NetworkBridge is on my radar as the best possible way to get the best sound from my digital files to my Dac.
 

Thanks for the input guys.

 

 

If 24/192 is sufficient for you, then you have other options.

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I've been using a dCS Network Bridge for 4 weeks, locally streaming my music library from a Synology NAS running MinimServer software, connected to a PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Basically it’s brilliant hardware. The improvement in sound quality relative to that of the Bridge II in the DAC is remarkably large considering the Network Bridge is only converting ethernet packages to a digital stream (I’m using the AES output). I am hearing more detail and ambience with the music. Image depth is greater. Violins are sweeter, there is more ‘body’ to the sound. Bass is better defined and the music flows better. Trumpets ‘rasp’ convincingly. Inner detail is now audible in loud, complex orchestral works. There appears to be greater dynamic range in music, with the quietest passages noticeably more delicate. Overall the sound is yet more ‘natural’ and engrossing.


ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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Great stuff. However are you using Mosaic Control? If so are you only playing local files or are you also using it to access a streaming service or for internet radio stations?

 

I have to say that the access to internet radio from it is impressive with hundreds of stations available and, for some, the most popular associated podcast subscriptions are already installed. I have been knocked out with the sound quality I am hearing via Network Bridge from the current live broadcasts of this year's Proms season ( BBC Radio 3 320kbs/AAC  without subsequent signal processing by the BBC in the tx chain i.e. effectively a direct feed from the mixing desk. Possibly only available in this format to the UK). They are subject, of course, to the live, on the fly, sound balance achieved by the BBC engineers.

 

dCS are promising  version 1.0.2 of Mosaic Controller in the near future so I am looking forward to what that will bring.

 

NB: Looks like your system description may now need updating 😉

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Yes I am using Mosaic Control but it has a serious bug (for me) that is known to dCS and I'm told will be fixed in version 1.0.2:

 

Currently Mosaic lists music library contents as Album/Composer rather than Album/Artist. This is a major problem as I use ‘Album’ for ‘Work’ for the classical music in my library so where I have several performances of the same work by different artists in my library they all look the same in the Mosaic album listing! 

 

Compared with BubbleUPnP I'm missing a scroll bar that allows rapid, accurate access to items in a long list. So until version 1.0.2 arrives I'm still using BubbleUPnP as controller. Of course I therefore have to accept that playback is not gapless.

 


ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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1 hour ago, DavidL said:

I'm missing a scroll bar

Ah, then you must be the guy with 11,000 albums on dCS Community . I have a fraction of that but I am sympathetic to your needs. There is, apparently, a way of amending MinimServer so that the albums are alphabetically indexed which could be helpful depending upon the search terms but I suspect that you , like me, enjoy browsing your collection to see what takes your fancy so indexing isn't really a complete solution.

 

 

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Hello, this feature is native. No need of url adding like in roon.

 

not sure if this feature relies on a provider or managed by dCS .


patatorz.com / Leedh E2 glass / dCS Vivaldi / Ypsilon Phaethon

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The station database is supplied by a provider. It is not perfect ( what on Earth is?) but is mightily impressive and no doubt will improve further over time as clients like dCS ask for additions. As a Brit I am impressed that even stations catering to our native minority languages like Welsh and Gaelic are  included.

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14 hours ago, PAR said:

The station database is supplied by a provider. It is not perfect ( what on Earth is?) but is mightily impressive and no doubt will improve further over time as clients like dCS ask for additions. As a Brit I am impressed that even stations catering to our native minority languages like Welsh and Gaelic are  included.

 

Interesting.

 

Using Roon currently; tried to find streaming URLs to add some of the more popular UK stations like Capital yesterday and failed horribly. They only seem to stream via an app and I wasn't able to find a list of URLs any where.

 

The lightning software in the Aries Mini in my headphone station does have an integrated list, so you can just choose a station. No idea why Roon hasn't implemented something similar already.

 

Nice the dCS Bridge does this. Does it receive regular firmware/software updates?

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18 minutes ago, George Hincapie said:

Nice the dCS Bridge does this. Does it receive regular firmware/software updates?

Any current range of dCS products receives firmware updates from time to time . dCS do not use proprietary DAC chips etc.  and all of the firmware, coded by dCS,  is held on  FPGAs . However the updates are not "regular" but only as appropriate. dCS have long learned not to issue updates until they are fully developed.

 

In this particular case relating to internet radio stations it is not so much the Network Bridge itself that is updated but its accompanying control application , Mosaic Control ( though part of Mosaic Control is  installed in the Network Bridge or other dCS streamer e.g. Vivaldi Upsampler or Rossini DAC). This has its own update programme and the revision to v.1.0.2 is anticipated shortly ( v.1.0.1 was issued on 6th June).

 

With  regard to your immediate need you could try:  https://www.ripcaster.co.uk/node/111

 

 

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2 hours ago, George Hincapie said:

The lightning software in the Aries Mini in my headphone station does have an integrated list, so you can just choose a station. No idea why Roon hasn't implemented something similar already.

 

Roon is building a new internet radio software that might come in the next firmware.

 

"We are hard at work on our next release, and one of the most exciting changes we’re working on is a full-fledged Internet Radio Browser, to replace our current “paste the URL” approach."

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roons-new-internet-radio-directory-curators-wanted/74319

 

Anybody with a Network Bridge compared streaming Tidal/Qobuz in Roon compared to directly with Mosaic?


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC
-> Uptone etherREGEN ->  dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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2 hours ago, octaviars said:

 

Roon is building a new internet radio software that might come in the next firmware.

 

"We are hard at work on our next release, and one of the most exciting changes we’re working on is a full-fledged Internet Radio Browser, to replace our current “paste the URL” approach."

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roons-new-internet-radio-directory-curators-wanted/74319

 

Anybody with a Network Bridge compared streaming Tidal/Qobuz in Roon compared to directly with Mosaic?

 

Thanks.

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1 minute ago, George Hincapie said:

Has anyone compared the dCS Bridge to the Metrum Acoustics Ambre; particularly over AES?

 

 

Hello I own both. Over AES the network bridge brings definitely more sound stage and air when titles are complex. Through its i2s the ambre is very good associated to an i2s DAC but associations are very limited. Changing the os inside the ambre improve also a lot the results (audiolinux, gentooplayer or picoreplayer) compared to the stock version oh ropieee.

 

i use the network bridge on my major system and kept the ambre for the headphone system.

 

BR


patatorz.com / Leedh E2 glass / dCS Vivaldi / Ypsilon Phaethon

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3 hours ago, PAR said:

Any current range of dCS products receives firmware updates from time to time . dCS do not use proprietary DAC chips etc.  and all of the firmware, coded by dCS,  is held on  FPGAs . However the updates are not "regular" but only as appropriate. dCS have long learned not to issue updates until they are fully developed.

 

In this particular case relating to internet radio stations it is not so much the Network Bridge itself that is updated but its accompanying control application , Mosaic Control ( though part of Mosaic Control is  installed in the Network Bridge or other dCS streamer e.g. Vivaldi Upsampler or Rossini DAC). This has its own update programme and the revision to v.1.0.2 is anticipated shortly ( v.1.0.1 was issued on 6th June).

 

With  regard to your immediate need you could try:  https://www.ripcaster.co.uk/node/111

 

 

 

Interesting. Thank you.

 

The Bridge is something that interests me and I keep circling back to time and again. Can I ask what streaming solution you had before the Bridge? How does the SQ compare?

 

Does Mosaic integrate Tidal/Quobuz?

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9 minutes ago, Patatorz said:

Hello I own both. Over AES the network bridge brings definitely more sound stage and air when titles are complex. Through its i2s the ambre is very good associated to an i2s DAC but associations are very limited. Changing the os inside the ambre improve also a lot the results (audiolinux, gentooplayer or picoreplayer) compared to the stock version oh ropieee.

 

i use the network bridge on my major system and kept the ambre for the headphone system.

 

BR

 

That's interesting, thanks. I can't tell any difference between AES and I2S between Ambre and Adagio.

 

In your opinion, does the performance difference of the Bridge justify the cost over the Ambre?

 

I will PM you about alternate OS so as not to take the thread off topic.

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26 minutes ago, George Hincapie said:

Does Mosaic integrate Tidal/Quobuz?

 

dCS Mosaic allows a customer to enjoy streaming music from a number of different services and sources including UPnP, Deezer, Qobuz, TIDAL, Roon, Spotify, Airplay, internet radio, podcasts, and locally-attached USB storage.

 

 


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC
-> Uptone etherREGEN ->  dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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