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Old 05-09-2018, 09:26 AM
iefbo iefbo is offline
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Default DCS Network Bridge

Does anybody here have this device? Connected to the SPDIF input on a (McIntosh) SACD player?
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:05 PM
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Default DCS Network Bridge

Also looking for user feedback on the dCS Bridge as it is one of the few Roon endpoints with XLR AES/EBU outputs. Although probably overkill for my needs. The Metrum Ambre seems to be a less expensive alternative.
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Last edited by Jem666; 05-09-2018 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:34 PM
McIantosh McIantosh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iefbo View Post
Does anybody here have this device? Connected to the SPDIF input on a (McIntosh) SACD player?
I use a Network Bridge with my MCD1100 to stream Tidal and my CD Library via Roon. I opted for AES/EBU and not S/PDIF via coax however. Cables are all around Shunyata (Alpha XLR and Alpha NR power) which were installed from the get go.

Compared to a direct connection via USB from my Macbook pro, it was a big step up. Quite happy with the improvement. Zero problems to date.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iefbo View Post
Does anybody here have this device? Connected to the SPDIF input on a (McIntosh) SACD player?


Yes, coaxial or AES XLR are fine, maximum frequency is 192kHz. The Network Bridge works great with Roon.

Future firmware update would support USB output too.

Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:23 AM
iefbo iefbo is offline
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Thanks for your replies!

McIantosh
How would you compare the sound quality to a cd using the transport of the MCD1100?
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:08 PM
McIantosh McIantosh is offline
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McIantosh
How would you compare the sound quality to a cd using the transport of the MCD1100?
Good question. I havenít thought to do a head to head comparison to actually compare (been too busy enjoying music streamed from my Network Bridge ). Some while ago I did compare Roon streamed from my MacBook Pro via USB to discs spinning in the MCD1100, and here I favoured the MCD1100. The difference wasnít night and day however. Just a tad more musical with less digital hash when reading from the CD directly. This wasnít a hard clinical comparison mind you, just a few comparisons I did to satisfy my curiosity. And here, the A/B comparisons were done while simultaneously streaming from the MacBook. So perhaps not the best scientific comparison either.

Introducing the Bridge was not a subtle change by any means and a noticeable step up from the direct USB connection to the MCD1100. How much this can be chalked up to the change in interface, disconnecting the MacBook, and how much to the Bridge (and/or Shunyata cabling), I canít tell you. But it was readily evident. Much more so than comparing USB to a disc in the spinner. So I really havenít had the inkling that a comparison of the Bridge and a CD is really all that worth my while.

If this is of any help to you, I can tell you that the lady of the house rarely (if ever) comments on the sonic improvements from any of changes I have made to my system - and Iíve made a few. She has been rather indifferent to most. The addition of the Bridge however, is the only one to date that she thought was at all worth the time and trouble.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:40 AM
iefbo iefbo is offline
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Interesting input!

How do you use the NB? With Roon?
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:45 PM
McIantosh McIantosh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iefbo View Post
How do you use the NB? With Roon?
Yes, with Roon. I do occasionally stream Tidal directly using the dCS app. Here I canít lay claim to any benefits over listening to Tidal via Roon, but this is perhaps not a fair comparison either (I upsample using DSP in Roon). It is the Roon interface/experience that pushes me to use Roon and not so much any difference in sound quality.

I do also occasionally use AirPlay as well. And here I have the Network Bridge to be a step-up compared to streaming via Airplay using an Airport Express and then via Toslink into the MCD1100. Here we are talking about 128 kbps AAC or 320 kbps MP3, but the Bridge clearly excelled here too.

For me, it was the Airplay and Roon endpoint capabilities that was a significant factor in my decision to go with the Bridge. I took a bit of a leap of faith that it would yield a significant improvement (I did Ďauditioní one at my dealer, but thatís worth only so much in an unfamiliar system), but in the end it has worked out well. As I mentioned in my last post, I havenít had the inkling to perform any hard clinical comparisons. I am too busy enjoying the tunes. And that says a lot.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:09 PM
iefbo iefbo is offline
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Thanks!
Appreciate the great feedback.
I’m still a bit surprised the NB does not get more attention on this forum
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