Bartok with Network Bridge

Hi, I’m wondering if the Network board capabilities included in the Bartok is as good as what the Network Bridge (NB) do. Has someone had the chance to listen to streamed-networked music with and without the Network Bridge linked to the Bartok, bypassing the Bartok’s network interface?
What were the results? Is adding the NB give an increase in sound quality?
Thanks a lot.

From what I’ve seen described, the network board in all the current dCS products is basically the same board. In the Bartok, it’s just connected internally rather than via external connections like the Network Bridge.

It’s just that when I see all that’s under the hood of the NB (own power supply, capacitors, etc…). I wonder if all this can be replaced by a network board sharing power supplies and more in the Bartok. Just asking, considering how fabulous is the NB connected to other DACs in terms of sound quality.

You asked me earlier if I used a Network Bridge with my Vivaldi.

I think what you are really asking without saying it is; Would I get a benefit by using a Bartok plus a Network Bridge?

The answer is that whatever benefits that using a separate Bridge may bring you also have to consider that the Bartok is dCS’ entry level DAC.

There is no point in improving the network board if the following DAC cannot take full advantage of it.

My own view is that the appropriate upgrade is not to add a Bridge to the Bartok but to upgrade to a Rossini.

I compared NB connected to Bartok with internal streamer. It took me 5 minutes to understand that the bridge is unnecessary in this chain. I used Siltech digital cables

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Thanks for the feedback arzojaan. The outcome was pretty much as I expected. So it’s time to start saving for a Rossini :slightly_smiling_face:.

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Thanks for the feedback Arzojaan, very appreciated. That’s what I hoped for, I would have been surprised if it wasn’t the case… So, Rossini is next as I understand ! Surely even better than adding a Rossini Clock to the Bartok. I think of adding the clock eventually and I’ll already have it when I’m ready ($) for the Rossini !

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I heard from some people that they liked the Rossini + NB sound more than the internal streamer. But after hearing it myself with Bartok, I can’t believe it. There are ways to better spend your money)

I have tried a Bartok with and without Network Bridge. Adding the Network Bridge made a surprisingly big improvement in sound quality. It sounded like the volume had increased somehow. But it hadn’t. Just big improvement in dynamics/clarity. I wonder if there would be a similar improvement with the Network Bridge and a Rossini.

I actually still have my dCS Network bridge connected to my network from when my Headphone system in the study used to be a Chord Dave, before both were replaced by a Bartok when it was launched.

No, the NWB+Bartok (via dual AES) absolutely does not sound better than the Bartok by itself.


Well Anup: that is both a very welcome response and a very depressing one. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I went back and compared again and indeed I agree. There is no significant difference. Which is fantastic news: it saves potentially a lot of money and another box and cables and complication and upgrade path consternation.

So why did I perceive a difference before? It either demonstrates the fallibility and expectation bias of listening tests or something else did cause a difference. They may have been connected through different switches (both basic but I find it hard to believe that would have an effect) or maybe I’d messed up a setting somewhere.

In any case thank you very much again for taking the time to express your opinion.

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Unfortunately, it happens to us all.

For the last couple of years I’ve imagined that network playback of my local files sounded worse through Roon than they did through Mosaic. It wasn’t until I did some objective measurements earlier this year that I realised they’re in actual fact exactly the same. :grimacing:

As the legendary Dr. Floyd Toole once said; “The quantification of subjective judgments is a well established practice in psychometrics”.

The last time I compared ROON and Mosaic, Mosaic still played better. This was the second comparison. The first time was ROON Rock on NUC and the second on a large Windows desktop with Xeon.

I confirm that my Bartok does not need the additional Network Bridge)) I also connected the Aurender N10, Metronome DSS, EMM NS1 to the Bartok, they also seemed superfluous to me.

But how Bartok plays with Audio Note CDT2, I liked it. It was a slightly different presentation than fiddling with files))

Interesting, I’ve never heard it before. Isn’t the Audio Note CDT2 basically a Philips CD Pro mech in a chassis with Power supply? Maybe it’s strength is in it’s simplicity :slight_smile:

Yes, mayby, it’s simplicity, music flow and a little CD-nostalgia)) It’s not about technology))
Having one DAC you get 2 variants of sound interpretation.
I have tried earlier Metronome, CEC, Accuphase as CD transport, but this effect was only with AN. Good combo.