Buying a used dCS Network Bridge

It is a wise move to buy a secondhand dCS NB?

It does sound good!

I have been home demoing it against my current Cyrus Stream Xa (with PSXR) and an Innuos ZENith mk3. The dCS out performs the others!

It is a traded-in unit to a dealer (who sold it originally about five years ago) whom I trust.

My concern is, at five years old, it’s old technology and, secondly, what’s the situation of continuing support from dCS?

Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts on this!

I have one using for than 2 years, very happy with. The only concern to me … it can’t use HQ Player NAA …

Cyrus Stream Xa is even older technology…anyway, if it sounds better…go for it.

it will last forever, like your Cyrus Stream, no support anymore from dCS, but it is a solid and good sounding piece of hardware, you won’t be disappointed.

Actually, while dCS have announced that they’ve ceased production, the Network Bridge continues to be supported, including with the last Mosaic 1.2 Update.

Read their announcement carefully.

This decision will not affect the performance of existing units and we will continue to support the Network Bridge in current and future versions of our Mosaic control app. We will also continue to provide technical assistance for all Network Bridge owners.

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I’m looking to buy a pre-owned Network Bridge (I live in the UK), so if anyone is selling one or knows the whereabouts of a good unit, please let me know :slight_smile:

Regularly check hifishark.com, ebay.co.uk and other marketplaces.

Hi Simon,
I have just messaged you! Martin Hifi in Norwich have one!
Cheers

Thanks for the help; I’ve just secured the purchase of an 11 month NB from Martin’s HiFi. Now the IT fun begins :yum:

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That’s great news!
When will you get the unit?
Rob.

My NB arrived yesterday and I spent this morning getting it up & running, and have just spent a few hours listening and comparing with CD. First a brief background to the situation I find myself in. Up until February front end of my system had been unchanged for many years; a Mark Levinson 31.5 Red Book transport purchased in 2007, and a DCS Purcell & Elgar purchased in 2002. Then in February my Elgar had a terminal failure and for the last 6 weeks I’ve been mesmerised by the sound having a DCS Scarlatti in place of the Elgar, and driving my Classe CA-M600s directly with balanced cables (same cables I had but re-terminated by the manufacturer). I just wanted to hear all my CDs again and have been somewhat of a recluse! This event re-sparked by interest & enthusiasm, fuelled by the many interesting topics & discussions on this forum. As an insurance for when my ML too gives up the ghost, I decided to try a DCS NB. Living in rural Cumbria, my choice for Broadband is limited, and I have a wireless EE router (signal from a 4G mast on the nearest Fell I can see), and I use TP Link repeaters in my house (since it has 300+ year old very thick solid stone walls that block most things!). My digital files are on an (you guessed it) old 2012 iMac running High Sierra. I had to download Java and MinimServer 2.1 on to my iMac in order to get the UPnP side of things working with the NB. The NB is plugs into the TP Link as it has an RJ45 socket, and the iMac connects to the router via wireless. Thus I have iMac via wireless to (wireless) router; wireless to TP Link and Ethernet from TP Link to NB (running at 3G or 4G speed whichever I’m lucky enough to get).

I have ripped a few CDs (I’ll start a new topic to seek further advice on this), but having read around, I use the iMac with XLD SW to rip the CD to FLAC and AIFF. (I already have my full CD collection in iTunes in Lossless as I still use my (3) iPod Classics (all with SSD internals) very much). I have now heard my NB with USB memory stick, AirPlay and Ethernet and all seems to work fine. In fact I am “blown away” (even more than when I first got the Scarlatti). It took a few listens until I realised the sound I was now getting was so much cleaner & crisper; the detail and separation had always been there but it was as if a veil had been lifted. I have to re-evaluate all my music now, as CDs that I once thought were poorly produced as they seemed “fluffy/muffled” are not; those that were “clean & detailed” are better still since the separation is improved.

I hope you’re still awake :slight_smile:

So long as I don’t get any network drop-outs while listening, I’m going to turn the CD player off and concentrate on FLAC file listening from now. I may even venture down the streaming route one day.

Thus I can wholeheartedly recommend a dCS Network Bridge, which was the subject of this thread :smiley:

And I look forward to more thoughts/suggestions to further enhance my experience. James (dCS Support) has already planted a few ideas …

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Well today has been another revelation. To start with I had my NB connected to my Purcell and that to my Scarlatti, all via AES (single cable from NB to Purcell and then double from Purcell to Scarlatti). Ever since I had my Elgar I had always used the Purcell to output 24 bit word length and upsample from 44.1 to 176.6. Having read more & more threads on this forum, especially about clocking, and thinking about what the next upgrade step could be, I now have NB connected to Scarlatti with single AES, and Scarlatti connected to NB as master clock. I had a Digital Illuminati D60 cable and two RCA/BNC converter plugs (after checking that the D60 was indeed 75 Ohms) and this works well. I tried with the Purcell in the loop, but it didn’t add anything and taking it away, with the clocks linked, has made a significant difference which I really like. My Scarlatti is now playing 16 bit 44.1 FLAC files; I have dispensed with my Mark Levinson CD transport, my Purcell and my Townshend Allegri - unimaginable 8 weeks ago!

Certainly the adage Less is More is applicable in this case. Would adding a dedicated Clock now make further improvements, and if so, would it matter which (dCS) clock, as I have seen a Paganini and Rossini clock on offer? Or would a Scarlatti clock be better/offer more options? I read about the need to manually switch some clocks between 44.1 and 48 but I’m not using DSD files, and if I ever upgraded to another DAC, would this sway the decision? I guess I’m really trying to find out how far I can go with my NB & Scarlatti DAC, before it makes more sense (or is necessary) to make a bigger jump to Rossini or Vivaldi. I’ll keep digging into the archives here but any pointers would be much appreciated. And like many of you, I have no local dealer to provide gear for me to try, which doesn’t seem so bad as the advice on this forum is very good :smiley:

Yes. The Scarlatti DAC definitely benefits from a dedicated clock. I would hold-out for a matching Scarlatti clock as you can only use a single clock input on the DAC anyway.

Yes to having to switch frequencies, but not for DSD which uses a 44.1kHz base frequency. Rather, it would be for 48/24 or 96/24 source material that you would need the 48kHz Word clock.

The Scarlatti is one helluva DAC, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. The natural progression from that is to the Vivaldi, rather than the Rossini :wink:

Hi Anup Thanks for taking the time to reply and sharing your experience as a Scarlatti DAC owner. Is there any functional/performance benefit of the Scarlatti clock over a Paganini, say, or is it simply a cosmetic matter? I’m not too concerned about matching boxes, and there’s a Pag. clock (with USB) currently on sale for just over £2k which seems quite reasonable. I will need to save up for a while to get a Vivaldi DAC :wink:

I’ve never heard the Paganini, so, I couldn’t tell, but my money would be on the Scarlatti Clock; being the flagship at the time, every aspect was designed to be the best they can be.

That said, I’m guessing Scarlatti Clocks don’t appear on the used market all that often, especially not alone. So, maybe just pick-up the Paganini first? (even if you had to off-load it later, dCS kit tends to hold it’s value, so, you won’t lose much anyway :grin:).

Thanks again; I think I’ll hold on a while to see if a Scarlatti clock comes up (the last sold on-line seems to be June last year in the UK), and also keep an eye out for a Rossini, though this could be a long wait!

Just as a follow-up, I have been reading many of the threads on clocking, and in particular this one: Network Bridge - clocks

Having not found any dCS clocks on offer for a while, it’s a bit like “the busses” as they say; yesterday I came across a used Mutec MC3+USB and a used Rossini clock! I like the fact that the MC3 is a) cheap (and being used is less than the price of some cables!), and b) can be upgraded with a Mutec Ref 10 clock, for example. I could not find anywhere on this forum where a Mutec vs Rossini comparison had been done, and if a Vivaldi DAC is my next logical (and meaningful) upgrade, then a MC3 + ref 10 would seem to be a better option than the Rossini (as I most definitely couldn’t afford a Vivaldi clock). And as my Scarlatti DAC only has one world clock input, the MC3 is just fine. I have gone ahead an bought the MC3 (should arrive in a few days) but am not sure what to do about the Rossini as having not heard either, I’m always going to have that nagging doubt … what if the Rossini clock was better! But then the cost of he used MC3 and a new Ref 10 (or even a Ref 10 SE) is still the same price as the used Rossini clock and having read the threads here, that would still make the Mutec route a better option. I’ll let you know how it sounds :blush: