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