Differences between a Network Bridge and Vivaldi upsampler


I currently use a Network bridge with a Vivaldi DAC, a Vivaldi Clock, plus a reference clock (Perfection 10 by Startford Lab)

I do 100% of my digital listening streaming from Tidal and Qobuz,

Can anyone comment on the possible improvement if I were to use a Vivaldi Upsampler instead of the bridge? Worth consideration ?



There are several threads in the archive here about the same question. You may care to search for them but , in brief, the answer is uniformly yes.

I followed the path from Network Bridge to Upsampler 18 months ago. My experience was that the streaming capabilities of the Upsampler clearly improved upon those of the Network Bridge. Not to such an extent that the NB appeared deficient but that there were many more subtleties to enjoy both from my local file replay and from Qobuz. IMO It’s a bit like the difference between using the DAC’s internal clock and moving to the external system clock. Others have posted that they experienced even more substantial gains.

Of course you also get something that NB did not have - upsampling! Most people feel that this provides a gain in SQ ( I am, however, almost alone in choosing not to use this facility).

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What are the benefits of upsampling? I have often heard there are some but don’t recall an explanation. (I have an Upsampler, by the way.)

I have never seen a comprehensive explanation of its effect. I do remember back in the early days of upsampling ( around the turn of the century) dCS published a white paper about the difference between upsampling and oversampling. This was really a consideration of a conceptual or mathematical nature. Where the paper dealt with subjective aspects if I recall correctly ( and I may not), it concluded along the lines of “There’s something going on but we don’t know what it is”.

Of course upsampling does not add any additional information about the music. The music information is the same in a native 16/44.1 file as in a 24/176.4 file upsampled from it. So something else is happening. It may be that there is a benefit from the fact that upsampling places the digital filter further out of the audio band. That is only speculation on my part.

I have found certain abberations to occur when upsampling, the subjective nature of which can be found in my past posts on this forum so I will not rehearse them now. Note I am referring to the process of sample rate conversion as selected by the dCS user from the options offered rather than to the form of data “conditioning” that is part and parcel of the way Ring DAC works.

For further reading:

The end result is the DAC itself being fed by a very high-rate stream which makes it possible for subsequent processing to be done in such a way that filtering happens well outside the audible band.

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