Ethernet? USB? S/PDIF? Which connection?

Am hoping for some advice, although given current global events our little hobby seems, more than ever, like an increasingly untenable privilege.

Currently have Rossini + clock on home demo connected via Melco S-100 to home network to which Nucleus+ is also connected. Am reasonably pleased with the sound but will also investigate the Apex variants of the Rossini and Vivaldi. I listen to Tidal, Qobuz (approx. 70%) and locally stored files (approx. 30%, currently stored on network-connected Naim UnitiCore).

My question is this: what is considered to be the optimum way to feed files to dCS kit? For example, if using the Vivaldi DAC alone, is the USB input generally considered superior to BNC SPDIF or not?

If the Vivaldi DAC is used with its Upsampler, which brings the addition of an ethernet connection, is this the preferred connection?

There are implications for ancillaries. My intention is to replace the software-issue-prone Naim UnitiCore as a repository for local files, so the question this raises is: should it be replaced with something relatively simple like the well-regarded Melco N10/2 (which has ethernet and USB connections) or something more comprehensive like the also well-regarded Antipodes Audio K50 which has ethernet, USB, SPDIF, AES etc? There are also even fancier options incl Pink Faun, Taiko etc.

The short answer is: dcs advice is to use ethernet when you can, and with an unshielded, certified cable. All I can add is that my ears agree!

Oh and I would go for something simple: ethernet data packets are buffered at the receiving end so there is no need to worry about jitter. You want an unshielded cable to avoid noise injection via the shielding.


This post explains why.