My new dCS Network Bridge - some questions about it please

I have jumped up to the dCS bridge from way down the digital pecking order - an Auralic Mini.

The downstream DAC is a Metrum Octave mk2.

Does dCS recommend a good SPDIF cable please?

And from previous Googling on the Internet … it would seem that wireless will never be available on the Bridge now that it has been discontinued? Can you confirm this for sure please?

Hi,

You bought an excellent streamer, you will enjoy it, for sure.

I think dCS said they won’t support wifi long before the dCS NB was discontinued.

dCS doesn’t recommend specific cables, they mention that the provided cables are consumer grade because they are very often replaced with better cables by the product owners.

A good quality cable is always welcome but I wouldn’t recommend you spending double the price of the NB itself in a cable…Transparent Cable Ultra is enough ( or any cable if that category).

On this forum many people can advice on cables, and the surprising thing is that they tend to buy reasonably priced cables :wink:

Thanks Chris.

OK I won’t get my hopes up over that dCS with engage wireless - I didn’t think that would be the case.

Also, moving from the Auralic software to the Mosaic software is a software downgrade I would say - but it’s all about the sound quality for me - and dCS are supposed to be the masters of digital. I could have jumped up to an Auralic G2.1 - but here I am with the DNB.

Even though I have fully purchased this dCS I still have a 14 days cooling off period if there are certain aspects of the DNB I am not happy with.

Another important question - support - will the DNB be running in say more than 5 years time as an operational streamer, or will it start to gradually cough, splutter, and die a slow death? I have heard that dCS are good with support but streaming software / tech moves fast and is likely to leave aging bits of tin behind. So I thought I would double check with this forum anyway.

Until now the most recent Mosaic upgrade runs with the NB…Anyway, whatever happens in the future you can play music with your last updated equipment for years to come. Good quality electronic can live many many years, and dCS is well know for good sound, possibly, but also for excellent reliability.

Many people use Roon software, it is an alternative to Mosaic.

Yes that’s true. I quite literally only stream from Qobuz - nothing else - no ripped files etc.

Maybe the dCS is a little overkill for this role but, there you go, I need to extract the most music I can.

I am letting it settle in - then will decide later if I should keep the dCS or not (or instead choose a higher end Auralic)…

Does it up-sample or down-sample by default - or will it run native bit-perfect?

Some members of this forum are much more informed than myself, but I think no audio treatment is performed in the NB, it is left to the DAC or an upsampler.

However the NB deals with formatting the data received by the streaming services or from a NAS.

But if you are interested in everything the NB is doing you might find some explanations somewhere on the forum.

Thanks yet again.

I was inspired to try a high quality transport realising just how important the transport part of the digital chain actually is!

This was after listening to a Grimm Audio MU1 in a dealer audition - using my cables into my Metrum Octave v2 DAC. The MU1 was a vast improvement. It’s not just “ones and zeros” that’s for sure.

However, more within my budget is a dCS Bridge (which should of course be one of the best examples of a digital transport even now) - so over few days I am going to settle in play some tunes from Qobuz and see what happens.

The only slight reservations I have in making this investment is that it’s already a ‘legacy’ product. But there you go!

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… I also find it odd why the Network Bridge chose not incorporate a USB digital out to accommodate the many USB DACs out there …

An async USB DAC allows the clock in the DAC to be the master clock thus making me think that’s the best way of connecting a DAC (rather than the clocks trying to synchronise).

Perhaps dCS listened and thought (like wireless) “no, it doesn’t meet our minimum sound quality standards”. Or maybe none of the dCS DACs have a digital USB input.

To find that out you only have to invest a little time. RTFM.

Any one here still using and keeping the Network Bridge?

In addition, does anyone use the Bridge with a DAC other than dCS?

“Boom” - I’ve been swapping DACs in and out with the dCS Bridge leading the way - by far the one that’s come alive the most is the Audio Note 0.1x !!!

I’ve just literally swapped this in and it sounds excellent from the outset with this DAC!!

I’m not sure I’ve heard it sound this good before with other transports attached - but after I’ve listened for a while (I’m enjoying myself) I will put back my other transports and see!

Could be a perfect partner! Really loving this combo at the moment!

My son is using his NB with a Naim Dac.

He is very happy with his stereo.

I am connecting the NBR to my merging hapi dac, I am very satisfied with the NBR, the sound of the ESS9008 decoder chip is very cold, I want to change a PCM1795 or 1792 chip DAC to improve the sound, what is the DAC chip used by the DCS DAC Does anyone know the model, thanks

You ask for the model of the chipset used in dCS dacs…In the middle age you would have been burned alive for such a question :wink:
But as we are very nice on this forum we give you the answer: Ring dac made by dCS themselves, plenty of info on this forum…

I don’t quite understand why asking such a question would be burned alive. . . .

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Don’t worry - it’s assumed that everyone knows that dCS uses it’s own proprietary DAC chip call the Ring DAC … dCS are very exclusive and hi-end - they won’t be wasting time with off-the-shelf chips.

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I’m a bit miffed that the dCS as a transport sounds so good and it’s legacy already!

Despite this I am still on the fence about investing in a legacy product - but what the heck else am I going to find around this price point with such an accomplished SPDIF connection ??

Please - if anyone can name something that can compete around the same price that’s current I would love to know. I won’t be using (I can’t justify the expenditure) dCS DACs, I just need the hi-end SPDIF out.

Aqua linq Could be better, but also a bit more expensive

Hi,

I’m using the NB connected direct to Kii 3 speakers. They have their own DAC built in. All proprietary, but I think they upsample.

Net net the NB blew away my previous NAD streamer in terms of sound quality. The use of a good quality external clock was a big upgrade. As was the use of a very good quality AES cable.

Two small niggles.

  1. the NB output volume is huge. At 0dB out, need to cut back approx 30 db on my speaker volume control to listen comfortably to some music. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we woke up one morning and found that the next dCS software upgrade back implemented the Leedhs volume control!

  2. Mosaic as an app and control is primitive. But one can get used to it.

Best

Thanks for the suggestion of the Aqua Linq.

And yes Mosaic as an app is primitive - but functional.