Network Bridge now a Legacy Product?

I got the dCS newsletter and looked on the new dCSAudio website and under Products, no Network Bridge.

However under Legacy Products is the Network Bridge. What does this mean for long-term support and updates?

dCS announced that they regrettably have ceased production of Network Bridge due to component supply difficulties.

Future support? Definitely yes, Updates? Legacy products are not normally updated. Of course Mosaic updates will still apply to Network Bridge.

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Just read thus post by dcs. What do you know? I bought a NB in early May. This is an amazing product and it’s hard to see why dcs couldn’t make a go of it.

I thought that dCS had made it pretty clear why:

“However, due to circumstances beyond our control – including post Brexit increase in raw metal costs from the EU, major interruptions and volatility in electronics supply - it is no longer viable for us to manufacture the Network Bridge.”

If they can’t get the parts or cannot get the parts at an economically viable cost it would be difficult to see how they could continue production.

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Well…it means they stop because their net margin is too low…another way to say that would be: the NB is a very high value product from the customer point of view…I got the Vivaldi DAC and a NB, it works so good, I wish a source like that to everyone on this forum :laughing:

Even though I know that the Upsampler + Clock is even better.

It certainly was. I enjoyed my period with one immensely. However its value proposition was being eroded by the increasing costs. Last year the UK price was 3250 gbp. By this spring it had reached 4250 gbp ( or thereabouts). Yet the cost increases appear to have continued thereafter e.g. raw aluminium had then not reached its peak price ( has it yet?). And the price of aluminium was only one aspect.

As an entry level product and one whose appeal had moved outside of its original intention to a non - dCS user market I wonder if at circa. £5k it would retain much appeal? It still needs a DAC yet if it reached that price a combination of NB + decent DAC could cost around the same as Bartok ( non-HP). I would guess that in that price bracket its sales would have been impacted by its sister product.

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I see regularly on this forum people wondering how upgrading in the dCS range, most of the time starting from a Bartok. To those people I would say, skip the Rossini, go to a Vivaldi + NB, it is a little bit more costly than a Rossini + Clock but it is so much butter. I had the opportunity to compare it before buying the Vivaldi…Very easy decision actually.
But today, because the NB is a legacy product, the upgrade from Bartok to Vivaldi DAC + Upsampler have become brutal, price-wise.

Anyway, nothing can be changed, and also I never heard a comparison between a Bartok and a Rossini + Clock, I guess it is a very nice upgrade already :wink:

Trading mine in on tuesday for an upsampler (ex dem) excited…you bet.

I retire next year, may be I’ll buy myself a clock :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Trading the NB, that is an idea I should explore…

I would be glad reading your feedback when you have heard the upsampler compared to your NB.

Glad I was just in time to get a new NB in black.
In my system, the Vivaldi Upsampler would not be a solution for two reasons:

  1. in addition to the upsampling I also need downsampling and word length reduction functions (available with my dCS 974).
  2. I need to insert digital room correction between network function and upsampling, which is only possible, if I separate network function from upsampling function
    (NB > Trinnov ST-2 Pro / Accuphase DG-58 > dCS 974 > Vivali DAC)
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The problem here:

  • not only the Network Bridge is no longer available.
  • but the Vivaldi Upsampler is way better than the N.B., even for plain vanilla 16b/44.1kHz Ethernet to AES/EBU conversion (no upsampling mode engaged).

I have just realized that recently in a shop demo. 4x more expensive for the Upsampler, indeed. Anyway, to do justice to the Vivaldi DAC quality, only the Vivaldi Upsampler can do the job. The N.B. is sub-par, really not up to the task with a Vivaldi DAC. Very disappointed by mine now that I know what an Upsampler is capable of…

I always thought the dCS’ signature sound could be lacking a little substance and “meat on the bone”. No, no, no, this is actually the Bridge’s signature. The Upsampler brings back this “organic” sound some here rave about on this Forum. A different experience; it’s really Night & Day between the two pure streamers! Again, no upsampling was engaged during this comparison. A fair comparison with same cables, of course.

The dealer was actually not surprised by my reaction. He knew what he did when replacing a N.B. with a Vivaldi Upsampler. Anyway, unfortunately too expensive for me…

Absolutely. As I have warned a couple of times, once you own a Vivaldi DAC you will want the other components , or at least clock and upsampler. I have therefore suggested to others that if you cannot afford it all in one go ( I couldn’t) you should make a plan for the future as to how and when you will be able to finance it. Frankly if it is totally out of reach you may eventually find some frustration or even regret ( like a friend who bought a used Ferrari then found he couldn’t afford to fully insure it). On the bright side once Vivaldi is replaced by a new flagship there are likely to be quite a few good used examples of the components on the market.

Incidentally I did move from a Vivaldi DAC, Clock, NB combination to Vivaldi DAC, Clock, Upsampler system as soon as I had the wherewithal. I admit that I didn’t find the contrast between the two quite as stark as you however I am not disagreeing in any way. I felt more that the Network Bridge provided a magnificent outcome given the fact that it cost only a fraction of the big box. But there is no doubting the superiority of the Vivaldi Upsampler as network streamer.

It’s as if you’re writing to me directly, Pete :kissing_smiling_eyes:

My Bartók is packed up and will probably be sold shortly. I’m hoping that there’ll be a Vivaldi deal or two that turns up in time for my re-configured system next year.

In the meantime, I’ve stopped looking at Network Bridges since I’m kidding myself if I think it’d be a long-term solution for me to get a Vivaldi DAC, Clock and NB. I’ll just keep saving in the meantime.

Does that mean that you will be without anything to listen to until next year?

Pretty much! And three weeks in, it’s already brutal. These Bose QC-35s aren’t really doing it…

Still, looking forward to London again in a week or so. Will be so nice to be “home” again :slight_smile:

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home

Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1971.
Originally performed by Motown recording act The Undisputed Truth in 1972, though it became much better known after a Grammy-award winning cover by The Temptations later the same year. The group Was (Not Was) covered the song on their 1990 album Are You Okay?

Good trip, and I hope the music comes marching in soon!

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Thanks, Pete.

What is the most surprising when comparing the two units as streamers (i.e. N.B against the Upsampler) is the quality of timbre for the acoustic instruments. They have more weight, more veracity, less ‘acidity’. And the “subjective silence” is also superior on the Upsampler. The Upsampler sounds simply more like the ‘real things’.

We were also doing a comparison between brands. Comparing the newest LINN Klimax DSM3 - Organik against the Vivaldi DAC + Clock + streamer unit.

i) With the Network Bridge, I would prefer the LINN solution (and the LINN streamer being so practical, all in 1, a major advantage of simplicity).
ii) With the Upsampler, then Yes, the dCS stack is a step ahead of the DSM3 - Organik.

Indeed, waiting for a good condition Upsampler on the used market is a reasonnable option.
Or selling NB + Vivaldi DAC + Mutec & Cybershaft clocks and going for the LINN DSM3 Organik.

Does this mean that the next time Spotify, Roon, etc. pushes some mandatory client update that NWB owners are out of luck and these things begin to become uPnP only streamers?

End-of-sale is different than end-of-support. Given dCS’s reputation, I expect they will support the Network Bridge for some time to come, especially since the streaming board is largely (entirely?) the same as the streaming board in their other current-gen products.

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