New dCS owner :streamer advice sought

A newbie here having recently acquired a Bartok and Rossini clock.
So far, I have not plugged in the clock so this question is solely in relation to a Bartok.
My system (prior to the dCS purchases) comprised an Aurender n20 streamer (harddrive music, tidal and spotify) which fed via USB (Shunyata) into a Meridian 808v6 cd/pre amp/dac into CH Precision A1.5 power amp and Stenheim Alumine 3 speakers.
Post dCS purchase, I have kept the 808v6 for cd replay but I have found very little difference to the sound quality when streaming from the Aurender N20 (via USB) into the Bartok compared to simply attaching a portable hard drive via USB to the Bartok or streaming directly from the Bartok via ethernet cable into the wall.
This has really surpised me , especially considering that the Aurender N20 costs around £12k. I have tried a few different USB cables and also ethernet cat cables and the outcome is the same. No noticeable improvement to the sound quality.
I am now considering to remove the N20 from my system.
Are the ethernet and USB inputs on the Bartok really that good? or do I need to try something else to bring out the sound quality?
Assuming I remove the Aurender, but want something more robust than a portable harddrive (connected via USB) into the Bartok, what can be recommended - a Melco?
Thank you

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Many people in this forum seem to use Melco.
In combination with my dCS Network Bridge I settled for a fanless QNAP HS-264-8G NAS equipped with two Samsung SSDs as a music server. For me this was the most economical solution. (My DAC is a Vivaldi).
But I’m still trying to find out about the best music server app (e.g. Mosaic, Mosaic with minimserver (or another server) on the NAS, QNAP qmusic).

However in your case, having already spent money for an Aurender N20, I’d highly recommend to keep it, at least as a music server, and connect it to the Bartok via AES/EBU (or SPDIF), although this would limit the sample rates to 192kHz. If you insist in streaming higher sample rates, you’d have to keep the USB connection to the Bartok, or use the Bartok as a streamer straight away.
Continuing to use the Aurender music server app you’re familiar with would be another advantage.

I’d also recommend to clock Aurender and Bartok from the Rossini clock.

Your ears will have to decide about the best SQ.

For sure the ideal connection to a dCS product is an Ethernet connection. But the beauty of dCS is that it makes different sources and different sample rates all sound great.

That being said, I don’t think anyone would say that USB is an ideal way to transmit digital music. I would recommend trying some other transmission formats between the Aurender and the Bartok.

SPDIF is typically good though limited to 192/24 and DSD64.

I plan to use spdif for streaming form my NDX-2 to dCS Rossini.


I have connected my Aurender N10 with both USB and AES to dCS Rossini, I prefer the AES connection

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Can it run Roon Core?

QNAP offers a Roon Music Server app.
I do not know, if the 4-core Celeron N5105 of the HS-264 is powerful enough to smoothly run Roon.

There is a Taiwanese test of running Roon on the QNAP HS-453DX-8G, a 4-bay version with a somewhat less performant CPU (Celeron J4115).
Audiophiles will be satisfied too - QNAP HS-453DX NAS - U-Audio Audition Report (review-u–

I’d say, if you use SSDs (up to 2x 8TB) in the HS-264-8G, the whole thing should work flawlessly with Roon.

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I have a Qnap hs 453 dx running Roon and it works great, smoothly and silent :wink:

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I have written before that the aurender is great for what it is - but below DCS standards, so no point in having it with dcs stuff unless you want play and mess around time. The Melco is below the Aurender in my experience

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Don’t agree that Aurender gear is below dCS standards, where do you get that knowledge ?

Personal extensive serious comparisons

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I tried my Naim NDX-2 streamer (thought its digital output) to my Rossini’s spdif input.

Works great, better than Rossini’s N/W adapter at least that’s what I found in first few rounds of hearing. Though limited to 192/24 and DSD 64 (Naim send DSD over SPDIF using DoP), but good enough for most of the music I have and stream from Quboz.


I am sorry, but I think you are wrong, especially N20 and W20SE are great products and work very well on both Vivaldi and Rossinni, there is a difference with streaming through the Aurender and Rossini, but it is more a question of taste. To say that Aurenders perform below dCS standards is a bit to far IMO.

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Maybe my other components are better than yours then, so I can hear a difference

I doubt that, the system I listened to the aurenders is a 400K+ system.

Anyway, I have no problem that you prefer a dcs streamer to Aurender, but for me both are great performers, just a different flavour.

Ok then - my ears are better

Sure mate, good luck with your bat ears

I’m in the same boat, about to buy a Rossini and clock, in while auditioning, found that Mosaic sounded much worse than a hardware streamer connected to the Rossini. Is this expected? Should I expect to buy an external streamer for best sound?

New to the dCS family. I got a Rossini DAC and clock to replace Tambaqui + N20.combo. my experience after removing N20 was mixed. SQ wise, sometimes, I thought N20 was a great performer. I am using AES connection. Need more tests.

Not yet sure if N20 will stay or get replaced by a Roon server. Trying to see if external clock can be used for N20

I have connected the clock to the DAC and used the 3rd output on the clock to N20. However manual say that it is fixed at 44.1kHz.

Manual mentions to keep clock sync mode in mosaic app to auto wordclock.

For cases of 48kHz playback, Aurender app says external clock is not matched. Which make sense. So for.such cases on AES connection I am thinking Aurender clocks overrules the internal master Rossini DAC clock, which gets overruled by external master clock ? … clocking is a complex subject…