I had a similar experience when testing a Network Bridge against an Aries G2.1 in the autumn. In my case, the Bridge point-blank refused to output at 192/24 through S/PDIF to my active speakers, whereas the G2.1 had no difficulty in doing so via either S/PDIF or USB-Audio.
I tried ringing dCS on a couple of occasions to discuss the issue, but despite the UK being out of lockdown at that point nobody ever picked up the phone. I discussed the issue with Geoff Martin, the designer of my speakers – the Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90s – and he thought it might be something to do with the dual AES settings, but no matter how I toggled them the NB wouldn’t output above 96/24.
My overall impression of the Network Bridge was that it was rather a fussy piece of kit that felt quite old-fashioned in the way it did things, and especially in its software interface. I also thought the G2.1 was slightly superior sonically, but I would have liked to have heard the NB at its full resolution.
In the final event, I didn’t buy either unit and decided to stick with my Aries Femto until Auralic release the G3. However, I wouldn’t mind demoing a Vivaldi transport at some point, though files are starting to take over from CDs in my listening.
Anyone who wants to read my detailed impressions of the listening test – undertaken over a couple of weeks – can do so at the Steve Hoffman forum.