To add USB to Elgar+/Purcell

My first post here. If the subject matter had been discussed already, my apologies.

I still use the dCS stack from the past playing CDs and SACDs and very pleased with the sound.

However, I would like to be able to use the Elgar+/Purcell to play the 24/192 flies ( streaming Amazon HD from PC) and DSD files I have if possible. Since I don’t have many DSD128, DSD256, or DSD512 files playing via DOP of DSD would work.

From dCS legacy products, dCS Network Bridge and Puccini U-clock have USB B type input.

I know with dual AES inputs the Elgar+ can handle 24/192 or same dual AES inputs on Purcell ->IEEE1394 → Elgar+.

Does anyone here still use the Elgar+ with USB interface device and can you advise me which one works the best? If there are other USB interface options from third party, I would like to know too.

In Seattle

Without getting into too much detail I am afraid you cannot do exactly what you want. you should be able to input 24/192 to Elgar+ using dual AES cables but playing DSD aside from it coming via SACD using a dCS transport is not possible AFAIK. The reason is that Purcell or Elgar+ have encrypted DSD inputs. These use a proprietary encryption method which, in practice, means data only from a dCS CD/SACD transport. DoP is not supported. Of course back in the day of these components SACD was the only form of DSD available to domestic consumers.

Therefore DSD files have to be resampled to a PCM rate and it is for this very purpose ( amongst others) that the dCS Network Bridge was designed. This has a USB input and is the only component
I can think of that will accept the USB input, do the necessary sample rate conversion and output high-res PCM by a dual cable AES interface. You should have gathered that even so you will be unable to play DSD in its native form. I am unsure if you can use other than DSD64 as a base in any case as the higher DSD sample rates were not envisaged at the time of these early products. The Network Bridge manual only refers to DSD as if it is a single rate which once was the case. perhaps another correspondent will know more.

Unfortunately the dCS Network Bridge ceased to be made and is now only available used ( I think NOS stock was exhausted early on). It is very desirable and so not so easy to find. Checking offers of it online today indicates that it also attracts a high price. There are also a lot of dealers showing the Bridge on their webpages but in all cases I have seen an “Out of Stock” notice also appears.

Ki, there was a similar query and thread from some time ago on how to stream DSD over USB into an Elgar+, basically via the SDIF-2 interface on a dCS Network Bridge, or the 3rd party exD USB-to-SDIF-2 converter.


Thanks for all the responses and advice.

It seems adding the Network Bridge might be the way to go.

On the other hand, one of the Elgar+ reviews mentioned using a Puccini U Clock for USB interface.

What are the differences of these two options?


The dCS Network Bridge, if you can find one, is your best option, it was designed to bridge streaming interfaces, both Ethernet & USB, to legacy dCS platforms.

The U-Clock is mainly a Clock with a secondary function of USB to SPDIF conversion for PCM, and DSD as DoP which your Elgar+ does not support. SPDIF is totally different than the SDIF-2 you need for DSD playback on your Elgar+. Not to mention the U-Clock doesn’t have Ethernet, which is generally a better streaming interface than USB.


I will just add a detail about using a Paganini clock which, in any case, brings about connectivity issues as Anup explains so well.

In short some Paganini clocks have a USB input and some do not. Early models have no USB input. This was added to the later clocks produced ( post August 2013 ?) . It was also available as a hardware upgrade.

So, if you are in the market for a used Paganini clock make sure that you find the right model type.

Given the substantial price of a good used Network Bridge and only having a small collection of DSD files with AFAIK only DSD64 supported then I might hesitate given the costs involved.


Thanks everyone for your expert advice and suggestions.

It’s clear to me that to use Elgar+ for any DSD information other than fed by Purcell and Verdi is just not possible. Thus I will stick to using it as a PCM 24/96 DAC via single SPDIF and third party USB to SPDIF converter I have.

I will follow Bernie Grundman’s philosophy of anything higher than 24/96 sample rate is a waste and let the Jriver player to downsample 24/192 and DSD files into 24/96 before feeding dCS gear.

Besides, I too can’t tell much differences beyond 24/96 and higher sample rates anyway…I hear differences more from different mastering versions of the same piece of music than sample rare variations or different formats.

My ears are well used over the years and worn due to my old age…


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