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dCS Network Bridge
(04-Mar-2018, 15:37)KIBM Wrote: Managed to get a loan of a dCS NB from Absolute Sounds - cheers Pedro.

Previously my pecking order for streaming on a MacMini has been

1. Amarra Luxe 4 / AIR 3.0
2. Roon / AIR 3.0
3. Krell Connect
3. Roon / Roon AIR

I was very keen to hear the dCS as it promised to eliminate the MacMini from playback giving me the shortest possible playback chain.

Linked it up to the Dev with Transparent Digital Ref (I have both RCA (1m) and XLR (0.6m) lengths. Ethernet cabling was Supra Cat8 (great recommendation from Axel).
All observations are with Tidal streaming.
Straight up you can tell this is something special - it sounds more spacious and immediate than any of my other options. The bass is outstanding, deep, percussive but never overblown - it was like an amplifier upgrade. The micro details and layering/depth were in another league - can hear studio wall echoes and reverb that were not apparent before. Is this what jitter reduction sounds like or the removal of a computer? My other options sound more 2D by comparison. It really keeps your attention but despite the detail it is not bright or fatiguing. Can't make my mind up over RCA or XLR connection though. It is also Roon ready and so I fired up the MacMini and in Roon found the dCS icon to link to. Sounds excellent - more dCS than Roon/Mac. However, there is a wee bit of a step backwards in SQ with Roon/Mac in the chain - slightly narrower flatter soundstage. It's not much and may be something you could live with to keep the brilliant Roon interface. However, when you go back to 'pure' dCS it is difficult to get enthusiastic about firing up the Mac.
The dCS app is ok and very functional but does something I hate - to play a track you touch an icon or text AND then you have to press play - grrr!
I also found that the MConnect app works perfectly and so I've been using that. Nothing compares to Roon or course.

So all in all this is a winner and looks like I'll have to sell the Krell!


I've my NB for half years, and I concur with you that "pure dCS" using Minimserver, has better SQ than Roon, even I've upgrade my Roon server hardware to a supposedly better one and whatever I tried, "pure dCS" is still difficult to beat.

Btw, anyone has experience using audiophile switch with NB and have good improvement can share ?
Roon HQP > sotm sms-200 > mutec (Cybershaft) > 220 Pro > Cardas Cygnus > Avalon IDEA
Denali 2000T

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