stevebythebay

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About stevebythebay

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  1. 2nd appearance of dCS's Network Bridge and absence of microRendu in the Associated Equipment list. I know the mention of microRendu support issue for the DAC under review. Just wondering if you plan to do a review of the dCS product and if it will become your goto D to D device ensconced in your system.
  2. Just wondering if you are using the dCS Network Bridge as an alternative to the microRendu and Berkeley Alpha USB combination. My assumption is that it would be attached via AES/EBU to the Berkeley Reference DAC. Are you planning on reviewing the dCS Network Bridge? I understand this device also operates as a Roon compatible device, as does the microRendu.
  3. Where did you hear this? I don't believe it's generally available. Don't see it on their site, nor have any dealers I've spoken with received information on such a release. I'm assuming it will come in some sort of file to be used on a flash drive that is identifiable by the DAC they would make it available with documentation on their site.
  4. Given that all of my devices that play in the network are within a few feet of one another, I didn't see any value in using fiber for any link in the chain. And it would appear that many find the use of fiber doing more damage than good. Putting a switch in play was done to isolate the WiFi Access Point from the MacMini - microRendu connection. Having the direct computer to microRendu connection may go that much farther, it seems, in keeping another device from adversely affecting SQ.
  5. Just got into this thread and have begun some testing. My partial chain began with MacMini (fastest late 2014) wired to Cisco switch. The switch also connects to microRendu and Eero wifi access point. Then, I created and enabled the bridged MacMini network connecting the Ethernet output directly to the microRendu while the Thunderbolt-Ethenet dongle out to the switch. Will see how much better this sounds. I've kept the switch in play to isolate traffic and possible other gremlins from the wifi access point. I eventually will try taking the switch out of the picture to see if it actually does have a positive impact. Initial impression is not much difference. However, I'll do extensive critical listening over the next few weeks.
  6. For grins I decided to try the microRendu with the Uptone LPS I'd been using with one of my audio systems, with a pair of powered speakers and USB DAC from LH Labs (original Geek Out) and Roon. Relatively inexpensive Logitech pair with sub. Quite an amazing improvement over running the DAC from my iMac. Guess I shouldn't have been so surprised.
  7. Agree with your post. Not only that, but getting away from any USB based source can bring even more benefits. I moved from an Aurender N10 to the microRendu/Sonore Signature LPS and significantly lowered the system noise floor. This brought out far more "information" from the data stream coming from my lowly MacMini. The Alpha USB isolates much of the USB grunge and has separated master clock and line drivers from the USB input processing. I did find that providing quality power and cables helps as well.
  8. From their site: info@pentatonemusic.com
  9. What hardware do you use for making the backup SD card? I've never worked with this format. And is there a specific size/type of card? I gather this is a micro SD type. And the device connection for read/write is USB? Reason I ask is that I experienced a failure the other day when updating the software on my microRendu. Jesus is sending another card in the mail. But that means no music for awhile. Not happy, to say the least.
  10. Guess I'll stick with my WD USB drive as it's dead quiet and seems to work well with the Mac Mini. I didn't mention it, but I purchased a DDP-1 and PS-5 a number of months ago. They're in my upstairs home theater setup. Got them in prep for the time I'd have to send my Berkeley Ref 1 off for upgrade. That's been far longer than I'd hoped. Meanwhile I'd also learned of the microRendu and brought that into my environment, with initial testing in the home theater, and now firmly ensconced in the downstairs audio system, along with the Sonore Signature LPS. Another bit: since my long wait is coming to an end in receiving an LH Labs Geek Source, I'll be testing that out against my current Mac Mini setup, to see if it betters or at least equals my current Mac Mini in SQ. It will have a 5TB drive for the music and, according to Larry at LHLABS, it will allow me to run Roon Server. Hopefully it will have the necessary performance and memory to do so. Given my in-house options I don't see any particular value in the DMP-1, unless it can better the Alpha USB in my setup. As I understand it, the DMP would replace both microRendu and Alpha USB and receive the Roon managed bitstream and hand it over AES/EBU to the Berkeley DAC. I'm also waiting on a second microRendu for the home theater, along with the Uptone Audio Ultracap LPS-1. Certainly would be nice to simplify the audio chain, but at this point, with all the SQ trade-offs, its hard to do so. Keeping noise out of the system and still ensuring all the bits are delivered and properly timed is hard. In many cases we're at the mercy of the software I/O drivers in the various components. In my case, the Mac Mini is the least trustworthy manager of that aspect. It does reasonably well, with only occasional hiccups.
  11. Interesting. Sounds like you've found the DMP to be a better server than the W20, which is saying a lot. I had the Aurender N10 for about a year and recently sold it. However, I did test its AES/EBU output to the Berkeley Ref and found it wanting against using the Alpha USB. 'Course now the Mac/microRendu/Alpha USB feeding the DAC tops it all. Which QNAP are you using? Is it quiet enough to keep in the same room as the audio system? Reason I ask is that my environment precludes wiring a NAS from another room.
  12. What is your Roon Core hardware platform? Which OS - Apple or Windows or Linux? Would be interesting to compare SQ of your setup with Berkeley Alpha USB in the mix. I've had experience with both AES/EBU direct to Berkeley Alpha DAC series 1 as well as with the Alpha USB and always found the latter to sound better. Seems the USB isolation, master clock and LPS, among other things in the Alpha USB must contribute quite a bit to making this piece of significant sonic value. I'm eagerly awaiting my Reference upgrade. Been quite happy with MacMini running Roon Server w. USB attached music drive. Ethernet connected to Cisco switch which in turn has microRendu connection that feeds the Alpha USB. Only issues are the very rare cases of bit chain from disk through Mac. Exhibits short sudden loss/distortion of music. Hoping to find an alternative "server" to fix this. In the absence of knowing just where the problem lives, I'm holding off.
  13. Personally I like a bit of stream of consciousness in writing, especially reviews, and particularly those involved in a highly subjective space like home audio. As for the Berkeley decision to keep the DAC separate from the converter, I think it's great. The Alpha USB helps to separate the issues surrounding a USB stream from the core D to A conversion. And, I'm hoping, we may see other Berkeley Audio Design options in the future, for a box that could take in an Ethernet stream and output to AES/EBU or S/PDIF for the DAC. 'Course today we've got the microRendu. And maybe Sonore would do a version that similarly outputs to AES/EBU or S/PDIF.
  14. Seems like this was an excellent event. And it's nice to see companies moving from USB to Ethernet based networking for getting the best SQ from customer sources. Lately that appears to include more than the typical PC/Apple or NAS devices, but notables like Ayre, providing purpose built devices.
  15. I'm a bit confused as to what you're using to "see" things. The impression from your post is that the Conductor App has numerous categories that now include MyCloud. From my experience a "new" category shows up when you plug in a USB device and move music files from the attached device to the internal disk. Typically it's MISC or like that. The fact your seeing MyCloud suggests either the Conductor App picked that up from the hard drive via its own device label or was introduced by your son. Typically that means putting the folder [MyCloud] on Music1. Then opening it and populating with music. But there are a couple of ways to move music into Music1 including the Conductor App or via a network using an SMB mount. So, it seems a good idea to use this latter approach to validate where everything really resides. Have you tried to run a re-reading of all your music via the Conductor App (think that's a clean read or such)? That way you get the latest metadata into Conductor.