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Computer Audiophile


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About stevebythebay

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  1. dCS Network Bridge

    Still using the QNAP. Rather not burden the Nucleus with any more than is necessary. Leave it to the QNAP to gather up the bits and stream them via the network (wired throughout gigabit). And since I've got upwards of 4 1/2 TB of music, it wouldn't be cost effective to try and shoehorn all of that in the Nucleus.
  2. dCS Network Bridge

    Nearly forgot to provide a bit of my reaction so far to the Nucleus: I will state for the record that the Nucleus, after a few hours listening, is substantially better than my MacMini. That system, which is substantially faster with more memory, is likely burdened by less than optimized software. What you guys have done, especially in tuning R.O.C.K. for this hardware, has made a huge difference in lowering the noise floor, bringing out more details and creating more focus than what my MacMini has offered to date. Seems like the overall timing of how the Roon player delivers the bits downstream contributes to a far more focused soundstage. Greater depth and breadth. This results in a smoother and easier listening experience. Instruments and vocals are simply more realistic. Listening to high resolution sources, such as Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out”, really show off these attributes of the Nucleus. I’m sure I’ll discover more striking improvements with standard Redbook CD’s in addition to well recorded older mono albums. I’ll be curious when MQA first unfold happens (either in Roon or when dCS delivers it in their Network Bridge; already have MQA rendering in my DAC). That might suggest whether this format has much to offer beyond uncompressed PCM.
  3. dCS Network Bridge

    Well Danny offered me a Nucleus rather than wait to have my local dealer sell me one. Same list pricing. Installed it on Saturday. Took quite a while to get the database fully installed and clean (seems there's quite a number of steps the Roon code goes through to ensure that all the pieces are in place so that album covers and everything else looks right). In addition to the nice hardware Danny alerted me as follows about the Nucleus that I was not aware of:
  4. dCS Network Bridge 01

    Got it. Since you had the Rossini in house as well, and it’s been updated with firmware for some time (including MQA), I wasn’t at all sure you’d be reviewing any dCS products. Maybe the Rossini was not to your liking or other DACs “fill the bill”. It it might be helpful to get a sense as to your process in “accepting” products for review, or otherwise sifting and obtaining the wheat from the chaff. Like many others, when items appear in your “system”, we expect some type of comment, one way or another. Even to say that an item would not be reviewed as it did not significantly add to the category, it’s price point or other attributes did not fulfill some of your objectives for some minimum function or quality, or had been superseded by a prior product. p.s. I asked Peter Madnick about the original plan to provide a firmware update to the DDP-1 to allow for MQA. Seems unlikely, though a first unfold may happen. The particular chip hardware support seems at issue with the MQA folks. Of course those desperate to have it can buy the newer DDP-2 from ELAC.
  5. dCS Network Bridge 01

    Cool electronic porn. Maybe you’ll get around to reviewing the product some day.
  6. dCS Network Bridge

    Thanks. Since I'm using a Berkeley Ref. 2 DAC with latest firmware I won't be exceeding 192k. I'm a PCM guy with lots of high res albums in tow. I'll give the bridged approach a try. Guess it at least means a direct shot to the dCS and may alter the way things operate in the TCP stack w. RAAT.
  7. dCS Network Bridge

  8. dCS Network Bridge

    Sounds like a nice upgrade. I'm considering getting an entry Roon Nucleus if it ever becomes real. However, from what I gather, there will be no initial LPS. If I want to emulate what you've done, what are the parts I need to get to pull this off?
  9. Sonicorbiter - MQA decoding on the Rendu series

    Good to know. I can use it with my Audio Alchemy DDP. The promised MQA support has yet to materialize. Not hopeful it will happen for either first unfold, let alone rendering, given that the company was bought out. And I feel that ELAC, the new owners, will not invest in delivering that feature.
  10. Sonicorbiter - MQA decoding on the Rendu series

    Thanks. That's what I've been awaiting on my dCS Network Bridge (the Berkeley already has the rendering piece).
  11. Sonicorbiter - MQA decoding on the Rendu series

    I'm assuming this is first unfold and that full MQA will require that the target DAC does the MQA rendering, right?
  12. CA Readers Choice Awards 2017

    dCS Network Bridge Berkeley Ref. 2 firmware upgrade Roon and last but the one that lifts up all others Wilson Alexia Series 2
  13. Article: Computer Audiophile Turns 10 Today!

    All things considered, in digital years, that's quite a long time. You've always done an exemplary job of establishing a consistent standard of excellence in reviewing products both technically and musically -- ensuring the central focus is always on the enjoyment we all take in the resulting playback. And knowing that you drink your own Kool-Aid, by revealing your own reference system, certainly makes us all feel like you're not shilling for some manufacturer. Your C.A.S.H. list, on review, seems to maintain a consistent level of performance and price-performance for anyone eager to get the most for their currency. Great work and hope for many more decades of your time and efforts.
  14. Article: Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC RS2 MQA Update

    Having tried out the Baetis years ago (though I passed on it), I did find that the AES output was best into my then Berkeley pre-Reference DAC. However, that's not always the case as others may find. All is in the implementation. The Alpha USB is really a great D-D converter, though it has "aged" some given that the technology (hardware) underlying its design is many years old. Clocks have certainly gotten better. And as you know, Aurender has improved their products over time. The S20 and even N10 are likely less "noisy" than the initial S10 (independent of either USB or S/PDIF output). I used the N10, but after trying both a Sonore microRendu with Signature Power Supply(better), and now using the dCS Network Bridge (no USB, yea!, and much better still), my Alpha USB is collecting dust.
  15. Article: Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC RS2 MQA Update

    Lydon: Are you using an Alpha USB into the DAC? Or are you sending via another streamer? And what are you using as you Tidal streaming platform (Mac or PC)?