Bridge II New Features vs CAPS Server


#1

I was wondering what are the new features on the Bridge II over Bridge I. I remember reading gapless support. Can anyone elaborate on any other new features?

Some background:

I have been going back and forth between getting a DS or the Resonessence Labs MIRRUS. I liked the idea of not having a computer in the living room by using the SD Card of the MIRRUS, but now that I have a subscription to the TIDAL streaming service, I can see myself using that quite a bit. So the MIRRUS’s SD Card option becomes less of a selling factor (though still an awesome feature).

My music files are in my office on a Dell 12 core Zeon-based Windows 2012 R2 server which has a ton of server type apps running on it for my work (average 5% CPU utilization). On that machine, I am running JRiver for my FLAC files and also the TIDAL streaming PC App to move music to my office desktop Benchmark DAC2. I am thinking that the Bridge would be able to connect via Ethernet to my Dell server. I am also hoping the Bridge is smart enough to cache the bits in some sort of memory and then feed that into the DS for jitter free processing. So a busy computer becomes less of a variable in this delivery network. Does the Bridge II help in this regard?

Are others using the Bridge in a configuration as mine? Would I be better of getting a less busy dedicated computer for music + Bridge, instead of my slightly busy computer? Is it better to use a CAPS server in the living room instead of the Bridge?

BTW - I prefer a wired network/internet connection instead of wireless for audio.

Thanks in advance.


#2
yyz said . . . a Dell 12 core Zeon-based Windows 2012 R2 server . . .
Impressive as a home machine. The chip alone costs more than most entire home PCs. :)
I am also hoping the Bridge is smart enough to cache the bits in some sort of memory and then feed that into the DS for jitter free processing. So a busy computer becomes less of a variable in this delivery network. Does the Bridge II help in this regard
Yes, it has a built-in Digital Lens.

#3

Is a new and improved i thing controller part of Bridge II ? I hope…


#4
yyz said I liked the idea of not having a computer in the living room . . .
I feel the same way. You've got a powerful server; I'm no expert on servers, but it seems as though a machine like yours ought to be able to stream audio all over your network without problems, especially since B2 has the built-in Digital Lens to reduce jitter. I would at least try that setup.

An alternative to a full-fledged computer in the living room would be a NAS. I have a Synology NAS running MinimServer and feeding the Bridge, controlled from a tablet, and have been very happy with this setup. Not sure if Tidal would work in this setup; maybe not. (I’m just starting to investigate Tidal.)


#5
rogerdn said

Is a new and improved i thing controller part of Bridge II ? I hope…

AFAIK PS Audio has not said anything about this, but I would not hold my breath after what they went through with the eLyric server/how-is-ted-coding-the-fpgarol point combo, and then with Wavestream. I personally would very much like an updated eLyric control point; it remains my favorite and I still use it on my old first-generation iPad to control B1. It's nice to keep the DS remote in the drawer and control inputs, phase, etc. from the iPad. Whether it will continue to work with B2 remains to be seen.

I have recently been experimenting with mconnect, which I like; it’s available for both iOS and Android, in HD versions to take advantage of a tablet’s larger screen relative to a phone. Except for eLyric, it’s the only control point I’ve been at all pleased with, aside from BubbleUPnP that is not available for iOS. (I also liked Linn Kinsky, but that now requires an OpenHome renderer to function properly.)


#6

Yes I too have found mconnect (HD) to be the best on iPad with NAS and Bridge but hate the art display. Unless I’m missing something there is no way to display a large view of art unless you’ve already selected a track to play, I’d like an iTunes or MAIM type display, large art, I find is difficult to view otherwise. Then the default to sort tracks in alpha order I don’t understand and an annoyance, but it’s very stable and woks every time for me.

I too like Synology with the Bridge/ iPad control, if you find a way to do Tidal I’d appreciate your sharing it. I have Minimserver too but recently started using the Synology server, it does not require refresh after adding tracks (and apparently does native DSD on i2s).


#7
Elk said

Impressive as a home machine. The chip alone costs more than most entire home PCs. :)


My DELL Precision T5500 server was bought from the DELL OUTLET web site (DELL’s online used computer store). It originally cost $7500 to buy brand new from DELL’s main web site, however, the original purchaser configured the machine with 12 GB of RAM and then ordered a 32-bit OS (only 4 GB RAM accessible). So they returned this great machine back to DELL. I snapped it up for $1800 when it showed up on the outlet store. I removed all the software and put in the 64-bit OS to allow access to all the ram. My laptop was also purchased this way, it had a slight scratch and was returned by the original purchaser.

#8

If anyone else is interested I started research Digital Lens and came across the following link. Thanks for the search keywords.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/psaudio9/2.html


#9
rogerdn said Then the default to sort tracks in alpha order I don't understand and an annoyance, but it's very stable and woks every time for me.

I too like Synology with the Bridge/ iPad control, if you find a way to do Tidal I’d appreciate your sharing it. I have Minimserver too but recently started using the Synology server, it does not require refresh after adding tracks (and apparently does native DSD on i2s).


I think (I’m not with my tablet right now to confirm) that if you hit the sort icon (three horizontal lines with an A->Z legend) that choice sticks as you continue browsing.

I tried Synology’s server when I first got my NAS. It was OK but I really like MinimServer’s ability to customize the display of tags, which is very important for me since I listen to a lot of classical music and have my own custom tagging setup. But doing native DSD would be great–thanks for passing that along. I’ll check for updated versions of the server. How are you feeding the i2s input? My Synology 213 does not have an hdmi output. Or do you mean via the Bridge, which is 12s internally?


#10

I’m using ethernet, just mentioned the DSD/i2s if you were interested. On the mconnect you have to redo the sort click when ever you change album, should stay set IMHO.


#11

I am sure that the new Bridge will do a fine job with whatever comes it’s way. What I have discovered is that the big gains in sonics from your server come as you reach the extremes of software/hardware “trimming” (both the OS and BIOS). I like to call it treating the computer’s “ADD.” If your system is doing ANYTHING else, it probably will not sound as good. True, your CPU utilization is only a few percent but you have an awful lot of cores and I’ll bet a lot going on collectively. I have a Win 8 server and only allow one USB port, run on one core, run Vcc at 1.0V (vs 1.5V) and only have about 20 services running which is a bare minimum. The very big improvements in the sound only come at the expense of the computer’s usability for anything other than audio unfortunately. It is crippled. Even the GUI is reported to make a notable impact on the sound according to those who use server 2012 without it.

I guess that what I’m saying is that your server probably sounds pretty darn good but a dedicated audio server will take you places you haven’t been with your multipurpose machine and if you are experienced with using the command line in server 2012 you will have access to the best sound currently available from a computer source. It still bothers me, more than a little, that doing these things to a computer should make such big improvements in the fidelity of the sound. I guess I’ll just have to sit here and grin at my lack of understanding for now.


#12

Mconnect Player is what we will be recommending to people to use. We haven’t any plans of our own app.


#13

Paul,

I would suggest adding BubbleUPnP to your list of recommendations. I know it’s Android-only, but I think it is the best player out there after good old eLyric. People kept recommending it to me but I have been a longtime iPad user so I never tried it. Finally my local office supply store had a sale on really cheap Android tablets and I got one just to test BubbleUPnP. It more than lives up to its billing, IMHO. Now I’m debating whether to stick with iOS devices or pick up a larger Android tablet with a better display. I know you are fond of Apple things, but borrow an Android tablet and try – I think you’ll be impressed.


#14
wglenn said I guess that what I'm saying is that your server probably sounds pretty darn good but a dedicated audio server will take you places you haven't been with your multipurpose machine and if you are experienced with using the command line in server 2012 you will have access to the best sound currently available from a computer source. It still bothers me, more than a little, that doing these things to a computer should make such big improvements in the fidelity of the sound. I guess I'll just have to sit here and grin at my lack of understanding for now.
1) What you are describing to me could be a CAPS server running Windows 2012 R2 with the Audio Optimizer software tweaks. The optimizer will configure the OS to run in Command line mode with 18-25 services. This could be placed in a living room and connected likely via USB or Ethernet and the Bridge.
  1. Another option is to get a new dedicated Windows 2012 R2 Audio Optimizer based machine for the office and connect to the bridge. This one can be a noisy machine but running very few services in Command line.

  2. With my beefy office server I have the option of creating the same configuration as #2 but this time making it a Virtual Machine inside the big server. I will just need to add some more memory and give this VM 1 or 2 dedicated cores. This maybe not optimal for audio but I have never heard anyone describe such a configuration. Maybe it would work great.


#15

Yup.

  1. gives you the most options but also the highest potential cost. This would allow you to make up your own mind about whether the bridge is the way to go or not, which is not an easy question to answer. I think that the consensus is that there is no consensus. Each person’s experience with the bridge, I2S, USB etc… seems rather unique to their system and ears.

  2. less costly but limited to network connection

  3. no doubt a cool idea and the only real expense is your time. My gut feeling is that this would not be the sonic equal of 1 or 2, just based upon the growing mass of experience floating around the web. Of course this could lead to world-wide fame and glory if I am wrong in my assumptions…coffee_gif

EDIT: Ah! I know what I want to say. The improvement in sound by going with a dedicated, well trimmed server will give you more satisfaction than how you choose to connect it, which is more like icing on the cake.


#16

What is the difference between the pay mconnect player and the freebie, just the ad banner at the bottom?


#17

No, it’s much more robust and easier to use. Worth the $4


#18
yyz said
wglenn said I guess that what I'm saying is that your server probably sounds pretty darn good but a dedicated audio server will take you places you haven't been with your multipurpose machine and if you are experienced with using the command line in server 2012 you will have access to the best sound currently available from a computer source. It still bothers me, more than a little, that doing these things to a computer should make such big improvements in the fidelity of the sound. I guess I'll just have to sit here and grin at my lack of understanding for now.
  1. What you are describing to me could be a CAPS server running Windows 2012 R2 with the Audio Optimizer software tweaks. The optimizer will configure the OS to run in Command line mode with 18-25 services. This could be placed in a living room and connected likely via USB or Ethernet and the Bridge.

  2. Another option is to get a new dedicated Windows 2012 R2 Audio Optimizer based machine for the office and connect to the bridge. This one can be a noisy machine but running very few services in Command line.

  3. With my beefy office server I have the option of creating the same configuration as #2 but this time making it a Virtual Machine inside the big server. I will just need to add some more memory and give this VM 1 or 2 dedicated cores. This maybe not optimal for audio but I have never heard anyone describe such a configuration. Maybe it would work great.


I completely agree with wglenn. With Bubble UPNP you get all type of advanced features of indexing, search, art cover. Also it works like a bliss even with current Bridge. I use minim server on QNAP. That connectivity is great too.

#19
Paul McGowan said Mconnect Player is what we will be recommending to people to use. We haven't any plans of our own app.
So will the new bridge contain the "mconnect module" ?

http://www.conversdigital.com/sub3.html

First post BTW - Hi Everyone103_gif


#20

The new Bridge is based around the Mconnect Module. We’ve been working on this project together with Converse digital for a few years now. It’s quite customized and they’ve worked closely with us to get something unique to us, but certainly the Mconnect module is the heart of our new bridge. We then add all the other ‘stuff’ like the Digital Lens etc. to make it sound good.