Bridge II poor performance streaming local, DLNA

Any ideas why when I try to stream .dsf across my network I get poor resolution and terrible sound? The mConnect app shows dsf 1 bit 2822.4 5645 kbps on any selection. On my PWA it shows me 24 bit 88k. If I connect direct with coax I get 24/174 mHz.

I have two DLNA servers to experiment with. One a QNAP server with DLNA service added (1000 mbps) and the other an inexpensive Seagate home DLNA server (1000 mbps). Both return idenitcal results. The music is so bad it could be mistaken for mono.

My home network is all Ethernet and exceptionally fast. I attribute this to the fact I have been in IT for 20 years. The Bridge II works fine with Tidal and with a direct coax connection so I am at a loss why the stream results would be so poor. It has only been 3 days since I upgraded my PWA Mk II to a Bridge II. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. BTW, Bridge II firmware is current and I have tried mConnect and mControl.

i believe you are refering to PWD MKII - that does not support DSD (it’s the DirectStream DAC which supports that, up to DSD256 via I2S (or DSD64 via BridgeII).

Therefore it is a matter of UPnP server to transcode dsf files to PCM and I think either it is misconfigured somehow (what you see: 24@174 or 24@88 looks ok though… , but maybe decreasing volume by -3dB or -6dB is missing in the conversion) , or does not have enough CPU power to transcode to WAV/FLAC on the fly. I’d suggest converting the files to PCM upfront. If you have i5 or i7 comparable CPU in UpNP server it should be fine though.

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Educate me here Maniac. My understanding is my DNLA servers, take my QNAP with the DLNA service installed on it, is just serving up DSF files to the Bridge II much in the same way a shared computer network drive would do. Are you saying there is actual ‘transcoding’ taking place on these devices? The QNAP and the Seagate home server hard drives do not have CPUs, or at least they are not mentioned in the specs. My understanding is the DLNA server is just a NAS drive that adheres to a specific set up protocols so it can be discovered by other devices on the network.

Also, if the DLNA server is serving up DSF files, and the Bridge II is able to support DSF files, then no transcoding would be taking place at the DLNA server and the DSF files would be going out ‘as is’. I have confirmed this from a variety sources thanks to Google.


Maniac, reread your post and I did not know PWD MKII does not support DSD. However, when my UPnP server is connected by coax it works perfectly. Does that mean my UPnP server did the transcodong? Incidenly, my music server is not DLNA, only UPnP. I have been experimenting with my two other DLNA servers but they are not my primary music server. I just wanted to clarify that. Thanks.

Rob, I have no experience with the specific servers that you are using. However it is certainly possible for a server to do transcoding. I have MinimServer installed on my Synology NAS. MinimServer (along with its MinimStreamer extension) can transcode files before sending them off to the DAC (in my case, a DirectStream Senior with Bridge II). Many different formats are supported. So, for instance, you can transcode a DSD file into WAV or FLAC.

Any NAS is a computer and so has a CPU. If the CPU is low powered or the NAS does not have much memory, transcoding may not work well.

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Maniac said PWD MKII DAC does not support DSD but with my UPnP server connected to my DAC with coax I have no problem playing DSF files directly. When I try to stream the same files through my Bridge II the resolution is only 2822.4 kHz. I read from several sources if my renderer is compatible with the same type of file being served up, in this case a DSF file, then no transcoding takes place - the file is served up ‘as is’.

I needed to do some experimenting to rule out a few things. I have a QNAP and installed the DLNA service on it and copied the DSF file there. Using the mConnect app I sent this to the Bridge II and the resolution was still 2822.4 kHz. I know my PWD supports DSF files because when I change the input to coax the sampling rate changes to 172.4 kHz. I do not understand why the resolution is so poor streaming through the Bridge II compared to connecting directly by coax.

There appears to be little to change or configure at my end. From what I can determine, no transcoding should be taking place because the server is providing a DSF file that the DAC is compatible with.

Thanks for your reply. Rob.

I am not positive about this, but I believe that the Bridge II needs for DSD to be put into a DoP package to properly stream the .dsf file.

Conversion of DSD into DoP would be done upstream of the Bridge II in whatever streaming software you are using.

Part of my ‘experimenting’ I referred to in my previous post when I introduced two DLNA servers was to rule out the actual problem might be with the mConnect app that controls the server and Bridge. It was my opinion that wasn’t the issue but it would be interesting to try some other app to control where the stream is sent to. Thanks for your reply. Rob.

As I recall, Bob is right that the Bridge does require DSD in a DoP wrapper.

What server are you using? You say that you “installed the DLNA service“ on your QNAP, but I don’t imagine that’s the same thing as a server. What you installed may be a piece of software that enables the network to see your QNAP as a DLNA device; is it specifically described as a server?

I don’t know what happens if you feed the Bridge a file that it can’t handle – I never tried this. It might not play at all, or the sound quality might be very poor as you are experiencing. I do know that in my set up I have to tell MinimServer to do transcoding with certain file types, including DSF to DoP. As I understand it (and I could be wrong) there’s no way for a server to know what types of files the Bridge can handle or to transcode them automatically.

My music server is a Popcorn Hour A-500. It shows up in mConnect and Windows as a UPnP AV server. When it’s connected to my PWD by coax it works like a charm. When I try to browse it using mConnect, none of my .dsf albums or .dsf file show up in mConnect.

UPnp is only a protocol and because my A-500 is only a UPnP server, it is not necessarily a DLNA server. DLNA is a ‘standard’, but it also uses the UPnP protocol. This is why I needed a DLNA server to test my summation. Enter my QNAP server.

QNAP has DLNA built into its operating system, you just have to enable it in ‘setting’. It also required me to install a QNAP app for media sharing and cataloging. After that, it showed up on my network and in mConnect as a DLNA server.

I copied over some .dsf tracks from my A-500 to a folder on the QNAP. I was able to browse the folder and pick off the .dsf track using mConnect. This supported my hunch about my A-500 not being a DLNA server. When I played this track by sending it to the Bridge II I got the poor resolution.

I have a Seagate home network device that has the DLNA service built into it. I repeated the same experiment I did with the QNAP and got identical results.

What I’ve taken away from this so far is my source has to be a DLNA source, not just a UPnP source in order for mConnect to recognize. dsf files. There are no compatibility issues with the A-500 and the PWD. The PWD plays the same dsf files at 24/176.4 kHz. I’m puzzled why the Bridge only does 88 kHz, and a very poor quality at that. It sounds ‘mono’ and is unlistenable.