Bridge II Reviews


#1

Before buying new gear I like to read people’s hands-on experiences with the product. I own a PWD Mk2 with the Bridge 1 product. I use this as my primary listening from my NAS. I have generally been happy with the original Bridge, but the promise of sound quality improvements and gapless lure me. Please share your impressions of the bridge II!


#2

Just so you understand, the Bridge II just went on sale and will start shipping this week. No regular folks have a “production” version yet. There are a number of folks with a “Beta” Bridge II, which I believe hardware wise is the same as the “production” units (I haven’t seen anything stating otherwise, but someone correct me if this is wrong). I would suggest reading the forum topics with Beta tester comments. It won’t be easy to find, but it’s out there. As for the regular folks I would suspect it will be at least a week maybe two before comments trickle in. I’m interested myself, but budget concerns have me waiting at least a month to do the upgrade.


#3

Yes, The hardware is identical to what the Beta testers are using, and so it the software.

Dennis


#4

@Marcel…Stay tuned. Bridge-II’s should be in the hands of new owners soon. I’ll post my thoughts, as I’m sure others will too.


#5

We should be shipping the lot of them out end of this week.


#6

I’ve been a beta tester for the Bridge II and believe the upgrade is well worth it. My system is a Directstream, Bridge II, Mac Mini and JRiver/JRemote.

First thing…gapless works! And it works with everything I’ve thrown at it! From 16/44 - 24/192 thru DSD DSF files and SACD ISOs!

Sound quality is great and continues to gets better with each new firmware released for the DS DAC! During my evaluations I’ve had an Auralic Aries in my system which I feel is an amazing product as well. Do I feel the Bridge blows the doors off the Aries…no. But IMHO the sound is just as sweet (if not a tad sweeter) and the two units are certainly in the same league as each other. The simpilcity of the BII/DS together brings the same level of excellence with one less piece of equipment placed in the rack and one less power supply/cable required!

But one thing I really like is it’s stability. When I finally get a chance to sit down at the end of the day to relax and listen to some music the system has been rock solid and simply works!

T


#7
Paul McGowan said We should be shipping the lot of them out end of this week.
Any going to Oz ?

#8
Green Machine said
Paul McGowan said We should be shipping the lot of them out end of this week.

Any going to Oz ?


+1

#9

I haven’t any clue. They don’t trust me with this sensitive information.20_gif


#10
tpauline said I've been a beta tester for the Bridge II and believe the upgrade is well worth it. My system is a Directstream, Bridge II, Mac Mini and JRiver/JRemote.

First thing…gapless works! And it works with everything I’ve thrown at it! From 16/44 - 24/192 thru DSD DSF files and SACD ISOs!

T

Hello T,

I have the same setup (Mac mini, JRiver/JRemote, DS DAC) but with a Bridge I, and experiencing minor pops at the start and end of sacd iso, dff and dsf files. I don’t know if this is a JRiver, DAC or Bridge issue. Do you also experience pops while playing DSD files? People report that it has to do with dc offset and converting iso’s to dsf and suggest converting to dff first, but I already hearing the pops when playing iso’s. Any suggestions? Has this problems disappeared with Bridge II?


#11

I am trying to address this same problem with DSD files. The origin clearly is the DC offset. I was a B2 beta tester and can tell you that the problem does not go away with B2, unfortunately. The support people at NativeDSD tell me that some player software (they mentioned JRiver) has a method to prevent one from hearing the ticks. I cannot confirm this since I am not a JRiver user. I think they were using JRIver via USB not via ethernet/Bridge. Some people never hear them. I don’t think converting to/from DFF would change anything. I would like to fix this but it’s apparently not easy when streaming over ethernet.


#12

When streaming via ethernet JRMC seems to bypass some of the “functions” so you may be correct about the “tick” fixes.

I must say, however, that I do not have any ticks or pops when streaming from JRMC via ethernet to B1 or B2, from RBCD up to DSD64. There might be another cause in your case.


#13

Buffer sizes are the usual suspect. Tho JRiver MC recommends buffers on the smaller side larger buffers cause fewer tick/skips, etc. on average. I can’t even remember where the three buffer size options are in JRiver for the non-streaming, let alone the streaming.


#14

Ted

Buffer size could be an issue ??? I have never touched that setting so I assume it is the minimum.


#15

Sorry if I’m muddying this thread.

I should have been a little more specific - when there are ticks at random during play buffer sizes are often the culprit.

JRiver recommends smaller buffer sizes than are needed for the DS/Bridge and bigger buffers allow more latency glitches in the computer.

Under the Audio options:

Prebuffering - I use 20 seconds instead of the recommended 6 - that’s how long you should be able to wait, for example, for a drive to spin up.

When you have ASIO selected under “…Device Settings…” there’s both a buffering time and a check box, I keep them at the max.

Similarly there are buffer settings for WASAPI, kernel streaming, etc.

Tho the device driver specific buffers aren’t relevant for the bridge I assume that the Audio options Prebuffering still applies.

Some audio output drivers are quite sensitive to these settings and may even work better with shorter buffers, but in general I’d use the largest ones that work well for you.


#16

Has anyone compared Bridge II with Bridge I + foobar2000(foo_out_upnp) in terms of sound quality? BI+foobar worked flawlessly for gapless. If BII has no marked improvement over BI+foobar in SQ, I’m hesitant to upgrade as using a PC is not too big a concern for me but I definitely need gapless… Any hints will be much appreciated.


#17

Bridge II arrived via FedEx this morning - delivered directly to my door ‘in person!’ Very easy install without any hitches…fired up the DS, and everything worked right off the bat. The controller found the new “BridgeII” on first boot, music played perfectly…and gapless works flawlessly. The ‘reaction time’ of the B2 is better than the B1. The sound is absolutely fantastic. It’s not immediately apparent to me whether B2 sounds better than B1, but I am one who needs to do an ‘A/B’ comparison in order to discern sonic differences, and since I’ve already boxed up the B1 to send back to PS-A, that ain’t going to happen. All indications are that the B2 is simply superior to B1, and I have no reason to believe that the B2 doesn’t sound better than the B1, I just haven’t had enough time for critical listening.


#18

Have no fear, timequest. I’ve done the comparison during the beta test period (as have others). I can tell you that to me the B2 is definitely better than the B1.


#19
raykok said Has anyone compared Bridge II with Bridge I + foobar2000(foo_out_upnp) in terms of sound quality? BI+foobar worked flawlessly for gapless.
The beta testers agreed that in general B2 has better SQ than B1. I do occasionally use foobar with the Bridge, but it's been so long since I pulled out B1 that I am hesitant to say much. The advantages of B2 are a) gapless support, b) better SQ, and c) more reliable connectivity. If a) and c) are working well for you now, I think you would hear an improvement with SQ but it might or might not not be worth the upgrade price. Maybe others can be more helpful.

#20

Thanks Timequest!!