Bridge II to Mac Mini? (via Ethernet)


Was this directed to my reply, if so I don’t understand.


It is directed to both you and amgradmd. Both of you were hitting quote to respond when there was no reason to quote; you were just responding to the last post in the thread. I cleaned up the posts by deleting all of the unnecessary quotes. (I do a great deal of this in many threads.)

As it now reads cleanly, I understand being a bit confused. I assumed you would know what you were doing.

PC to DS DAC direct with ethernet cable?

Well I figured it out! After messing around with a while I have established a bridged direct connection to my Mac Mini and bypassed the switch. First of all you need a mac Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. Connect that into one of the TB ports and direct connect the ethernet cable to the DS DAC. Then do the following:

Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.

Click the Action pop-up menu (gear icon) then choose Manage Virtual Interfaces.

Click Add +, choose New Bridge, then select the interfaces to include in the bridge. This is important - select BOTH Ethernet and Thunderbolt Ethernet. This tripped my up for a while, as did several other things I won’t go into. Hey, I’m just a doctor, not a networking expert here!

From there selected the option for DHCP to manage IP address for the Thunderbolt Bridge (too many Bridges!). Then I went into the DS Bridge menu and manually put in aworkable IP address, also including the subnet mask (the same as the Thunderbolt Bridge) but not the DNS server or Gateway. Maybe I could have put those in, but I didn’t need to. After waiting a minute, the router saw the DAC! Unreal. It is listed in my router client list as “CoversDigitalCo., LTD” who is the manufacturer of the Bridge, I guess. I have no idea why it took me so long to get to this point, I swear. It seems so simple. Regardless, it works and the sound is fantastic at first listen. It’s late and I can’t do a proper test but it already sounds better than my USB chain with LANRover and UpTone LPS-1, which was pretty much on par with Bridge before, IMO. I don’t have the energy to say how it sounds better, just better for now. Anyway, I’m pumped about this and I thought I’d share how it works. It really is pretty cool. Now I’m starting to wonder if it would help matter to put some optical fiber in between. Hmm… 4_gif


Very cool and very interesting. I may have to get a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adaptor and give it a try. Are you using the regular Ethernet port to connect to your LAN?


I am in fact connecting the regular ethernet port to the LAN. Please give a try. I think you might be pleased with what you hear.


Thanks. I’ll do that. Even if I don’t notice a sonic difference it would allow me to eliminate a switch.


Not to mention an ethernet cable!



Can you check for me if the thunderbolt ethernet connection to your directstream works with itunes? Thx!


That would necessitate me actually opening iTunes on purpose, which I swore I would never do again! There is something about that program that drives me absolutely nuts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple iTunes to direct smart home applications, honestly. Such an unwieldy beast, IMO. But with that being said, I’ll check to see if I can make that work. I doubt it, but I’ll give it a go. I may be out of the loop a little, but does iTunes ever work with Bridge normally?


The Bridge (1 or 2) requires UPnP, which iTunes does not support. I don’t think the direct Ethernet connection would make a difference, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try. Plus, I’m often wrong about these things.


That’s a no go on the iTunes. JRiver does work very well, however. I still prefer Roon over JRiver, for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is sound quality.


Thx amgradmd for trying. Was hoping to switch from usb+lanrover:(

stevem2 said

Very cool and very interesting. I may have to get a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adaptor and give it a try. Are you using the regular Ethernet port to connect to your LAN?

At Alex from UpTone audio’s suggestion, I’m now using the regular ethernet port to connect to the DS Sr since it’s supposedly a more robust connection than the Thunderbolt dongle. I don’t notice a big difference, but it does work just fine.


I did get an adaptor and it seems to work fine. I thought it sounded slightly better than through a switch but I can’t say I heard a big improvement. Nothing I could reliably tell in a blind test. That may be my own limitation. It did allow me to eliminate the switch, which is a benefit in itself. I’ll try switching the cables between the two Ethernet ports at some point. Thanks again for the tip.


Inspired by Paul’s article, I too setup a Mac Mini music box and am now investigating adding Roon software and a Directstream DAC with a Bridge II card. As there is no network drop in my audio location, I plan to share the Mini’s WiFi connection to the internet over the RJ45 port to the Bridge II card via a static point to point network ( Has anyone tried this? Everything I’ve read on this thread indicates it should work fine.

My current setup uses Toslink to my Levinson 390s, but I want to try higher resolution PCM and DSD files. I’m looking forward to the comparison to the Directstream!


Welcome, Jim!


“…connect the switch to the home network so the B2 can get firmware updates, among other things.”

Has there been an over-the-air firmware update for the bridge yet, or is this still theoretical?


Yes, there have been a few. Unlike other PSA products that use an SD card for updates, the Bridge is designed to download them and has no SD slot.


It took me a whole 2 minutes to hook up my dsj to my Mac mini running minimserver and bubbleupnp through my 1G switched network. My mac is in the basement connected to my 1G switch and my music room is on the top floor which the dsj is hooked up to the 1G switch. I used the Lumin app on my iPad for the GUI for playing music. Tidal also worked without a hitch. 2 months ago, I converted from minimserver/bubbleupnp to roon running on the Mac mini. Easy conversion. Not sure what the issues are going thru the network, the bridge II will see a roon or minimserver/bubbleupnp device.


I just got my Mac Pro tower second ethernet port to run direct to the Bridge, thanks to good info in this thread, I’m not hearing a difference - possibly a tiny bit smoother - but I did have to turn the DS off a few times she perhaps later it will sound better?