Comparison between Bridge II vs ultraRendu set up with LPS & Matrix XSPDIF2

With all the posts talking about Bridge II being noisy and less than ideal for DS DAC Sr. I had to try how much improvement I can make by going to a popular ultraRendu with LPS going straight into I2S of my DAC.

For the record, I have the MK1 DS Dac with the APS transformer and VOCM mod. I’ve also applied 3M AB7050HF on all the places Ted Smith recommended including my bridge card. I run the set up through BHK Preamp and NAD C298 (Purify Amp) outputting to Elac Adante. Fully balanced from DAC to Amp via OCC cables.

To summarize, I compared the two setups for a full week. First with Bridge II installed and ultraRendu into I2S and then bridge removed.

Here are the findings. For the record, I am a trained musician, done recording, and have pretty discerning ears. I can tell the difference in cable qualities, isolation tweeks, room acoustics, even centimers of speaker placment difference.

Finding: I could not hear any discernable difference between the UltraRendu set up and the Bridge II (with or without the card in the DAC). I am not sure how much of that is from applying the 3M absorbers, but, to my trained ears, Bridge II was as good as the ultraRendu setup. My speakers are pretty resoloving and very sensitive to component changes. I know that subsonic noise, although cannot be heard, can impact the background, soundstage and instrument separation. Bridge II with the 3M abosorber went toe to toe with the set up that cost 2x (3x in reality).

For fun, I added a optical conversion unit (TP Link version and not the Sonore) using two iFi Power adaptors and 10 meters of optical cable to place my roon server out of the listening room. Initially, I found the sonic quality smoother overall, but after critically listening, came to realize the setup actually degraded the soundstage and imaging. Less bass texture, and less resolution.

So, if you have the MK1 with Bridge II, you are not missing out on anything (at least if you have the 3M mod done). Bridge II is that good. The best sound I got was by adding a USB shorting plug with Bridge II via CAT8 ethernet cable.

My next venture would be Hifi Rose 130. At least from the specs and design shown, this may be the streamer to beat. Has built in optical USB and Ethernet. I am not sure how much improvement I will gain with HR130 ($4K retail). I was tempted to try out the eversolo streamer, but have a haunch that it will not be a significant improved over the modded BII at this point. I thought I’d share this experience for anyone who is itching for upgrade to a higher quality streaming set up.

If anyone has done any direct comparison between the Bridge II (modded or not) with other streaming setup, I’d love to hear your findings.


I have the MK1 and I had the bridge II. When I got the Auralic Aries G2 it bested the bridge by far imo. I found that removing the bridge card and replacing it with @jkrichards external power supply board took the MK1 up another notch in sound quality. I would imagine with his current mods you have that would be the next logical upgrade if you are staying with the mk1. I also loved the bridge II but the external streamer is better. Good luck and enjoy!


Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, Auralic Aries G2 plays in a different league. I was told that ultraRendu + LPS + DDC will get you closer to Auralic, but apparently in my system, it didn’t really add much to the already excellent Bridge II. I tried with BII in and out of the DAC and couldn’t tell the difference at all after days of listening. My haunch is that the 3M material really cleans up the noise in the DAC. One of these days, I will give Auralic a try. I am hearing Hifi Rose 130 is actually very close to G2 and it has the prized I2S connectivity for my MK1 Dac.

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Indeed Bridge2 can sound great when not distracted by noise on LAN.

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Along my close to 3 year journey with 2 channel I had the MK1 no mods, Matrix mini pro 3 and the bridge card. With zero mods I kept the bridge. Of course it cost 3x the money even used. But then I tried the Sonora Signature Rendu and pulled the card. It was not even close. Again Zero mods. I sold the card. I did a bunch of mods post Bridge II, so I cannot comment on that. I have moved on to the MKII, zero mods so far.

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There are a lot of good sounding streamers released since the time of my G2 purchase. The hifi rose, Eversolo, and others. For the price you can go wrong with the Eversolo if you can find one.

Have you had a chance to try it? If so, how did it compare to your G2? What I am gathering from the user report is that it’s a good streamer with lots of features, perhaps Lumin U1 quality or slightly better, but nowhere near Auralic. I’ve listened to Lumin U1 and its about the quality of the Bridge II with the 3M mod.

No. I got the Auralic as a static display at Abt. I paid about $3k less than what the current model sells for and I had no intention of keeping it because I didn’t believe it would be much better than the bridge. I was wrong and I’m glad I kept it because like everything in Hifi it doubled in price after Covid. I never compared it to Lumin or any other streamers in my system. I did consider the Inuous Zenith but the price of admission plus 0% financing for 24 months the G2 won. I recently replaced the power supply with a hoerwege and it’s been a significant upgrade for $600.


FWIW, I am in the middle of a long comparison between the BII in my DS Sr. DAC and the HOLO Red DDC/Streamer.

So far, I have been unable to consistently identify a “better” sound as between the two, but lean toward preferring the BII overall. On occasion, with certain recordings, the Red is a bit warmer and less detailed than the BII (just a skosh “muddier”, if you will).

I have yet to pull the BII card to see if there is any perceivable improvement with the Red that way.

For comparison purposes, I just pull the ethernet cable out of the BII and plug it into the RED and vice versa to go back and forth. The Red is connected to the DAC via a Pink Faun Digital interlink I2S cable, whereas the BII connects directly with an I2S interface within the DAC (as I understand it).

Sources for critical listening are my files streamed via JRMC or Roon. When doing this comparison, I don’t stream from the internet via Roon and my Qobuz/Tidal subscriptions.

If I stop fiddling with my quasi A/B testing and just listen to the music, over time, then I thoroughly enjoy either configuration.