dCS Network Bridge

Has anyone looked into this or actually played (with) one?:

dCS Network Bridge

I think this looks like it could be “interesting” in combination with a PS Audio DSD DAC.


I guess they liked our product’s name enough to call their own the same as ours!

While a bit confusing in the marketplace, I suppose we’re flattered.105_gif

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I’m glad you made your bridge DAC-internal and yet exchangable/upgradable. What else is an external bridge than a separate streamer needing add. cabling, base and space for no add. benefit (I’d need).

+1. I’ve thought about adding component so that I could play 2xDSD to the I2S input on the DS DAC. But I have no room for another box, and my audio rack is a mess as it is with all the cabling and network stuff. Putting the Bridge inside the DAC was a great move.

Resurrecting this thread because the PS Audio Bridge II and dCS Network Bridge should have much more audiophile mileage on them by now.

Hoping some here have experience using both devices as their network endpoint for their PS Audio DirectStream DAC and would be willing to share their opinions, preferences, etc.

Thanks in advance.

A friend of mine has a DCS on top of of a Bel Canto Black Stack he likes it. You can see the source displayed in the picture.


Nice kit!

Thanks for posting the review – I had read that previously.

Do you have any experience with the dCS Network Bridge as compared to the PSA Bridge II card?


No experience with DCS, only with Lumin and Auralic vs the Bridge II. Also I take Chris’s comments about DCS products with a grain of salt as he is a big fan of their products and they are also a major AS sponsor. There or WBF may be the only places you will find any owners.

Thanks for the reply. My current set up with the Bridge II card (details on my “signature page”) offers the best overall performance I have ever experienced in my system. And I love the convenience of having all of my music (both stored files and streaming) so readily accessible via JRMC, and Roon (w/ Tidal and Qobuz).

But the quest for even better sound continues.

Care to share any observations about Lumin and Auralic performance vs. Bridge II. The dCS kit tempts me because of dCS’s reputation and the fact that it would still allow me to use my ethernet-based signal path, which I am partial to over my experience with other inputs to the DS Sr., and yet allow me to experiment with different outputs from the dCS Network Bridge.


Are there anymore experienced dCS Bridge aficionados out there?


Thanks all.

I’m not an “experienced dCS Bridge aficionado” but …

Since 2015 I’ve played music from my library stored on a Synology NAS using MinimServer running on the NAS processor, controlled with the BubbleUPnP app running on an Android tablet. To render the music from ethernet packets to SPDIF for input to the DAC I first used the original Sonore Rendu hardware, replacing this with the Bridge II when I bought a DirectStream DAC in 2016. The latter setup has been excellent; no dropouts or extraneous noise with the network. It is fast, easy to navigate and plays music gaplessly; it certainly met all my needs.

Unfortunately as you are probably aware this setup now has an uncertain future as PS Audio are soon to release their own music streaming system, hardware and software. This is going to be ‘closed’ in that it will not support UPnP. The streamer, including the associated Bridge III renderer, will be bundled with their ‘Octave’ software. Given the track record of PS Audio I am sure that they will continue to support the Bridge II renderer however this prospect caused me to look for a potential replacement for the Bridge II renderer that is not part part of a ‘closed’ system. Looking for this, and improved sound quality to take advantage of more recent advances in technology, I alighted on the dCS Network Bridge. To cut a long story short I’ve just bought one after a 2 week evaluation. The hardware is brilliant; there is a marked improvement in sound quality relative to that from the Bridge II. Furthermore the dCS hardware / control app supports UPnP: dCS recommend and support MinimServer for UPnP music serving.

To be more specific on sound quality, I am hearing more detail and ambience with the music. Image depth is greater. Violins are sweeter, there is more ‘body’ to the sound. Bass is better defined and the music flows better. Transients are better defined. Trumpets ‘rasp’ convincingly. Inner detail is now audible in loud, complex orchestral works. There appears to be greater dynamic range in music, with the quietest passages noticeably more delicate. Overall the sound is yet more ‘natural’ and engrossing.
A benefit I was not expecting is that there is a slight improvement in sound quality from the other DAC inputs with the ethernet connection removed from the Bridge II.

The Mosaic control app supports gapless playback but has some browsing features that are currently not as good as those in the BubbleUPnP control app. Until these arrive I will continue to use the BubbleUPnP app. As the playback engine within the dCS hardware is not compatible with UPnP for gapless playback I will have to live with gaps in my music until then. Judging by the responsiveness of dCS on their community website I’m confident they will quickly enhance the Mosaic app to a feature state comparable with BubbleUPnP.

Thanks so much for your post, David.

This dCS kit just calls to me for some reason and I was wondering if it could best the Bridge II Ethernet card.

Is there any reason to believe it won’t play nice with JRiver Media Center and Roon (my two favorite music management and playback software packages)?

Thanks again for the detailed report on your experience with the dCS Bridge. I am going to keep an eye out for someone selling a used one at a decent price.


Hi Scottie
In a very similar position, looking to move to the dCS Network Bridge with my Directstream dac.
It’s dCS, they know their digital, so drawn to one as well.

Wondered though about the effectiveness of different external streamers with the DS, given the Dac’s internal upsampling to DSD etc?
I too ran the Bridge II, but my experience it can be bettered.
I use a modded Oppo 203 connected via i2s, but would a different external Streamer sound different…given the DS ignores any incoming clock and does it’s own thing?

I asked the question here, hopefully some useful feedback will help us both out.
(Oh, as a Roon fan too, I made sure the dCS acted as a “Roon Endpoint” before I got interested in it, so it’s good on that front. JRiver…can’t see why not? The dCS just takes what it’s fed to it’s digital inputs.
I’m taking my Oppo and Directstream to a local dCS dealer to directly compare with the dCS Network Bridge, will post an update on my own thread I link to below.

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I agree with you, and to me you are right to the point. I am not going to talk about the SQ of the Network Bridge because I use the vivaldi upsampler (whose SQ trumps everything I have listened before for a mile - bride II, microRendu, ultraRendu, Matrix SPDIF-2, SOtM usb card).

Froma software and user experience stand point, I think PSAudio is taking a big risk closing their platform to UPnP and Roon. It is going to be on its own to develop the whole platform, and users will have to migrate from their preferred streaming setup to this new and proprietary one. And will have to migrate again, if ever going out of Octave. That’s a whole lot of trouble, specially when you think about metadata.

This kind of lock-in could very easily backfire.

Dcs does support both, and even encourages to use (the free and very competent) MinimServer. They can focus on their control point (Mosaic) which is already very sleak.

There is a lot here that can be taken as an invaluable benchmark.


BTW, which DS Sr. input have you settled on with the dCS Bridge?


A single AES/EBU input - I use a Transparent Reference interconnect that I bought for connecting the PS Audio PWT to a Bel Canto DAC. I now use I2S to connect the PWT to the Directstream DAC which replaced the Bel Canto DAC.

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The dCS Mosaic User Guide states it can “Utilise Roon as a media management platform with Mosaic as a Roon Ready zone.”

When I started streaming music locally I subscribed to JRiver (19 & 20). It has a large number of features but I found it hard to tailor to my needs: the User Guide was opaque. In the end I moved to a combination of MinimServer for serving the music and iTunes for curating the library.

I had the potential to buy a used one but it came to nothing in the end so I bought a new one.

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