Need simplistic info on Bridge II, NAS, streaming


#1

Hi, again –

I’m starting to look into setting up a Bridge II/III before long, and also getting a NAS going. What I need is a simple primer, diagrams, or basic instructions on how the giblets all fit together.

I’m sure there’s something out there, but I haven’t been able to find it.

Currently, I have a modified SSD-based Mac Mini (Mojo Audio) with an external 4TB disc holding my library and running Roon core. USB out to a LanRover, to the DS DAC. I find this setup to be simple and intuitive for an “old time” computer guy.

As for the NAS, we don’t have a need in terms of streaming multiple things to multiple family members, and similarly we don’t have more than one Roon end-point (at this time.) But I’m thinking that the NAS will help us with keeping things in one place, along with the redundancy of RAID discs. (Yes, I do backups to the safe.)

Not to mention the bump-up in SQ that the Bridge might provide.

If it is better just to keep things the way they are, I’m up for that, too.

Thanks!


#2

I have an all PS Audio system with a DSD and a Bridge II. I use Roon on a Qnap NAS. My Roon core is NAS resident along with my primary music files. I also have a Tidal subscription that interfaces very well with Roon. The Roon core is installed on a 256 GB SSD for speed. The music is on a Raid 1 and I use M.2 drives for caching. Roon can be a pain on most NAS’s. The recommended configuration for Roon dictates a NAS with Intel i7 processors. I7 processors only come resident on large footprint NAS drives from QNAP. If you kill all of the Roon background tasks, “Background Audio Analysis” and “on demand analysis speed” a lower spec NAS will work. Those background processes contribute nothing to music. In fact they actually affect the performance of the NAS. I’ve been running this since March and I’m pleased with the results.


#3

Thanks @watchdog507 That’s a good start to help my limited understanding of NAS and Roon.

I truly have no experience or knowledge with these things, other than what I’m already running. So, I’ll ask: Can I somehow have a NAS for serving up files (and providing RAID safety) AND drive Roon with my existing Mac Mini, or are the two somehow mutually exclusive or redundant? Is there any point to that?

I asked for a diagram because I really don’t have a clue as to ‘what talks to what.’


#4

The simplest configuration, if I’m following you is Roon core on your Mac Mini and the NAS will be your “Audio File Server” As long as it’s configured on your network it will work very well.


#5

It’s probably no more complicated than that, @watchdog507

So, I guess I’d look into getting a NAS unit (and learning how to set that up with all it entails), to communicate with the Mini for serving up files. Mini would continue to have a USB connection to the DSD, for now, and possibly later an ethernet connection to Bridge II.

Although I think I may be missing something on that latter bit. Would the Mini do ethernet out to the DSD, or do I somehow hook the Bridge II to be a networked device of some sort?

See? Very little knowledge of how this works. :slight_smile:


#6

You would need a router and possibly a switch. The NAS resides on a network. You can’t connect the Mac Mini directly to the DSD or the bridge via ethernet. If you don’t have the router, make sure that you get 1GB speed and I use CAT7 cabling. It’s shielded and faster. Configuring a NAS is pretty straightforward. There are plenty of places to get assistance if you have any hiccups with the NAS.


#7

Okay. Thanks for your help.

Already have a router and extenders for through-house WiFi. I’ll look into the switch and setting up a NAS.

This is going to be kind of a ‘duh’ question, but I have to ask: If my Mac Mini runs Roon Core for the heavy lifting, and pulls files off the (router-attached) NAS, how is the Mini connected to the Bridge II on the DSD? I.e., how is the audio output from the Mini to the Bridge II? As an alternate way of looking at the question, if I connect the Bridge II to ethernet (from my router?), what is driving the audio output across ethernet to the Bridge?

Perhaps we can now see the reason I’ve kept things hardwired and simplistic, to-date.


#8

An excellent diagram and example of a set up is Michael Lavorgna"s, a reviewer for Audiostream. If you look at his set up in the article The Listening Room, https://www.audiostream.com/content/listening-room-0, and scroll towards the bottom, you will see a picture diagram of how he set up the network. AC power for NAS, router, etc. are connected to a smaller inexpensive power conditioner plugged into one outlet, all separate from the audio equipment. All of the audio equipment AC power for the DAC, amp, etc. is plugged into a separate more expensive power conditioner and plugged into a different wall outlet. When I separated the network stuff from the audio stuff the noise level dropped significantly. Now I just don’t hear the noise at all. I used a more inexpensive network filter, a Baaske MED MI 1005 network isolator, and to my ears and in my system it filtered out network noise significantly. Hope this diagram gives you a clearer picture of a network setup.


#9

@smjazz Yup, getting there, a little at a time. Thank you. Diagrams are most helpful.

My situation is that I have to get up-to-speed on a couple of basic concepts, for example, a “Roon-ready network bridge.” It’s not rocket science, I’m sure; I just don’t have prior exposure to some of these giblets.

I’ll continue to dig, and always welcome input.


#10

The bridge is a Roon endpoint so the roon Core will find it as long as it’s on the same network and connected to your router via Ethernet. It’s not a wireless device.


#11

Since the tile kinda fits my question as a newbie as well, I thought I’d jump in. My main source will be the DMP, but I’d like to stream music from Tidal and other internet sources as well, and don’t have a clear picture on what all I’ll need. I have an iMac in my office on the second floor, which is where the router/modem sits, and my stereo is in the basement two floors down. I think I may be able to run an ethernet cable to the basement, but if not I guess I’ll use a wireless bridge device. My system consists of a DMP, DAC jr, and BHK 250 amp. I’m somewhat familiar with Roon, but not completely sure what all it does, or how it fits into things. So obviously I’ll need a subscription to Roon and Tidal, and an ethernet connection to the DAC, but not sure what else I might need, or how it all works together. Does Roon get installed on my iMac? I can I use an Android phone or tablet to control everything?

Thanks


#12

You’ll need two components: a Roon core, ideally on your most powerful device (cpu and ram) and an endpoint (bridgeII) a subscription to both Roon and Tidal. You can control it through any networked device (android or iOS) it may seem complex but it becomes quite straightforward. Roon consolidates all of your music both local (NAS and attached drives) and Tidal seamlessly Tidal just becomes an extended drive with all of their music.


#13

Could the Room core and the networked device I use to control everything be the same, say a tablet? Thanks


#14

Hi Rob

Having fed the DS DAC with both Bridge II and LANRover (and other USB sources), my advice would be to keep your setup as is.

Maybe add a better PSU to the DAC-side LANRover unit, if you haven’t already. That might be the only thing. The LANRover is really good.

If you add a NAS for backups, it’s quite simple to point your current Roon Core to your NAS stored music if needed later.


#15

Thanks @em2016 It’s always valuable advice when I don’t have to chase rabbits and spend lots of money.

@watchdog507 Thanks. Sometimes it’s the simple things. I see how it works, now. (Mostly… kinda…)


#16

Sounds like RobH is all set, but for those who haven’t taken the plunge into computer audio, you might consider an off-the-shelf solution. Especially if, like me, fiddling with computer networks to keep them running holds no special appeal. Our home network supports a router and 5 or so devices, and it can be a real pain to keep them all singing in tune - especially when the Overlord Gates sends us a Windows update from the Cloud that disturbs the Force from time to time.

My goal was to make CA as simple as possible, so before wading into those waters I spent about a year lurking on audio forums to see what was up. Apart from the connectivity / compatibility issues, I started adding up the cost to optimize performance of a CA system: dedicated computer, NAS, linear power supply mods, cables, galvanic isolation devices, cost of ROON subscription, etc., etc.

I ended up buying an Aurender N100H with a 2 TB drive instead for close to the same $$ ($2,500). Ethernet cable to router, 0.5 meter USB cable to the DSD, download their conductor app (you’ll need an iPad as an interface) and hit play. Done.

The control app is not as slick as ROON, but is free and seamlessly integrates the music on the internal HD, an external NAS (if you add one), Tidal and Qobuz streaming services. And for $50, you can download a patch to the firmware that will decode MQA to the “first unfold” level, it that’s important to you. Free firmware updates and remote servicing if there is an issue. And very responsive customer service.

Best of all, I’ve found that the SQ of a ripped 44.1/16 CD copied to the Aurender’s drive is virtually indistinguishable from the same CD played on my DMP.

There are other similar products out there, and PS Audio is developing their Octave server, so if anyone out there is considering going all in on CA but doesn’t want to fiddle with the “computer” part of it, my Rx is to take a look at these devices.