Preference Bridge II vs USB - galvanically separated

Is a Bridge II sonically (still) preferred over USB when the connections are galvanically separated from the source? That is, the cable connecting source to the Directstream DAC is not copper (or any other metal) so that electrical noise from the source cannot reach the DAC.

Seems with copper-based connections the Bridge II (data packets) is sonically preferred to USB (music stream) reading various posts comparing the two. One issue with USB is computer noise penetrating the DAC via the +5V and data lines (besides the USB cable acting as an antenna to some degree pending cable isolation). Both connections can be implemented with galvanic separation to block electrical noise from the source. For USB an option is Intona High Speed USB Isolator which isolates +5V and data lines. For the Bridge II one could implement a fiber optic cable to relay the data packets from source to DAC. Both solutions are highly praised but my question is does the Bridge II still hold sonic advantages over USB once source noise has been taken out of the equation?

Both can be made to sound very good. Which ever you prefer for other reasons you can make sound great. I like the user interface experience with USB so I’ve done various USB improvements, others prefer the Bridge II. The USB isolator you reference does indeed work for audio at USB 2.0 speeds (which most USB isolators don’t.) But you probably will still get benefit from the UpTone USB Regen - there’s more to good USB than lower jitter and galvanic isolation - the higher the interface speed, the more noise is introduced by doing dynamic equalization to keep a good signal - that’s true for each link and also true for both optical and copper connections.

Thanks Ted! I like the U in USB as well. More food for thought… :slight_smile:

After putting some time into the two inputs

I have to say Paul and team has Adobe a great job with the new B2.

If using a Caps Asa server for USB and the same setup for B2 comanding I must say they both are very good. I can also say USB can be better but you have to go a ways to get there.

Both a Top shelf caps and regen to attain an improvement.

Great job such a long way from the first one what I need to try is a direct use of my nas and no computer in use

For Bridge II, is there any trick to handle injected/ground loop noise from LAN cable? I cannot find any transformer like component in the photo.

Also, can anyone share their experience to isolate the noise from LAN? Previously, I used optical media converter which make my Bridge II sometimes unreachable. However, I cannot identify the cause of the problem and tentatively connect Bridge II to my router directly. For simplicity and convenience, I’m considering passive LAN isolation devices. Please share your experience.



The network cable connector has both a transformer and a common mode choke.

Great!!! For galvanic concern, we don’t need special extra device like LAN Isolator etc. BTW, I can easily find out the SQ improvement when using a better(or more expensive) CAT-7 LAN Cable

Thanks Ted


Ted Smith said The network cable connector has both a transformer and a common mode choke.
sorry that I don't understand... what does this mean concerning a galvanic isolation device?

Most Ethernet connections are already galvanically isolated and filtered. Those isolation and filtering components are in the little shield around the Ethernet connectors on the bridges.


Could you describe a use case where these expensive Lan isolators would be needed ?

“Everything makes a difference.” I can easily imagine that there is more physical separation between the inputs and outputs. There might also be some better shielding around critical components and or the whole enclosure. (Tho the connectors on the Bridge and Jr are fairly shielded. I also buy that they probably have a higher quality transformer which should preserve more of the wave shapes (this isn’t always good: sharp edges mean less jitter, but more radiation.) They could also have other forms of filtering, tho if they did they’d probably brag about it in the ad. Once again if the price is within reason and you can return it if it doesn’t do what you need, it may be worth a try.

my isolator was much cheaper (under 100$, took a standard network isolator, not from an audio company).

I noticed slightly better ambiance and relaxed ease of sound like switching from unoptimized USB connection to bridge (just much less)

I’ve found that including optical isolation in the final ethernet link to the Bridge II is beneficial. I use two back-to-back ethernet-to-fibre converters joined by 1m of fibre. Details of parts list are given in this blog:

So far I had gone the USB route, with two JitterBugs.

Will be trying the direct Ethernet way (Furutech Alpha Lan-10G cat 6) to the DS Junior. Have been looking at Karl Sigman’s blog instructions as to how to set it up, will do that then compare with current USB SQ.