I got my DS Sr with Bridge II in 2017. My CD rips and purchased albums are on a NAS outside my listening room. I use Roon to play them, and the computer running the Roon core is also outside my listening room. I was happy with what I heard, especially with firmware version 4.0.1.
During Small Green Computer’s 2018 Black Friday sale, I bought their PS Audio bundle. It included an UltraRendu, an UltraDigital (USB to I2S converter), linear power supplies for both, a short USB cable to connect the Ultrarendu to the UltraDigital and a short HDMi cable to connect the UltraDigital to an I2S input of the DS. After hooking them up, I first confirmed bit perfect playback with the PS Audio test tracks. Then I used Roon to group the UltraRendu and the Bridge into one zone, so that I could play the same music on both. Compared to the Bridge, I heard a deeper and wider soundstage, more pinpoint imaging and less glare/harshness. It was easy to verify this simply by switching inputs on the remote of the DS.
Then during the 2019 Black Friday sale, I bought their OpticalRendu bundle. It included an OpticalRendu, an OpticalModule (ethernet to fiber converter), linear power supplies for both, a very short LAN cable, two SFP connectors and an orange fiber optic cable.
I initially left the UltraRendu bundle in place and connected the OpticalRendu to my DS Sr via USB. Again, I confirmed bit perfect playback with the PS Audio test tracks and used Roon to group all three sources into one zone (the Bridge, the UltraRendu and the OpticalRendu). Then I played music I was familiar with. Switching between inputs on the remote, I heard some sonic gains but not the night-and-day improvements I was expecting from galvanic isolation.
A business trip forced me away from my system for a little over a week. During this time, I forgot to switch off the Dectet where all my Sonore gear are plugged into. Upon getting back home, my DS Sr, BHK preamp and BHK monoblocks were off (in standby mode) but I had inadvertently left my UltraRendu, UltraDigital, OpticalRendu and OpticalModule powered on. So I had a listen.
Now, the OpticalRendu sounded better. Playing familiar music, I was hearing tiny details I previously couldn’t. It was still plugged into a USB port of the DS Sr while the UltraRendu was plugged into an I2S port via the UltraDigital USB to I2S converter.
Then a friend asked to borrow my UltraRendu but not my UltraDigital, so I decided to use it with the OpticalRendu. I plugged its USB output to the UltraDigital. That’s when I heard the best sound from my system.
@Paul likes to say music should appear to come from behind the speakers. I was now hearing that, along with a blacker background, more bass slam, an even more delicate top end and a greater sense that the performers are in my listening room.
So that’s how my system is, now.