Substitute for Bridge


#1

I have finally had it with the bridge. It doesn’t look like the bridge II is imminent, and there is other hardware available that should provide a network connection to the DS without all the headaches of the bridge. What are folks experience with the Rendu or the Aries (just released)? Given the independent clocking on the DS, does the quality of the power on the network device matter? Should everything sound pretty much the same? I will be using a hardwired ethernet connection to a QNAP NAS running Minimserver and Asset.


#2
alsteinnj said I have finally had it with the bridge. It doesn't look like the bridge II is imminent, and there is other hardware available that should provide a network connection to the DS without all the headaches of the bridge. What are folks experience with the Rendu or the Aries (just released)? Given the independent clocking on the DS, does the quality of the power on the network device matter? Should everything sound pretty much the same? I will be using a hardwired ethernet connection to a QNAP NAS running Minimserver and Asset.
In case you are not aware,

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/auralic-aries-universal-plug-dplay-renderer-double-direct-stream-digital-over-wi-fi-18798/index53.html


#3

I would go with the Rendu with the I2S output option. This provides DSD 128 support, which appears important to many.

Jesus’ support is superb.


#4
Elk said

Jesus’ support is superb.


Many Baptists agree with that sentiment.

#5

I have even been witnessed publicly writing “Thank you, Jesus” from time to time.

He occasionally appears on this board.


#6

Other than aesthetics, is there any benefit to using a Rendu or Aries as opposed to getting a Macbook Air and running a usb to the DS?


#7
alsteinnj said Other than aesthetics, is there any benefit to using a Rendu or Aries as opposed to getting a Macbook Air and running a usb to the DS?
Some people, including me, prefer not to have a computer in the music room. Using a laptop, even a lightweight one, may seem clunky compared to an iPad/NAS setup. (I run a Synology with MinimServer, controlled by an iPad.) In addition to the Macbook, you would probably end up purchasing JRiver/Amarra/whatever. And getting the best SQ via USB is not easy, since you need to devote time and effort to minimize the number of unneeded background processes and so forth. The Rendu would probably be more of a plug and play solution.

#8

magister@ (I run a Synology with MinimServer, controlled by an iPad.)

Could you elaborate a bit on how you do this, I could not find their app in the Apple store, is it Android only ?


#9

“And getting the best SQ via USB is not easy, since you need to devote time and effort to minimize the number of unneeded background processes and so forth. The Rendu would probably be more of a plug and play solution.”

I ran an a/b test on a DSD between my Dell laptop running JRiver and the PS Audio bridge fed by minimserver. If there was any difference, it was more subtle than my ears could detect. As a long-time user of the bridge, I was delighted at how responsive the JRiver/Dell setup was. Songs loaded instantly, gapless worked, and JRemote always found the computer without issue. Is the Rendu going to be that responsive?


#10
rogerdn said magister@ (I run a Synology with MinimServer, controlled by an iPad.)

Could you elaborate a bit on how you do this, I could not find their app in the Apple store, is it Android only ?


Download MinimServer and MinimStreamer from www.minimserver.com; they have a package for QNAP, which you will install on the NAS. You also need to install a small program called MinimWatch on a Mac or Win machine to configure MinimServer; once it’s set up you don’t need to run the computer to play music. Choose whatever iPad control point you prefer; I use the eLyric control point (no longer available) but there are other options. There are some threads on the MinimServer forum about the various control points, none of which is perfect. If you have an Android tablet, many people say good things about the BubbleUPnP control point.

#11
alsteinnj said I ran an a/b test on a DSD between my Dell laptop running JRiver and the PS Audio bridge fed by minimserver. If there was any difference, it was more subtle than my ears could detect. As a long-time user of the bridge, I was delighted at how responsive the JRiver/Dell setup was. Songs loaded instantly, gapless worked, and JRemote always found the computer without issue. Is the Rendu going to be that responsive?
Sounds like this setup worked very well for you! The Bridge has never been a speed demon, it's true. I don't own a Rendu; maybe someone who has one can speak to the question of responsiveness.

#12

Auralic Aries.


#13
erikm said Auralic Aries.
I'm curious about why you recommend this. The Aries has wifi, which may be important for some but not if you've already got a wired network. It also offers XLR outputs. If you want anything over 24/192, you are locked into using USB output. But the Rendu offers i2s output, including double DSD support, which would seem to be an excellent match for the PWD/DS. No one can compare the SQ yet, so we'll have to wait for that. (The Aries has not shipped, as far as I can tell.)

#14

Hi. I am a new member and need help

I have a pretty simple set up and wondering how to get it to work with a Direct Stream DAC. Currently I just feed flac files from my computer via my network to a Sonos bridge and amp directly to my amp. I bought a Direct Stream and anticipate it will open up new worlds in sound for me, but I can not figure out how to get it to work.

I have run a coaxial cable from the Sonos amp to the DS, setting the DS to the setting and getting the green light, but no sound.

I have run an ethernet cable from the Sonos to the expansion port of the DS, with no luck either.

I was wondering if there was something proprietary about the Sonos or whether I am just not setting it up properly?

Any help or advice?

Thanks much.


#15

Welcome, kellipah!

I am only familiar with the Sonus Connect:Amp. To my knowledge it does not have a digital coax ouput.

If you would, please post a link to the amp you are using and we will try to help.


#16

kellipah,

I think Elk is correct about the Sonos Connect:Amp. It looks like it has RCA analog inputs (so you can play your DS through it–you did not mention how your DS analog outs are connected), a couple of ethernet jacks and an RCA subwoofer out. Maybe you have a different model? When you refer to the DS expansion port, you mean the Bridge? Normally the Bridge would be connected to your local network via your router or a switch and should be able to see any UPnP compatible servers on that network. (The Sonos amp has two ethernet jacks so it is possible you could use one to connect to your network and the other to your Bridge.) I have no idea if the Sonos system is UPnP compliant (although it is supposed to be able to play from, say, a UPnP server on your computer, that does not mean its own music is UPnP). It may be–I know very little about Sonos. If not, you may need to install server software on your computer. There are many options for that depending on the type of computer you use. As Elk, said, if you can provide some additional information on your set up we will try to help.


#17

Thanks Elk and stevem2.

I have a Sonos Connect, not the Sonos Connect:Amp. here is a link to it:

http://www.sonos.com/shop/products/connect

It has a digital out for coaxial, ethernet, and optical.

The expansion port I referred to was the bridge. I was unaware those slots were only for use with the bridge. ?

Maybe I am doing it more wrong that I realized. Right now, I have tried running cables (ethernet and coaxial) from the Sonos Connect to the DS, and then have the DS connected to my amplifier.

Originally I was using analog outs on the Sonos to my amplifier directly and it worked flawlessly. I need to figure out how to insert the DS into the mix and am open to any ideas.

I have a Macintosh MA-7000 amplifier, and have run cables from the DS to both the CD input and the DVD input, both with RCA cables and XLR cables.

My computer is running Window 7 Professional. I got Sonos a while back as it was suppose to be and is very easy to use for people who are not good with computers and networks and is great for playing music in rooms without a stereo system.


#18
magister said
rogerdn said magister@ (I run a Synology with MinimServer, controlled by an iPad.)

Could you elaborate a bit on how you do this, I could not find their app in the Apple store, is it Android only ?

Download MinimServer and MinimStreamer from www.minimserver.com; they have a package for QNAP, which you will install on the NAS. You also need to install a small program called MinimWatch on a Mac or Win machine to configure MinimServer; once it’s set up you don’t need to run the computer to play music. Choose whatever iPad control point you prefer; I use the eLyric control point (no longer available) but there are other options. There are some threads on the MinimServer forum about the various control points, none of which is perfect. If you have an Android tablet, many people say good things about the BubbleUPnP control point.


I still had eLyric 2.1.1 on my iPad so tried it with my Bridge/Synology, it’s only been a short time but working fine so far. So what additional features would I get if I install Minim Server… thks for your comments, helpful.

#19

kellipah,

Thanks for the additional info. The Connect makes more sense. Again, I don’t know much about Sonos (I did poke around their site recently for a friend and found the amount of technical information available to be meager). I would think the Connect’s digital out (coax or toslink) should work as a source for the DirectStream. I know you have tried this already. This sounds silly but have you checked the volume on the DS? A couple people reported that theirs were set to zero when they got them (these were upgrade kits as I recall but know knows). Do you have a different cable you can try? Can you try a different coax source, such as a CD player or DVD player (in the latter case you need to make sure the digital out is set for stereo PCM as the DS would not understand surround sound)? It would help to isolate the problem. Also, are there any settings you need to make on the Connect to select the coax digital out?

To use the Bridge (which is the only thing that goes in that slot, at least until Bridge 2 gets released), you need to connect the Bridge’s ethernet port to your home network (generally a wired connection is preferred; some people use power line ethernet adaptors where a wired connection is not practical). If your Connect is already connected to your network, you could probably use the second ethernet port on the Connect for that purpose. Then you need to have UPnP compliant server software installed with access to your FLAC files. Again, I have no idea whether Sonus’s software works for this purpose so you might need to install other software. You would also need control point software to control what is playing on the DS (other than from the Connect, where you should just need to select the right input and then use the Sonos control software to tell the Connect what to play). On my Windows machine (Windows 7 Home Premium) i have both JRiver Media Center and foobar2000. For the controller, I use JRemote and monkeymote4foobar, respectively, on my iDevices. Foobar is a little more geeky but it is free. It can also stream gapless to the DS (you would need to install the two components that start with UPnP and then select the DS/PWD from preferences, output). Monkeymote costs a couple bucks. JRMC and JRemote cost significantly more. Other people prefer other software (e.g., minimserver, discussed elsewhere in this thread).

I suggest working on the direct connect to the Connect before advancing to the Bridge and the world of UPnP but you probably want to go there eventually. If you want to play high resolution (anything above 48 kHz), the Sonos won’t handle it.


#20
kellipah said Hi. I am a new member and need help

I have a pretty simple set up and wondering how to get it to work with a Direct Stream DAC. Currently I just feed flac files from my computer via my network to a Sonos bridge and amp directly to my amp. I bought a Direct Stream and anticipate it will open up new worlds in sound for me, but I can not figure out how to get it to work.

I have run a coaxial cable from the Sonos amp to the DS, setting the DS to the setting and getting the green light, but no sound.

I have run an ethernet cable from the Sonos to the expansion port of the DS, with no luck either.

I was wondering if there was something proprietary about the Sonos or whether I am just not setting it up properly?

Any help or advice?

Thanks much.

You have a Sonos Connect them run a coax (or Toslink) from the digital out to the digital input of the DS, hook up you analog interconnects to the analog out of DS, to the analog in on your Mac. Set the Sonos at Fixed output, set the output of the DS at 100%, control the volume from the Mac.

If you have the PS Audio Bridge installed in your DS you can run a Ethernet cable out from the Sonos it acts as a simple ethernet switch. But you will need to have some server software to get things to work.

PS: Six years Sonos owner and installer!