Update on Bridge II


#1

Several months ago there were some posts referring to beta testing the Bridge II. Will this product be rolled out in the near future?


#2

Absolutely. Probably in another few months.


#3

I think that we are close. Gapless is a done deal and some demons involving switching sample rates smoothly seem to be all that is left.


#4

Most important: What about the current sound of the bridge II :-)? Compared to the Bridge I and some contenders (aries, Sonorus…)

Thanks!


#5
bene said Most important: What about the current sound of the bridge II :-)? Compared to the Bridge I and some contenders (aries, Sonorus...)

Thanks!


Hasn’t been finalized yet because the Bridge II firmware keeps evolving to fix bugs. Once the firmware functionality is set then the DS firmware can be tweaked by Arnie Nudell for optimum sound. The firmware is close, as mentioned above gapless works fine but some have some issues with some distortion for a few seconds when switching sample rates. Hopefully will be fixed soon.

–SSW


#6

A few of us also have issues with songs occasionally being skipped when the resolution changes. In my case it appears to depend on which server software I’m using (JRMC skips but minimserver appears not to). This occurs primarily during torture tests when I deliberately build play lists where the resolution changes almost every track.

I have been reluctant to compare sound quality to my Aries because, as SSW said, the firmware has not been tweaked for B2. Also I had not done any head-to-head comparisons (although I certainly had my suspicions how they would come out). I finally did a brief comparison a couple days ago while beta testing the BHK. In this very limited comparison I preferred B2. The difference was similar to that of going from my Mac Mini/USB to the Aries, which was significant. The sound was simply more detailed and refined. Again, this was a very brief comparison and your results may vary (different USB cables, among other factors, could come into play; I am using a Kimber silver cable which sounds identical to me to my Cardas Clear cable). The Aries also does things that the Bridge 2 will not, such as double rate DSD, being able to play off of an attached hard drive, having a built-n Tidal app, etc. These days I am doing most of my listening over B2, and it’s not just because I’m supposed to be testing it.


#7

Thanks a lot. This is, what I really wanted to read ;-) Maybe some other beta testers will share their initial impressions regarding sound quality. A a bridge I user - as my one and only source - the sound quality of Bridge II is very important to me, together with the gapless issue.

Did anyone tried the BII with a PWD MKII (which I currently own)?

Thanks!


#8

It is being tested with PWD’s as well as DS’s.


#9

Regrading the sound with PWD MK11 on Bridge 2 I have to say it is fantastic, the improvement over Bridge 1 is very significant. I continue to marvel at how great it sounds.

magicknow


#10
magicknow said Regrading the sound with PWD MK11 on Bridge 2 I have to say it is fantastic, the improvement over Bridge 1 is very significant. I continue to marvel at how great it sounds.

magicknow


This is really great to know. Looking forward to release of Bridge II, since I ordered a Bridge with recent DAC purchase, but have arranged to wait on Bridge II.

Interested to know if Directstream Bridge II beta testers feel the same way. Would be nice to know hierarchy of preferences for source (if any at all) between CD / Digital (say USB from PC) / Bridge into DS DAC.

Right now, for Bjork’s latest, Vulcinara, I cannot tell the difference between CD and Digital (24 bit FLAC, from B&W Sound Society)…


#11

GM, while all of us are waiting for the “sound approved” release of B2 FW (so treat this with that in mind), I can say that in my system the B2 outperforms the original in my DS. Like others have said there are still a few things to work out, but sonically (for me) it now rivals or exceeds the I2S input from my PWT. Before the B2 that I2S was the best input to the DS in my system.


#12

Thanks a lot, sounds very promising! I own an MKII with Bridge I and wasn’t happy with the sound for quite a time. Until I realized, that this input is so DAMN sensitive to any changes in network and network architecture. Linear power supplies for NAS and router, audiophile network cables and finally (!) a AC-12 power cord for the router (!) into my P-10 changed a lot.

The BII looks like the way to go to audiophile heaven (until the BIII comes :-) )!


#13
tony22 said ... sonically (for me) it now rivals or exceeds the I2S input from my PWT. Before the B2 that I2S was the best input to the DS in my system.
Thanks Tony22; would you say i2s is clearly superior than Optical and Digital Coax. I'm a little confused, because Toslink S/PDIF (admittedly, via computer) has always been terrible, up until now. Now, switching between i2s (Audioquest HDMI-3), Digital Coax S/PDIF (Kubala Sosna Expression) and Optical (Belkin cheapie S/PDIF) all sound within a hair's breath of one another.

Would you guess my i2s cable is rubbish ?

Worth noting the Digital Coax is excellent, and not at all cheap to purchase, even discounted.

Also, previously, switching Speaker cables has been the most singly most noticeable change I could make to the system - never found one that sounds remotely like another another one - and only found the Kubala Sosna Expression to do a nice job (Rocket 88 / 8TC / Gibraltar / AP+ ) all quite distinct, with their own distinct disadvantages.

Loving the idea that PWT and 24-bit Flac (both through DS DAC) are indistinguishable to my ear, but disturbed that I cannot pick the difference between S/PDIF and i2s… (from reading the Forum, I know Paul doesn’t like S/PDIF anything, and Elk likes the idea that i2s sounds better).

I’ll have a look around on the forum for some ideas. Any comments welcome…


#14
bene said Until I realized, that this input is so DAMN sensitive to any changes in network and network architecture. Linear power supplies for NAS and router, audiophile network cables and finally (!) a AC-12 power cord for the router (!) into my P-10 changed a lot.

The BII looks like the way to go to audiophile heaven (until the BIII comes :-) )!


The importance of the things you mentioned hasn’t changed with B2 in fact i might even say that the benefits from Linear supplies, Audio Optimized Windows Server , Stillpoints, etc is even greater given the veil that B2 lifts from the sound, this allows for the other benefits to be expressed even more.

It never ends :)


#15

GM, in my system PWT through I2S has always sounded better than coax or Toslink. Having said that, it is also true that on the DS the differences between the inputs is many times less noticeable than it was with the PWD Mk.II. So my comments really have to do with how the B1 compared to PWT/I2S against the B2. I can’t speak to the AQ HDMI as I’ve never used it; maybe one of the other members can comment on that.


#16

I can tell you one thing we are committed to - and hopefully this will happen if the software gods are kind - Roon. Roon is the new Sooloos music management system and we are using it here at the Munich show and I am here to tell you it’s freaking awesome!!! This is the answer boys.

We’ve been waiting for the perfect interface to our music collections? Well Roon is it! Wow. More later, I am in the middle of it all but jhaving a killer time using it.


#17

Can’t wait to hear!kiss


#18
Paul McGowan said I can tell you one thing we are committed to - and hopefully this will happen if the software gods are kind - Roon. Roon is the new Sooloos music management system and we are using it here at the Munich show and I am here to tell you it's freaking awesome!!! This is the answer boys.

We’ve been waiting for the perfect interface to our music collections? Well Roon is it! Wow. More later, I am in the middle of it all but jhaving a killer time using it.

Yes, this could be the solution, however if the Roon server would run on the BII (OEM?) together with the client on the upcoming iDevice app, it needs online connection at all time for full functionality.

I reckon the BridgeII implementation does not require a computer to run in your listening environment, or are you revisiting the Silent Server idea?

Will Roon Labs make an SDK or would you outsource the entire implementation?

The appearance of Tidal on the Lumin app is still a strech, though:

image-15.jpgimage-16.jpg


#19

This looks like the Roon Paul has mentioned. Paul, the one spun out of Meridan ?

https://roonlabs.com

https://community.roonlabs.com


edit : PS AUDIO listed as one of five Hardware Partners. including Linn, DCS, Meridan.

Interesting !


edit2 : and Roon has Tidal integration. That’s enough for me to sign up for a trial, I’ve been enjoying TIDAL + DStream.

PS - anyone got Tidal to work with Chrome + MacBook Pro or OS X Yosemite + DStream DAC ??


#20

Very cool. Looks promising.