Upstream from DirectStream

So there are a few input choices for DSD… Ethernet, i2s, USB, spdif.

What are people using to get the best sound out of their DSDs, and why would they recommend their approach?

My main - to a large degree, only - use cases are FLAC stored on a NAS, Roon (handled by a Rock/NUC server) and Tidal.

My priorities are SQ and user interface.

It seems like many settle on Minimserver or BubbleUPnP (populare NAS options), or JRiver (popular PC option). I’ve been trying Minim on Synology NAS and like the SQ but feel the user experience leaves a lot to be desired with the MConnect ios apps. Roon seems to be suffering compared to Minim as far as SQ, and I’m on the fence about the interface and Tidal integration experience.

What’s the case for upstream streamers like Auralic, Antipodes, Melco, rendu, etc given I don’t “need” it to feed the BridgeII? Other than parting me from my $$$.

I store everything on a NAS, as flac and DSD.
Logitech Media Server is running on the NAS, the latest versions do scan and stream DSD.
On the receiving end I have a raspberry pi with PicorePlayer on it, which I connected with USB at first and I2S via hdmi now (thanks to a few jumper cables and hdmi I2S output module from AudioGD)
LMS has a feature that has been unbeated to my eyes: random playlist on selected music genres.
Maybe until Octave comes along ;o)

When I first got on the “music server” merry go round, my main priority after SQ and GUI, was no COMPUTER ALLOWED!

I really enjoyed the Bryston BDP-1, files on NAS, connected to the DS via AES/EBU, controlled via MPad on a IPad mini.
But the BDP-1 support life was running out and the latest BDPs were having issues with DSD files with the DS over AES/EBU I believe? ( I do not know if the problem was ever remedied or not ) If you only listen to PCM files, a BDP might be worth looking into, the MPad GUI was the easiest and most intuitive interface I have used, the only downside is that some album art would never load for me.

At that time I decided that the Sonore Signature Series Rendu was the to go for me, I2S or SPSIF outputs only. I was turned off by all of the USB issues that I had run into ( that was then, USB has come a long way in a short time ) I run the SSR I2S output to my DS and am very happy with the sound quality. The SSR had a very short production run and is probably 3 or 4 render generation back in the Sonore product line now.

I run Minimserver on my NAS and Minimwatch on a PC for control of Minimserver only. The only 2 applications that I run on my NAS are Minimserver and Java, that’s all that is needed. The GUI is BubbleUPnP on an Android tablet ( not the FREE version, the licensed version ) not as intuitive as MPad, I had a learning curve to work through, but I adjusted mentally. All album art loads automatically for me without issue. BubbleUPnP also will interface with Tidal and Qobuz on the Android tablet. BubbleUPnP is Android only ( as far as I know ).

The industry professionals that I have spoken with ( and shall remain nameless for their own protection ) have informed me that Minimserver is the way to go for best SQ.

That being said, I have spent some time at an audio salon listening to files served up from a Mac Tablet running ITunes and Bit Perfect through a DCS stack that sounds quite nice.

I can’t tell any difference in sound regardless of input used (I have not tried ethernet bridge)

I use the USB on my main PC to a re clocking/jitter reduction device, a Mutec 1.2 (there is a pre-PS Audio history as to why I have it). From the Mutec, I go to the PS Audio Junior. What the Mutec allows me to do is try a bunch of interfaces. I tried them all (except ethernet bridge) and I can’t tell a difference in sound. I also tried PC USB direct to the Junior. Just can not tell… I did have a negative issue with the optical link, as it won’t pass higher sampling rates. Ted noted this has more to do with the cable.

Read Ted’s respsonse on optical here: New DS owner, share your experience of the dac running in from new?


Bruce in Philly

Great info, thanks for helping a DSD noob out.

Right now I’m mostly using Minimserver with MControl. I was pretty high on Roon for a bit but in a/b’ing with Minim, I find a noticeable difference in SQ. Better or worse I’m not sure I can objectively say, but I prefer Minim.

I would love to get LMS (7.9 beta) working on my Synology NAS, but I’m having trouble getting the UPnP bridge plug-in working. I love Squeezepad for control; so far it’s the best interface I’ve experienced for music library control (but I’ve never used it with Tidal).

This weekend I’ll also be a/b’ing Bridge II against USB again, with high end USB cables and an Intona. On the Ethernet / Bridge II side of things, I do notice an improvement with FMCs (and that’s without a LPS on the Bridge side of the fiber patch).

I am using Minim on a Synology NAS that also runs BubbleUPnP Server (has nothing to do with BubbleUPnp Android App). That allows me to use OpenHome Emulation so I can use the free Lumin App.

Before my purchase of the DSDAC / Bridge II in December I used for four years the original Sonore Rendu with this same configuration.

As far as SQ is concerned, I have been experimenting with Audirvana, JRiver and mConnect in addition to the Minim / BubbleUPnP Server. Audirvana is the very best SQ I have heard but it does not work properly with the Bridge II. You can try it for free if you have a MAC on the same network as your NAS. That will let you hear for yourself. I won’t automatically change tracks or show the timer slider, but you can hear its effects if you don’t mind stepping through the playlist manually.

Then if you really think it is worth it, you can buy a Sonore microRendu or ultraRendu or Signature Rendu SE and it is supposedly set up to work flawlessly with Audirvana.

I thought it a sufficiently worthwhile investment so I have an ultraRendu on order now. Small Green Computer offers a 30day no questions asked return policy. Having owned the original Sonore Rendu I have no qualms about the company’s products.

As soon as I get the uRendu, I report back here. Otherwise, I would stick with the Lumin App / BubbleUPnP Server / Minimserver setup since it is better than JRiver and mConnect.

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Foobar is free…

Bruce in Philly