Content delivery in Macbook Pro Core/dcs Network Bridge/Berkeley Alpha DAC Ref 3 configuration

Given this configuration, in a streaming scenario how does Roon interact with, say, Qobuz and the dCS NB to deliver content to the Berkeley DAC?

I am sure this will work fine. NB is Roon Ready so just connect it to the same ethernet switch as your MBP and it should work excellently.

If you want more technical detail about this, @AMP from dCS may be able to comment.

One important point is that Roon delivers the same way for Qobuz as for content on your own disk. Which means you get exactly the same capabilities.

@AndersVinberg @grossmsj Thank you. Actually, I have this configuration up and running. It works just fine and I understand the overall Roon architecture. My curiosity goes more to the movement of the data from the streaming source to the DAC and just exactly how do the various processing components “touch” that data, whether transforming the data or controlling the movement of the data. Data “touched” is potentially data compromised.

Yes, but sometimes we request touching for the benefits it offers.
From the bridge to the DAC the data is transferred using whatever technology those boxes can agree on, USB or SPDIF in some form. Those techniques transfer the information cleanly, although at the lowest level there is something going on. USB is asynchronous, so the data is collected in packets, and the DAC receives them and takes care of timing. SPDIF sends the data in a more continual stream and the sender (the bridge in this case) is responsible for timing, that’s the old way that was invented in the 80s, it is a bit more fragile. But the data is sent cleanly.

However, if you request that Roon does something to the data, it will indicate that in the Signal Path display (click on the colored star at the bottom). Many reasons why this may happen: the data is in a format the DAC can’t handle, like very high resolution or DSD, or you have requested upsampling, or volume leveling, or room correction. I do room correction for the most important music room, for example, it’s very worthwhile. But such touching of the data is either because it’s necessary for the equipment or because you have requested it, and in either case Roon shows you honestly what it does.

(In principle, it is certainly possible that something is going on between the bridge and the DAC that Roon is not aware of. But except for straightforward formatting like the async USB buffers or the SPDIF or I2S clock signals, I am not aware of any such.)

Thank you.Your reference to “the Signal Path display” inspired me to look at the User Guide. Imagine that! And there I found a treasure trove of the insight that’s hidden behind that little “colored star” at the bottom of the display. Almost the complete answer to my question. Very helpful. Once again, thank you.

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