I decided to experiment with an USBridge in my office feeding a Chord Mojo which in turn feeds the AUX inputs to my Marantz 3300.
If I turn off the Mojo the USBridge doesn’t see the Mojo about 50% of the time when I power up the Mojo. In order to get it to work I have to power cycle the USBridge while the Mojo is on. I am currently leaving the Mojo and the USBridge on 24x7.
I have also tried the USBridge with my Sony TA-ZH1ES headphone DAC/Amp. Normally this is fed by a microrendu. Interestingly, I can turn the TA-ZH1ES on/off or change inputs on/off of USB and the USBridge sees the TA-ZH1ES every time.
I personally don’t think that the USBridge sounds as good as the microrendu on the TA-ZH1ES, but I can’t tell the difference between the microrendu and the USBridge with the Mojo. This could also be attributed to the “closer” listening via my Sony MDR-Z1R headphones vs the Harbeth’s in my office. I suppose I should try headphones on my office rig.
All this aside, the USBridge is quite good and the price is really reasonable. I just wish it was more stable. I am surprised that there isn’t more competition in this space. It seems to me a Kickstarter in the making.
Maybe instead of another Nucleus, Roon should make some reasonably priced endpoints. I bet they would be far more profitable than the Nucleus.