I just purchased (did not yet receive) a PerfectWave DSD (sr.), but I only now realized that it has a bridge 1 Ethernet card as opposed to bridge ii. What are the limitations of bridge 1 when using Roon?
Thanks for any help offered.
The limitation is it does not work as a networked Roon Ready endpoint.
Clear enough, thanks.
Actually I have 1 more question: If a PerfectWave DSD DAC is connected to a roon rock server via USB what are my limitations vs. a brdge ii? I know I won’t have the DAC as a roon-ready endpoint, but is there anything I cannot do via USB that I could do via Ethernet using bridge ii?
You will not be able to take advantage of full MQA decoding. But otherwise USB is probably more capable than the Bridge II which tops out at 192/24 and DSD128.
Bridge II supports DSD64 (not DSD128) and supports MQA. USB input supports up to DSD128 but does not support MQA.
Thanks for the clarification Peter. I had assumed performance similar to my NuWave DSD.
So without Bridge2 to the MQA is inaccessible? There’s a good chance then that I might be returning the Directstream DSD. The price makes it not very competitive if you take away the MQA and Roon endpoint capabilities. The Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, even without the bridge would be way cheaper and have full MQA capability. Or the Brooklyn Bridge would have everything and still be cheaper. The cost of adding Bridge2 to the directstream puts me over what I was wanting to spend in the first place.
No MQA, and not a Roon endpoint without an additional streamer. Both of theses are a function of Bridge II. If you can find a Direct Stream Jnr, that has the Bridge II built in. Otherwise you are looking at the other solutions on the market by Mytek, Lumin, Teac and others. I can thoroughly recommend the the Teac NT-505 as a streaming endpoint for Roon.
Well, I would not worry about not having MQA. I used the Bridge II card in my DirectStream DAC and was not impressed. In fact, I was not impressed with the Bridge II card in any way. I sold it and bought an ultraRendu instead. The ultraRendu using USB to connect to the DirectStream sounded much better and I have yet to miss MQA. In fact, I dumped Tidal too and now use Qobuz.
Finally, the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ may be cheaper than the DirectStream, but it does not sound nearly as good. If you are buying a used DirectStream it shouldn’t cost any more than the Mytek…
Thanks all for the input–I very much appreciate your thoughts.
I will look into the Teac.
Regarding MQA, I am not sold on it, but did want it as an option in case it does pan out as a good solution. But I really will be listening to red book probably 95+ percent of the time, so I probably shouldn’t make it a deal breaker (if I’m being reasonable in any case).
I’m not sure of where to buy used PS Audio DACs, but I don’t see the bridge 2 versions for much under 4k on Ebay. I bought mine for closer to 3k with Bridge 1, but I didn’t realize at the time that Bridge 1 is mostly useless. But even units without any bridge were not priced lower than 3k, which is the price of a brand new Brooklyn Bridge.
But if DS does sound substantially better than Mytek D+ then I would prefer to keep the DS. I am not familiar with the approach using ultraRendu, but I will look into this as well. I assume it works with Roon rock, which is what I’m currently running.
Wow, so the ultraRendu is not cheap–it will cost as much as the bridge2…
But in fact for me it is not an issue to put my little NUC near my amplier, so I could connect USB from the NUC directly to the DS–I assume should work. I’ll get the DS tomorrow so I can find out.
You can use the NUC to feed USB to the DirectStream and that is how I would recommend starting out.
But, the NUC USB is electrically noisy and the idea behind an ultraRendu or similar device is to use Ethernet from the Roon Core (NUC in your case) to a a Roon Endpoint that is much quieter electrically to improve the sound quality.
That makes sense. But I had read some comments where people felt the USB was better than Ethernet direct to DS via Bridge2. In any case the additional bridge2 or ultraRendu really makes the total price tag pretty high.
After a little research I am intrigued by the aforementioned TEAC NT-505. It seems to get really solid reviews, and functionally includes everything I want from the get go–Ethernet connectivity as a Roon endpoint, full MQA support and apparently sounds very good (at close to 1/2 the price).
But how good compared to DS I don’t know. That would be the question. Haven’t heard any direct comparisons. I don’t like ordering stuff and then returning it, but with this kind of investment, and this kind of subjectivity involved, it might be worth doing an at-home, side-by-side comparison.
@Henry_McLeod do you have any experience with PS Audio directstream dsd for comparison?
Unfortunately not. Only a NuWave DSD via USB using a MicroRendu as a streamer and it wasn’t as good in my opinion. I heard a PerfectWave briefly at a get together paired with their transport and it sounded good enough in that context. But I have never made a direct comparison as a streamer.
So now I am playing to the PS Audio DirectStream via Roon Rock-USB.
I believe the correct way to setup the DSD is as renderer only (please correct me if I’m wrong). When I set it up this way I show the original MQA file as 192kHz, but the file as received after the first unfold (by Roon) is only 96kHz. Still it shows as lossless.
When I play a hi-res MQA track from Tidal (via Roon), with the DSD set as both decoder and renderer I show the transfer as “lossless” even though it is not confirmed as “MQA”. And in fact the DSD shows the same 96kHz as before.
So am I correct to conclude that the first unfold can be done either by Roon or the DSD DAC, but no 2nd unfold will ever take place unless I have a Bridge II?
For the USB input of your DAC, you should set MQA Capabilities to “No MQA Support”.
First unfold can be done by Roon or Tidal desktop app or Audirvana or another MQA streamer such as a Lumin product with digital output. AFAIK It cannot be done by the USB input of your DAC. I don’t know why you see 96kHz on your DAC if Roon is not doing MQA Core decoding. That’s not expected.
Full MQA decoding (first unfold MQA Core decoding and MQA rendering) requires Bridge II for your DAC.
OK, when I set the DirectStream as “No MQA Capabilities” I get the same result as explained above–the track comes partially unfolded and roon plays it at a higher than red-book resolution, but not at the full MQA resolution if that resolution is higher than 96kHz. I guess I should learn about what exactly is happening with the “unfolds” and such.