Network bridge vs vivaldi upsampler

@AMP what is the difference between network bridge and vivaldi upsampler as a roon end point ? e.g. sound quality, functionality, etc.

I’m planning to replace a roon endpoint. My sources are mostly roon and SACD(player not transport). So SPDIF/AES inputs are not my big concerns.


I was intrigued by “Network Bride” - some sort of VR musical assistant…


Oh, bridge not bride. Fixed. Good catch.

The Network Bridge is simply an interface device to allow for streaming connectivity to a non-networked DAC. Beyond accepting the network stream and outputting it over a standard interface (AES, S/PDIF, etc) it doesn’t conduct any additional processing.

The Vivaldi Upsampler is primarily a digital to digital converter that takes an input signal, upsamples it using our proprietary algorythms, and outputs it to a DAC for decoding. The network streaming functionality is the same between the Bridge and the Upsampler, but the Upsampler does so much more in terms of digital processing. In terms of sound quality both are excellent, but the Upsampler excels at providing greater overall resolution and detail retrieval.

If you can afford the Upsampler then it’s well worth the investment.

1 Like

Thanks. Now I know very clear.

One more question.

I understand that you’re working on adding USB audio output function to the Network Bridge.

Do you have any plans to adding USB audio output function to the Vivaldi Upsampler ?

We have no plans to support USB audio output on the Vivaldi Upsampler.

1 Like

OK. Thank you for your great support !


Using this old thread as I have a question on the upsampler.
Switching from the network bridge to the upsampler what would be the best way to use the upsampler ? usb,Ethernet or AES input assuming the source is offering the same quality on all those connections.


I’m assuming that you’e using it with the Vivaldi DAC and in that case you’ll use it more or less the same way as the Bridge. Network input to the Upsampler and dual AES out to the DAC. If you have a Vivaldi Master Clock then you’ll need to connect the WClk1 and WClk2 inputs on the Upsampler to the appropriate outputs on the clock. If you don’t have the master clock then you’ll need to connect the WClk output of the DAC to the WClk1 input on the Upsampler and set the DAC’s sync mode to Universal Master Mode.

yes indeed have both the vivaldi dac and master clock.
I am changing my upstream gear and was wondering how to optimize the upsampler. Shall I prioritize a server with an excellent usb,Ethernet or AES output ?


Since you’re posting here I would assume that you’re using Roon. In that case use the network interface on the Upsampler. It’s the best way, by far, with Roon.

yes indeed,switching soon to roon with convolution filter.
For a usage without Roon , AES (or bnc ) I guess ?

USB, AES, or S/PDIF. Take your pick as from the Upsampler perspective they’re all implemented at the highest level possible. Performance will ultimately be determined by the device connected. Typically I’d recommend USB as it addresses world clocking whereas the others would require a device with the appropriate clock inputs (which are very rare).

I echo what Andrew is saying, and then some.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with the following: I’ve had the Network Bridge for quite some time and have been happy with it feeding my Berkeley Ref. 2 DAC, compared to previous alternatives. Recently my dealer came by with the Vivaldi DAC for me to listen to in my system. It became clear fairly quickly that this was a better DAC in all respects, for what I listen to when judging how well my system is delivering on what I think is important in a reproduction music environment. Soon the DAC went back to the dealer.

However an opportunity came up for me to swap out the Network Bridge for an Upsampler. I purchased it, despite the fact that I wouldn’t be getting the new Vivaldi DAC for many weeks.

Boy what an upgrade this has been. I’m surprised at how much more focused, fleshed out, and dynamic the system sounds – and this without the upcoming Vivaldi. And this with just passing 44k Redbook w/o doing any upsampling. Guess I’ve been starving the Berkeley all this time. Upsampling is nice bonus, as I’ve not found using Roon for this purpose all that I’d hoped for. I suspect the Upsampler will only magnify the differences between the Berkeley and Vivaldi DAC when it arrives. At the moment, the Upsampler a tad cumbersome to use with the Berkeley, since the latter cannot handle anything more than 192k PCM. The NB was able to downsample as needed, so a plus there. When the Vivaldi DAC arrives all the current issues will disappear. Just awaiting an additional digital cable to match my existing one for dual AES connection. Have a nice Transparent clock cable in hand. So, it’s just a matter of time for the DAC swap out to happen.

Hi Steve, You and I chatted about this and related issues a while ago, so when I saw your post I decided to circle back and share my own, recent experience. While I might not have said it quite so bluntly, I ditched Berkeley because I was livid about their misleading practices and unkept upgrade promises. Otherwise, I might have lived happily with a Ref DAC 2 (I think we tend to be satisfied with what we have until we hear better). That said, the Vivaldi is in another league altogether. It has been expensive, having now added the clock and about to buy the upsampler, to replace my Network Bridge, but it is nice to work with a manufacturer that upgrades products in a timely fashion; dCS service and support is the antithesis of Berkeley’s. As for Roon on Vivaldi, I bought a Nucleus+ but I sold it shortly thereafter. Others will disagree but I prefer the SQ of music directly from NAS. Several of my discerning friends came to the same conclusion. I also prefer the SQ of music from the (otherwise lousy) dCS app than from Roon (sorry to say that on the Roon site). Roon provides a wonderful interface, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep it? I do want to try Qobuz, but I think (??) dCS will offer it from their native site. Back to the upsampler, I was at my dealer’s showroom last week to audition the Rockport Lyra loudspeakers. At $180k, I’m not sure they are in my budget, but OMG! While doing so, we compared a track ripped from CD at 16/44, the same rip upsampled to 24/352.8, and a 24/96 download of the track. The upsampled track was vastly superior to the other two; I don’t really understand how that can be possible, but the difference was not subtle. Any way, goodbye Berkeley! I hope all is well. -David

Re: the track you tested. I’m betting that the provider of the download may not have received the original from the studio that recorded it. Maybe they just used the best source they could get and put it in their catalogue. Provenance is getting to be an issue with much music sources these days. So, great Red Book upsampled on the dCS Upsampler is often better than what you might download. Examples abound.

As for Roon I’ve found it to be a trade-off of sonic player versus ease of use and having all the non-sonic benefits that come with it. And managing a NAS as well as keeping it (with the slight noise it produces) wired in the same room as the switch and other networking units connected to the audio system are problematic. Putting it somewhere else on the network introduces more complexity and associated noise than having a WD 8TB dead quiet USB drive attached to the Nucleus that’s wired to the switch.

I know that Berkeley is going to offer a newer reference DAC but right now it’s sketchy on details. And it will still, apparently, require a separate D-D converter or some kind that would offer Roon Ready support. So, it remains to be seen just how that will go.

All I can offer is that upgrading from the dCS NB to the Upsampler fronting the Berkeley Ref. 2 really made a big leap, bigger than switching DAC’s! The Berkeley took advantage of the expanded and cleaner bitstream coming from the Upsampler.

But as you already know, systems are a chain from source to speakers. Every link in the chain is important. I’m looking forward to replacing my current weakest link - a D-Link switch with the coming Uptone Audio EtherREGEN.

Let us all know how you find the NB to Upsampler upgrade.

And I might add EMMLabs to the list of bad offenders. Since I purchased my Rossini+Clock, I have had absolutely stellar service from dCS. And since the beginning of the year I have the Vivaldi filters and mappers on the Rossini and the sound has improved quite remarkably. Just amazing.

1 Like

Thanks Steve,
I will report back. You and two more that I know personally have had the same response to the upsampler. It’s costly but seemingly a no brainer. I HATE using NAS, but to my ear and that of several trusted friends, it just sounds better. I understand your concerns but I urge you to compare the two. I really wish I could go back to my Aurender- super easy, great support. But I just can’t go to a 3/4 Vivaldi stack and dumb down the SQ. Just my opinion.

Agree re: Aurender, at least the N10 which preceded even the use of a Sonore microRendu. I did use a QNAP NAS with Roon on both a MacMini and later the Nucleus. My experience using the dCS app with the NAS with the Berkeley/dCS NB was not as good as Roon. I’ll give that a shot, once I’ve received and installed my coming dCS Vivaldi Clock w. Transparent XL BNC’s, which should occur by month’s end.

I have to disagree with you regarding the SQ when comparing the dCS app versus that of Roon. I ended up with Roon running on a sonicTransporter I5 and the music on the units internal SS drive.

I recently upped the SQ of my system by inserting a GigaFoil v4 and a AQ Diamond ethernet cable just before my Upsampler. It was probably the best bang for the buck upgrade I have made to my set-up over the years.

I have played with many variations of the filters and MAPs on the Upsampler and DAC. I have settled on going with DXD for everything (save for MQA of course) and I couldn’t be happier.