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.