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dCS Network Bridge and Vivaldi DAC receive MQA and juice my streaming

by Mohammed Samji in Digital

Ever since I reviewed the dCS Network Bridge a year ago,  I’ve been enjoying a lot more digital music. YES, I still prefer dropping the needle but the convenience of a dCS Network Bridge + dCS Vivaldi DAC + ROON is tough to beat. I find myself re-discovering CDs I ripped years ago, but more often on the hunt for more high resolution music.  Its been a bit of a disease, each Friday around 4pm, heading over to to look for what new music was released that week.  [...]


  • Bricasti M1 Review: Balancing Head and Heart

    September 16, 2018 // 8 Comments

    Perks of the trade Looking at the Bricasti M1 reminds me of one of the coolest perks of reviewing high-end audio equipment: I get to hear lots of different types of gear in the comfort and familiarity of my own listening room. I love mixing and matching different pieces, trying to get the best out of each component that I evaluate. Even so, there are very few “aha” moments in this game for me; much of the gear I get to review is very good, indeed, and a lot of it seems to be converging to a [...]
  • Audio Note UK DAC 2.1x Signature Review

    July 7, 2018 // 3 Comments

    Unexpected Pleasures I wanted to share a few notes about the Audio Note UK (website) DAC 2.1x Signature that Mr. Q sent along with the CDT-Two/II transport that I so greatly admired. The US price for the DAC2.1x Signature is $4,900. Like the transport, this DAC sits about mid-way through their “levels” of digital converter products. It includes the expected Audio Note “secret sauce” componentry, including Black Gate caps, Tantalum resistors, a choke-regulated and tube [...]
  • Spinning Silver: Audio Note UK CDT-Two/II CD transports are passé. Boring. Irrelevant. So … yesterday. Now, if only someone would tell that to the 5,000+ shiny silver discs I have all over my house. Yes, sure – I most certainly can rip my entire CD collection. And yes, I can even acquire one of those systems that will let me pop in a just-found thrift-shop treasure and it will automagically rip, label, tag and store it for me (and someday, I do mean to check out Antipodes and Innuous) so [...]
  • Review: Mytek puts the + on the Brooklyn DAC

    March 25, 2018 // 9 Comments

    There is this one kind of reviews I don’t want to take, the ones I am not sure I will enjoy. I prefer analog to digital sources and if I must spent some time listening to zeros and ones, I prefer them comin’ out of a ladder DAC and not some ΔΣ of the shelf chip. But I am open to suggestions, new ideas and I have several friends always asking me for relatively affordable components, and those usually come with an Asahi Kasei or ESS chip inside. Mytek, known for being among the [...]
  • There is nothing like grabbing a prized LP, dropping the needle in the groove, and having the events of the day get whisked away. Nothing else matters at that exact moment, only that you are sensing every emotion and every note… cue relaxation. But now more than ever, times are a-changing. Digital music reproduction, the growing availability of high-resolution content, combined with better software is making this something audiophiles need to pay more attention to.  The debate of Analog vs. [...]
  • KEF LS50 Wireless loudspeakers, Shinola Runwell turntable, Roon Labs, TIDAL and Spotify -- all in one system. [...]
  • Welcome to something new we’re going to try here on PTA thanks to our friend Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio in Richmond Hill, Ontario. I’m going to be curating a new list every month featuring different categories of gear that I think you – our readers – have to hear under any circumstances you can arrange: beg, borrow, steal, drive for hours, hop a train, take a plane… you get what I’m saying. Price will not be a factor, with individual pieces on each list reflecting a [...]
  • by John Richardson I come from a do-it-yourself type family. To the best of my knowledge, this handy trait started out with both of my grandfathers and got handed down from there. One was a country boy who liked to build stuff for his own use just for the fun of it. He used to build wooden boats for both work and pleasure, well, just because. His son, my father, took the do-it-yourself concept to a new height out of some in-grown sense of thrift. As I was growing up, that man could pinch a [...]
  • Review: Clones Audio HOST Music Server

    April 30, 2017 // 4 Comments

    by John Grandberg “It’s hard when you’re stuck upon the shelf.” So sang Eddie Vedder on “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, circa 1993. While I’m reasonably confident he wasn’t referring to audio gear, the idea does seem to apply to one poor component in my setup – the little PC I built to handle Roon Server duties. Since I now base nearly all of my listening around Roon, this particular device is a critical link in my chain. [...]
  • Border Patrol SE DAC Review | Zero Frippery

    April 16, 2017 // 19 Comments

    Looking at the Border Patrol SE DAC, you have to smile. It’s cute! Can you even say that about at kick-ass piece of audio gear? Maybe it’s disrespectful. Too bad — because everybody knows that good things come in small packages. To be fair, good things come in big packages too. The common denominator is “packages” and I sure like packages. Sometimes, I’ll order something silly (like a pack of pens) from Amazon just so a package will come. Because [...]
  • This is the second part of a three-part series on living with a computer-based audio system from an analog diehard’s perspective, and how it has changed the way my family, and I listen to music compared to a previously vinyl-only household. In my first instalment I touched on what I was aiming to achieve by replacing my analog front end with the totaldac d-1 integral using Roon, and Tidal. Which was, namely, to see if an audiophile-grade DAC/server could sonically match the level of [...]
  • by Eric Franklin Shook Sometimes paranoia is having all the facts. In the hierarchy of arts, writers are classed a smidge below clowns and a little above trained seals. So ready your skepticism as this is my attempt at writing about something I have never been willingly interested in; digital streaming. Ugh. Call me a luddite, or call me ironically old-fashioned for preferring physical formats. I like their staying power. I like their reliability over those times when I’ve had hard drives [...]
  • First of all, I’m not a “high-resolution” expert by any stretch. I’m a simple analog caveman who finds himself in a digital world. But I absolutely love what Roon, and Tidal do together with the totaldac d1-integral I have for long-term review. So when I was at CES in Las Vegas this past weekend, and Tidal announced they were finally streaming true high-resolution data in the form of  “Masters” 24/48 MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) files I couldn’t [...]
  • Review: Roon, Tidal and TotalDac – Part One

    December 18, 2016 // 11 Comments

    Can computer streaming turn an analog house into a digital domain?  What does it take to get a vinyl junkie who only listens to LPs to give up his fix, and go cold turkey with digital? Please read on. I’d been realizing more, and more that digital audio was making exponential strides, and was closing the gap on vinyl playback to my ears. This wasn’t something I’d read somewhere, or overheard two audiophiles discussing in hushed tones. I’d experienced it firsthand. But [...]
  • By Matthew Partrick Since going full-force into Roon 1.2 for the past few months, I’ve had a fantastic experience both in terms of sound quality and the interface. Roon has really knocked it out of the park when it comes to the integration of hi-res NAS files, Tidal, and its ability to deliver lossless sound to networked devices.  Because Roon allows multiple music zones through RoonBridge, I began investigating various commercially available endpoints with the best rate of return on [...]
  • There is not much to be said about Nagra Audio that has not been said already. The company goes back six decades, when Stefan Kudelski, a young talented engineer born in Poland but due to the second world war forced to move in Switzerland, after completing his studies in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1948 finally launched his first portable audio tape recorder. The company remained an industry reference for portable audio recorders for decades, just consider that more than 10.000 [...]
  • Will the real DragonFly® please stand up!

    October 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

    Counterfeit Notice From AudioQuest: It has recently come to light that a counterfeit version of the guts of DragonFly v1.2 is inside multiple brands of Made In China small USB DACs. It is important to note the authentic versions of all DragonFlys, as with all of the new AudioQuest “Digital Critters,” are manufactured in Ohio, USA. In this unfortunate situation, the DACs have been revealed (by Reddit, for example), to mimic almost precisely the inside of a real AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2, [...]
  • Review: LampizatOr Atlantic DAC

    September 3, 2016 // 17 Comments

    Fans of Part-Time Audiophile will recall my (on going) love affair with the Polish DAC wonder called LampizatOr. Just to recall some of my highlights — once upon a time, I met up with the PCM-only Gen 3/Level 4 Lampi, and swooned. I ended up ordering a Gen 4/Level 4. I later tested out the DSD-only Lampi DAC, and was blown away. There have been many other versions of the LampizatOr that have come out since then, including the top-of-the-line Golden Gate DAC, pretty much the mega-pizza [...]
  • Devialet screams out 1,000-watt Expert 1000

    July 1, 2016 // 3 Comments

    Oh, Devialet. When will you ever stop being so smart, and cheeky? Hopefully never. The French digital amplification centrale company launched their latest iteration of the bleeding edge of audiophile technology, the Expert 1000, on July 1st. My favorite line from their press release is this: Thanks to its unique architecture, Expert 1000 Pro is capable of integrating hardware and software innovations that will be introduced by Devialet engineers in the future. Among other major improvements, [...]
  • Ifi iPower for the Raspberry streamer

    April 13, 2016 // 3 Comments

    If there is one major question that I get all the time is how to improve the Raspberry Pi streamer performance. The most obvious choice is to upgrade the power supply. What the suggests is to go with a 2.0 Ampere 5V switching mode power supply (SMPS from now on) for the Raspberry Pi 2 or a slightly stronger 2.5A for the Pi3 recently launched. Most users, including me, usually start with a cell phone USB power supply which is enough to power up a Raspberry based streamer. Goes [...]