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Old 04-04-2020, 12:39 AM
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Puma Cat Puma Cat is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: East Bay, CA
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Originally Posted by ufguy73 View Post
Budget....maybe sweetspot around 1-3k, if necessary possibly a bit more...

Not sure I really understand what a bridge is?
A network bridge allows you to stream 1) files resident on a hard drive connected to a computer, or 2) from a streaming service, to a DAC.

Functionally, its role is to take files sent from a music server or IP connection via copper Ethernet and convert the signal to a USB output for sending to a DAC. It can also be used in conjunction with an Ethernet switch and/or fiber media convertor to receive digital files via optical fiber from a remote music server, and then output via USB to a USB-capable DAC. The key thing about network bridge is that it is both configurable and controllable via a network interface using a smart phone, computer or tablet.

In many ways, it is functionally analagous to a streamer, e.g. a BluSound or Innuous, etc.

One of the nice things about a network bridge as opposed to streamers that use high-bandwidth CPUs is that network bridges don't spew high-bandwidth noise all around your audio rack to be picked up by components and amplified as more noise.

And yes, I am big fan of the SOtM UltraNeo network bridge. I use it in conjunction with Roon to stream files from the music server that resides 40 feet away in another part of the house to send either ripped files or stream from services like Qobuz, Tidal, etc. So, I configure the SOtM using its own Eunhasu software, and then use Roon to select and deliver content via my network connection to my DAC.

The nice thing about network bridges is they are typically less expensive than Steamers e.g. Squeezebox Touch (discontinued), Aurender, Innuous, etc.

You can get a streamer, e.g. the Allo Volumio Primo for 475 Euro, or the Sonore UltraRendu for about $875.

The SOtM SMS-200 UltraNeo netowork bridge that Marc references is about $1200. Pair it with a Keces P3 power supply for ~$400, and you are good to go.

This will give you performance just shy of the Auralic Aries G2 that sells for about $4K.
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 04-04-2020 at 12:47 AM.
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