PS Audio Directstream Bridge II stability with Roon


I am in the hunt for a simpler one box digital front end that can simply hook up to a stable Ethernet Cat 6 Ethernet cable from my gigabit switch and stream high res (DSD, 24 bit, etc) and Qobuz , Tidal, with minimal headaches. My PC is attached to same gige switch. I have read numerous reports and reviews about the sound quality of the direct stream dac. I am interested in its stability as Roon endpoint in particular. Where does it’s networking performance fall in the range of 0 to 10;
0 being a glitchy piece of hardware with poorly written software that has latent software bugs ( aka half baked solution but they needed to ship product and figured we will patch it)
10 being rock solid. It works perfectly provided the Roon server and network up, of course.
budget is approximately about the direct stream with bridge.


thx

dpac996
I would strongly recommend you go over to the PS Audio forum which is on the PS Audio website, https://forum.psaudio.com. There is lots of discussion on the Bridge and Roon. I have the DirectStream DAC and Bridge II, but don’t use Roon so can’t offer any good advice. One thing to keep in mind is the Bridge II is a third party device, Converse Digital being the third party. PS Audio is working on a new Bridge which they will build and program, but that is a long way off.
Why don't you consider the Lumin T2?

Lumin's products are known for being very stable with just about everything, they constantly come up with software revisions if they find a bug.

We use our T2 with the Innous zenith which is our Roon Core and the sound is fantastic and very stable and problem free. 

The T2 is a fantastic sounding dac/streamer. The T2 is based on the new X1 platform but has been brought down to a lower price point. 

The T2 sounds absolutely amazing huge soundstage, great sense of depth, great information retrival. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin dealers
Warning: long rant following

I understand why companies use third party "COTS" sub systems along with custom; during the initial trade studies and the make/buy cost benefit analysis the decision gets made to go 3rd party; Initial integration is solid;
Things can work great this way and life is good. Change is the only constant in life however;
...Then trouble often comes when the core firmware changes to improve performance, fix other bugs, raise general stability in corner cases... breaking the originally stable integration; the results may go unstable in spectacular to irritating ways; sudden changes in volume, static, dropping off the network...etc. Ways that really tick you off when you finally get into that chair and are just trying to relax with your music...suddenly poof, or silence; darn!! off the chair and busy resetting computers, routers, switches, swearing, cursing, praying, prayerful swearing,..etc.
Oh ya, toss in automatic home router firmware "updates" too just to add to the thrilling experience of modern high res digital streaming.

it makes me want to stick with spinning silver discs :)


I have recently discovered this:
my Sonore Ultra Rendu is 100% rock solid with my 10 year old Marantz SA8004 SACD player with USB-B input; It sounds ok;

The same Ultra Rendu is 50-99% stable with my incredible Exogal Comet Plus DSD DAC. Sometimes it’s stable for hours with Roon; Other times the DAC goes into standby on track changes or just randomly; I think the ultraRendu runs some Linux variant with a USB driver that was probably NOT what the XMOS USB chip inside the EXOGAL was tested with;

The Exogal is solid and 100% reliable with Windows 10 Pro; ZERO issues. Even when Roon upconverts to 128 DSD (DoP) and I play with the various conversion filters to learn what difference they make. The kind of stability that makes me smile at both the incredible sound quality AND reliable playback. The kind of stability that makes me happy; You pay a lot of money for these things and you (I do anyway) expect it to JUST WORK; I am not interested in Beta testing anything, except maybe a new craft beer

I have read lots about the stability of Lumin and the Innuos stuff.
I AM not interested in going down in sound quality from my Exogal, so maybe the answer is a Lumin streamer since it seems they have it figured out.
I have a dedicated powerful i7 PC i built myself that runs my Roon Core and can handle ANY Roon processing easily. I have over 4 TB of DSD files and loads of other files on other mounted drives. The marketing with streamers seems to suggest that more potent processors are directly proportional to sound quality and reliability; handing that processing off to a way less capable cpu, like the kind inside the Innuos, seems like the wrong direction to me. I’m sure they are wonderful though as many seem to love them, so perhaps they have "just enough" power to run Roon and generate a nice low noise USB signal for DoP.

I do not like the ESS SABRE32 chips used in the Lumin T2. Call upscale Audio who carries both the PS Audio DAC and the Lumin T2 for an objective opinion. 
I used to have trouble with the bridge 2 (in a pwd, not directsteam), but I updated the firmware last summer and never have any problems any more. Literally can't remember the last time I had an issue and use it daily.
Also, full disclosure, I'm using it with bubbleupnp and tidal, not roon.
I use Roon with my Directstream DAC and Bridge II for both Tidal and Qobuz. Roon also controls the music on my NAS drive. It is used almost everyday all day.

My Roon server is a dedicated Intel NUC i7 computer which I assembled with a Roon operating system, not Windows. My controller is an iPad Pro. Setup of Roon initially was very easy.

The Directstream DAC, Bridge II, and NUC computer have functioned perfectly. They have never required a reboot because of any issues except one time when the AC power went on and off rapidly multiple times and the system did not reboot correctly. Simply turning off and then restarting the Directstream DAC resolved this issue.

The software on my iPad Pro will rarely freeze and require restarting Roon after hours of continuous use. This iPad restart alone fixes the issue. It has happened possibly 3-4 times in the last 6 months.

Other than what I have listed above my Roon functions 100%. Only wished my ISP did as well in supplying me with an internet signal!

I have found no “bugs” in Roon. It is a very good system, would highly recommend it.

@hemoncdoc sounds very promising; I have an iPad (latest) that freezes periodically with Roon as well; When the screen shuts off then I go to re-open to select next track, Roon app is often frozen. closing / re-opening app in iPad fixes every time;

How do you connect your Direct stream to the Roon server --> Router or switch?
Roon Rock seems to make a lot of sense; I think I would like to try that some day; 
Do you have the latest (Snowmass) firmware update?

Thanks to all for good feedback!




I do use Snowmass.  My connections are a bit complicated since I have 2 WiFi networks in my house.

‘All the following are hardwired:
1. cable modem is connected to my first WiFi network router which in turn has 4 wired outputs. The. wired outputs of this WiFi router connect directly to my NAS Drive, my second network router and two 8 position switches.  The first switch is in the cable modem room and connects to my Windows Computer, my dedicated Roon NUC i7 server, Ooma telephone, Smarthings controller, Arlo controller, and an old but very fast Lexmark non wireless laser printer.  The second wired switch connected to my first network is located in my stereo/home theater room and connects to my Bridge II, Directstream memory player, Roku, Oled tv, home theater receiver, blue ray player, and Cambridge audio 851n (second streamer used mostly for internet radio because of the great interface).

My second wireless system is a MESH WiFi router. My first wireless router cannot cover my entire home.  I could never get a bridge to work properly with my first network, but the 3 MESH routers on my second network cover my entire house well.  I have nothing hardwired to this network and it is mostly used by visitors to my home.  

 My iPad/iPhone must be connected via WiFi to my first network for Roon to work.

‘Before drilling holes through the wall to hardwire the Bridge II, I used a WiFi device with good results, but of course YMMV.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TQEX8BO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Roon rock is very simple to assemble and worked perfectly on the first try. I was able to get 20% off the parts at Fry’s. Paid about $450 for all the needed parts including tax for the i7 NUC version.

A dac chip is one part of a digital audio product, you have an analog stage, an input stage, custom filters or filterless designs, power supplies, clocking, damping, case designs and shielding and overall parts selection, which all affect the way a particular dac sounds.

Over the years we have head great sounding dacs using Burr Brown chips, or Wolfson, and AKM as well as Sabre chips.

To pin down a dac based solely on the chip used is just a misguided statement.

The only way to judge the effect of just the dac chip would be to substitute just the dac chip into a design and see how the entire dac sounds after the parts switch.

As per a particular dealer giving you advice to which product sounds better between a PS audio and a Lumin, that is not an absolute statement depending on what system is used and how the system is setup makes a huge difference. There is no such thing as a better dac only which dac sounds better to you with your components and musical preferences.

If you like a dac which images like crazy, with a dense and well defined sound stage and great clarity with a hint of warmth that is a Lumin.

If you want a great app, over the air bug fixes, Apple Airplay, and the ability to play your files PCM to DSD or DSD as PCM, or being able to upconvert 16bit 44khz streams up to high resolution PCM as well.

If you want the ability to use an external dac with the devices acting as an excellent digital transport that is a Lumin.

If you prefer a more rounded and overly lush sound with a less dense sound stage that is the PS.

If you require digital inputs and or a decent volume control that is a PS or other dacs with those features.


Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin dealers



@hemoncdoc 

This the nuc at frys: Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) Core i7 Barebone PC BOXNUC7I7BNHFrys#: 9211989 Model: 950951

So all i need is 256 GB ssd, 32GB ram then the free Roon Rock os...correct?

I wonder about the stability of the usb driver roon rock implements with the Exogal...vs the one i know that works perfectly,  namely win 10.

Same question for Audiotroy: if I go with a Lumin streamer, can i expect reliability on the usb link to dac?

Thanks for your time. 

I used the following:  NUC7i7BNH, 250 gbyte m.2 SS drive, and only 8 gbytes of ram.  I followed the Roon site instructions. They claim you should not need more than 8 gbytes of ram.  250 gbytes was the smallest m.2 drive Fry’s had when I went there.  Updated Intel  bios, installed Roon OS, and then the codexes.  The only thing is that the codexes are double zipped, so you need to unzip twice before transfer to the NUC.  I did not put a hard drive in the NUC since I use the NAS.  Cannot comment on using usb with Roon, since I only used usb to set up the Roon Software. 

Hope me this helps.