DCS Bridge and Dynaudio Focus XD30 - need for pre-amp?

I am thinking of buying a DCS Bridge to feed the Dynaudio speakers. They have a DAC so I don’t need a separate DAC. They are active so I don’t need any power amp. But do I need a pre-amp?

How are you controlling volume

Via remote for Dynaudio

Surely the DCS would simply connect to the Dynaudio Connect box?

If the speakers are active speakers with a digital input, which your description suggests, all amplification will be included and for digital music playing, as HH advises, you just need to plug in the digital source (the DCS).

Apparently the XD 30 have a possibility to adjust the volume control.
@Bassfiend have them. He should help.

I have Focus 30XD’s and have used a dCS Network Bridge through them … works well, S/PDIF straight from the network bridge into the 30XD’s (or into the connect box if you are using that, I go straight into the S/PDIF in on the speakers) and it works like any other source.

I think when using the Connect you’re limited to a maximum of 24bit/96kHz source material whereas direct into the speaker (and with the speakers linked) you’re fine with 24/192…


By the sounds of it, i think the dCS network bridge might be a bit over kill for set up, and might be just as well with a much cheaper option, as i think the results will be pretty much the same

Thanks Bassfiend.
I had the response below from a dCS afficianado which I found helpful. I am using an Auralic Aries Femto at present and am principally interested in whether the Bridge will provide sufficiently better sound quality to make it worth the expense. I know it’s subjective but any guidance will be gratefully received.
I will paste the reply below:-

"I understand from your posting on the Naim Audio forum that you are controlling volume by the Dynaudio’s remote control. That probably deals adequately with the only good reason that I can think of for adding a preamp in this case.

The speakers appear from the technical specs provided by Dynaudio to have only S/Pdif wired digital connectivity and the processing seems to be limited to PCM at a maximum of 24/192 for this input. Any digital input from the dCS Network Bridge will be reprocessed by the Dynaudio’s DAC as the speaker has its crossover etc. controlled by DSP. So whether you buy another DAC or use a preamplifier and connect by an analogue connection you can only ever hear the output of the inbuilt Dyanaudio DAC. IMO you will not get the full benefits of either the NB or another DAC as they will only serve as digital feeds to the Dyanudio’s DAC . If instead you connect using the analogue output from the DAC this will be re-digitised by the speaker’s ADC before being sent to the speaker’s DAC.

The mixture of this DSP speaker and the Network Bridge seems an uncomfortable combination and one that, for me anyway, would not fully exploit the capabilities of the NB or a high quality DAC such as a dCS model because you will only ever hear the output from speaker’s inbuilt DAC which, basically, will be the same as what you hear currently without the Network Bridge.

On the plus side you may possibly gain some advantage from the dCS Mosaic controller if, for example, you do not have a convenient way of accessing certain streaming services or internet radio. If you want to use it in combination with Roon that may also be an advantage as I cannot see that the Dyanaudio digital products are Roon ready. It also provides UPnP access to local files from a NAS ( preferably using MinimServer software). However you may already have other ways of accomplishing these tasks e.g. computer to Dynaudio using the USB connectivity of the Dynaudio Connect box"

That analysis misses one important point: when an ADC and DAC are matched the sound quality can be far better than when not matched, as in digital replay at home of something recorded in a studio, and where every studio may have different ADCs. That is why, for example, vinyl records have been made for decades, and Naim can get away with digitising the analogue inputs of the Nova - with people not noticing at all that it has been through a digitisation process.

Although I do not know the Dynaudio, I am sure that sound quality benefits of any DAC feeding the digital input will still be realised and a better DAC feeding if will sound better than a lesser one.

Sorry that I do not get your point - the DAC in the Dynaudio, according to the aficionado, will determine the fidelity of the reproduction. Therefore, the author submits, the dCS is unlikely to improve the sound quality over and above the Auralic. Do you agree or disagree with that conclusion?

Disagree re the DAC in the Dyn, for the reason I stated. From the quote you posted it would appear that the ‘afficionado’ has made assumptions that I do not believe are correct. I have no view on the DCS vs Auralic.

I owned XD 600’s for 5 years or so. I have never used the connect box with them. I have used a UQ2, 272,NDS digital out with them, each time I improved the source, they sounded better. I see the OP has an ND555 in his main system, I would feed the XD’s from the digital out of the ND, if it is in range. I had a 4 meter digital cable from Nordost (Heimdall 2) to connect mine .

That’s very interesting. The Dynaudio are in a garden room and the Naim is in the main house. I have not measured the distance between them but I suspect it is about 30-40 metres. I had thought about taking the ND555 to the garden room to try it out but the need to fix the securing screws and power it up puts me off a bit. Plus dressing the cables properly. How practicable and expensive would it be to connect from the main house to the garden room by cable? I already have the main house and the garden room connected by a long Ethernet cable. What would I need? I’m thinking of buying a dCS Bridge. They are not cheap!

If you’ve got Ethernet already plumbed in to the Garden room, why not look at something like the ND5XS2 (using the S/PDIF output) instead of the DCS Bridge ? You can the use the same control app as you do with the main ND555 in the house.

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Is that necessary for carrying gently by hand?

I would look at the connect hub then, but I am not sure of their range. You have a great source, it would be a shame not to use it. I think the hub is around $500, you are limited to 96khz, but that may be all you need in a garden setup.

Thanks. I already have a connect hub. One solution which has just occurred to me is to connect the ND555 to the connect hub by Toslink. It’s not too expensive and manageable in terms of thickness etc

Unfortunately the. ND555 doesn’t have a Toslink (Optical) output, but even if it had, 10m is about the maximum for this type of cable and for S/PDIF coax (which it does have), you’re looking at around 10m again with decent cable. I’d stick with a local network source at the garden house.

Thanks - the optical is an input not an output.