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Sound Quality of Sonore Rendu: have you compared it with that from other renders?


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I'm in the middle of evaluating some renderers before making a decision on which to buy. I'm using MinimServer installed on a Synology DS412+ and the Audionet iOS app for control. Unfortunately I cannot get access to a Rendu to make comparisons of sound quality so I would be very interested in views from anyone who has. In particular can you place the Rendu SQ in the context of that from the Krell Connect, Naim ND5 XS and Cyrus Stream X2 that I'm auditioning?

 

In all cases I'm not using the on-board DACs but feeding the SPDIF output to my Bel Canto DAC 3.5 with VBS (see signature).

 

Thanks in advance for any information.

 

David

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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I'm in the middle of evaluating some renderers before making a decision on which to buy. I'm using MinimServer installed on a Synology DS412+ and the Audionet iOS app for control. Unfortunately I cannot get access to a Rendu to make comparisons of sound quality so I would be very interested in views from anyone who has. In particular can you place the Rendu SQ in the context of that from the Krell Connect, Naim ND5 XS and Cyrus Stream X2 that I'm auditioning?

 

In all cases I'm not using the on-board DACs but feeding the SPDIF output to my Bel Canto DAC 3.5 with VBS (see signature).

 

Thanks in advance for any information.

 

David

 

Could you give us some of your thoughts on the renderers that your are auditioning ?

 

Thanks.

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OK will do when I've finished.

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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Thanks from me too!

 

Will you be looking at use with the supplied controller app and/or a third party control point, etc, as well as sound quality? Especially things like gapless playback support, fast forward/back and random in track positioning.

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Not sure if you have already scrubbed it for a particular reasons; but the Moon renderer may suit you as it is designed for use with a DAC. Very similar to the Moon is the Leema Streamer (not sure of availability outside UK).

 

Finally if you aren't in a rush, the new Auralic device may be worth waiting for and the expanded lineup from LUMIN.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Cebolia

In view of the interest I'll probably post on a new thread and describe how I'm doing the comparison.

 

Eloise

Yes, I had the Moon renderer on my long-list; it didn't make the short list (a) because of comments that its SQ wasn't as good as that of the Cyrus and (b) problems owners reported with firmware updates. I'm looking for a fit-and-forget music player (server + renderer).

 

David

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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This illustrates the difficulty of choosing a renderer, given the absence of serious comparisons available.

 

I doubt you will find anyone who has compared the Sonore. I wonder in fact how many units have been sold so far. The manufacturer spends a lot of time on this forum, so he may chime in...

 

 

Looking forward to your feedback (and I regret you did not short list the Moon).

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Some provisional conclusions, with the usual caveat that these are for my ears, my system, and in my room:

 

As noted above I used Minimserver installed on my Synology DS412+ with the Audionet control app for all 3 renderers and compared sound quality with my PS Audio PWT disc transport for 16/44.1 material. I had no network/playback problems with the Naim ND5 XS or the Krell Connect, but the Cyrus Stream X2 lost its ability to play hi-res after 1 day. I restored it with a factory reset but the problem recurred again and I could not find how to fix it. All 3 played all material up to 24/192, gaplessly, except for the Krell which cannot play AIFF.

 

The sound quality of the Cyrus was very similar to that of the PWT (which is the best disc player I've heard).

 

The sound quality from the Naim and Krell was in a different league. Specific changes were individually small but the sum total made music much more enjoyable to listen to. Listening is a far more relaxing experience. Not because the music is softened or has added warmth but because it all sounds so natural; the crushed high notes from singers or orchestral climaxes (which I thought was a limitation arising from CD resolution) are almost completely gone. There is more space, more ambience, more solid bass notes, more detail, & better sound-stage. The music sounds louder so I found myself setting volume at lower levels than from disc, and there is still more detail, ambience etc. I thought the Krell SQ marginally better in terms of tonal depth, ambience, & soundstage depth while the Naim was marginally better in terms of pace (foot-tapping!) albeit at the cost of a slightly flattened stereo image perhaps.

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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Mark! I'm anxiously awaiting... how do these servers, streamers, renderers,, ( or what ever you want to call them) compare...???

Hi Mark, unfortunately my non-hifi life (work and some frozen pipes from the unusual cold here this past week) has intruded and I haven't been able to do a lot of comparisons yet. I will soon. Preliminary listening indicates that the Rendu sounds very good, but I still need to do A/B comparisons of it and the Miniserver, SBT, and some others.

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I bought a Sonore Orbiter, I'm wondering how it compares to the others, there have been no reviews of it at all. I do think it sounds pretty darn good but I'd love to be able to compare it to a few others. FWIW I didn't do the Rendu because I wanted to do USB instead of SPDIF. I also have the PS Audio PWD MKII. I'm also considering the Auralic device when it becomes available since it'll do USB and SPDIF..

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gotcha.. Based on the the very intelligent and scientific explanation of why usb delivery can be a superior format, and the ascyhnc connection, I feel inclined to find a great USB out server as well,, which is why I'm resisting the idea of a Rendu, though I understand it sound great... would be ideal to listen to all.... but hard to do... Lets hope Mr Manners can fill us in soon...

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Well I just pulled the trigger on the Auraliti PK-90. They have a great reputation, and they use the SOtM USB card (which the mini server does not), which is known to be a SOA method for implementing USB output on a computer. The PK-90 uses a light OS as do all the others mentioned,, so seems to be the device for me at this time. Not too expensive...

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I bought a Sonore Orbiter, I'm wondering how it compares to the others, there have been no reviews of it at all. I do think it sounds pretty darn good but I'd love to be able to compare it to a few others. FWIW I didn't do the Rendu because I wanted to do USB instead of SPDIF. I also have the PS Audio PWD MKII. I'm also considering the Auralic device when it becomes available since it'll do USB and SPDIF..

 

I bought a Sonore Orbiter, I'm wondering how it compares to the others, there have been no reviews of it at all. I do think it sounds pretty darn good but I'd love to be able to compare it to a few others. FWIW I didn't do the Rendu because I wanted to do USB instead of SPDIF. I also have the PS Audio PWD MKII. I'm also considering the Auralic device when it becomes available since it'll do USB and SPDIF..

 

Though people tend to rank the USB above the SPDIF input on the PWD Mkii, the I2s one is usually ranked above that. Why didn't you go Rendu and use its Network->HDMI/I2s? It does output the correct HDMI-I2s that the PWD Mkii can take, and that input has been the preferred input on the PWD Mkii in several reviews.

 

Did the price of the Orbiter($900) vs. the Rendu($1400) affect your decision? Ha, I never noticed there was such a price difference between them until now...

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Yup it was a price decision also the only dac that uses i2s is the PWD, if I move away from the PWD then I'd have paid for an output that I couldn't use..

 

Also the Rendu isn't as iOS friendly.. I'll probably look at the Auralic unit in the spring..And the Rendu with i2s output is $1500.00.. $600.00 more than the Orbiter...

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  • 1 month later...

It's been 8 weeks since I started this thread which has not unearthed any user experience with the Sonore Rendu. A month ago I decided to buy a Rendu - very unusual for me to buy without an audition. In the event I found that the risk was justified.

 

I've only about 50 hours on the clock with the Rendu so possibly it's a little early to comment (its BNC digital interconnect - Cardas Lightning 15 is also new), however at the moment:

It is very difficult to carry audio memories from when I auditioned the Krell Connect 4 weeks ago but in conjunction with my listening notes from then, I think that the Krell Connect may just have the edge on sound quality; maybe it is slightly more transparent and gives a larger soundstage (perhaps). I could not identify any differences in tonal quality, 'naturalness' etc. I doubt if I would be able to tell the difference between the two in a blind test though.

 

More important to me was a comparison of sound quality between the Rendu and my PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport. I set this up so that I could switch quickly between the 2 sources playing the same music track. I found it very difficult to tell the difference - maybe the Rendu was marginally better (slightly more transparent, maybe improved sound stage) - but for all practical purposes the sound quality was the same.

 

This strikes me as a very good result, as my network includes a wireless bridge as opposed to the direct connection of the PWT to the DAC (via a transparent reference AES/EBU digital cable). The sound quality of the 75% of my music that is on the NAS now equals that of the remainder on CD, so I'm going to start ripping the latter!

 

The Rendu required no setting up: it just appeared on my network and picked up the music library on the NAS. The only active 'processor' in the system when I play music now is that in the Synology NAS. I had some minor problems trying to play 24/192 ALAC files, as I did with the Krell Connect. This was quickly sorted by having a screen-share session with Jesus R at Sonore. A simple fix (which users of the Krell Connect could adopt) was to enable transcoding in the MinimServer software running on the NAS. This converts the ALAC to WAV which plays without any problem. I did once manage to get the music to hiccup - I was using iPlayer on the TV at the same time as playing 24/192 music! A totally unrealistic situation.

 

I nearly bought a Krell Connect but was put off by the cost (£2500 in the UK) - the Rendu cost £1180 including shipping and duty (VAT).

ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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It's been 8 weeks since I started this thread which has not unearthed any user experience with the Sonore Rendu. A month ago I decided to buy a Rendu - very unusual for me to buy without an audition. In the event I found that the risk was justified.

 

I've only about 50 hours on the clock with the Rendu so possibly it's a little early to comment (its BNC digital interconnect - Cardas Lightning 15 is also new), however at the moment:

It is very difficult to carry audio memories from when I auditioned the Krell Connect 4 weeks ago but in conjunction with my listening notes from then, I think that the Krell Connect may just have the edge on sound quality; maybe it is slightly more transparent and gives a larger soundstage (perhaps). I could not identify any differences in tonal quality, 'naturalness' etc. I doubt if I would be able to tell the difference between the two in a blind test though.

 

More important to me was a comparison of sound quality between the Rendu and my PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport. I set this up so that I could switch quickly between the 2 sources playing the same music track. I found it very difficult to tell the difference - maybe the Rendu was marginally better (slightly more transparent, maybe improved sound stage) - but for all practical purposes the sound quality was the same.

 

This strikes me as a very good result, as my network includes a wireless bridge as opposed to the direct connection of the PWT to the DAC (via a transparent reference AES/EBU digital cable). The sound quality of the 75% of my music that is on the NAS now equals that of the remainder on CD, so I'm going to start ripping the latter!

 

The Rendu required no setting up: it just appeared on my network and picked up the music library on the NAS. The only active 'processor' in the system when I play music now is that in the Synology NAS. I had some minor problems trying to play 24/192 ALAC files, as I did with the Krell Connect. This was quickly sorted by having a screen-share session with Jesus R at Sonore. A simple fix (which users of the Krell Connect could adopt) was to enable transcoding in the MinimServer software running on the NAS. This converts the ALAC to WAV which plays without any problem. I did once manage to get the music to hiccup - I was using iPlayer on the TV at the same time as playing 24/192 music! A totally unrealistic situation.

 

I nearly bought a Krell Connect but was put off by the cost (£2500 in the UK) - the Rendu cost £1180 including shipping and duty (VAT).

 

Interesting news. I'm happy you decided to pick up the Rendu and have a listen for yourself. I appreciate the feedback you shared on it too. If they seem that close, the Krell and the Sonore, then I'd be happy with the 1k that you saved and call it a day, decision wise.

 

I've been keeping track of this thread because I've got a PWD Mkii now and it has the HDMI-I2s input, which the Rendu can output if you get the additional board. Based on your comments I'll have to make another tick in the positive feedback column for the Rendu.

 

For me, I've got my music stored on a NAS and hooked up to my 2 PC Jplay system, so it doesn't really matter if I'm using a network streamer or something like the USB->everything convertor Audiobyte Hydra-X+ that also outputs HDMI-I2s. So that's where my question is, which will be better?

 

Your hunt sounds like it's over, and you don't have a PWD Mkii, but I'd sure love to find someone who could put these 2 in the same system and compare. Unfortunately I very well might end up doing that around October-November, since I doubt I'll run into any reviews.

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  • 3 weeks later...
use a network streamer or something like the USB->everything convertor Audiobyte Hydra-X+ that also outputs HDMI-I2s. Which will be better?

 

Your hunt sounds like it's over, and you don't have a PWD Mkii, but I'd sure love to find someone who could put these 2 in the same system and compare. Unfortunately I very well might end up doing that around October-November, since I doubt I'll run into any reviews.

 

I've recently gotten news over on head-fi that a reviewer who owns a Hydra-X will be meeting up with his friend who has a PWD Mkii, and a new DS Dac inbound. So there will soon be a comparison of the Hydra-X over HDMI-I2s & the PWD Mkii! That is really going to be a great read.

 

Secondly, I have found out about a new PCIe HDMI-I2s card that does basically the same as the Sonore Rendu. It could go directly in a CAPS-like source, as long as you had, again, a device that accepted HDMI-I2s style input. It's by a small Dutch company called Pink Faun, and the product is called I2s Bridge. It sells for 275euro for the stereo version and 350euro for the 8 channel version. I've only read a couple reviews, but so far they're good.

 

IME, going i2s vs spdif had more of an impact than different servers around here.

 

I'm hoping that's the case. Like I've mentioned in a couple places, my system is in pieces so I can't try right now, but I'm aiming to put it back together with HDMI-I2s output. Somehow.

 

On my short list now are:

Sonore - Rendu + HDMI-I2s card

Pink Faun - I2s Bridge

Audiobyte - Hydra-X+

 

And too expensive, but would love to try,

Empirical Audio - Offramp 5 and the forth coming OR-6

 

Hopefully I'll have time within the year, and spare/buffer budget, to pick up all 3 of them and have a shoot out to pick the best one.

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