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Article: Sonore microRendu Review, Part 1

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Skikirkwood, no that is YOUR bottom line. Have fun comparing those and let us know. I, myself, have already been through enough poor USB implementations to completely understand the specific focus of the uRendu project. But since you do not have that experience, and assume bits are bits, then I understand your need for comparisons. And it's nice to hear your plans to commit to your ideas. Please let us know what you find.

 

With a few days of the uRendu inhouse it certainly has a sound quality that utterly redefines what a $600 appliance should be able to do, let alone it's multiple modes/feature-sets. And I would bet that it most improves systems that, unbeknownst to the user, have poor USB signal integrity, be it an average USB ansynch DAC or a previous pedestrian design from the source. USB was never considered to be the best choice for a DAC interface, but has become ubiquitous. It's nice that companies like Sonore and Uptone have decided to tackle that aspect of computer audio gremlin DNA.

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Skikirkwood, no that is YOUR bottom line. Have fun comparing those and let us know. I, myself, have already been through enough poor USB implementations to completely understand the specific focus of the uRendu project. But since you do not have that experience, and assume bits are bits, then I understand your need for comparisons. And it's nice to hear your plans to commit to your ideas. Please let us know what you find.

 

With a few days of the uRendu inhouse it certainly has a sound quality that utterly redefines what a $600 appliance should be able to do, let alone it's multiple modes/feature-sets. And I would bet that it most improves systems that, unbeknownst to the user, have poor USB signal integrity, be it an average USB ansynch DAC or a previous pedestrian design from the source. USB was never considered to be the best choice for a DAC interface, but has become ubiquitous. It's nice that companies like Sonore and Uptone have decided to tackle that aspect of computer audio gremlin DNA.

 

Flame on Ted!

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Hi John, well the bottom line is how do all of these systems sound in comparison to one another. So with the Bryston unit about to ship, I'd be interested in any group of people who could compare the sound of the microRendu, the BD-Pi, and an off the shelf Raspberry Pi 3 with a $10 power supply.

 

My bias is that with any good asynchronous USB DAC they would all sound exactly the same, but I'd welcome any data points that showed otherwise.

My only "data point" is my ears - the ONLY one that counts here.

This is something you'll prob have to do for yourself. If a product doesn't do what you need it to do then it's not for you.

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I think the biggest problem for DIY folks (which I have respect for, being an electronics Engineer myself) is that they tend to be unable to comprehend everyman's needs, but always transfer their own perspective to others. I am not sure if it is some kind of a salvation attempt or that it is a need for greater recognition....(?)

Hopefully it is only a mutual interest thing.

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Flame on Ted!

 

Huh? I simply wanted to say that it seems unfair to come on here and disparage a product you have no experience with, then conclude that the bottom line is to ask a group of people to invest their time and money to compare products and let you know, so you can prove your own point. Get some skin in the game! You clearly wouldn't believe their feedback anyway. You haven't believed ours. Which is your right.

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My only "data point" is my ears - the ONLY one that counts here.

This is something you'll prob have to do for yourself. If a product doesn't do what you need it to do then it's not for you.

 

Totally agree with you there Doak. But since I don't have my hands on a Sonore microRendu or Bryston BD-Pi, and don't see that happening anytime soon, I need a proxy to do the listening for me.

 

What's interesting about my IQAudio DAC is that it sounded fantastic out of the box. Best $45 I ever spent. :) But I recently discovered the TI PCM-5122 DAC chip it uses has 4 different digital interpolation filters, and you could set choose any of them through the alsamixer Linux app. So quite to my surprise, I discovered that I preferred the "Ringing-less low latency FIR" filter over the default "FIR interpolation with de-emphasis". It wasn't a blind test, and perhaps it was expectation bias, but to my ears, the Ringing-less FIR filter sounds better, so yes, it's all about what sounds best to your ears. But if you can't test alternatives, you need a trusted source to do it for you.

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Hi skikirkwood - Good post / questions. I think your comments are indicative of both sides of the wonderful hobby of ours. Some people have the skills, knowledge, time, desire to build a Pi based player. These people are also satisfied with forum only support for their self-built product. That's totally cool. The other side of the coin is most people who want to purchase a well built, well designed product from a reputable company who will call them up or remote connect if there is a problem, and these people believe in doing everything possible to squeeze every ounce of sound quality out of their systems.

 

Actually this brings up another question: Is the microRendu product more for (a) a hassle free playback device with multiple platforms support OR (b) An audiophile tuned device for best sound?

 

I understand of course that it is both, but in my case, I have a Mac Mini with an SSD boot drive and a few Squeezebox Touches, I do not find significant differences between the mini or the Touch, and both sound good playing through the Devialet D400. I tried Regen and I cannot say I heard significant differences.

 

To me the Squeezebox Touch is just about the most versatile network player ever built, and with ROON support now it makes seem like the longest standing player platform there is.

 

Being the itchy audiofool, I thought about getting the uRendu for better sound. I guess my question is would it represent a significant step up in sound compared to my current 2 platforms? Would it bring me up near the level of the "supposedly" much better sounding Aurender or the Weiss MAN301?

 

Or is it mostly just a handy box for people who cannot be bothered with messing with a computer or an "obsolete" box like the Squeezebox?


Macbook Pro/MacMini/dCS Debussy/Cambridge 650BD[br]Vitus Audio SS-010/Living Voice OBX-R2 Speakers/Ultrasone Edition 8 phones[br]Airport Express/Meridian AD88[br]

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But if you can't test alternatives, you need a trusted source to do it for you.

 

There are many on this forum, but you don't want to take their word for it.

 

The thing with DIY is not everybody has those skills, I certainly cannot handle a soldering iron and also its not always cheap and/or better as its made out to be.

 

Case in point, I tried to DIY a NAS. Add up all the h/w and it comes to what Synology costs (and quite often more). And the s/w is nowhere near what DiskStation Manager (DSM) offers. In the end I went with Synology because none of the others (FreeNAS, OpenMediaVault, FlexRAID, UnRAID, NAS4Free, etc.) really measure up, at least to a Linux noob like me. Synology OS takes like 5-15 mins to be and running.

 

Coming to audiophile DIY, I know folks who are into DIY. One guy I know makes TLs and rather well infact. They blow the socks off some commercial speakers, but end of the day he does not make them real cheap. For that price there are excellent budget offerings from many companies like Mission, KEF, Monitor Audio, etc. that compare and then there is the question of support and service. Do you think the DIY guy is going to be able to give unlimited support like the big guys? If Logitech could not, how will a DIYer?

 

DACs, Schiit again. Not many will have DACs that perform better than Schiit and also cost a fraction of what they cost at the same time.

 

The list can go on... but DIY is not all its made out to be unless you have some mad carpentry and electronics/electrical skills.

 

Most of us folks just want to listen to music and enjoy it, at the best budget we can afford.

 

PS: I'm a huge fan of the Pi, in fact use it and even recommend it. My DIY for the Pi is limited to the OS, nothing h/w. Just so you know I'm not biased against the little guy. It's unbeatable for $35 and for how excellent it sounds as a streamer, believe me I've tested it against $2500 PCs and $1000 to $2000 AVRs and in the streaming department (and you could also say as a media server) it was unbeatable. The open source Linux distros in fact offer more features than commercial AVRs, streamers, etc. And I've seen enough Pi's hooked up to excellent DACs like 2Qute and USB Regens and hold their own against just about everyone. That said its not for everybody. I cannot imagine my dad ever writing the OS on an SD card or even physically assembling the Pi in a case and putting together the cables. A Sonos makes more sense for him.


Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Totally agree with you there Doak. But since I don't have my hands on a Sonore microRendu or Bryston BD-Pi, and don't see that happening anytime soon, I need a proxy to do the listening for me.

<SNIP>

But if you can't test alternatives, you need a trusted source to do it for you.

 

skikirkwood,

 

That is what I believe Chris is doing in his review, along with the many other people who have reported on the SQ of the uRendu. Spend a little time looking at some of these poster's previous posts about their setups. Read Barrows posts about his DIY'd battery powered music server coupled to his DIY'd Twisted Pear Buffalo-based DAC (using a best-in-breed Sonore Async USB->I2S card and with all upgraded power supplies) and then fast forward to how the uRendu handily beat his battery-powered server. Read Chris' other reviews and see the caliber of the gear he has pass through his hands and the care he takes in reviewing it... and then re-read his uRendu review part 1. You appear to be making statements without the benefit of available knowledge and saying things at odds with those who have listened to the uRendu.

 

The microRendu looks like a fine device, but I'd question why I'd want to spend $640 when I could buy a single board computer like the Raspberry Pi 3 (which has a quad-core CPU vs. the dual-core in the microRendu) for $35 and achieve exactly the same level of audio quality with any decent USB asynchronous DAC.

 

<SNIP>

 

Again, nothing wrong with commercial offerings such as the microRendu, but for many people I believe you can get a much better solution at a fraction of the price and more flexibility with software updates by choosing a Raspberry Pi or ODroid SBC and any one of the audiophile Linux distros under constant development.

 

Here's a recent blog posting by one of my favorite audio bloggers on the renderer he put together with an ODroid-C2 and Volumio 2:

 

Archimago's Musings: MEASUREMENTS: ODROID-C2 with Volumio 2, and USB digital music streaming.

 

skikirkwood,

 

Again, you are posting without doing your homework. Read up on the tech in the device. You have about as much chance of DIY'ing a USB-output network attached audio appliance that even begins to approach the uRendu out of a Pi, a BBB, an Odroid, or any other commercial embedded system board out there as you have of taking the audio out from one of those boards and with some SW and HW tweaks getting it to match an Ayre or PS Audio or Schitt top-end DAC. You are NOT going to take any general purpose computer board built to a sub-$100 price level (or even a $1000 price level) and do anything even in the same realm as the uRendu. Good engineering, engineering for sound quality, and custom, purpose-built HW are key attributes of the uRendu. I have a few tweaked R-Pi player setups in my stable and yah, I've gotten them to sound pretty darned good. I tweaked a motherboard player with extensive linear supplies for the ATX power and a super-modified sound card / add-on-DAC with another 3 linear supplies just for that output, including using a super-cut-down XP based OpSys/Player that was only 15Mb total. I am familiar with what one can get in the DIY world at an extreme level beyond where virtually no one else would go. And I am quite comfortable saying that IF I needed a USB output player appliance, I'd get the uRendu because I know I cannot do any better, for any price I am willing to spend or any effort I can expend.

 

Please spend some time to educate yourself before throwing out wild, unsubstantiated conjecture here.

 

Greg in Mississippi


2 systems including...

AC: Audio gear on DIY AC filters/PSAud P10/P300; misc gear on separate AC w/DIY AC filters

Analog: Well-Tempered Refs or U-Turn Orbit Plus->DIY or Lounge LCR MkII phono stages

Stand-alone Digital: Sony HAP Z1-ES, Oppo 870, Panasonic S47, SDTrans384/Soekris DAM DAC

Networked Digital: Zotac PI320-W2 LMS Server -> switch + WiFi router as access point -> FMCs -> R-Pi/Allo Kali/Soekris DAM DAC, R-Pi/Allo Kali/HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro, or R-Pi/Allo Kali/Mamboberry

Volume Control: SE Passive shunt, S&B TX102 TVC, K&K Balanced shunt, DIYHiFi AVC

Amps: dual mono'd Hypex NC400, EVS 500M B&0 IcePower, FirstOne

Speakers: Eminent Tech LFT-VIII, LFT-IV, or Gallo Ref 3A

Tuning: Various stands/vibration control, noise filters on digital power and Ethernet cables, audio cables MIT reg or Shotgun, ALL gear modified or DIY'd, MOST supplies linear or LPS-1s (DVD players & amps have SMPSs)

 

Everything Matters!

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Actually this brings up another question: Is the microRendu product more for (a) a hassle free playback device with multiple platforms support OR (b) An audiophile tuned device for best sound?

 

I understand of course that it is both, but in my case, I have a Mac Mini with an SSD boot drive and a few Squeezebox Touches, I do not find significant differences between the mini or the Touch, and both sound good playing through the Devialet D400. I tried Regen and I cannot say I heard significant differences.

 

To me the Squeezebox Touch is just about the most versatile network player ever built, and with ROON support now it makes seem like the longest standing player platform there is.

 

Being the itchy audiofool, I thought about getting the uRendu for better sound. I guess my question is would it represent a significant step up in sound compared to my current 2 platforms? Would it bring me up near the level of the "supposedly" much better sounding Aurender or the Weiss MAN301?

 

Or is it mostly just a handy box for people who cannot be bothered with messing with a computer or an "obsolete" box like the Squeezebox?

 

I have a standard and a modified Touch (Empirical Audio, with mods and battery PS, it is about a $2000 product). The modded Touch sounds better than the standard one.

 

My SMS-100 (off the shelf board, runs software similar to the mR) with an upscale PS sounds better than the modded Touch.

I have reasonable hopes that a bespoke product like the mR will sound even better.

 

For those with the constant DIY refrain that "I can do the same thing for $35 or $100" is simply silly. You can't. You can do something similar that won't sound as good and takes lots more user intervention. If you are happy with that, great.

 

Skikirkwood, don't try to tell those of us that are willing to spend another $500 to get the ultimate device of it's type that we are wasting our money. You aren't on that side of the cost/returns arc, some of the rest of us are. Yes, there are articles telling me Power Supplies make no difference, but IME, they can. I've heard it.

 

And, I know from experience that the support from Sonore is way better than anything on any forum, and takes less time.

 

When my mR gets here in a few days I'll be able to hear if there is any improvement. I will post.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I have a standard and a modified Touch (Empirical Audio, with mods and battery PS, it is about a $2000 product). The modded Touch sounds better than the standard one.

 

My SMS-100 (off the shelf board, runs software similar to the mR) with an upscale PS sounds better than the modded Touch.

I have reasonable hopes that a bespoke product like the mR will sound even better.

 

For those with the constant DIY refrain that "I can do the same thing for $35 or $100" is simply silly. You can't. You can do something similar that won't sound as good and takes lots more user intervention. If you are happy with that, great.

 

Skikirkwood, don't try to tell those of us that are willing to spend another $500 to get the ultimate device of it's type that we are wasting our money. You aren't on that side of the cost/returns arc, some of the rest of us are. Yes, there are articles telling me Power Supplies make no difference, but IME, they can. I've heard it.

 

And, I know from experience that the support from Sonore is way better than anything on any forum, and takes less time.

 

When my mR gets here in a few days I'll be able to hear if there is any improvement. I will post.

 

Thanks.

 

I wonder how it will compare with the more "mainstream" products like the Aurenders? Or even a Weiss MAN301? Are those products overkill compared to the uRendu?


Macbook Pro/MacMini/dCS Debussy/Cambridge 650BD[br]Vitus Audio SS-010/Living Voice OBX-R2 Speakers/Ultrasone Edition 8 phones[br]Airport Express/Meridian AD88[br]

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Thanks.

 

I wonder how it will compare with the more "mainstream" products like the Aurenders? Or even a Weiss MAN301? Are those products overkill compared to the uRendu?

 

I think they fulfill partly different needs. Aurender have local storage, and the Weiss can also rip.

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Thanks.

 

I wonder how it will compare with the more "mainstream" products like the Aurenders? Or even a Weiss MAN301? Are those products overkill compared to the uRendu?

 

In terms of pure sound, Chris' review he prefers it to Aurender - he said it's the best he's heard in his system.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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In terms of pure sound, Chris' review he prefers it to Aurender - he said it's the best he's heard in his system.

 

Actually, Chris said the following: ". . . my audio system has never sounded better than right now."

 

So, per his own wording, the Micro Rendu may not better than the other items he's reviewed, but is at least as good.

 

Joel

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Actually, Chris said the following: ". . . my audio system has never sounded better than right now."

 

So, per his own wording, the Micro Rendu may not better than the other items he's reviewed, but is at least as good.

 

Joel

 

Yes, that is technically what he wrote. I'm willing to bet that his further review will show what he meant is closer to what I understood him to be trying to say.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Yes, that is technically what he wrote. I'm willing to bet that his further review will show what he meant is closer to what I understood him to be trying to say.

 

I'm not taking that bet, Firedog. :)

 

Joel

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Actually, Chris said the following: ". . . my audio system has never sounded better than right now."

 

So, per his own wording, the Micro Rendu may not better than the other items he's reviewed, but is at least as good.

 

Joel

 

That's quite an analytical interpretation in my opinion.

 

I very much read the closing sentences as 'it's the best I've ever heard in my system', but since I've probably not read all of Chris reviews, and am unfamiliar with what other equipment he's used in his system, I'm none the wiser really. My best guess is the W20.


Roon lifetime > Mac Mini > ethernet > microRendu (RAAT) w/ Paul Hynes SR3 > Intona > Curious USB link > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact 8.

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In terms of pure sound, Chris' review he prefers it to Aurender - he said it's the best he's heard in his system.

 

I was wondering about that statement as well. That sounds like an off-the-cuff comment though. Audio memory tends to be short.


Macbook Pro/MacMini/dCS Debussy/Cambridge 650BD[br]Vitus Audio SS-010/Living Voice OBX-R2 Speakers/Ultrasone Edition 8 phones[br]Airport Express/Meridian AD88[br]

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.... That sounds like an off-the-cuff comment though. Audio memory tends to be short.

 

The full concluding sentences of the review (my bold):

 

I've spent hours on end listening to music since I took delivery of the microRendu. I wanted to make sure I wasn't burned by expectation bias, so I compared it to many other sources and methods of audio playback (both blind and sighted). After all this, I can unequivocally say that with the microRendu in place, my audio system has never sounded better than right now.

 

Doesn't seem that off the cuff or involving much audio memory to me..... It reads like it's been quite thoroughly tested, both sighted and blind, against what we can only assume are the best source components Chris has available - which we'd hope would be his favourite sources.


Roon lifetime > Mac Mini > ethernet > microRendu (RAAT) w/ Paul Hynes SR3 > Intona > Curious USB link > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact 8.

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Hi John, well the bottom line is how do all of these systems sound in comparison to one another. So with the Bryston unit about to ship, I'd be interested in any group of people who could compare the sound of the microRendu, the BD-Pi, and an off the shelf Raspberry Pi 3 with a $10 power supply.

 

My bias is that with any good asynchronous USB DAC they would all sound exactly the same, but I'd welcome any data points that showed otherwise.

 

No one who has actually made these kinds of comparisons has had those results, at least no one I have ever heard of. In my experience, i have experienced improved sound quality at every one of the following steps, into a good asynchronous USB DAC:

 

1. Mac laptop via USB using iTunes

2. Mac laptop via USB using Pure Music

3. Custom Server (linux) via USB with SOtM card and dedicated high end power supply

4. New custom server (linux) via USB with SOtM card and internal LiFePO4 battery power, separate regulated/filtered rails

5. µRendu via USB with Sonore Signature Power Supply

 

If you need to understand why, there is plenty of that information available on these forums. Specifically to the µRendu, I would suggest you read all of John Swenson's posts regarding USB audio.


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Cardas Clear AC, Iconoclast XLR, Nordost Frey speaker, cables, Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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My only "data point" is my ears - the ONLY one that counts here.

This is something you'll prob have to do for yourself. If a product doesn't do what you need it to do then it's not for you.

 

Well said, "data point" to me suggests something that is easily measured/quantified in some sort of exacting way that is the same for everyone.

 

I find the mRendu somewhat inexpensive based on the performance level I am experiencing, however that is of course a subjective thing and based on my own wallet, not anyone else's.


no-mqa-sm.jpg

 

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Another twist would be that some people out there actually do not want new COTS gear to arrive at the market competing with the gear they have built themselves?

Let say I have spent hundreds of hours making my own gear and take pride in this, just to discover that no one is interested anymore because of this new kid on the block.

I guess this would not be to my liking and I would consider it a hostile competitor.

 

regards

The DiY spin doctor :)

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Another twist would be that some people out there actually do not want new COTS gear to arrive at the market competing with the gear they have built themselves?

 

This is not uncommon. A couple friends invested both time and dollars in DIY cables and power cords. They were the most resistant to trying the OTS items the rest of us were raving about. They came around eventually.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Oracle speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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There are many on this forum, but you don't want to take their word for it.

 

The thing with DIY is not everybody has those skills, I certainly cannot handle a soldering iron and also its not always cheap and/or better as its made out to be.

 

Case in point, I tried to DIY a NAS. Add up all the h/w and it comes to what Synology costs (and quite often more). And the s/w is nowhere near what DiskStation Manager (DSM) offers. In the end I went with Synology because none of the others (FreeNAS, OpenMediaVault, FlexRAID, UnRAID, NAS4Free, etc.) really measure up, at least to a Linux noob like me. Synology OS takes like 5-15 mins to be and running.

 

Coming to audiophile DIY, I know folks who are into DIY. One guy I know makes TLs and rather well infact. They blow the socks off some commercial speakers, but end of the day he does not make them real cheap. For that price there are excellent budget offerings from many companies like Mission, KEF, Monitor Audio, etc. that compare and then there is the question of support and service. Do you think the DIY guy is going to be able to give unlimited support like the big guys? If Logitech could not, how will a DIYer?

 

DACs, Schiit again. Not many will have DACs that perform better than Schiit and also cost a fraction of what they cost at the same time.

 

The list can go on... but DIY is not all its made out to be unless you have some mad carpentry and electronics/electrical skills.

 

Most of us folks just want to listen to music and enjoy it, at the best budget we can afford.

 

PS: I'm a huge fan of the Pi, in fact use it and even recommend it. My DIY for the Pi is limited to the OS, nothing h/w. Just so you know I'm not biased against the little guy. It's unbeatable for $35 and for how excellent it sounds as a streamer, believe me I've tested it against $2500 PCs and $1000 to $2000 AVRs and in the streaming department (and you could also say as a media server) it was unbeatable. The open source Linux distros in fact offer more features than commercial AVRs, streamers, etc. And I've seen enough Pi's hooked up to excellent DACs like 2Qute and USB Regens and hold their own against just about everyone. That said its not for everybody. I cannot imagine my dad ever writing the OS on an SD card or even physically assembling the Pi in a case and putting together the cables. A Sonos makes more sense for him.

 

Wow, when I composed my original post I didn't realize I would be causing such an uproar - yours is about the only reply I've seen that is well mannered and not trying to personally attack me based upon asking a few questions - thanks!

 

Regarding DIY, I'm really just talking about getting a Pi, a case, an I2S DAC, putting the DAC onto the PI (no soldering needed for a HAT-compliant board), assembling the case (requires screws and tape), and then flashing a microSD card. Yes, I would not ask my wife to do such a thing, but she wouldn't know how to install/configure any commercial renderer as well.

 

But for those who do have the skills to flash a card and assemble a case, my original post really questioned two things. 1) Can you accomplish the same audio quality with a SBC and "audiophile" linux distro such as Volumio? 2) How future-proof is any commercial renderer option that is based around open source software - how can you be sure that in the future as new open source packages are made available they will run on your proprietary commercial hardware?

 

A friend of mine is a member of a San Francisco audiophile club and they have been meeting up on weekends and doing blind listening tests of equipment, DAC's most recently. There seemed to be widespread agreement that the Schiit Yggdrasil blew away DAC's many times its price. Based upon that, if I was to be in the market for a new USB DAC today, I'd probably choose the Schiit. So I'd be interested in hearing if there have been any similar bake-off of renderers, including one reviewed in this thread, along with an off-the-shelf Raspberry Pi, and later this month the Bryston BD-Pi. One without confirmation bias, which is why I'm not giving weight to many/most of the listening results people on this thread have done.

 

Regarding 2), I don't believe anybody has commented on that yet. As a technology early adopter, when new release of piCorePlayer, Volumio or Moode comes out, I want to try them. I have a LMS running on one of my Pi's right now, indexing music from my networked drives, thanks to the latest release of piCorePlayer. It seems that it would be hard for any commercial hardware company to validate and support the range of open source audio platforms that keep appearing, and are evolving so rapidly. And at least for me, it's a lot of fun playing with all of these audio-centric Linux distros.

 

And finally, the one thing I really like about the audio DIY world to date is that their communities are full of friendly and helpful people.

My one post here has elicited a set of replies that are for the most part are arrogant and condescending. Too many highly insecure people for me, so I'll be dropping out here - it's not a community I want to be a part of.

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I saw maybe one post here that was arrogant and condescending, so maybe the insecurity isn't where you located it.

A lot of people don't like to do DIY and prefer having a seller who gives support, as opposed to a forum. A lot of people here have done the comparisons you asked about, but you didn't seem interested in their answers.

Your question about the software - I never understood in the first place.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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