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Connect Micro Rendu to network with Airport Express?


TimU
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I couldn't make it work, but maybe you can. My router is not an Apple device, it's one of those Comcast modem/router boxes. I know an AirPort Extreme can be used as a bridge/access point etc if connected to my router by Ethernet. I just couldn't get it to perform that function when connected to the network via wifi. Airport Express can do this - it's the process described in the documentation as "using airport express to share a usb printer."

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There is no inherent SQ difference going WiFi or not. BUT many network boxes come with particularly bad SMPS power supplies which send all kinds of garbage back into the AC mains wiring. In the case of a WiFi bridge, it is usually very close to the rest of the audio equipment so any noise from its PS can cause SQ problems with other audio equipment.

 

So it comes down to not so much WiFi per se but a potentially nasty SMPS right next to your other audio equipment. I have NO IDEA about the quality of the PS in that AE you wish to use, it may be fine, it may not be, others who have experience with that model might jump in.

 

John S.

 

I'm using an Airport Express because the WAF demands that our system be usable by non-computer audiophile geeks (no offense intended). In fact I use the AEx as a source for two feeds: Convenience signal is iTunes on a Mac to AEx > optical cable > Wyred 4 Sound Remedy Reclocker (super happy with this device!) > coax digital > DAC > Chord RCA to BNC > Naim. This works and sounds great--PRAT all over the place with lovely detail.

 

That said, I think the same AEx works GREAT with the microRendu connected to the Ethernet port (at same time as the above optical connection). So it's AEx > Blue Jeans Cable Cat 6a (though BJC says you should use regular Cat 6--I goofed when ordering) > mRendu > Curious Cables Regen Link > DAC > and on.

 

Since the mRendu makes sonic differences so much easier to hear, I've been playing around with Ethernet and USB cables and just recently a battery power supply instead of the iFi for the mRendu (referenced in another thread and semi-approved by the gracious Mr. Swenson).

 

Again, everything working great with Logitech Media Server/Squeezebox mode/controller. (I may try HQPlayer later this summer or fall as people seem to love HQPlayer.)

 

To John Swenson's point, I think my experiments are leading me to believe that the SMPS noise in my system (two iFi iPower SMPSes and the recent generation Airport Express all-in-one puck) may be the culprit robbing me of ultimate background blackness and high frequency treble transparency. When the high freqs kick in, they don't bloom and effortlessly flow as they do with the battery pack powering the microRendu. (Or with better interconnect. But both the battery and interconnect fail to deliver the bass rhythm, which is probably an isolated system issue. Blah.)

 

But is it a deal killer? Of course not--the sound is phenomenal if just short of heaven on Earth. Sure, hyperbole, but the mRendu is a game-changer when set up happily with the right cables and power supply. (And should I mention it makes me want to upgrade my "old" DAC to something worthy of the mRendu's sound?)

 

The short answer is AEx works. Have fun!

Sum>Frankenstein: Schiit Yggdrasil LiM+Shunyata Venom+PS Audio P3 Regenerator, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Pass Labs XA25, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500 on IsoAcoustics Gaias, Uptone Audio LPS-1.2, ISO & EtherREGENs, Shunyata/Silnote/Transparent Audio cables/cords, and a treated room.

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I couldn't make it work, but maybe you can. My router is not an Apple device, it's one of those Comcast modem/router boxes. I know an AirPort Extreme can be used as a bridge/access point etc if connected to my router by Ethernet. I just couldn't get it to perform that function when connected to the network via wifi. Airport Express can do this - it's the process described in the documentation as "using airport express to share a usb printer."

 

There is no good reason why that wouldn't work, I have a friend on Windows using a Netgear router, he has no problem with using the AEx in client mode.

 

Are you using the latest version of Airport Utility to configure it?

 

The only reason why this wouldn't work is the actual hardware version, which is a little confusing because the plug-in type AEx look exactly the same between different generations despite being different.

 

In short, the older 802.11g variant will not work, and not because of the slower wireless speed, but because Apple locked it's Ethernet port down via firmware to function only as a WAN port. So you can't make a wired LAN connection with that particular AEx.

 

The identical looking but slightly revised 802.11n version (still plugs directly into the AC wall receptacle) does not have that same limitation, and you can use it's Ethernet jack as a LAN port.

 

Both versions look like this:

 

08-30-2013_11-50_Apple Airport Express Zoom.jpg

 

But only the slightly newer 802.11n version will work in terms of the Ethernet jack as LAN port in client mode.

 

The very newest version AEx (simultaneous dual‑band 802.11n) which no longer plugs directly into the wall will also work, it has 2 separate Ethernet jacks for WAN and LAN use:

 

airport-express-2012.jpg

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

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There is no good reason why that wouldn't work, I have a friend on Windows using a Netgear router, he has no problem with using the AEx in client mode.

 

Are you using the latest version of Airport Utility to configure it?

 

The only reason why this wouldn't work is the actual hardware version, which is a little confusing because the plug-in type AEx look exactly the same between different generations despite being different.

 

In short, the older 802.11g variant will not work, and not because of the slower wireless speed, but because Apple locked it's Ethernet port down via firmware to function only as a WAN port. So you can't make a wired LAN connection with that particular AEx.

 

The identical looking but slightly revised 802.11n version (still plugs directly into the AC wall receptacle) does not have that same limitation, and you can use it's Ethernet jack as a LAN port.

 

Both versions look like this:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]27345[/ATTACH]

 

But only the slightly newer 802.11n version will work in terms of the Ethernet jack as LAN port in client mode.

 

The very newest version AEx (simultaneous dual‑band 802.11n) which no longer plugs directly into the wall will also work, it has 2 separate Ethernet jacks for WAN and LAN use:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]27346[/ATTACH]

Correction: I see that you were referring to the Airport Extreme and not the Express.

 

My mistake, sorry for any confusion.

 

However I believe you should be able to configure an Extreme in client/bridge mode.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

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So I have mine configured pretty much the same way as feelingears - Aiport Express hooked up to microrendu via Ethernet (while simultaneously hooked up directly to DAC via optical for AirPlay.). The mrendu seems to sound just fine so far, but I haven't done extensive comparisons versus my old computer source. I am using an old, rectangular Airport Express.

 

This is easy to set up with Aiport Express, but I continue to believe that it is impossible with AirPort Extreme. I think Airporrt Extreme can only be a wired - not a wireless -bridge, at least in a network with a non-Apple router. I could be wrong.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a little fuel for the audio fire: I have CenturyLink's fiber at home so I have to use their modem/router, but that feeds (via Ethernet of course--Blue Jeans Cable) an Airport Extreme which transmits my audio via Wi-Fi to an Airport Express in my living room. (See my sig below.)

 

I recently added an EMO EN-70HD network isolator ($200 on Amazon/eBay) to remove noise from the Ethernet network, hoping to get the kind of WOW I get from a Shunyata USB feeding an Uptone Regen on my office system. At first I put the EMO between the AExpress and mRendu. Not so great--some things good but overall more blurred and indistinct with loss of high-frequencies. Disappointed, I put it up for sale and then thought I'd just stick it between my NAS and the Airport Extreme. Didn't expect anything at all, and then went to listen to more music. WOW. WOW. WOW!

 

Not sure why this is the case, but I do recall reading someplace here on CA forums that someone had counter-intuitive results isolating their source rather than their audio "output." It takes too much binge reading on these forums to discover why, but perhaps someday we'll know why.

 

In the meantime, Joe Bob says "Check it out!" YMMV, but if you go Airport Express with microRendu, you might want to try this little EMO gizmo! It is better than, say, a Li battery pack powering the mRendu which I tried for kicks vs. the iFi iPower (the iPower won). All smiles here!

Sum>Frankenstein: Schiit Yggdrasil LiM+Shunyata Venom+PS Audio P3 Regenerator, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Pass Labs XA25, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500 on IsoAcoustics Gaias, Uptone Audio LPS-1.2, ISO & EtherREGENs, Shunyata/Silnote/Transparent Audio cables/cords, and a treated room.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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