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Is there anything else similar to Microrendu and SOtM sMS-200?


Simon Moon
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See the thread "Moving on from SBT". The consensus there was that, while you can do it cheaper with a ARM device or a mini-computer, with the SOtM or mR, you're getting a more optimized device with pre-installed software. I currently use a $200 XYC mini-computer with free Snakeoil-OS and its pre-configured MPD player and it sounds very good to me. But I haven't compared it with the other two.

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I just listened to the soon to be released Chord Poly over the weekend at CES. They had the microRendu in mind when they designed it and while it is made to pair with the Chord Mojo DAC, it will connect to any DAC via USB. It is supposed to sell for about $500 and will be Roon certified upon its release in April. It is also expected to incorporate a hardware MQA decoder. As far as being future proof, it will playback PCM up to 768 kHz and DSD512.

 

Unlike the mR or sMS-200, it will be battery operated making it suitable for portable use and up to 9 hours of playback on a charge. Another advantage is that you won't have to worry about buying an expensive PSU should you decide to use it in your home system. It also has wifi and bluetooth built-in and will stream Tidal, Spotify, etc. I got a chance to test it and it works really well. Perhaps the neatest feature for me is that it incorporates a microSD slot and since microSDs can get as large as 512GB, you'll be able to travel with a pretty good collection of your music with no need for a separate music server.

 

Of course, what we care about is how it sounds. I wasn't able to directly compare it to my mR or sMS-200 (I own both) but based on initial impressions, I came away extremely impressed by the SQ I heard. This is definitely a contender to the mR and sMS-200.

 

Poly - Chord Electronics

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Also something similar to the Poly will be built for the new Hugo 2 (according to John Franks) soon to be released. Will be interesting to see what could be different from the Poly?? Seeing as Hugo 2 will be more geared to semi mobility/desktop with a much improved Bluetooth capability already.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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See the thread "Moving on from SBT". The consensus there was that, while you can do it cheaper with a ARM device or a mini-computer, with the SOtM or mR, you're getting a more optimized device with pre-installed software. I currently use a $200 XYC mini-computer with free Snakeoil-OS and its pre-configured MPD player and it sounds very good to me. But I haven't compared it with the other two.

 

I have an i3 based mini pc running AO and Fidelizer acting as an NAA. I just compared this to the Microrendu and unfortunately for my wallet, the microrendu is a lot better! Needless to say I am saving my pennies to buy it.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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..... soon to be released Chord Poly ....It is also expected to incorporate a hardware MQA decoder....

 

I could be wrong, but there is no mention of MQA in Chord Poly announcement and specs.

In any case, according to the info you have, would this be "MQA unfolding" (à-la TIDAL Destop App) or "MQA decoding" (as in any MQA-certified dac), but without the Poly being a dac since it is a player/streamer

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I could be wrong, but there is no mention of MQA in Chord Poly announcement and specs.

In any case, according to the info you have, would this be "MQA unfolding" (à-la TIDAL Destop App) or "MQA decoding" (as in any MQA-certified dac), but without the Poly being a dac since it is a player/streamer

You're right, there's no mention of it although the final feature set has not been formally established and is subject to change. While at CES, John Franks told me they are testing and hoping to implement a "hardware" MQA decoder into the Poly and so this will be more than "unfolding" but true "decoding." If implemented, I suspect this decoding will only apply to Chord DACs, from Mojo to DAVE.

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You're right, there's no mention of it although the final feature set has not been formally established and is subject to change. While at CES, John Franks told me they are testing and hoping to implement a "hardware" MQA decoder into the Poly and so this will be more than "unfolding" but true "decoding." If implemented, I suspect this decoding will only apply to Chord DACs, from Mojo to DAVE.

Thanks for the additional clarification.

I will have to wait and see then...I cannot deny than the idea of a MQA enabled MoJo is intriguing for me.

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I just listened to the soon to be released Chord Poly over the weekend at CES. They had the microRendu in mind when they designed it and while it is made to pair with the Chord Mojo DAC, it will connect to any DAC via USB. It is supposed to sell for about $500 and will be Roon certified upon its release in April. It is also expected to incorporate a hardware MQA decoder. As far as being future proof, it will playback PCM up to 768 kHz and DSD512.Unlike the mR or sMS-200, it will be battery operated making it suitable for portable use and up to 9 hours of playback on a charge. Another advantage is that you won't have to worry about buying an expensive PSU should you decide to use it in your home system. It also has wifi and bluetooth built-in and will stream Tidal, Spotify, etc. I got a chance to test it and it works really well. Perhaps the neatest feature for me is that it incorporates a microSD slot and since microSDs can get as large as 512GB, you'll be able to travel with a pretty good collection of your music with no need for a separate music server. Of course, what we care about is how it sounds. I wasn't able to directly compare it to my mR or sMS-200 (I own both) but based on initial impressions, I came away extremely impressed by the SQ I heard. This is definitely a contender to the mR and sMS-200.

 

Poly - Chord Electronics

 

 

Thanks, I like getting a solution that matches the streamer with the DAC like Bryston does

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I have an i3 based mini pc running AO and Fidelizer acting as an NAA. I just compared this to the Microrendu and unfortunately for my wallet, the microrendu is a lot better! Needless to say I am saving my pennies to buy it.

 

Yes, I've found that a minimal OS/minimal miachine beats all the tweaking and modifying to a bloated OS.

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Suzanne

 

I am just weeks away from purchasing one of these devices, but before I do, I thought I'd check to see if there is some other option I am missing.

 

How much is it? And is it really any different from a decent mini-PC? I don't know the answer, I'm just asking. Everyone's coming out with these high-priced streamers, and I wonder how much optimization they've done compared to a stock ARM device or mini-PC.

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I have used a Simaudio MiND 180 for a couple of years now and have nothing but positive things to say. Sounds and operates great and the control app for iOS is very nice. Guess a problem for many people would be that it can't handle DSD though (outputs to Spdif or AES only). Things move fast in this business!

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I just listened to the soon to be released Chord Poly over the weekend at CES. They had the microRendu in mind when they designed it and while it is made to pair with the Chord Mojo DAC, it will connect to any DAC via USB. It is supposed to sell for about $500 and will be Roon certified upon its release in April. It is also expected to incorporate a hardware MQA decoder. As far as being future proof, it will playback PCM up to 768 kHz and DSD512.

 

Unlike the mR or sMS-200, it will be battery operated making it suitable for portable use and up to 9 hours of playback on a charge. Another advantage is that you won't have to worry about buying an expensive PSU should you decide to use it in your home system. It also has wifi and bluetooth built-in and will stream Tidal, Spotify, etc. I got a chance to test it and it works really well. Perhaps the neatest feature for me is that it incorporates a microSD slot and since microSDs can get as large as 512GB, you'll be able to travel with a pretty good collection of your music with no need for a separate music server.

 

Of course, what we care about is how it sounds. I wasn't able to directly compare it to my mR or sMS-200 (I own both) but based on initial impressions, I came away extremely impressed by the SQ I heard. This is definitely a contender to the mR and sMS-200.

 

Poly - Chord Electronics

 

I guess there is a fundamental distinction in that Poly has no ethernet input (only wireless inputs).

Which is not necessarily a bad think, and makes sense on a portable scenario.

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I guess there is a fundamental distinction in that Poly has no ethernet input (only wireless inputs).

Which is not necessarily a bad think, and makes sense on a portable scenario.

You're right. In my home system, wifi has proven to be problematic with frequent dropouts during playback of high-res PCM or any form of DSD. The Poly will be capable of direct playback from a micro SD card and that is probably how I would prefer to use it. Nonetheless, while at CES, I got to test Poly's wifi streaming capabilities (streaming from an iPad) and I noticed very smooth Tidal playback with excellent SQ without a single dropout but of course, this was only with 16/44 files. Could it compete against a fully optimized mR or sMS-200 paired with a really good PSU? This remains to be seen but I suspect the answer will probably be no. This could, however, turn out to be one of the best portable solutions out there and may serve as a nice backup solution in even the very finest home setups. For owners of a Chord Mojo, I would consider this one to be a "must have."

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Suzanne

 

I am just weeks away from purchasing one of these devices, but before I do, I thought I'd check to see if there is some other option I am missing.

 

not wanting to throw cold water on the Consonance but the internal photo's on headfi show a Rpi 2 in a fancy box.

 

Nothing wrong with that but for Euro 500 ? well I'd rather go for the bespoke board offered by SOtM or URendu.

 

Just my take and I may be wrong so let us know how you get on.

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not wanting to throw cold water on the Consonance but the internal photo's on headfi show a Rpi 2 in a fancy box.

 

Nothing wrong with that but for Euro 500 ? well I'd rather go for the bespoke board offered by SOtM or URendu.

 

Just my take and I may be wrong so let us know how you get on.

Well, the most interesting thing is the comment posted on head fi here:

 

x5+intona+lt 3042+silver usb+ audio settings buffer disabled Really good sound

 

I might be wrong, but the way I read it is that if you take a raspberry pi2 for 35$, sorry the x5 for 500$ plus you add 300$ for the intona and another 400$ for the singxer su1 you have a streamer that sound really good.....

 

I believe so, but my first step would be to buy a raspberry pi3, installing Moode and I would go from there with incremental optimisations on power and usb regeneration.....

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''I believe so, but my first step would be to buy a raspberry pi3, installing Moode and I would go from there with incremental optimisations on power and usb regeneration.....''

 

Totally agree

 

unless the nice box appeals:-)

 

Moode's a nice sounding PI solution but the SMS200 is better to my ears and in my set up.

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I have an i3 based mini pc running AO and Fidelizer acting as an NAA. I just compared this to the Microrendu and unfortunately for my wallet, the microrendu is a lot better! Needless to say I am saving my pennies to buy it.

 

You might want to try a stripped-down Linux build on that machine before you give up on it. :-) Snakeoil-OS sounds very good on my miniPC and it has an option to install NAA. Or just try the built-in MPD player. You might be pleasantly surprised. Not saying it's better than the mR but it's free and worth a try while you're saving your pennies. :-)

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Thanks for all the responses!

 

I am already using a Raspberry, but a comparison to my cousin's Micro Rendu, proved pretty obviously that it was inferior.

 

A comparison of a mini computer, optimised for audio, still was not as good as the Rendu.

 

It would have been nice if the Opera Consonance X5 was similar, since I already own an Opera 2.2 CD player, so the looks would have matched.

 

So, I am still leaning toward the Rendu or the SOtM.

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