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Article: Introducing The Sonore Signature Rendu SE


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53 minutes ago, agentsmith said:

I like the dCS approach of just offering the best, and provide gradual updates and improvements via firmware.  That was my experience with the Debussy DAC, which after so many years, is still current is being improved with new features via firmware.  Their products give me assurance that their designs are well thought out and done right the first time.

 

Comparatively, the captioned product went from best, to best'er to even best'er in a matter of months.  It does not give me assurance that they will offer something that will be "day and night" better 2 months from now.

 

While you may be choose to afford "the best" hardware option, not all customers can or want to spend the most.  Sonore currently offers Rendu streaming hardware options at 3 price points, and we feel each price point of hardware performs superbly, this gives customers more choices.  In addition to our hardware options, Sonore also offers software updates which improve performance and features, such as the latest version of SO, 2.5, which both improved performance and features on all of our hardware platforms.

We feel giving customers more options is a good thing.

Certainly you are not under the opinion that your Debussy DAC is the equal of newer dCS hardware options?

 

It is strange to me when audiophiles might choose to criticize any manufacturer for introducing new, improved products over time, is this not the way of things?  Advances in hardware are natural, as new technologies, approaches, and parts become developed and available.  Especially in digital audio and nascent streaming technology, this is inevitable.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 512-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical with Well Tempered Clock--DIY DSC-2 DAC with SC Pure Clock--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

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Dev, I am of the "simple is better" approach in most things.  Of course, simple is not always better, but at least I start there.  Typically, in networking, fiber is only called for in very long runs.  While it offers the benefit of galvanic isolation, Ethernet is already galvanically isolated by transformers at each end (as long as one is not using metal shell connectors with grounded shields on their Ethernet cabling which can introduce a non-isolated ground connection).  Additionally, the process of going from an electrical signal to an optical signal and back is not lossless, doing this will increase the amount of errors and the the number of re-sends of data (re-sends of course increase processing and therefore noise generation), so there are trade-offs.

Because of these technical reasons I find it surprising when audiophiles find using fiber for relatively short runs results in performance increase, but I would never dispute your own findings.  For the technical reasons above we would do not use optical in our products, but of course you are free to experiment with it and use whatever you find to work best in your system.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 512-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical with Well Tempered Clock--DIY DSC-2 DAC with SC Pure Clock--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

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I'll be keeping a close eye on this product. Bravo...for deciding to implement a proper PS within the same box. I cant tell you how tired I am of seeing/needing/hearing about all these external LPS boxes being hung off the back of "insert component here" in order to get the most out of the gear its powering.

 

Bob buys a Fiber Media Converter to isolate his system from the grunge on the ETH line. Bob decides he now needs to power the FMC with an LPS. Bob then buys a few more LPS's to power his music server his NAS his NAA and his USB Decrapifier too! Then and only then can Bob sit back and enjoys the show.

 

Blaaah

 

 

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10 hours ago, barrows said:

Dev, I am of the "simple is better" approach in most things.  Of course, simple is not always better, but at least I start there.  Typically, in networking, fiber is only called for in very long runs.  While it offers the benefit of galvanic isolation, Ethernet is already galvanically isolated by transformers at each end (as long as one is not using metal shell connectors with grounded shields on their Ethernet cabling which can introduce a non-isolated ground connection).  Additionally, the process of going from an electrical signal to an optical signal and back is not lossless, doing this will increase the amount of errors and the the number of re-sends of data (re-sends of course increase processing and therefore noise generation), so there are trade-offs.

Because of these technical reasons I find it surprising when audiophiles find using fiber for relatively short runs results in performance increase, but I would never dispute your own findings.  For the technical reasons above we would do not use optical in our products, but of course you are free to experiment with it and use whatever you find to work best in your system.

 

Barrows, I am also of the opinion of keeping things as simple as possible and only put things wherever it absolutely matters for audio. Somehow the fmc seems to belong to that category. I am very well aware of the galvanic isolation that the transformers provide in the ethernet PHY but it seems like somehow the noise makes through - could be the type of Ethernet cable used ? I use a BJC Cat6a but if you have some other suggestion, I would like to hear. In other forums, I have read AQ Diamond (an uber expensive for an ethernet cable) makes a big difference but I haven't tried.

On the additionally processing note you mention - if you talking about protocol re-transmission, like TCP, then given the network bandwidth required for audio, I hardly suspects there is re-transmission involved from media conversion. They are supposed to do the conversion at line rate, which is very large compared to what is needed for audio.

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DEV, I am loathe to try Ethernet cables costing thousands of dollars, so I have not.  If I was going to try some audiophile Ethernet cables, I would start with Nordost and Wireworld.  I need about 25' from upstairs room where Router and NAS are, and then another 1 M cable between router and NAS.  From a technical standpoint, the only way I can see anything other than a reasonable quality Ethernet actually mattering (and BJC CAT 6A is quite nice, with Belden bonded pairs) is if it produces less errors/re-sends-a cable cannot stop noise on the data lines... and differential signaling should cancel most noise at the transformers anyway.

The only "real" solution to reduce noise on Ethernet I can think of would be a purpose built "audiophile router", but this is likely a long way off.  I did find that a better power supply for my router made a difference, go figure...

 

A lot of this stuff is annoying!  Noise form Ethernet transmission has a long way to go, through many stages of isolation, for it to get to where it can cause harm (at the DAC or potentially the output side of the USB interface): transformers at both ends of Ethernet transmissions and then through the isolation at the USB interface.

 

I have been meaning to get some audiophile Ethernet cable samples for evaluation, so we might make better informed recommendations to customers, but with all the hardware development I do (and that is where much bigger gains are made) I have not had time-maybe things will calm down a bit now with the Signature Rendu SE out and I can try some Ethernet cabling...

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 512-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical with Well Tempered Clock--DIY DSC-2 DAC with SC Pure Clock--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

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57 minutes ago, barrows said:

 

I have been meaning to get some audiophile Ethernet cable samples for evaluation, so we might make better informed recommendations to customers, but with all the hardware development I do (and that is where much bigger gains are made) I have not had time-maybe things will calm down a bit now with the Signature Rendu SE out and I can try some Ethernet cabling...

 

 

Barrows, please share your thoughts when you get a chance :)

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14 hours ago, barrows said:

DEV, I am loathe to try Ethernet cables costing thousands of dollars, so I have not.  If I was going to try some audiophile Ethernet cables, I would start with Nordost and Wireworld.  I need about 25' from upstairs room where Router and NAS are, and then another 1 M cable between router and NAS.  From a technical standpoint, the only way I can see anything other than a reasonable quality Ethernet actually mattering (and BJC CAT 6A is quite nice, with Belden bonded pairs) is if it produces less errors/re-sends-a cable cannot stop noise on the data lines... and differential signaling should cancel most noise at the transformers anyway.

The only "real" solution to reduce noise on Ethernet I can think of would be a purpose built "audiophile router", but this is likely a long way off.  I did find that a better power supply for my router made a difference, go figure...

 

A lot of this stuff is annoying!  Noise form Ethernet transmission has a long way to go, through many stages of isolation, for it to get to where it can cause harm (at the DAC or potentially the output side of the USB interface): transformers at both ends of Ethernet transmissions and then through the isolation at the USB interface.

 

I have been meaning to get some audiophile Ethernet cable samples for evaluation, so we might make better informed recommendations to customers, but with all the hardware development I do (and that is where much bigger gains are made) I have not had time-maybe things will calm down a bit now with the Signature Rendu SE out and I can try some Ethernet cabling...

 

Went through the Ethernet testing bit of late.  What I did find is more to do with mixing cable designs is a no-no.  Tested Audioquest and WireWorld.  Each is using a very different approach to how the wires are laid out and the philosophy around the design.  Previously I'd been using Audioquest Vodka for all Ethernet connections.  Net: I have been happy with WireWorld Cat8 for NAS to switch and MacMini to switch with WireWorld Platinum from switch to dCS Network Bridge.  The overall improvement was in lowering the noise floor and providing a wider, taller and deeper soundstage along with more focus/pinpoint sonic images in space.  I'll say that might personal preference in sound is ultra revealing, so I hear warts and all.  For those who prefer a more tubelike, vinyl analogue experience go with Audioquest.  

Steve Schaffer

Grimm MU1 / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler - APEX DAC - Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral Anniversary monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia V /  Wilson Lōkē subs / Shunyata Everest / Shunyata Omega interconnects, power cables, Ethernet / Shunyata Altaira / Uptone EtherREGEN switch / Cybershaft OP21A-D / Uptone JS2 LPS / HRS racks - Vortex footers - damping plates

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Being an IT guy by trade I cant get past the absurdity of an Audiophile Ethernet Cable. I guess this is similar to the many EE's on the web feeling the same way about the slu of other Audiophile cables on offer.

 

Anyway, I wont disagree that there are differences to be heard by swapping ETH cables as long as the swapper does realize that what they are hearing is NOT what the original Artist intended and may not even pass a CRC Checksum test between point A & B compared to an ETH cable designed to spec found in any store selling such a product.

 

But with that said, as long as you like what you here, that's all that matters :D

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4 hours ago, cjf said:

Being an IT guy by trade I cant get past the absurdity of an Audiophile Ethernet Cable. I guess this is similar to the many EE's on the web feeling the same way about the slu of other Audiophile cables on offer.

 

Anyway, I wont disagree that there are differences to be heard by swapping ETH cables as long as the swapper does realize that what they are hearing is NOT what the original Artist intended and may not even pass a CRC Checksum test between point A & B compared to an ETH cable designed to spec found in any store selling such a product.

 

But with that said, as long as you like what you here, that's all that matters :D

From what I've seen, most ethernet cables sold in retail stores (hanging from a rack in hardshell plastic packaging) for a few bucks, don't actually pass spec when tested. They obviously "work", but don't actually meet spec. 

 

So that would be one reason to buy even ethernet cables from a company like bluejeanscable, who custom make each order and test each cable, and send you the results. More expensive than your commonly found cable, but still modestly priced and clearly better made than most "off the rack" cables. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protectors +>Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Strip/Protection>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three BXT (on their own electric circuit) >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three BXT

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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On 2017-07-21 at 9:35 AM, barrows said:

Dev, I am of the "simple is better" approach in most things.  Of course, simple is not always better, but at least I start there.  Typically, in networking, fiber is only called for in very long runs.  While it offers the benefit of galvanic isolation, Ethernet is already galvanically isolated by transformers at each end (as long as one is not using metal shell connectors with grounded shields on their Ethernet cabling which can introduce a non-isolated ground connection).  Additionally, the process of going from an electrical signal to an optical signal and back is not lossless, doing this will increase the amount of errors and the the number of re-sends of data (re-sends of course increase processing and therefore noise generation), so there are trade-offs.

Because of these technical reasons I find it surprising when audiophiles find using fiber for relatively short runs results in performance increase, but I would never dispute your own findings.  For the technical reasons above we would do not use optical in our products, but of course you are free to experiment with it and use whatever you find to work best in your system.

I am finding FMCs, with the downstream FMC powered by an LPS-1, lower the noise into the microRendu and thus into the DAC, where the noise alters the D/A results. The downstream FMC is not ideal in that it has switching regulators and introduces noise, although with the right power it drops more noise from the ethernet line than it introduces.  I think before you declare the use of FMCs an idea for end users to play with you should build an experiment with optical ethernet input and make a decision based on results obtained.

 

When I installed the FMCs (tried both 1Gbps and 100mbps) the first thing I did was connect a computer and do FTP transfers.  I got the same results with wired or fibre and was satisfied with both.

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20 minutes ago, d_elm said:

I am finding FMCs, with the downstream FMC powered by an LPS-1, lower the noise into the microRendu and thus into the DAC, where the noise alters the D/A results. The downstream FMC is not ideal in that it has switching regulators and introduces noise, although with the right power it drops more noise from the ethernet line than it introduces.  I think before you declare the use of FMCs an idea for end users to play with you should build an experiment with optical ethernet input and make a decision based on results ontained.

 

When I installed the FMCs (tried both 1Gbps and 100mbps) the first thing I did was connect a computer and do FTP transfers.  I got the same results with wired or fibre and was satisfied with both.

You say that the use of the FMCs "lower(ed) the noise into the microRendu", I am curious how you actually determined that there was lowered noise?  Was there audible noise somewhere in your system that went away?  Or did you do spectral analysis somewhere?

What exactly was the improvement which you experienced?  I am trying to be open minded here, of course.

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3 minutes ago, barrows said:

You say that the use of the FMCs "lower(ed) the noise into the microRendu", I am curious how you actually determined that there was lowered noise?  Was there audible noise somewhere in your system that went away?  Or did you do spectral analysis somewhere?

What exactly was the improvement which you experienced?  I am trying to be open minded here, of course.

I do not have test equipment for measuring noise.  I can only use my ears and listen to music.  A microRendu 1.4 board or an ultraRendu are both about lowering the noise sent to the DAC.  So are FMCs.  You do not have to agree with me and others but before you start selling the next latest and greatest you should at least experiment with an optical ethernet input.

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12 minutes ago, d_elm said:

I do not have test equipment for measuring noise.  I can only use my ears and listen to music.  A microRendu 1.4 board or an ultraRendu are both about lowering the noise sent to the DAC.  So are FMCs.  You do not have to agree with me and others but before you start selling the next latest and greatest you should at least experiment with an optical ethernet input.

I asked how you determined that the FMCs "lower(ed) the noise into the microRendu".  It appears that you assumed this, based on hearing some change in the sound produced through the loudspeakers.  There is nothing wrong with that, I am just asking to know what that change was which led to believe it was due to "lower" noise into the microRendu: what change did you hear in your system?

I am skeptical, as technically speaking there is very little to suggest that such an approach would make any difference, and there are also technical reasons not to use two conversions from electrical signal to optical, but as mentioned before I am open minded.

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17 minutes ago, barrows said:

I asked how you determined that the FMCs "lower(ed) the noise into the microRendu".  It appears that you assumed this, based on hearing some change in the sound produced through the loudspeakers.  There is nothing wrong with that, I am just asking to know what that change was which led to believe it was due to "lower" noise into the microRendu: what change did you hear in your system?

I am skeptical, as technically speaking there is very little to suggest that such an approach would make any difference, and there are also technical reasons not to use two conversions from electrical signal to optical, but as mentioned before I am open minded.

I have not heard the 1.4 board or ultraRendu in my system but others are pleased with the SQ improvement.  Same for me, in the same way, with FMC at 100mbps downstream powered by LPS-1.  It is my conclusion that all three products, or product improvments in Sonore's case, are about reducing noise that goes over the USB interface to the DAC.

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6 minutes ago, d_elm said:

I have not heard the 1.4 board or ultraRendu in my system but others are pleased with the SQ improvement.  Same for me, in the same way, with FMC at 100mbps downstream powered by LPS-1.  It is my conclusion that all three products, or product improvments in Sonore's case, are about reducing noise that goes over the USB interface to the DAC.

There is actually a lot more to it than that  There is a lot of strange things going on, and we have found many things which improve the sonic performance.

So, it could be that with an Ultra FMCs could offer no improvement.  I am not saying this so, but it could be.  at some point you get to where there is no "problem" to solve. 

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28 minutes ago, barrows said:

There is actually a lot more to it than that  There is a lot of strange things going on, and we have found many things which improve the sonic performance.

So, it could be that with an Ultra FMCs could offer no improvement.  I am not saying this so, but it could be.  at some point you get to where there is no "problem" to solve. 

Could that be 'no USB' and optical ethernet input ?  But then, that would have to done by a DAC.

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There is nothing wrong with USB when does right, in both sender and receiver.

But, I do believe that the future will be direct ethernet input DACs.  Right now it appears that only Linn and Merging are doing that very well, other DACs with Ethernet inputs appear to be compromised on their Ethernet inputs (probably using poor Ethernet input boards from relatively affordable sources, 192 only, etc...)

 

It is a little tricky to put Ethernet inside the DAC, one has to be very careful about noise isolation as Ethernet processing can produce a lot of noises nd this needs to be well isolated from the DAC/analog sections.  Linn in the Klimax handles this very well, at a cost of cost.  For now, a separate Ethernet streamer is a good way to go to avoid that noise source inside the DAC.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 512-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical with Well Tempered Clock--DIY DSC-2 DAC with SC Pure Clock--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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37 minutes ago, barrows said:

There is nothing wrong with USB when does right, in both sender and receiver.

But, I do believe that the future will be direct ethernet input DACs.  Right now it appears that only Linn and Merging are doing that very well, other DACs with Ethernet inputs appear to be compromised on their Ethernet inputs (probably using poor Ethernet input boards from relatively affordable sources, 192 only, etc...)

 

It is a little tricky to put Ethernet inside the DAC, one has to be very careful about noise isolation as Ethernet processing can produce a lot of noises nd this needs to be well isolated from the DAC/analog sections.  Linn in the Klimax handles this very well, at a cost of cost.  For now, a separate Ethernet streamer is a good way to go to avoid that noise source inside the DAC.

I saw that Ayre partnered with Sonore at Munich 2017.  I hope that leads to something good for Ayre's QX-5 ethernet support.

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12 hours ago, barrows said:

There is nothing wrong with USB when does right, in both sender and receiver.

But, I do believe that the future will be direct ethernet input DACs.  Right now it appears that only Linn and Merging are doing that very well, other DACs with Ethernet inputs appear to be compromised on their Ethernet inputs (probably using poor Ethernet input boards from relatively affordable sources, 192 only, etc...)

 

 

PS Audio DS Sr w/ Bridge II and DS Jr are both Ethernet capable - with DLNA, Tidal, Roon and now MQA support. Ethernet in and I2S out in the inside.

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I really appreciate these posts that are "to the point" because it seems to me there is a fine balance between mentally accepting what "should" be happening and what actually is happening (subjective as it is) when the signal finally comes out of the speaker.

 

It's clear Ethernet has isolation designed into it, but why do cables make a sonic difference? Maybe the noise that undermines the final audio signal operates at different frequencies? Maybe it's just cable design? Or something else? Yes, I'd like to know why as much as the next person but at the same time, I'm not an electrical engineer and the complex interdependencies cannot really be appreciated by me despite a conceptual knowledge of such.  

 

So, thanks @barrows (and @Superdad and @PeterSt and @JohnSwenson and others here) for making the effort to be open-minded while holding the conventional wisdom lightly. It is truly rewarding to hear what's cooking in audio today, and reproduced music has never sounded so great, so conveniently.

 

Sum>Frankenstein: JPlay/Audirvana/iTunes, Uptone EtherRegen+LPS-1.2, Rivo Streamer+Uptone JS-2, Schiit Yggdrasil LiM+Shunyata Delta XC, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, ModWright LS 100, Pass XA25, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500 on IsoAcoustics Gaias, Shunyata Delta XC, Transparent Audio, P12 power regenerator, and positive room attributes.

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One really cool thing about much of this stuff, is that you can try it for free. No manufacturer likes to take things back, but many of them offer free in-home trials. What more could we want? 

 

With respect to Ethernet cables, I'm sure there are dealers or manufacturers who will offer free in-home demos. Plus, this stuff is easy to ship. We aren't talking about 200 lbs. amplifiers. 

 

 

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On 7/23/2017 at 11:27 PM, Dev said:

 

PS Audio DS Sr w/ Bridge II and DS Jr are both Ethernet capable - with DLNA, Tidal, Roon and now MQA support. Ethernet in and I2S out in the inside.

I am aware there are many DACs with Ethernet inputs, my point was that there are very DACs with really well implemented Ethernet inputs.  It is not a simple matter to incorporate an Ethernet receiver inside the same chassis as a DAC, as the Ethernet receiver creates a lot of noise, and must be very well isolated from the rest of the circuitry.  Additionally, a lot of DACs incorporate ethernet receivers of limited capability (like only to 192 kHz, or DSD1, etc).

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6 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

One really cool thing about much of this stuff, is that you can try it for free. No manufacturer likes to take things back, but many of them offer free in-home trials. What more could we want? 

 

With respect to Ethernet cables, I'm sure there are dealers or manufacturers who will offer free in-home demos. Plus, this stuff is easy to ship. We aren't talking about 200 lbs. amplifiers. 

 

 

 

Thanks Chris! This is nice to know as I've tried a few cables in my system (Supra, Blue Jeans, and "generic") and I can clearly hear a difference, but beyond my current set up (Blue Jeans) I will be well into diminishing returns territory. I'd rather spend that on a new DAC...

 

I posed the Ethernet cable question as an example of the fine balance discussed here at CA, partly because it's supposedly isolated by definition, and because critical listeners are posting in the "massively improve" thread about their shift toward USB from Ethernet (not necessarily "away from" Ethernet). As @barrows points out, fewer boxes/power supplies is probably desirable, and just having Ethernet on chassis in a DAC is one thing; doing it right is altogether another.

 

Y'all are really helping me minimize the dent in my bank account! My kid's college fund thanks you, too!

 

Sum>Frankenstein: JPlay/Audirvana/iTunes, Uptone EtherRegen+LPS-1.2, Rivo Streamer+Uptone JS-2, Schiit Yggdrasil LiM+Shunyata Delta XC, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, ModWright LS 100, Pass XA25, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500 on IsoAcoustics Gaias, Shunyata Delta XC, Transparent Audio, P12 power regenerator, and positive room attributes.

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I must express my disappointment after investing about 2200. only 10 months ago fore the loaded Signature LPS and mR only to see one product discontinued and the other replaced. Good to hear that Sonore may be offering those like myself an upgrade path from the Signature LPS to the new all in one solution. Good marketing and will aid in customer retention.

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