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The Computer Audiophile

CA Readers Choice Awards 2017

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1. Chord Hugo 2

2. Tidal

3. Roon


"The fundamental task of music is to give resonance not to objectivity but rather to the manner in which the innermost self is essentially moved according to its subjectivity and the ideal nature of the soul."  ---  GWF Hegel, Lectures On Aesthetics

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1. Sonore UltraRendu / Rendu Signature

2. Audirvana’s move to support UPnP/DLNA, thus Sonore's “rendu” range (micro-, ultra-, Signature)

 

I once thought that Amarra Symphony on a MacMini was the best I could have to feed my Bel Canto 3.7 DAC (through REFlink).

 

Then I tried the microRendu. I was hooked and went up the path: → Signature power supply → UltraRendu (≈ Signature Rendu). I wouldn't have believed how much I could still gain in the purely “0 and 1” realm!

 

Cheers.

 

Olivier :-{)

 

PS: my signature needs an edit… when I’ll have time…


 

  • MacMini, 8 GB RAM, MacOS 10.8.2, Amarra → Cardas Clear Light USB → Stello U3 → Cardas Light Link → Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB Mark II → Cardas Clear XLR → Sonic Frontiers Power II → Cardas Golden Reference → Duevel Venus
  • (Bel Canto DAC 3.5VB Mark II) → Cardas Golden Presence → Shiit Lyr → Sennheiser HD800
  • iMac 24”, 4 GB RAM, Amarra → NuForce DDA-100 → Cardas SE–9 → Duevel Planets
  • iPod → NuForce Icon iDo → Cardas Clear Light → Bel Canto DAC 1.5 → Cardas Golden Cross → Exposure 2010 s2 → Cardas Golden Presence → Duevel Planets

 

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1. Roon

2. SOtM sMS-200

3. UpTone LPS-1


Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, Jcat Femto USB card, UpTone Audio JS-2 + 2x LPS-1.2 combo, Jcat SSD battery PSU, Jcat SATA cable, TotalDAC D1 USB cable, SOtM sMS-200, W4S Recovery USB, Jcat USB Isolator, Win 2012, AO v2.10

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

Cables: AudioQuest WEL Signature IC / Shunyata Anaconda Z-Tron SC

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1. Chord Blu2 (because it’s really a computer audio product that upsamples/filter with 1 million taps)

2. UltraRendu (+ LPS1)

3. Chord DAVE

4. Everything John Swenson posts on Computer Audiophile

5. Everything Rob Watts posts on Head-Fi


ultraRendu > Chord Blu Mk. 2 > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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1. Uptone Audio LPS1 + ISO Regen

 

2. Sonore microRendu

 

3. Roon


iMac27 with 2 x SSD , Aqvox USB cable , Auralic Vega , McIntosh C2200 preamp , Bi-amped MC275 , Triangle Concerto , Velodyne DD15 sub , Custom Balanced Power Management , Supra Sword XLR Cables , Triangle Silver Loudspeaker Cables , Supra Power Cables

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1. Sonore's ultraRendu -- not only is it the best music streamer I've used (and I've used the big-budget streamers from the two companies that start with "A"), but Jesus R. is super-responsive and helpful, both on-line and directly for customer support.

 

2. Uptone Audio ISO REGEN -- a really effective USB isolation device that adds another dimension to music streamed through it. And everything good about Sonore's customer service is equally outstanding with Uptone Audio -- Alex C. is truly one of audio's great guys and a joy to do business with.

 

Steve Z


Teres turntable, VPI JMW 12.5, Dynavector XV1-S/Lyra Helikon mono, VPI SDS & dual-motor rim-drive; Innuos Zenith STD MKII & Roon, Audience AU24 SE or Lush^2 USB, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma & Alpha power cords, Sigma interconnects and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras, component stands and cones under everything, GIK Acoustics room treatments . . . and lots and lots of music.

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Of the items I've purchased this year, I'm not certain when they were actually released, my computer audio readers choice awards go to: 

1.

Fidelizer Nimitra Computer Audio Server

[Stellar performance and top notch customer service at a reasonable price! - 

Fidelizer Nikola Linear Power Supply completes the package.] 

[Highly Recommended] 

2.

exaSound e38 Multichannel DAC

[This device produces beautiful music from Native DSD and PCM files.  Stereo and multichannel material is effortlessly brought to life; a quantum leap of audio reproduction is made possible by the exaSound e38.]  Multichannel DSD files are the new frontier IMHO!

3.

Roon

[The next step in the evolution of computer audio!] 

 

Runners up:

4.

Sonore microRendu / Uptone Audio UltraCap™ LPS-1

5.

Uptone Audio ISO REGEN

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  1.  has to be Roon like so many others mention, were it not for it I'd still be spinning silver discs.
  2. ultraRendu, great sound with the added advantage of bridging to my Naim Uniqute.
  3. Bluesound Pulse Flex - great sound from a small box and excellent Roon integration.
  4. Diet-pi - wonderful software that opens up the world of Raspberry Pi to mere mortals. Great Roon, HQP and Shairport integration.

 

.sjb

 

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1. Sonore Signature Rendu SE

2. Sonore Ultra Rendu

3. Bricasti M12 Network Player / DAC / Preamp

4. Roon


Tidal Audio Agoria Loudspeakers; VAC Master preamp; Merrill Audio Christine preamp, Jens Phono Preamp & Veritas Monoblocks; Bricasti M12 Source Controller, M1SE DAC & M28 Monoblocks; Spiral Groove SG-2 TT with Centroid Arm & Ortofon MC Anna Cartridge; Tape Project/Technics RS1500 reel-reel with Bottlehead Tube Repro Pre; Sonore Signature RenduSE network player; Ansuz & Synergistic Research cables; Symposium Isis racks & rollerblocks

INDUSTRY AFFILIATION: Dealer- XtremeFidelity.net (VAC,  Bricasti, Merrill Audio,  Sonore, Aavik, Ansuz, MG Audio Design, Synergistic Research & others)

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1. Lampizator DSD DACs. It's just light years, megaparsecs in front of "regular" DSD. Native DSD is so out of this world that it will not unfortunately not get many recommendations here, as one has to listen to it to believe in it. 

2. Sonore UltraRendu (or mR family for that matter)

3. Roon

4. Uptone LPS-1

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Four critical components in my main listening chain are new or have received major upgrades this year.  I have never enjoyed better sound, neither has listening been more convenient nor my computer audio infrastructure more stable.  That's progress!

 

1. Roon 1.3 with huge improvements to playlists and tagging, better library management, DSP, composers/compositions etc.  The best just got very much better.

2. Sonore microRendu.  2.5 Firmware and clock upgrade.  Ditto above.  A "class A" digital transport for $640.  Outstanding!

3. Uptone LPS-1 (with a special award (sainthood?) to John Swenson please!)

4. Devialet Expert Core Infinity upgrade.  Bought a D-Premier nearly 5 years ago and in pretty much the fastest-developing area of audio technology it is still fully supported and being regularly enhanced with hardware and software upgrades.  For all the whingeing I see on the Devialet boards I challenge anyone to point to a high-end audio brand with this level of commitment to upgradability.  Nominated for this as much for relentlessly pushing the ball upfield on sound quality.

 

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