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UltraRendu vs an expensive music server


KingRex
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So much is being written about the Sonore products.  There are a lot of comparison to the the SOtM units.  Has anyone compared a UltraRendu to something such as a purpose built computer with linear power supplies everyone is building here.  I have as such.  I have the Mojo Audio server with Mojo Linear power supply.  I have upgraded it to Server 2016 with AO in Ultra Mode.  It kicks butt as far as I know.  But, I keep getting hassled by a salesman who just loves the Sonore.  I am wondering, how good is the product.  Is it great for the price and ends there, or is it as good or better than all the other units from Lampizator SK, Antipodes, Aurender, Antipodes.  Has anyone done a comparison.  Please point me to the link, or let me know your thoughts.  Thanks

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9 hours ago, KingRex said:

But, I keep getting hassled by a salesman who just loves the Sonore. 

 

Well, then he should lend you the products, or just invite him home.

And yes, the UltraRendu is good. You didn'y mention your PS DC out, but maybe it can work with the UltraRendu ? 

 

By the way:

Your title is comparing apple and you know......

 

UltraRendu is an endpoint not a Music Server.

 

So you just keep your music server and add the endpoint and enjoy the upgrade :D

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If what you are saying is its a completely different technology, I get that.  I am not sure what you mean an Endpoint.  My understanding was it is a steamer.  You have a network with a NAS and\or  a router.  The Ultrarendu takes commands from your laptop or any other computer over the network.  The Rendu from that command goes to the NAS or through the router to Tidal and streams the content to your DAC.   I though the design as a streamer is the reason other posts on this forum are fighting over the impact of the computer giving the commands.  Some people say it cant affect the sound, others say I have tried a linear powered computer and it does affect the sound.  

In any case, a Rendu or Server is a way to computer store music or go to Tidal and play it back.  The question comes down to, does a $1,400 UltraRendu perform at a level of $5,000 to $8000 server of purpose built computer that costs more like $3,500 with linear PS to build.  I have seen professional reviews covering a host of devices in the $3500 to $8000 range.  I not been able to find a review addressing the Sonore products to the other well reviewed more expensive pieces.  

 

I am curious as the salesman suggesting it has sold me other product that performed as he said.  The improvements were worth the money and effort.  I believe my server is better for a number of reasons, but, it would be nice to hear from someone who heard both.

 

Why don't I ask for a demo unit.  I respect the time and efforts of the audio salesmen I know.  I try to be loyal to people.  I don't want to take someones time if I really have little intention of purchasing something. 

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I use an Acoustic Revive USB cable 1.OSPS.  The one with 2 leads.  One for power, the other for signal.  The makers of the RT Audio DAC I have recommended it.  They also like Inakustik, but that was .75 or 1.5 meter.  I needed 1 meter.  I also did a small mod to my DAC with great return.  The DAC had a small usb jumper cable inside from the USB board to the chassis of the unit.   It terminated into  a connector.  I removed the jumper and connector and took my USB cable right to the board.  I found a nice stud to zip tie the usb for stability. 

 

I use to come out of the server via a galvonically isolated and linear powered SPDIF board with a single ended connector.   Ever since loading windows server 2016 I can not find a driver to make the board visible to my OS.  I am forced to use the USB from the MB.  I don't know that this is a problem as Alrainbow does the same.  He has been mentoring me through the optimization of my server.

 

I use a Genesis RCA from the DAC to my First Sound Mark 3 SE preamp.  Everything I do at this point is incremental, but the accumulation of improvements and attention to detail has taken my digital system way past my very fine analog setup.  I have about $8k into each.  My analog and my digital.   My digital is far nicer to listen to.

 

I will try a search in google again.  Maybe I will find what I am looking for.  I am just curious how well the Sonore products really perform in the high end world. 

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@KingRex

You have a very nice setup.

 

I agree with that salesman that would like you to try Sonore UltraRendu. In addition I think you should add the USPCB from Uptone Audio as well as a LPS-1 to power the UltraRendu.

In addition you need good DC cables which you can order from Ghent, where you also should get an Ethernet cable. If you like you could even ask Ghent to make you DC cables with JSSG.

 

If possible avoid the $15 SMPS supplied with the LPS-1, but as a start it should do.

 

I think if you read this thread I linked to and what Barrows says, you probably get an understanding why many think and has discovered that you should use a dedicated endpoint in addition to music server or what ever you have available. Dedicated endpoints, preferably using Roon is the way to go.

 

I think it's at the present time impossible to get a better setup that the above suggestion. Well actually there is the JSGT where you add a special named switch and ground the minus powering the switch. And you can even challenge your DAC USB implementation, buy testing the ultraDigital or a modified Singxer SU-1.

 

Or the Sotm route with clocks etc. 

 

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As a counterpoint, I disagree.  Your server can be the best beginning and endpoint.  It doesn't have to be an expensive server.  A sCLK-EX server build will get you near the best the market has if not the best.  Power supplies are another story and can get expensive all around for top quality.  Keep it really simple!!

 

 

 

(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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I really hope my original question does no become misdirected and lost.  I have looked in many ways on google and this forum as well as other forum to find some sort of comparison of a Sonore product to a recognized name brand streamer such as a Linn or server such as Lampizator SK, Antipoes or other.  There really appear to be non.  Or I cant get one to rise in my search queue.  That is all I ask.  Has anyone had the chance to have both in their system.  What did they hear.

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3 hours ago, KingRex said:

I really hope my original question does no become misdirected and lost.  I have looked in many ways on google and this forum as well as other forum to find some sort of comparison of a Sonore product to a recognized name brand streamer such as a Linn or server such as Lampizator SK, Antipoes or other.  There really appear to be non.  Or I cant get one to rise in my search queue.  That is all I ask.  Has anyone had the chance to have both in their system.  What did they hear.

The frame of reference between the Sonore ultra/micro rendu and a Linn Streamer doesn't work. A Linn Akurate DS for example, accepts 192/24 max, the rendus accept DSD512. The Linn has an analog S/PDIF out, the Rendus have a USB out. To make a fair assessment, a neutral sounding USB-S/PDIF would need to be installed on the rendu, the best of good luck finding that.

An SK is a server...... All these devices what you've chosen depend on each other to work, therefore they cannot be compared against each other, could that be why there's no response.

Whatever you have now must not be up to expectations, is that the motive behind the question?

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I agree with One and a half there.

 

But looking at the Antipodes you mention and your excellent (and similar) Mojo Audio server.

 

A friend of mine had an Antipodes. It's a really really well designed server and endpoint using it's low noise USB output.

 

But in his system we found that he could achieve just as good quality we a 'normal' computer server (nothing audiophile) and my ultraRendu (ethernet isolated from this computer) with  a really good linear PSU. He like the sound so much that he sold his Antipodes and purchased an ultraRendu and Uptone LPS-1 as is just as happy as before - especially with lots of change left over.

 

The other possible advantage with this 2 box solution is it meant his server could be in a room far away from his HiFi gear (RF/EMI), and just connected to the network via ethernet. With the Antipodes, it was right there on the HiFi rack near the DAC and other sensitive gear.

 

The same may apply with your Mojo Audio server, or maybe not.

 

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There are two schools of thought: 1. Use a Newegg motherboard, filter it, and upgrade the hell out of it. 2. Start with something designed from scratch for the job. We use to build music servers and after countless hours trying different variations of the same filters and tweaks it became very expensive and a futile exercise. I was bored to tears with them and thought there had to be a better way than using a standard motherboard. Anyway, we decided to design something from scratch and eliminate everything possible on the hardware and software that was not needed in addition include a quality power circuit and killer clocking. The power supply we mostly leave up to you so you can choose the "El Cheapo" or the best power supply you can afford. 

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Thank you Em2016.  That is interesting.  A real life head to head and the UltraRendu stood strong.   

He did put the UltraRendu on his audio rack,  correct?   I don't see it as anything other than a computer sharing its polltion with everything else.  You have a linear PS on the floor or a shelf and a customer designed stripped down purpose build computer in the rack with a 1 meter USB connected to your DAC.  Correct? ????

 

Anyhow, anyone else?  With more anecdotal evidence it may be assumed Stereophile, TAS and other publications are being quiet on the subject for a reason. 

I did not spend alot more on my unit than the UltraRendu with linear PS.  I got a demo unit from Mojo.  I am however floored by how much better my digital sounds than my very decent analog setup with some of the last software adjustments I made. If the Sonore and other similar devices are that good, well great for digital audio.

 

Also, my request for comparison are absolutely valid.  Who cares how its designed.  Its not a record player.   Its a digital device that is used to play stoored digital files or access Tidal, Spotify etc for playback. I could give a rip the design.  I only care about the musicallity of playback. Do I tap my toes, enjoy and forget the day. 

 Thanks all.

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3 hours ago, KingRex said:

Austinpop,  that is a massively long Forum string, that has been divided up by the moderator. Is there a place in that string you would like me to look?

Click on the arrow in the right hand corner of the box/link.

 

NOTE:  This comparison is with the trifecta, but you can consider the sCLK-EX Server on par with the trifecta in that there is a usage of multiple sCLK-EX points.

(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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56 minutes ago, KingRex said:

Austinpop,  that is a massively long Forum string, that has been divided up by the moderator. Is there a place in that string you would like me to look?

you are questioning austinpop but it was elvira who sent the link, so your question should be directed to him.

 

My guess is that he suggests (as many) that you consider the sotm over the rendu, and knowing elvira, he likes the pc mod idea over the separates...which is fine if you are a diy or you want to send your pc out to be modified.

 

Austinpop wouldn't say (i dont blame him, as lots of rendu fans here), but he actually compared the sotm and rendu products along with others here (including a rendu owner), and all apparently preferred the sotm products.

 

If i went that route, i would likely go with an sotm product, but i am holding out for an "alexa enabled" streamer/dac myself (grin).

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1 hour ago, KingRex said:

He did put the UltraRendu on his audio rack,  correct?   I don't see it as anything other than a computer sharing its polltion with everything else.

 

Correct but the ultraRendu (and SOtm) is an even lower powered computer with components selected for audio - check vortecjr’s reply above.

 

In the case of my friend using Roon (and A+) this ultraRendu endpoint is not doing any decoding - it plays PCM or DSD. The server (in another room) is doing the decoding, and in his case up-sampling (i.e. higher CPU usage).

 

 

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I am not a scientist or engineer.  I'm a basic electrician. I really have no idea if a computer emits some sort of "polltion" into the air.   I know the transformer on my linear PS does, but that is on a tether away from my gear.  I thought most of the problem was transmitted on the power and USB where the noise was passed to other gear.  What is it about a motherboard with a couple SSD and a few power regulators that is emitting into the air and possibly affecting my preamp or DAC.   What sort of spacing do I need.  The server is the skinny black unit, in the middle on the middle rack.  The little box on top is the Rega speed controller. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, KingRex said:

What is it about a motherboard with a couple SSD and a few power regulators that is emitting into the air and possibly affecting my preamp or DAC.

 

The old Blackberry near a speaker party trick (hearing the buzzing) is an extreme example (very extreme) but is an OLD example of the effects of RFI in the home, near audio gear. The effects were easily audible back then. The effects with a music server now may not be so obvious (with buzzing) until you tried and moved the server outside of the listening room... It's one of those things where you don't realise interference is having an effect on your system until you move it and listen.. 

 

15 minutes ago, KingRex said:

What sort of spacing do I need.  

 

No magic number. I've seen 10ft thrown around but I think the best answer is as much spacing as practicably possible. But at the same time, with USB cables, you want to try and keep that <1m if possible. A 3m USB cable between your Mojo Audio server and your USB DAC probably isn't the best idea.

 

If you were able to ask your DAC's designer, I wouldn't be surprised if they recommend the same (music server in a different room on the network, with a low powered, low noise networked "endpoint" close to the DAC). 


If you were able to borrow a microRendu or ultraRendu from someone, it would be a cool thing to test, i.e. move the music server out of the listening room and listen if it makes a difference in your system.

 

Your Mojo Audio server is designed to be close to your DAC, with it's low noise power supply and low noise USB output. Your Mojo Audio server isn't a normal PC in that regard. I wouldn't worry too much.

 

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EM2016 has really made me think of something. Does my computer actually admit any sort of RFI / Emi or other noise polltion  into the air when it is being fed by a linear power supply and only has HD Plexiglas voltage regulators inside the chassis.  I get line noise on my mains and Ethernet /USB. What about the air.  Are there near field influences to other equipment by some dark cloud of SQ degrading emissions? If so, what are they. Can they be addresses. 

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Airborne emissions are received by an AM radio. A computer can deliver buckets of this noise, whether the receiver can filter out this rubbish, is the susceptibility of the construction of the audio device. Metal is a good start, ultimately the same frequency of the computer can be measured on the supply rails, and this is pretty remote these days.

Conducted noise is far more serious though to block or filter requires a lot more thought especially on signal lines.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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