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vkennedy

Rendu USB vs Bridge ll

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Apologies if this has been covered in this thread. I read through a good bit, and didn't see this use case:

 

Setup:

Two switches with a fiber backbone.

1. Switch 1 is considered "Core". It's located in a network cabinet and is where the gateway to internet enters the network.

2. Switch 2 is in an audio rack and supports all of the Ethernet devices (Oppo, Control4, Roku, etc...) in the cabinet.

3. The uplink between Switch 1 and 2 is fiber. Both Switches are Ubiquiti Unifi with Ubiquiti Fiber SFP's. 

4. DAC is a PS Audio DirectStream DAC with the Bridge II ethernet card installed.

5. DAC has two connections to it: 

1) Ethernet off of Switch 2;

2) A USB connection from a Sonore ultraRendu. The ultraRendu is fed from Switch 2. 

 

As a matter of reference, both connections sound very good. I generally feel that the USB connection has a little more "sparkle" then the Ethernet, but that could be my imagination. Then again, isn't a lot of this perception? 😉

 

Since I have "cleaned up" the signal between Switch 1 and 2 via the fiber uplink, I do wonder if there's any real benefit to changing out the ultraRendu with an opticalRendu. If I did change to an opticalRendu, I would add a second fiber SPF to the switch to feed the opticalRendu. I understand that Switch 2 could be introducing some noise, but could it be enough to hear?

 

Thoughts?

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19 minutes ago, ksalno said:

I have a similar setup with a PS Audio DSD and Bridge II. I have tried the USB but was never happy with it compared to the Bridge. My two favorite sounding connections are SFP out from my rack switch to a TrippLite media converter with a short run of ethernet cable to the Bridge II, which you can do for less than $200. This will have the same benefit as the opticalRendu in providing optical isolation but permits using what even Ted Smith considers the better sounding input on the PSA, which is the Bridge II. The other option I use is I have a SOtM sMS-200 Ultra (similar to your Sonore) but instead of running USB to the PSA, I inserted a Sonore UltraDigital ($400) which takes the USB and provides an i2S output which I then connect via a 0.5m HDMI cable to the PSA. Both options sound better than anything I've tried into USB and are hard to tell apart in A:B tests. Either option is much less than an opticalRendu and will provide equal or better performance.

Oh, I like both of those options. OK, time to play some more. 

 

Thanks!

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While I am waiting for the opticalModule to be released I ordered a StarTech media converter and two Unifi SFP to put between the switch and the PS Audio DirectStream DAC. 

 

I'll listen to this until the opticalModule shows up and then I'll do some comparative listening. I've got another use for StarTech so hopefully the opticalModule wins out 😉

 

More to come....

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