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Sonore opticalRendu or Lumin U1 mini?


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I'm thinking about adding a steamer to my audio chain (PC connecting to DAC via USB). Currently I'm deciding between Sonore opticalRendu and Lumin U1 mini. UI/software shouldn't be an issue as I use Roon. The most important thing for me is sound quality improvement. 

Any input is welcomed!

Thanks in advance.

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I will be eager to read the replies to this one... I had a PC connected to my DAC (USB) for years, then took the PC away from the Hi-Fi rack and replaced it with an UltraRendu with high quality power supply which is again connected to the DAC via USB (for DSD this works just fine). I have an ethernet-fiber-ethernet media converters to cut the noise flowing thru the network running thru the UltraRendu... 

 

I am thinking to consolidate because now I have 6 little boxes and a mishmash of cables (UltraRendu + LPS1.2 + 2x Media Converters + 2x power supplies for the media converters)... I was between a DCS Bridge and the Auralic Aries G2.1 streamer, then started leaning more towards the OpticalRendu... My understanding is that with the proper power supply, the OpticalRendu is a very capable streamer.

 

Don't know much about the Lumin so can't comment on that but my guess is that the Auralic and the Lumin have a high price tag because of the software and since I am on Roon I am not sure I need any of that.

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5 hours ago, thijazi said:

I will be eager to read the replies to this one... I had a PC connected to my DAC (USB) for years, then took the PC away from the Hi-Fi rack and replaced it with an UltraRendu with high quality power supply which is again connected to the DAC via USB (for DSD this works just fine). I have an ethernet-fiber-ethernet media converters to cut the noise flowing thru the network running thru the UltraRendu... 

 

I am thinking to consolidate because now I have 6 little boxes and a mishmash of cables (UltraRendu + LPS1.2 + 2x Media Converters + 2x power supplies for the media converters)... I was between a DCS Bridge and the Auralic Aries G2.1 streamer, then started leaning more towards the OpticalRendu... My understanding is that with the proper power supply, the OpticalRendu is a very capable streamer.

 

Don't know much about the Lumin so can't comment on that but my guess is that the Auralic and the Lumin have a high price tag because of the software and since I am on Roon I am not sure I need any of that.

From what I read opticalRendu should be a natural upgrade for you. 

I agree with you that the extra software features of Lumin won't matter if only being used as a Roon endpoint. That's why I only care about SQ between the two. 

Price wise they are pretty close if you consider buying extra boxes for opticalRendu (Sonore LPSU, Sonore opticalModule, etc).

I just realized opticalRendu might get you even more little boxes LOL.

 

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True, the Signature Rendu SE optical Level II is the other big dilemma for me, looks like it has the best of the OpticalRendu minus all the boxes :-).... Problem is it will box me into only USB as an interface, which is fine for today but for the same price the Auralic Aries G2.1 will give me the USB interface (Therefore no issues with high bit-rate DSD) while giving me the flexibility to switch to optical if I wanted....... dilemmas, dilemmas!

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53 minutes ago, thijazi said:

True, the Signature Rendu SE optical Level II is the other big dilemma for me, looks like it has the best of the OpticalRendu minus all the boxes :-).... Problem is it will box me into only USB as an interface, which is fine for today but for the same price the Auralic Aries G2.1 will give me the USB interface (Therefore no issues with high bit-rate DSD) while giving me the flexibility to switch to optical if I wanted....... dilemmas, dilemmas!

IMHO If you value build quality Signature Rendu SE isn't on par with other brands (Lumin, Auralic, Matrix Audio...). It has too much DIY vibe to it...Of course one could argue money better spent in innards rather than fancy casing, but isn't that an appeal of HiFi products?

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Lumin U1-Mini is presently on Ebay after 4 months of use. Why?

Lumin app on android. It crashes occasionally when dealing with UPnP server, but the most frustrating thing was its inability to discover its own device consistently and reliably. My LAN is quite simple and other apps never ever has this discovery issue. Finally, I did find that I missed having a local display as well as some minimal local controls.

 

As for sound quality, I am now back to my Rpi4/Allo DigiOneSignature setup and enjoying it as I have from the beginning. U1-Mini at 3 times the cost did not sound any better to me.

One consideration is Spotify HiFi whenever it arrives and whether it can be supported in the open source world. My thinking is that Spotify Connect vendors (such as Lumin and Bluesound) will certainly support it first. That would be my hesitation with Sonore. For myself, I am considering CXN v2 as my "backup" transport since I have an external Benchmark DAC.

 

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21 minutes ago, digidigi said:

My Lumin U1-Mini is presently on Ebay after 4 months of use. Why?

Lumin app on android. It crashes occasionally when dealing with UPnP server, but the most frustrating thing was its inability to discover its own device consistently and reliably. My LAN is quite simple and other apps never ever has this discovery issue. Finally, I did find that I missed having a local display as well as some minimal local controls.

 

As for sound quality, I am now back to my Rpi4/Allo DigiOneSignature setup and enjoying it as I have from the beginning. U1-Mini at 3 times the cost did not sound any better to me.

One consideration is Spotify HiFi whenever it arrives and whether it can be supported in the open source world. My thinking is that Spotify Connect vendors (such as Lumin and Bluesound) will certainly support it first. That would be my hesitation with Sonore. For myself, I am considering CXN v2 as my "backup" transport since I have an external Benchmark DAC.

 

I don't think I will use Lumin app much even though I decide to get a U1 mini. I value sound quality most because this is the whole point of getting a separate streamer. It would be great if someone actually compared U1 mini with opticalRendu SQ wise.

 

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39 minutes ago, digidigi said:

My Lumin U1-Mini is presently on Ebay after 4 months of use. Why?

Lumin app on android. It crashes occasionally when dealing with UPnP server, but the most frustrating thing was its inability to discover its own device consistently and reliably. My LAN is quite simple and other apps never ever has this discovery issue.

 

You need to be explicit regarding device discovery to determine whether the network management system for the LAN is the actual problem or not. Have you definitely not had any issues with other apps on the same Android device the Lumin app is installed discovering specifically either standard UPnP/DLNA devices or OpenHome devices connected to the network in the same manner as the Lumin is?

 

For example, the BubbleUPnP app supports both types of device and therefore should be able to discover the Lumin.

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2 minutes ago, tomwoo said:

I'm surprised to see that. A lot of people said U1 mini was a huge improvement to Rpi4 based streamers...

SQ clearly depends on lot of variables; in my view, most important are source material and DAC which feeds amplification and monitors. In my setup, Benchmark DAC balanced output goes into an active x-over in tri-amped configuration. U1 mini sounded as good as Rpi4/Allo but certainly not a "huge improvement."  Like you, I value SQ and I'd have gladly put up with Lumin app issues had it delivered clearly superior SQ over Allo.

 

One thing I would note is that Lumin was louder than Allo. Loudness does not equate to better SQ. Generally I find Allo to have more presence, more depth what some might call soundstage.

 

 

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Just a side note - I'm definitely a fan of optical (ethernet) and ran fiber to my listening room yrs ago.  I go fiber direct from managed switch in network rack in util room on purpose - so as not to have to deal with the multiple boxes of media converters in audio rack.  If you go the fiber route I would recommend doing the same.  Just something to think about.

 

Now if I needed to switch back to ethernet in listening room, I'd have to use a media converter in audio rack or have a new ethernet run to listening room - which is totally doable in my situation though.

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56 minutes ago, Foggie said:

Just a side note - I'm definitely a fan of optical (ethernet) and ran fiber to my listening room yrs ago.  I go fiber direct from managed switch in network rack in util room on purpose - so as not to have to deal with the multiple boxes of media converters in audio rack.  If you go the fiber route I would recommend doing the same.  Just something to think about.

 

Now if I needed to switch back to ethernet in listening room, I'd have to use a media converter in audio rack or have a new ethernet run to listening room - which is totally doable in my situation though.

Thanks for your suggestion. Did you notice a big improvement of SQ when inserting opticalRendu into your system? I'm intrigued by optical isolation because Lumin also provided that as an option in their flagship X1.

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2 hours ago, digidigi said:

SQ clearly depends on lot of variables; in my view, most important are source material and DAC which feeds amplification and monitors. In my setup, Benchmark DAC balanced output goes into an active x-over in tri-amped configuration. U1 mini sounded as good as Rpi4/Allo but certainly not a "huge improvement."  Like you, I value SQ and I'd have gladly put up with Lumin app issues had it delivered clearly superior SQ over Allo.

 

One thing I would note is that Lumin was louder than Allo. Loudness does not equate to better SQ. Generally I find Allo to have more presence, more depth what some might call soundstage.

 

 

I agree with you that some DACs are more immune to upstream noise. I guess the only way to find out is to audition both in my system. 

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