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  1. Please report back - you have a Qutest user watching for more feedback. I'd feed the SRC-DX with USB from a SoTM SMS200 Ultra. I've always had doubts about feeding the Qutest with USB.
  2. You've listened to the Qutest for a 2-months... and the Pontus for a week. Thinking back to when you first put the Qutest in your system can you comment on how you initially felt about your music via the Chord DAC? Were you once as enamored with the Qutest as you are with the Denafrips? Perhaps say, after one week of listening?
  3. Thanks for the album suggestion. I like it. Qobuz has it as 88.2/24 no MQA required (nor wanted). I just added this album to my favorites.
  4. Especially in the age of YouTube there are a LOT of reviewers. They do serve a useful purpose but each of us need to be careful to not take the opinion of one person as a truth for all others. It's best to read everything, lots of reviews not just one. I've found that it's not uncommon for a reviewer here and there to really rave about a newly released dac but move on to some other new holy grail a month or two down the road. Certainly, the Denafrips Ares II product has seem some of this - it's great - it's the best - it's not that great - there's a new one that's better. Also, there is no one best. In fact, there are probably half a dozen really excellent sounding DACs on the market in this price range right now. "You pays your money and you takes your chance."
  5. No, not all three. None of them are standard chip based Delta Sigma Dacs. The Chord uses FPGA chips (Field Programmable Gate Array) with custom software designed by Rob Watts for Chord. The RME is a chip dac but uses AKM's AK4493 DAC chip. The Schiit is a ladder dac like R2R but uses four non-audio industry Analog Devices AD5781BRUZ digital to analog converters to create the non-oversampling multibit processing that works like individual resisters but in chip form. (Hope I got that right.)
  6. I listen to Jazz 70% of the time and while I have about 400 40-year old rock records I wouldn't call of them overly fast or electronic. I listen to vinyl about 40% of the time and stream Qobuz the rest of the time. I have the Qutest and it's a very good sounding dac that's certainly more analog sounding. My amp is the ALL TUBE Rogue Cronus Magnum II and my speakers are Harbeth P3ESRs. So, everything in my system is optimized for that full, warm sound. (Vinyl components are Rega P8, Ortofon Cadenza Black and PS Audio Stellar Phono.) The three DAC I suggested would all be on the more analog side of listening and not Sigma Delta Converter dacs. These three would be direct competitors to the Venus in similar price ranges. And, while a different kind of R2R Dac, the Schiit Gungnir Multibit is a non-oversampling ladder Dac.
  7. In similar price range the Chord Qutest is a great choice and even cheaper is the RME ADI-2 DAC which gets great reviews. There is also the Schiit Gungnir Multibit which is a logical choice as well. Also, as an FYI 18 square meters is ~194 square feet. A room if it was square shaped would be 14' X 14'.
  8. For an excellent and less expensive alternative to the Denafrips Iris try looking on the used market for a Schiit Etr. It provides Schiit's Gen 5 USB conversion to S/PDIF. They've been discontinued about a year but are super popular. They cost only $175 when new and are anywhere from $100 to $150 on the used market. I too use the SMS200 Ultra with the SPS500 PS. I also have a Schiit Etr that I'm holding on to. I've used it with the SoTM and found it to be great - but my DAC does USB right (Chord Qutest) so I don't see a need to go with S/PDIF. FYI it's a super popular device - Schiit has been reluctant to release a newer version after they updated their USB implementation from Gen 5 to their new in house Unison USB design. So, it might be a bit tough to find. Here's on on Audiophile Style for $100:
  9. I went from the Pro-Ject PB S2 to a Chord Qutest and found it to be a fantastic upgrade. Out of your list I'd probably go with No. 1 the RME DAC. I have not heard it, but plenty of reviewers have compared it to the Qutest and while the Qutest usually comes out ahead - it does cost twice as much as the RME - most say it's a very close race. If you didn't need the pre-amp functionality I"d recommend the Schiit Bifrost 2.
  10. The question I had after reading about the somewhat picky-ness of the Unison USB to work with specific Mac and Windows OSes whether or not there would be issues with my SoTM SMS200 Ultra's USB output. It never occurred to me that the Unison USB input would require specific operating systems. Anyone know the answer to this?
  11. That's where I can not help you. No experience with them. They cost more, but then they provide a lot of things I don't need since I rely on Roon for library organization, Qobuz integration and music playing. Part of what you are paying extra for in the Lumin and Innuos products is the software that does all the Roon does already.
  12. Yes, a much higher quality in many different ways. And, you do end up with multiple boxes - I have the SoTM SMS200 Ultra with the SPS-500 Power supply and they sit on top or next to each other and connect with an Ethernet cable to my network router and a single USB cable to my Chord Qutest DAC. These devices are ordered online usually and no, there isn't a way to test them ahead of time. I bought mine used and if I did not like it - I do like it - I would have simply sold it online to someone else.
  13. Oversampling? Or Upsampling? From your comment it sounds like you don't like using your computer to do upsampling of PCM files to a higher sampling rate. I don't have experience with either Lumin or Innuos, so I'm afraid I can't help you there. Hopefully, someone will chime in on your initial question. I think when I read about the two company's products they appear to cover much of the same tasks, but many say it depends on which company's player software and media app you prefer. Since you use Roon as your player software and app, you may want to look into less full-featured network streamers that are not servers but connect to your DAC and play music from the computer network. These would include SoTM, Sonore Rendu and other network attached streaming devices.
  14. Just a note - you don't need to replace your Mac Roon Core - but a great many of us find that replacing the Mac > USB > DAC chain to be a great way to improve sound quality. When you switch to a Network device such as a SoTM SMS200 Ultra, or a Sonore Rendu or other network streamer your Mac stays as your Roon Core, but instead of it serving files to your DAC via a USB cable, the Mac sends those files to your Network. And then, your network device, a device created expressly for doing the one job of providing the best audio, provides the output via USB to your DAC. Why? Because your Mac is doing dozens (hundreds) of tasks behind the scenes. But, a SoTM or Sonore or such has only the one task. It's a small simple Linux computer optimized to accept files from the network for audio output via a USB out that's also optimized for audio output. Your Mac can continue to run Roon and Plex and what ever - but it sends the stream out to your network and some other device takes the network stream and delivers it to your DAC.
  15. You'll need to find someone familiar with the MicroRendu to tell you have to set it up as a Roon Endpoint.
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