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Mike Rubin

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About Mike Rubin

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  1. Kinda confused here. Are you referring to an Uptone LPS 1.2 or are you referring to a different linear power supply?
  2. Thank you, Kumakuma. I was not able to get my own image to post from my telephone.
  3. I am on a quick trip to Tokyo and stopped in at a bookstore to browse magazines. I found this cover depicting the ultraRendu and the UltraDigital on a Japanese magazine. There also is a review in the magazine's editorial content. I don't read a word of Japanese, so couldn't translate anything on the cover and in the review, but thought the cover cool. I am sure that the Sonore folks are aware of the coverage, but I doubt many of the rest of us do. [Edit: I am unable to get the attached jpg to display. If I cannot fix this during my edit window, I will try again in a new comment.]
  4. Mostly when powering up. It usually keeps a connection, once made, until interrupted by a need to boot up for whatever reason, although it occasionally will just stop after a random song partway through a playlist or album. Also, and this is a DAC issue and not a rendu one, some XMOS DACs have a problem with mixtures of 16/44 and 24/44 files, of which I have many. That problem routinely would break the connection between rendu and DAC.
  5. I have an optical version of the Signature Rendu SE and the optical module. The latter is powered by one tap on a Wyred4Sound LPS. The SE plays into a Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC. I inherited a few bucks, so I stretched a bit and replaced a microRendu and a Wyred4Sound DAC 2 DSD SE with these pieces. The microRendu itself replaced a SOTM SMS-1000 server a couple of years before the latest upgrade. (The source is a Synology DS218+, the amplification is a Wyred4Sound STI-500 original version, and speakers are Revel F32’s. Router is an ASUS R-AC87R and switches are Netgear GS Series unmanaged. Power comes through a PS Audio Power Wave 10. I don’t have Roon, Tidal, or Qobuz, so I use JRiver, other DLNA, and LMS servers and appropriate controllers.) Each upgrade has produced remarkably better sound and, currently, my system sounds better than it ever has by any measure you could name. The optical module just by itself made a surprisingly big difference after using a TPLink FMC, especially with respect to bass reproduction and general clarity. My living room is not set up for proper imaging (and to preserve my marriage it never will be), but I now have a much wider soundstage than I had. Bad speaker placement also limits the amount and quality of bass, but I have more and better low end as I have moved up the Sonore product ladder. Noise is nonexistent, even when the volume is up. Pace is improved, with percussion having greater impact, as well. Good recordings sound better than they have and bad recordings still sound bad, which generally is a desirable paradigm. I also love that the rendus have played every file format that I have natively. Not sure what to add beyond these generalities. There are downsides of which any potential buyer should be aware. Connectivity to DAC’s can be dicey, a problem noted by other posters on the Sonore sponsored forum here. Both Rendus from time to time have had a tough time making the handshake with the half dozen DAC’s that I have swapped out in troubleshooting and experimenting, although the worst of those problems was a DAC issue, not a rendu one. Restarting either of the rendus after a firmware update, a power failure, a network reboot, or a cable or equipment swap has proven an adventure, requiring a specific power-on sequence, re-saving the controller software in the rendu settings, and restarting the server software, which may or may not recognize the rendu as an active server. Sometimes the software says music is playing but no sounds emerge from the amp, in which case I have to go through the entire restart sequence again. Be patient and it eventually restarts. It’s not nearly foolproof as pushing a button to startup a CD player or a server like the SoTM, but keep this in mind: I spent more than I could afford in order to replace my first rendu with another rendu, knowing full well about these issues, simply because, at the time, my system never sounded better than with the original rendu doing the heavy lifting. Also, Sonore stands behind the products and offers advice promptly when you do run into snags. I haven’t heard the regular opticalRendu, but I gather that it sounds remarkably close to the Signature version for a lot less money, especially if you also use the Sonore-branded power supply. In short, I highly recommend these products to those patient enough to endure their peccadillos. I think they sound fabulous, at least in my system.
  6. I have a Cobalt and have been using it mostly in a desktop setup controlled by JRiver. JRiver enables (and requires) me to downsample higher-res files to 24-96. I have no real complaints about the sound quality of even the downsampled files in that application. It’s comparable to what I get through a low-end LH Labs Pulse (although the latter plays even DSD natively). Just for grins, I substituted the Cobalt for my Wyred 4 Sound 10th Anniversary DAC in my main system. The cheap cable I used with the Cobalt probably explains at least some of the difference and the Cobalt generally sounded a lot thinner than the much more expensive DAC, but, on the whole, it sounded better than anyone ought to expect from a product of that size and price. However - and this is a big “however” - it simply couldn’t play anything beyond 24-96 using my standard DLNA player. It stuttered through those files. I really wouldn’t recommend the Cobalt for a streaming system if you are heavily invested in hi-res, especially when there are decent uncompromised alternatives for not much more money. I don’t enjoy headphones and despise IEM’s, but I do own some $30 wireless cans from Best Buy that I use at the gym. My Android phone connects to them via Bluetooth and keeps me entertained with low-fi Spotify and SiriusXM. Also for grins, I attached the Cobalt to my Samsung Galaxy 9+ with the USB-C adaptor and then connected the cheap phones via cable to the Cobalt. I was surprised at how much better everything sounded than over Bluetooth. I suspect that the Cobalt might be at its best when connected to a phone, making mp3’s and low-fi streams sound better. If I had more love for headphones and listened on the mobile more often away from the gym, I would be tempted to buy a much better set of cans for this application.
  7. FWIW, I have solid state DACs and, if I ever have to power down either of them, I always have to power cycle my Rendus and re-save the MPD/DLNA app in "settings" after powering on the DACs or I won't hear anything. That's true whether or not the Rendus' control software says that it sees the DACs. (Usually it doesn't at that point, but it sometimes does.) I simply view the DAC and Rendu recycling necessity and software re-saving as expected behavior and part of the use routine with these products.
  8. Isn’t that the only way to do it with these devices? I haven't figured out how to set a static IP address in their settings, so always have had to reserve their addresses in the router settings. If there is a way to do this at the device itself, I would love to know.
  9. Lifer, I have had the same issues when I recycle the modem or router or run an OS update on the Signature Rendu SE itself. My current routine, using JRiver (with DLNA) or LMS as the controller software, is to do this after the recycle completes: (1). Turn off power to Signature Rendu DAC, and FMC/OM (if applicable). (2). Repower in this order, one unit at a time: (a): FMC/OM; (b). DAC; and (c). Rendu. When DAC repowers, allow it to complete its full power on routine. When Rendu repowers, make sure that default 44.1khz sample rate displays, if your DAC shows the rate. (3). Allow Rendu to complete power on cycle and then find interface on your phone/tablet/computer browser. (4). Check DAC diagnostics to be sure that the first and third windows confirm handshake completed. (5). Go to Rendu settings tab. Restart your controller software by clicking on "save." Wait until green status bar appears and confirms restart is complete. (6). If your server software can be started, do so. (I use JRiver, located on my computer, so it's easy to restart it from my phone using remote access software.). After restart completes, make sure the Rendu shows as a client, if your server software can show you that. (7). Restart your controller software on your phone or tablet, if that is how you address the Rendu. Make sure that both server and Rendu client are accessible from that software. (8). Choose your music and hit "play.". Usually, you hear something, but sometimes nothing will play or music will appear to play but be inaudible. In that case, try redoing steps (5) through (8). (9). When all this fails, start again at step (1). Eventually, it works, as you have noted. The days of shoving a CD into the player, making sure you have the right input, hitting "play," and hearing music immediately are over if you have gone to a streaming system. Why do we do it? Because it sounds amazing when it's humming. Despite my fairly frequent frustration with getting all the pieces to play nicely with one another (and I have a decent amateur's understanding of networking), my system has never sounded better, even compared to when I had more expensive amplification and a top-of-the-line SACD player.
  10. Thanks, Greg. I pretty much believed what you say when I started this thread. However, I keep being informed that RCA in doesn't necessarily stay analog and, if it converts to digital, the files it handles in native format are limited to what its internal DAC can handle. My audioengine 5's are all analog, to be sure, and are okay for what they do, but they definitely seem to be most useful as nearfield monitors. I continue to look for small powered monitors suitable for use in a small den system.
  11. Thanks. The Nuprime that I mentioned is a class D that includes a DAC that can handle those resolutions. I am sure there are other class D options that also can be used with a Logitech Harmony remote. (Although I did not point this out in my original post, Logitech compatability or programmability also is a requirement because a TV set also will be connected optically and my technophobic wife and family won't use a phone app or select inputs manually.)
  12. My understanding is that most "studio monitors" are intended for nearfield listening, as are desktop monitors. My application is in a den and not a studio or an office environment. Since posting my query, I have been devoting a lot of web time to trying to find audiophile bookshelf speakers without DSP, but am having a tough time finding items that aren't intended for studio or desktop. I am aware that the new ELAC Navis is fully analog, but I hope I can find something smaller and that I don't have to spend that much. (Budget is about $1000 a pair.). Kumakuma's Emotivas have been discontinued. Duck Toller's Abacus doesn't seem to be available in the US. Maybe that engineering services guy wasn't so wrong when he said I won't find powered speakers without DSP, at least not ones like his home use product. I think that I will start thinking twice about how important sampling beyond 192 and DSD really are to me or, instead, look for a small DSD-capable integrated amp (like the Nuprime ida-8) and some decent passive speakers. Thanks for your input, gents.
  13. Thanks to Duck Toller and you for confirming what I thought and what I thought I asked clearly of the rep.
  14. I have been considering powered monitors to use with a microrendu and DSD-capable DAC in a small den in our basement. I originally looked at monitors with USB inputs but quickly learned that none in which I might be interested can play a DSD file natively or even play a PCM or DoP file with sample rates greater than 192 without downsampling (or at all). I then figured I would just attach a DSD-capable DAC to the RCA analog inputs of one of these monitors. At that point, I was informed that any powered monitor with DSP processing would convert the analog signal to digital and that it would be limited to the bit rate and sample rate of the monitor's internal (non-DSD) DAC. No problem, I figured. I can just get a monitor that only has analog inputs, like one derived from a studio monitor (such as one of the JBL's) or primarily intended for desktop use (like the Audioengines on my desk, through which I play DSD files daily). I then had a confusing bit of correspondence with a manufacturer's technical services manager. He assured me that I was mistaken about monitors that only have analog inputs. He said that it is in the very nature of powered monitors to have DSP processing and, therefore, if I want to play DSD natively or high sampling rate files without downsampling, I need to stick to an external amp and passive speakers. I am not opposed to a passive speaker solution. However, I thought there are hundreds of powered speakers, including some not limited to near-field use, that are analog, period, including the Audioengines that I currently use and various other Focal and NHT monitors that I had on my desktop before them. Am I mistaken about this, as the manufacturer's rep asserts?
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