With build 94 you can now use RoonReady endpoints such as the Sonicorbiter SE to their full potential.
Sorry, but I’ve got to post this…
I ordered a SonicOrbiter SE, arrived this afternoon. And I’m taking a few moment’s to pass along early impressions from my first listening session, which is still in progress. And I won’t be long, because I can’t wait to get back to the music!
I’ve been playing “From the Mountaintop” by the New Appalachians (24/196) and Anonymous 4 “American Angels” DSD, and it is staggering, it sounds so good! It is the best sound that I have heard from my system EVER. And I’m no audio spring chicken.
Granted, I’m using a new USB cable that cost about as much as the SonicOrbiter SE. And I’m playing the music from the SonicOrbiter SE in “RoonReady” mode. So maybe the wondrous sound I’m hearing is all about RAAT. Fine. It could be either. Or both. But I’m posting because if RAAT were the bee’s knees, and my new USB cable was 'da bomb, it would not make ANY difference if the SonicOrbiter SE could not pass along those benefits to my ears. And it does! Wow.
So, I’m going to conclude, if only because I’m dying to get back to listening to the tunes. But I thought it was worth passing along a first impression…
Steve, i agree with your thoughts on the SQ. One thing i immediately noticed when switching to the SE from a laptop was an immediate drop in noise compared to the admittedly cheap laptop. Very happy with the unit.
Thanks Kevin. Really.
Honestly I suspect what I’m hearing is RAAT’s ability to pass the timing of my DAC’s clock back upstream PLUS the SonicOrbiter SE’s ability to not degrade the signal. Having had a Cubox-I for a while before this, I’m certain it’s not about superior hardware.
Instead I suspect I’m hearing RAAT benefits that the hardware is able to - and does - pass along faithfully. I could not be more pleased.
I completely agree. Its not an improvement in the fact it made the signal somehow better but rather in my case it it an improvement because it doesn’t inject all of the noise that the laptop was to the stream. It is just passing through what it receives as it should with no degradation, which for my preferences is exactly what i want products to do.
I realized I may have been unclear in that statement…
IMO it does not take mind boggling hardware to perform 100% of the desired functions of a perfect Roon network endpoint. It just has to do the job, and not degrade the signal. It appears - IMO - the SonicOrbiter SE does exactly that.
Net net… You don’t have to spend a lot of money for a network endpoint to pass along awesome sound, using RoonReady devices. Or that’s one man’s opinion anyway…
And what’s at the other end of that USB cable?
A Musical Fidelity MX-DAC powered by an SBooster BOTW P&P ECO linear power supply. Not the best DAC, but apparently a decent piece of kit.
Gratuitous comment from my experience: I bought a SonicOrbiter SE and a European linear power supply. Setting it up, updating the software and playing as a Roon Zone was as near effortless as I can imagine. I do not claim golden ears but the sound seemed great to me - no hesitations, clicks or other artefacts along the way. I am a very happy customer.
I could not agree more. Mine came with a single sheet of instructions - that helped. But it was up and running in - oh, I don’t know - maybe 60 seconds? Pretty darned easy.
I agree how easy the SE is to set up. With the selectable output modes, and the support you get with this product, you just can’t go wrong. And as said earlier the Sound Quality is outstanding.
I got mine in the mail today. Really easy to setup, tried Roon Ready mode first, then HQP, and connected an AQ Jitterbug to the USB. Definitely sounds great. I got the SonicOrbiter instead of replacing a Sotem USB card. The small foot print is also really nice, now I can rid of an audio PC in my living room,
i just ordered one along with a power line extender! So will the sonore device now be my Roon core? And will I uninstall Roon on the laptop I am using as a core now and install a control program instead?
Chris - don’t uninstall anything. You still need your core, whether it’s Roon or RoonServer. The SonicOrbiter SE does not replace it at all.
What it does do is allow you to have an endpoint that your core can get to over a network (like your power line extender), that your core can send music too. The SonicOrbiter will digitally pass that music along over USB or Toslink to your hifi - likely your DAC.
That makes sense. Thanks.
The Sonicorbiter SE will always be a Roon player (RoonReady). You will still need a Roon Server running someplace on your network.
I just got mine. Gosh it is tiny! I haven’t tried to use it except to see that it slows up on my network. Still waiting for the Ethernet extender to show up.
I am also considering the SonicOrbiter. While I understand to switch it between the DAC and a cheap hardware device, I was wondering whether it would provide any added value if I connect it between my NUC and my DAC (Devialet D200).
If it helps: I tried a Jitterbug at the NUC and it made really not difference at all in sound quality. So maybe it also depends on the quality of the DAC, which in case of the Devialet D200 is very high.
Klan - Just to clarify your question…
It sounds like you have your NUC connected to your DAC (Devialet D200) now. Given that you tried a Jitterbug, I’m going to assume you connect over USB (vs. AES/EBU, TosLink, or coax). What it sounds like you are considering is a SOSE, wired network connected to the NUC, attached to your DAC over USB. Is that correct?
IMO there are too many unknowns and variables to be able to tell you with any certainty whether that will sound better. I’d venture to say that it is not possible to say things will sound better with the SOSE with any certainty. Likewise, in most instances, I think it’s fair to say it might. What we don’t know is the noise the NUC is contributing to your analogue gear (if it’s physically close to it), or what losses you are experiencing due to a long USB cable (if such is the case).
Were I a betting man though, if you’ve got a short, quality USB cable now, and if you have that NUC a meter or two away from analogue gear (and analogue cables), then you won’t hear much of a difference. But you might. Sorry knowing with certainty is not possible.
But I will share this thought with you…
I have no idea if my NUC - when it was on my hifi rack, USB connected to my DAC - contributed any noise or sonic degradation to my system. I never heard any. But I never listened for it either. So I guess that means it was not obvious. But I still got a SOSE and moved the NUC to another room out of precaution. In my case, that would not make things worse, and might have made them better. Again, never bothered listening for it. But in a music reproduction system where interconnects can cost more than a SOSE, it was an easy decision to make.
you got my setup right and thanks for your valuable feedback.
Your assumptions all apply to my situation, which is why I will not opt for a SOSE at the time being.