microRendu General Thread

Danny / Robert, you guys are both hired :slight_smile:

SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE


Andrew, thanks for your replay as well. The iFi iPower Supply is actually a SMPS and it’s a good starting point. However, the microRendu will really surprise you with a better power supply.

SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

Mark, what part of the world are you in?

SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

That comment was not intended for you.

SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

Fair enough, thanks.

I think the statement the reviewer makes about Roon sounding better than DLNA is important because of the following:

If this reviewer is hearing what he wants to when Roon is involved it makes me wonder if the same thing is happening when he listens to the Rendu.

This is a shame, because I have no doubt the product is designed well, and I am sure true audiophiles with better ears can hear all the improvements, and that is your market.

But as @andybob states, he doesn’t hear much of a difference between it and a Cubox. I doubt my 50+ year old ears would hear much either when compared to my BeagleBone Black. Those in the DIY market may not experience much difference.

A lot of this is in our brain and not our ears. I think this reviewer proves that.

(I should note, I think the same thing happens with respect to vinyl, one hears what one wants.)

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Some would say that the MP3 is fine, and that you don’t need better.

For me, I know the MP3 can sound worse and in some cases I can tell. If the choice is within my budget, why would I purposely sabotage my experience?

The same goes for the hires content, my DAC, my amp(s), and my speakers. In the end, it comes down to how much you are willing to spend, and how trained your ears are… your 50 year old ears may not be as “good” as they were when you were 20, but I bet they are better now for your favorite music for the last 30 years.

I have a 4k TV 12 feet away from my couch and I have 20/40 vision. I normally can’t tell the difference between it and 720p, at that distance, with my eyesight. But when I look at photos with details, or artwork I know well, I can tell.

Same goes for my favorite albums that I know every note.

Unfortunately, I still use headphones for the best experience, since my rooms are totally wrong for quality listening. :frowning:

This thread is getting a little philosophical, but the point here is that the microRendu is good in specs, good in design, and it fits a certain budget. It might not be your budget (high or low), but it has a goal and it hits that goal well. Give Sonore a 100x budget, and I’m sure they can do better, but that’s not the question at hand.

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I’ve used the following into Schiit Bifrost Multibit > Schiit Asgard 2 > MrSpeakers Alpha Prime:

  1. SOtM sMS-100 (USB)
  2. SOtM sMS-100 > Bel Canto mLink (S/PDIF coax)
  3. CuBox i2-eX > Bel Canto mLink (S/PDIF coax)
  4. SOtM sMS-100 + Teddy Pardo LPS > Bel Canto mLink (S/PDIF coax)
  5. microRendu + Teddy Pardo LPS (USB)

I listen to jazz, baroque, 20th century classical, and various West Africa, Middle East, and Mediterranean musics, mostly instrumental, FLAC 44.1/16 to 192/24 depending on recording. I head a significant improvement from 1 to 2, and a smaller but still noticeable one from 4 to 5. No difference between 2 and 3 that I could hear, and maybe a slight improvement from 3 to 4. I did some (non-blind) A/B between 1 and 2, and between 2 and 3, but no other A/B tests. I could have been fooled by wishful hearing, of course.

Similar here. I had an SMS-100 with a high end PS and USB Regen - sounded very good, much better with the high end PS than with another PS.
Switched to microRendu with iFi PS. Like Fenando, I hear some improvement over the SMS-100 with expensive PS. I will probably upgrade the PS for mRendu soon and see it that kicks it up another notch.

I’d love to see some measurements to go with the subjective opinions.
I’ve got one and am happy, but the scientist in me would feel even happier if there were test results confirming what I think I’m hearing.

For example there are some mutec mc-3+ USB measurements around that show marked improvements using j-test signals with and without. Whether or not this leads to an audible improvement I doubt I’ll ever be able to fully say since I’m never likely to study the theory or do practical experiments myself, but we can (I hope) trust others who understand these things and draw the conclusion that if people are saying they hear good things, these measurements may be (part of) the reason. People seem VERY happy with a microrendu feeding a mutec for example - happier than with the mr by itself.

In a sense it would almost be better for the manufacturers to release the data so there’s no argument. At the same time, why not run tests on all output modes and see if there are any measurable differences to backup perceived changes?

Most of me is over worrying about all this stuff - it’s in my system and works well - but there is always a nagging doubt to the extent of the improvement…

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Hi Jesus, I’m in the UK (part of the problem I suspect).

Have you considered allocating a mR unit + psu to a demo tour amongst a group like the SBAF guys? IME they’re a bunch of experienced, honest people who give credit where it’s due (and the reverse where it’s not) & they often have products doing the rounds in the this way. Anyway, drop me a message if you want to discuss it further.

Thanks Danny, this is really useful info.

I’m not sure philosophical is a problem. Music evokes something in us. Something more than science and specs. A product like the Rendu that claims because of its better specs and design, the music sounds better than a similar bit perfect system is going to be enticing because we want to hear the music as the artist intended, or as we remember hearing it when we were a certain age. I want the Rendu to make a real difference, I’d buy it at twice the price if it did. But I have been given no reason as to why I’ll hear the bits it passes differently than the bits other hardware streamers pass (with the exception of a basic Pi, where usb and ethernet share the same bus). Every review (and the founder/designer) says it performs better with a better power supply. That tells me what folks are hearing is the power supply, not the Rendu, which gives me even more pause that the Rendu is difference maker by itself, if at all.

I want to hear music in a way that is as close to the source as possible, without anything missing and without the sound/files being manipulated post-mastering. And I want to see evidence, reviews, and analysis that is devoid of expectation bias. Unfortunately, most reviews, and this one especially, show expectation bias is at play.

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Suggested reading for doubters [Connecting-your-DAC-#2:-how-digital-can-go-wrong]

Fritz, you are in the best position to find what you are looking for and it’s seems it’s a Pi. I’m okay with that. In fact, the Pi is devoid of everything we are saying about the microRendu and devoid of expectation bias from reviewers.

SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

We have a dealer in UK that might be able to help you: http://sonore.us/dealers.html

SONORE computer audio - Rendu | microRendu | Sonicorbiter SE

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BTW Hans reviewed the microRendu and he compared it to a Pi:

Think of it as an exclusion game: remove as much cruft that could be detrimental as is possible and build up the rest with some good, solid, common-sense engineering.

I’m happily using my Pi for coax out, but if I ever – for whatever unfathomable reason – were to buy a USB DAC, I’d pick up MicroRendu in a heartbeat. And if I didn’t know Linux, I’d so the same with a SonicTransporter. Good engineering, hardware and software.

I use a linear PSU with my Pi. Do I hear a difference? I really could not tell for sure, but it makes good sense to use one. I just put in the new Digi+ Pro, with dual oscillators, so it can output 48kHz and multiples with more precision. Do I hear a difference? Not sure yet, but it makes good sense to use one. Peace of mind makes for relaxed listening.

If you really want to hear ‘music in a way that is as close to the source as possible’, take on the elephant that is the room. Good room treatment and/or correction will bring your reproduction much closer to this source and make for very noticeable (and measurable!) improvements, compared to which all of the above is mere scribbling in the margins.

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Actually, it is not a Pi. Never said it was. I have chosen a BeagleBone Black over the Pi because the Pi combines the Ethernet and USB on the same bus. That makes sense to me as an inferior way to stream music.

To me the Rendu is like a hand-crafted desk. It’s beautiful. High quality materials are used. It gives me piece of mind when writing. An IKEA desk of the same dimensions is the same tool and in no way compares to the hand-crafted desk. But the next great novel can be written on both in front of the same window. Will it though? Probably not. Because the benefit of that hand crafted desk is like good artwork, it helps set the mood. But functionally they are the same.

With all due respect, that’s just another man’s opinion. I’d love to see you send one to the likes of Archimago for review where it’ll presumably show measurable differences over other USB transports.