MicroRendu, UltraRendu or Other

Above you posted that you had a UltraCap LPS-1 not an UltraCap LPS-1.2. The UltraCap LPS-1.2 is the updated design with a built in grounding trick in it’s charging supply.

An UltraCap is charged by a switching mode power supply connected to your AC mains. The unit has a switching bank of ultra caps driving the output.

I prefer a traditional linear power supply with no switching components.

The link above was provided to show the member how to shunt trip the noise from the DC output of the SMPS charging the UltraCap LPS-1 which otherwise sales right through the unit.

The link above was not provided to inform you about low impedance leakage current and high impedance leakage current.

I stand corrected on my assumption, thank you for taking the time to clarify.

So we agree not producing it is the smarter approach.

We agree on that.

Something useful might be that you, the designer, or any of the ownership at Sonore demonstrate that what you’re doing is audible, by publicly submitting yourselves to a blind listening test to silence the people who claim all you’re doing is spreading FUD to sell product. This isn’t limited to Sonore. I’d love to see it become a standard, especially in the “experimental computer science” space.

I was responding to a specific claim of interference due to size of the board, made by one of your customers. My claim stands, which is that the fundamental design is similar to the allo: compute board on custom silicon. The result is also audibly identical, until you, not “your happy customers” can prove otherwise.

[Moderated] I went out of my way to call your UltraRendu a “really nice, really clean design”, which I’m sure it is - I’m not sure what more you need. I’ll take your word that your support is top-notch, and stated as much in my closing paragraph. I’ve been on the receiving end of engaged your customers are in the past, and it was not pleasant, so can attest to that as well. Value is another matter, and highly personal. If someone wants to pay ten times the price of a pi, double what Allo charges, or a quarter of what dCS does for a device of comparable function, it is up to them.

I will, however, gladly confess that there are many reasons I would never suggest anyone buy one of your products. [Moderated].

We don’t make any outrageous claims about our products and simply state that using a better power supply gives you better results. We also state that the output is bit-perfect which is to say that we don’t alter the signals as some have claimed. I don’t have to guess about these things in a blind test because I can hook it up to my analyzer and measure the output of the DAC and prove it. These devices are connected via ground planes and cables so things like power supply noise matters. However, if you are going to use a good power supply then we owe it to you to make these units as low noise as possible. If my customers want to say they enjoy our products I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to shame them any more than its appropriate for you to shame them if they like some other product that you are promoting. I simply ask that you not make false claims. There is nothing experimental going on here. We make a microcomputer with low noise regulators and low noise oscillators run on custom software that we have developed over a Linux platform. The software is an integrated part of the design and maintained for the customer as opposed to a DIY project where the customer needs to maintain the software themselves. This kind of work takes a lot of time behinds the scenes and costs a lot of money so the price of our products has to reflect it.

On face value, things can appear similar. There is no collaboration between our companies so expect differences. I don’t have to prove anything to you. I also don’t have to discount happy customers who enjoy our products.

I know John personally and he is a very humble guy/genius. I appreciate and agree with you that the UltraRendu is a “really nice, really clean design” I have no issue with people buying what they want to buy.

You made some false claims and they needed to be corrected. It’s not personal.

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Of course, you can buy the updated ‘Charging Supply’ for the LPS 1.2 to use with the LPS 1 unit.
Cost £21 from https://www.vortexbox.co.uk/Uptone_75V_ground-shunt_36W_PSU/p317978_17832335.aspx for those in UK etc.

And here from Uptone Audio themselves, at $17 for the revised Supply https://uptoneaudio.com/products/uptone-branded-7-5v-4-8a-36w-smps-with-internal-ground-shunt (Ships worldwide via Priority Mail or FedEx for just $34 ($25 Canada; $9 USA);

Some would say the claim that using a better power supply and / or optical devices to isolate equipment results in audibly better sound is outrageous.

I was not aware of these claims, and naturally never made them myself. I’m sure we agree they’re idiotic, and would be trivial to disprove.

As we both know, a well designed and executed blind test has nothing to do with guessing. It is, however, intriguing that you state it would.

I will remind you of the trite “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, and that I am not the one claiming a bit is not a bit here.

Once again, this is not criticism that applies specifically to Sonore, and I would say the same, as far as USB is concerned, to SoTM, @wklie of Lumin, the @ALLO_audio_boards people, a USB cable manufacturer, or anyone else who makes similar claims. This is not to imply these devices have no other qualities, of course.

To reiterate: I am not the one claiming these devices make an audible difference. Hell, I doubt that a bit is a bit, and that PSUs make a difference, enough to use one of your competitors’ devices, and have said as much in this very thread.

I will also share that I am not a manufacturer, nor am I associated with one, but dare hope that if I was, I would not [Moderated] refer to a competitor’s measurements as “irrelevant”, all while refusing to provide my own with the associated protocols so that they might be independently reproductible and compared. As long as the protocols were provided, and I claimed my products were superior, I will admit I might go as far as publicly offering a comparison of my own offering with that of the competition.

It is absolutely not my place to tell you how to better run what is already a successful business, but I do believe sharing both those measurements and the protocols that would allow them to be replicated is something that would be of value to the entire field you operate in. Likewise, and this is also something I say without irony, I am looking forward to the long-promised device your designer has stated he was working on and that could be used to prove his intuitions. Evidence-based competition is good for everyone.

Instead of alleging, I would appreciate it if you show me where I have shamed your customers for enjoying your products.

The one thing you will find is me making a reference to a completely unacceptable use of language by one of your customers, in support of you, and against the people who do not blindly believe your claims.

Because I was curious where you could get such an idea from, I’ve just looked through my post history. The one thing that did stand out, apart from us disagreeing on expensive 9/12v cables, was that I’ve pointed towards your products (alongside those of SoTM, Allo, and others), multiple times.

The one thing where I have a small doubt is if you happen to also be involved in selling audiophile Ethernet switches or USB cards. I have called those idiot magnets and suited for the truly brain damaged, respectively.
Lest you start believing this is some type of cabal against an engineer you seem to admire, the device I linked and referred to when talking about Ethernet was sold by SoTM.

If there wasn’t, wouldn’t the science behind it, as applied to audio reproduction devices, be widely accepted by the scientific community and the subject of numerous awards in fields and publications much more prestigious and reputable than audiophilia and subjectivist audio publications ?
Despite how groundbreaking such an event would be for audiophiles everywhere, and the service it would do to the hobby, I would wager that outside a rather rarified group, the humble could maintain their humility. In fact, I’d assume a humble man would rather choose to start by getting that work published in a scholarly journal, rather than risk being exposed as a genius by people so technically incompetent they believe in the magical properties of special stones.

If such material exists, I would welcome a DOI or two, because I’m genuinely curious.

I’m sure Ropieee users are very impressed at self-updating software.

I agree you have nothing to prove to me. I also agree you shouldn’t discount happy customers who enjoy your products, but, unless you’re incapable of backing that claim up empirically, I don’t see how proving your products make a clearly demonstrable audible difference, with the most trained listener possible, yourself, would be discounting them. Unless, of course, they don’t do what you told your customers they do. Which, in case you didn’t know, is fix a problem that “translates into a minimizing of critical spatial or soundstage cues.”

Sonore offer a 30 day no questions asked return policy. Anyone can try their products at no risk, if you don’t think it sounds better than something else, just send it back, what could be easier? Trust your own ears as they say. If you don’t like their marketing claims, just move on, let go of the bone. An ultraRendu clearly sounded better than the NUC that I was using for MPD, it really was a no brainer. Similarly, using the ultraRendu in Roon Ready mode was demonstrably better than a MacBook Air running Roon Bridge. YMMV which is perfectly fine.

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You seem to assume I live in the US, which I don’t. Insured S&H both ways + taxes on an UltraRendu would cost a couple of hundred.

This isn’t the way it works. The marketing (including organic) leads to biased expectations. Given the extraordinary nature of the claims, psychology, including cost, makes this family of products (once again, not only by Sonore) especially likely to create such biased expectations. That’s fine, but it also puts the onus on any such company to first prove their claims. In the case of Sonore, this relatively simple request seems to be interpreted as desire to pick a fight, not something that signals high confidence, I’d add.

Then comes a degree of game theory: if there’s a small price differential over a DiY solution, alongside measurements, I’m ok with taking the risk of being taken for a ride, including through psychology, because the risk is low. YMMV, of course.

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They would be wrong and it’s very easy to show the noise at the output of the DAC.

I’m not getting the impression that you know anything about this topic.

You are saying extraordinary claims have been made. You can repeat it as often as you like and convince yourself that it’s true, but none have been made.

There must be a conspiracy if everyone is involved. So where else have you made these type of allegations and mocked the designers and developers of these other fine products.

One minute you are saying they don’t make a difference and another minute you are saying they do. According to the link you provided above there is noise originating from the computer and galvanic isolation is useful. Sounds familiar right.

I have a hard time believing you. You haven’t provided any evidence for your position and yet here you are making outrageous claims and pretending to be above us all. When you do say something wrong because you don’t have a clue or don’t bother to research it…at least you admit you are wrong. How many times have you been wrong now because it seems like a lot.

It’s really not your place, but you want to do it, and you are doing it. Why would I provide you measurements for the obvious. Besides you have already stated with conviction that what we do does not matter. You made up your mind nothing right.

You are wondering off topic and ranting about stones and magic. I said there was nothing experimental going on. The scientific community passed you by a long time ago. The topic of noise and galvanic isolation you suggest do not matter only to later say that they do are well understood.

Okay. Again you are wondering off topic.

You repeating yourself and I’m forced to do the same. I just don’t have the inclination to show you anything especially when it’s abundantly obvious.

You are repeating yourself again about the extraordinary nature of the claims where there are none. Now you are also talking about psychology and biased expectations. Will there be more guess work on your part on these topics as well.

I own an ultraRendu.
To me, its greatest benefit is as a Roon-ready endpoint with a specific feature set. As far as I can tell (as configured, in my sound system, and to my aging ears) the device per se (without HQ Player) does not dramatically improve the sound I hear. I’d be interested in evidence that a better power supply (or any other change) could deliver enough improvement to justify the cost (or effort). However, whether or not tests demonstrate that they have those effects, I’d still value the device for its features as a Roon-ready endpoint/NAA that also supports HQ Player.

Now, whether HQP is worth the trouble is another set of issues! For most casual music listeners, IMO the Bluesound Node 2i probably delivers most of the SQ, at lower cost with less box/cable clutter, than a uR+LPS+HQP. The Node 2i also is Roon-ready and is a bit easier to use. But then, if you enjoy tinkering with filters and settings, it isn’t nearly as much fun as a Rendu and the software it supports.

This is a very important point for my decision what to buy.
With Sonore I buy hard and software. I depend on the company for future software updates.
Roon and HQP update their software rather frequently.
What happens with a Sonore product when you stop support?
Can I write my own software cards? Or is this a closed system?

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There is clear evidence of improvements with better power supplies. A SMPS measures dramatically different then a linear power supply. This is especially true with unbalanced DACs and some balanced DACs. Also, consider that some DACs are powered 100% by the USB audio port. The Rendu series from micro to ultra to optical pays increasingly more attention to the quality of the power supply on the USB port. There are many permutations and some experimenting is need. The best starting point is investing in a good power supply. BTW I use both SMPS and linear power supplies because one system is not mission critical and one is. A lot of this is based on need and budget and we leave this up to you.

The Bluesound Node 2i seems like a nice device. How much SQ it delivers is fixed by it’s design and power supplies. With a Rendu series a system can range from inexpensive to way to expensive. What I can tell you is the Rendu will not be a bottleneck and you can build around it as needed. How much of this is important to you depend on you. I don’t judge.

I have some older units in the filed which have never been updated. I recommended updating them but some people don’t. They still work fine. I would say it’s as secure as any other product. I don’t think a third party developer could implement the software correctly without our support.

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How long is your guaranteed software support?
1,3, 5 years?
In case I buy a Micro Rendu today, how many years I have a guaranteed software update possibility?

Please stop misrepresenting my statements. You have said that I was shaming your customers, and when I pushed you to back your claims up, you encouraged your customers to have my posts censored instead, then veered into calling me a liar, insinuating that I have some sort of a hidden agenda, and stating that I was mocking people by suggesting that when audibility claims are made, they are backed up. I contend that the people most qualified to do this are the principals and engineers of the companies who make and profit from these claims, which seems fair. If you disagree, I would welcome an explanation as to why.

We can do better than this, and I hope you can extend the same courtesy when you make mistakes than you get from me when I do.

To be very clear here:

I have doubts that the engineering efforts serve any practical (i.e, audible) use at all in some cases. In most cases, these doubts apply, at worst over a Pi, at best a purpose-built device that isn’t built with the same care as yours are. The rest of what you bring to the table is irrelevant to this (and as I’ve repeated multiple times, is something I see no reason to doubt).

Regarding the blind testing thing, you seem so sure that your work makes an audible difference that, to me, your response was kinda like stating that figuring out which was the loudest of two amplifiers with a 10dB gain difference was “guessing”. It’s fine if you think it wouldn’t be easy for you to tell the difference by ear, just be forward about it.

Nowhere in this discussion did I ask for measurements at DAC output from you. I would, however, welcome them, as a matter of principle and curiosity. I did, however, mention a different product by your designer, sold by a company that isn’t yours, stating that I would rather wait for evidence of it making a difference at DAC output. If you want to further blur the line between the companies (you share a designer, the industrial design of the cases is similar, etc), fine with me, but I’m not sure that’s really in anyone’s interest.

Your partner has publicly made audibility claims for devices used in bit-accurate transmission. Since my understanding is that you speak here as a representative of your company, and not in your personal capacity, I believe that the onus is on you, as a company, to back these up.

In your defense of the added value your product brings, which is something that you and I agree exists, you very rightfully pointed out that part of the costs you have to deal with is software development, while taking an underhand jab at DiY options.

I will admit my response to this may have sounded unduly snarky, but it was not off topic. The point was that the example you used (the ability your approach has to reduce maintenance for the end user) is something that is also offered by widely used, high-quality, alternatives. It is thus, contrary to your statement, not a differentiator for your product, and if it is, I would have preferred to hear why.

In the spirit of a constructive discussion between us, and on this forum in general, I’ll reassure you, again, that I have no professional affiliation or interest anywhere near anything in the consumer electronics space. Shills probably piss me off even more than they piss you off, so that is something else we agree about.

Given the nature of your relationship to them, your allegations, and how tense this exchange has been, I would hope that RoonLabs would have done due diligence and sent me a reminder of the transparency clause in the community guidelines if this had not been the case.

Should you doubt my word on this, which I’d totally understand, RoonLabs knows my name, and while I would trust that they respect my anonymity by not disclosing either to you, I will volunteer that it would be trivial to find my profession by googling it. I’ll be happy to have a discussion with you in private as well if this can reassure you that while I strongly believe that claims should be backed up, and emotions have run high, I do not hold any grudge against Sonore, either personally nor professionally. I’m not out to get you or hurt your business. If I were, I wouldn’t have a track record of suggesting people buy your stuff.

There’s no [moderated] hidden agenda here. The only thing you’re seeing is someone miffed by all the bullshit we’re seeing in the computer audio field, and the way it feeds and preys on the insecurities of customers.

This all said, let’s try this on terms I believe we agree on.

a) Sonore provides a product that has added value to some people, and none of what was said above, by myself or you, should be considered an indictment of this.

b) It’s a good idea to isolate the playback chain from the server. If you doubt this, it doesn’t necessarily require an expensive device.

c) To achieve this, there are other, cheaper options, with different compromises. There are other, more expensive options, with different compromises as well. They all work.

d) When thinking of compromises, the tangible, provable things are support and industrial design.

e) Shills suck.

So please, instead of us slinging mud at each other, take a step back, and think of what I’ve repeatedly asked: use those engineering chops to foster reproductible standards and protocols so that consumers can compare devices. Help your consumers, reach out to your competitors, and try to figure out a way to get this done together.

The boomers who grew up on new age bullshit are going to die off faster and faster, and I sure would rather have the engineers who built the stuff take the lead on defining and explaining what matters rather than have privateers with a probe do it. It’s better, and more respectful, for everyone.

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I have a microRendu and am very happy with it. I initially powered it with an iPower, and found that an LPS-1 made a substantial improvement in dynamics. I subsequently uograded to an LPS-1.2 and didn’t notice any difference in SQ between the LPS-1 and LPS-1.2.

The upgrade was made as part of a warranty claim and I don’t regret it. But I couldn’t recommend it as a worthwhile investment in improved SQ to others.

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Tom, it’s quite possible the benefits of the ultraRendu may be system dependent. I recently added an ultraRendu to my system (Roon Nucleus, with Bryston BDA-3 previously directly connnected via USB to the Nucleus) and the improvement was significant and immediately obvious to me. I was actually quite surprised by this, because I assumed the improvement offered by such a device might be minimal for me since I already had a pretty good DAC. I’m happy that I was wrong though.

Our guidance is important and thus I guide my clients based on their goals and budgets. I only makes claims I can back up with measurements because that information is not biased. I have been open and transparent about my findings.

The measurements allow you to see what is going on without bias in the way. Some things are audible and some are not. Either way you can see when something is as good as it can be and when something adds noise that should not be there. These findings are system specific and hard to generalize. No blind test will give this.

There is nothing to blur and no reason to blur it. Sonore, Uptone Audio, Small Green Computer and John Swenson Design are independent companies. Sonore, Small Green Computer and John Swenson are the primes in the development of the Sonore banded Rendu series. Sonore and Small Green Computer have no interaction with Uptone Audio on the development of their products.

That is silly. If you have an issue with something they have said then YOU need to take it up with them.

It’s inappropriate to compare our solution to a DIY option and this is why I bring it up.

And so you should be. However, I will not accept anyone claiming that we are part of that culture. Again if you have an issue take it up with the responsible parties.

Andy it might be helpful to describe your DAC, analog interconnects, preamp, and amplifier /integrated.

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