MicroRendu, UltraRendu or Other

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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Click on my avatar for the system components. Analog interconnects, speaker cables and internal speaker wiring are Chimera Laboratories from Dallas.

You link reviews on your homepage where the sound of your device is compared to beer, and all the usual audiophile cliches (e.g. imaging, seperation, blackground, definition, etc.) are applied to your ethernet streamer. This is the culture to which we are referring no?

I promise…no beer was harmed in any review. Those are clearly noted as third party reviews and I can’t help it if our efforts yield amazing results. We are not trying to make things that sound bad. FYI Most of those reviews were done with Roon software.

What connections between Matrix and DAC and DAC and AMP?

So when you say “…I will not accept anyone claiming that we are part of that culture…”, what you mean is that its “ok” when you dive into the deep end “of that culture” (on your homepage, in the snippet I just quoted) or someone else does for your benefit, but it’s not ok (i.e. “you will not accept it”) if someone else points it out in a way that may not be to your benefit??

Your not making any sense.

[Moderated]

mRendu-Matrix: Mapleshade Clearlight USB (1m).

Matrix-DAC: Kitsune Quality HDMI I2S cable (0.3 m).

DAC - Preamp: Chimera Laboratories XLR - RCA Interconnects (1m).

I have a way to simulate what you are doing and measure it to see what is happening. I will take some because I have a very busy schedule. I’ll report back when it’s done.

The software and hard features are true features that can be validated. We also refer to our customers and reviewers for honest feedback. I would say we take greater care compared to most audiophile companies. The only recommendation is to use the best power supply you can afford for obvious reasons. The power supplies in our Signature is very good. The other power supplies we sell meet any budget and the user decides what they can afford or what fits their needs. People are entitled to opinions but selfish attacks for the sake of picking an argument and arguing for the sake of arguing is not an entitlement.

[Moderated]

Hi. I found the microRendu (version 1.4 firmware) powered by an Uptone LPS-1 ultracapacitor power supply to be very effective. Not sure how much better the UltraRendu would be, to be honest. I now have an OpticalRendu and I don’t feel it’s night-and-day better really.

An alternative option is the SotM SMS-200 or SMS-200 Ultra. I have no experience of SotM products so someone else might be able to chime in.

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