Multichannel Playback on Sonore UltraRendu: Channel Layout Missing?

My setup looks like this: SonicTransporter i9 for ROON DSP >>> Sonore Ultra Rendu Network Audio Adapter (NAA) >>> Sonore UltraDigital USB-to-SPDIF Converter COAX >>> Denon 4520 AVR

All audio FLAC files reside on a Network Attached Storage (NAS).

While I have successfully played multichannel FLAC files in Roon in the past, I noticed recently that this is no longer the case.

For some reason, Roon is downmixing 5.1 multichannel FLAC files to 2.0 even though “Channel Mapping Only” is selected (see screenshot below).

Through my searches, I realize that I can’t find the “Channel Layout” setting for any of my Roon Endpoints, including the Sonore UltraRendu.

Where did it go? Here are more screenshots from Device Setup:

I’m scratching my head on why I’ve lost the ability to play multichannel audio.


I take it that your setup before when getting MCH through Roon was the same?

Have you tried HDMI out of the server, if available, directly into the Denon, which I assume like Marantz prepros will decode MCH? Obviously, a different endpoint in Roon to set up. Just to ensure that your inability to get MCH is unique to this setup.

I have a somewhat similar setup with server output through a microRendu to a USB Okto dac8pro MCH DAC. I play out through HQP, so I don’t have the sample rate choices you show, but I do have the channel layout along with full 6 channel audio.

The only thing I note is that “save” on mine is grayed out and only “cancel” in blue is a choice that I can make. Yours is the opposite. I don’t know what that means, but perhaps it is related?

I have attached a screenshot of my setup screen. JCR

That’s because the current settings have already been saved. If you make a change to a setting, then the “Save” button will be made active again.

Unfortunately, the SonicTransporter i9 does not have an HDMI connection. It sits in the server rack, close to the switches.

When I look at your screen shot, I am mystified why I don’t see the “Channel Layout”, “Send stereo/mono content as 7.1”, and “Swap Rear and Surround Channels” on my Device Setup.

Just to confirm, I am accessing this from the “Settings”, “Audio”, “UltraRendu”, “Device Setup” menu?
It seems that somewhere in my Roon setup, the default is 2.0 channels only, not even giving me the choice to select more channels.

You may want to post this question in the Sonore support forum.

If I look at your Device Setup screenshot, then I’m seeing the ultraRendu listed as both the Bridge device and the Audio device. I would have thought that the audio device would need to be listed as the Denon - because that’s the multichannel device? Lets see what Sonore support say…

With a USB to S/PDIF converter in the chain, no multichannel PCM capable component is in the signal path and visible to the Roon core.


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I can’t get onto the Sonore forum, despite my registration. Maybe the Administrator is asleep.

In the meantime, I think Andrew Shepherd might be right. Andrew Gillis mentioned to me offline that
he thinks the Sonore UltraDigital is 2.0 channel only. I’ll wait for confirmation from Sonore.

If that’s the case, it’s an unfortunate development as I bought the UltraRendu on the assumption it could pass multichannel audio, which Andrew Gillis assured me it did.

I didn’t think to check if the UltraDigital also passes multichannel. Since my AVR doesn’t accommodate USB inputs - only HDMI and S/PDIF - it appears that my multichannel audio are marooned on my NAS.

I would be open to suggestions on how I can route multichannel audio files from the UltraRendu to the AVR.

I should add that the intention of running the UltraRendu through the AVR is to get access to room correction software built into the current AVR (Denon = Audyssey) and future Pre/Pro (Anthem AVM60 = ARC). The AVR or Pre/Pro are the hub for a music and movie system (PLEX).

The Sonore website doesn’t indicate one way or the other whether the UltraRendu is 2 or MCH. I was wondering if that might be the issue. You may need to consider a USB to HDMI adapter out of the UltraRendu, if it will support HDMI MCH audio. There are a bunch to investigate on Amazon, all under $100. Then, your Denon can decode. I’d recommend using Audiolense to develop convolution filters for sound correction that Roon runs for you. It smokes Audyssey MultiXT32, which is what I assume you have in your prepro. I have a Marantz AV-8802A and really saw a substantial improvement in sound by use of AL filters. JCR

Thanks for the tip on using a USB to HDMI adapter. While HDMI is not as ‘tweakable’ as USB is, I wish that Sonore would see the benefit in offering this as a connection … not limiting it to USB only. I’ve asked Sonore this question and they don’t see HDMI as being suitable for high-resolution audio (too much noise I think).

For those of us that use Pre/Pro’s for movie and audio systems, this would be a huge benefit.

While I agree that Audyssey has it’s limitations, my plan is to replace this unit with an Anthem AVM60 so I can get access to ARC. ARC room correction is significantly better than Audyssey for audio and competes very well with expensive DIRAC systems.

Because I have Martin Logan electrostatics/subwoofers, I already use ARC for sub-woofer equalization. Solid audio credentials behind the folks at ARC.

Whatever the capabilities of upstream components, a device that converts the audio to s/pdif cannot pass multichannel pcm audio.

Thanks for this.

I’m getting a lot of conflicting advice on S/PDIF and multichannel audio. I think I’m understanding it better now.

Is it correct to state that S/PDIF will pass multichannel compressed audio up to 48kHz, like AC3 (Dolby Digital) or DTS, but cannot pass multichannel uncompressed PCM?

Do I have that right? That would explain why I can play lossless, multichannel PCM files over HDMI and not over S/PDIF.


Well, Wikipedia (yeah, I know) says: “S/PDIF is based on the AES3 interconnect standard.[3] S/PDIF can carry two channels of uncompressed PCM audio or compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound (such as DTS audio codec); it cannot support lossless surround formats that require greater bandwidth.[4].” JCR

Which leads me to my next question:

Has anyone run multichannel PCM audio from a Sonore UltraRendu? Most audio-friendly AVR’s and Pre/Pros (i.e. Denon, Marantz, NAD, Anthem) only have HDMI and S/PDIF inputs.

I do from a microRendu. Even DSD128 native 6 channel. Via USB, however. When I’ve done MCH HDMI to my Marantz prepro, it’s been direct HDMI out from my server running WS2019. That’s why I suggested you may need to try a USB to HDMI adapter. JCR

Not sure if I understand your setup.

My goal is to send MCH audio from the UltraRendu to the AVR to access room correction software.

I see two possible paths:

  1. UltraRendu >>> USB-to-HDMI Converter >>> AVR DAC and Room Correction Software
  2. UltraRendu >>> USB 8-Channel DAC >>> Analog Output >>> AVR Room Correction Software

(Too bad Sonore doesn’t see merit in developing a decent USB-to-HDMI adapter for audio only).

My challenge is finding a Pre/Pro (at a reasonable cost) that includes either an audio USB input and/or analog 7.1 audio inputs.

My preference for Room Correction Software would be ARC >> DIRAC >> Audyssey, in that order.

My principal system MCH setup is:

Synology 1813+ NAS (with DSF music files) --ethernet–> server for Roon and HQPlayer (HQP downconversion from DSD64 MCH for convolution with Audiolense filters and upscaled thereafter to DSD128) --ethernet–> microRendu --USB–> Okto dac8pro MCH DAC (native DSD128) --analog–> Marantz AV-8802A prepro --analog–> amps and subs

But, in my secondary system, MCH convolution is in Roon and not HQP, and I use a cheap $125 i-3 reconditioned PC as a Roon endpoint to take HDMI out of there and into another Marantz prepro.

With your (1) above, that should work if the MCH passes through the USB-to-HDMI converter as I think it should, and then your AVR can run Audyssey (or ARC, with your future AVR) as you desire.

With your (2) above, you would need a USB MCH DAC, such as the Okto as I have (it’s really good), or the exasound and the few others around. JCR

Recently I have been looking into Multichannel audio and have a similar system, STi5, ultraRendu, Denon AVR and I’m running Roon. This is what I have learned, from the Sonore forum, the Rendu will pass multichannel through USB. But you will need a multichannel DAC of which I have found 2. They are not that expensive, one of them got excellent reviews. This is one of them “”. Read my 5.1 posts in the Sonore forum. The downside is you will need to run 6 sets of cables to external in and probably won’t be able to use bass management. I tried to use a USB to HDMI converter from the Rendu no luck there either. The converter needed a driver, even for a Mac. How do you load a driver onto the Rendu? I did try it without the driver and it did not work. What will work is a Roon endpoint with an HDMI out, such as an Intel Nuc, many on this forum use this “5.1 FLAC with Roon to Raspberry Pi” I also looked into an RPi not a solution. In my case I was able to play 5.1 through my MacBook, as a Roon end point, with a USB C to HDMI converter. Of course I have to connect it to my system when I want to listen, a pain, and I’m not using the Rendu. I own over 100 5.1 disks that are DVD-A, SACD and Blu. I have only been able to rip the DVD-A discs to FLAC. The others are more difficult to rip and warrants a thread unto themselves. Bottom line I’ll continue to use my Oppo BDP 83 for 5.1.

Well, so much for the idea of using a USB to HDMI adapter. Those pesky drivers.

This is a cheap i3 PC of the type I use for MCH in four of my MCH setups at home. Works just fine as a Roon MCH endpoint with HDMI.

I have one of the miniDSP u-DAC8s as well and it does work just fine as a MCH DAC. And, at $255, it was a bargain. However, I believe that miniDSP has discontinued the product, as I no longer see it on the website for sale and its manual is listed under “legacy” products. If that’s gone, the next cheapest USB MCH DAC is probably the Okto at around $1,200.

As for ripping SACDs to ISOs for conversion to Roon-readable DSF files, it does require a firmware-modified early generation Sony PlayStation 3 or other chip-qualifying DVD/SACD player. It’s picky to setup but it really does work straightforwardly. There are separate threads here and at that specify the compatible players and link to the necessary firmware mods. And above, I previously provided the link again for the software to convert ripped ISOs to DSF files for Roon. JCR