Did you try the U1 Mini after all?
Yes, I found a dealer that would give me a full refund with no restocking. i tried it for a couple of weeks and found it marginally better than my $500 Audio Alchemy streamer.
I got the U1 Mini,just curious if your optical isolation improved SQ?
Here’s my feedback to the question. Don’t know do be honest. Did not do a real a/b test with that setup. I do have 3 different setups with Optical isolation:
A Sonore Signature Rendu Optique that has an optical connection directly connected to a Unifi Switch that has optical and connects to a chord hugo tt and mscalar via usb.
A Lumin U1 with 10GTek Fiber to Ethernet converter to a Unifi switch that has optical and then goes ethernet to the Lumin U1 and the U1 connects to a chord dave / blu via usb.
A Lumin U1 Mini with a Gigafoil ethernet filter to a Unifi switch’s ethernet connection and connects ethernet to the U1 Mini and the Ui Mini connects to Dutch and Dutch 8Cs speakers via XLR.
I’ve done some A/B testing of the U1 setup (not the U1 mini) as that kit is in racks with lots of other equipment so could easily pick up radiated noise on a wired ethernet connection (one of the main things to protect against) and it did IMHO improve sound dynamic and imaging. I’ll note my testing was not exhaustive and not blind so YMMV. But because of this I’ve just decided that it will be part of every setup I have as the incremental investment to do it by default is so low it just makes sense. I view it in the same line of thinking of buying good quality cables and I anticipate optical connection will become standard on high end streaming boxes overtime (as it already has for Sonore’s high end streamer).
I begun using optical isolation, between my router and the “music portion” of my network (where everything runs on LPS), two/three years ago and, back then, I thought it was somehow effective (nothing dramatic though)
but almost none of the equipments I had back then is still there, except the “clean side” MC (“dirty side” switch I’m using today has two integrated SFP ports) so… can’t really say if optical isolation is still effective. I’m leaving it in place nonetheless and I’ll connect the EtherRegen via optical (gone will be both the “clean side” MC and switch). will report on CA once it’s here
Have you or Craig tried the Matrix with I2S connection?
I have not tried this.
What AES/XLR cable do you use in the U1 Mini set up? Have you compared its SQ to USB?
I’m using a Shunyata Delta AES/EBU cable to connect my Lumin U1 Mini to my Dutch & Dutch 8C speakers which is an excellent cable. The 8Cs only have ethernet or AES/EBU inputs and their firmware support for Roon directly via ethernet isn’t released yet so AES/EBU via the U1 was my only choice for the time being but it works great and sounds excellent. USB input is not available on the 8Cs so could not compare with AES/EBU. Sorry.
What model of the unifi switch you use?
Are there any plans for Lumin to include an optical network for a U2 model (replacing the current U1 transport) or as least consider it. IHMO that would be an interesting and excellent streaming transport, plus would make sense in the changing world of streaming.