I think the primary reason that you’d use a sonore UR (and there are many other choices) is that you don’t have your roon server in the room where your DAC is and it’s difficult or impossible to get a usb cable to connect them. Often users move their roon server to a different room to get rid of fan noise in the listening roon if it is noticable. A device like the UR that connects to your LAN and then connects to your DAC via USB fixes this issue. Many roon users are very happy connecting their DACs directly to their NUC/Nucleus/Mac Mini, etc… but beyond that, IMHO, it depends on many factors and you’d only know if it would be better if you A/B tested it…
The primary reason most people use an ultraRendu is to get better sound quality. They want to isolate the electrically noisy PC from the audio system. The ultraRendu passes along a lot less electrical noise to the DAC. Especially when paired with a quality LPS.
With my PS Audio DirectStream DAC setup, I have found an ultraRendu used with a Matrix X-SPDIF 2 DDC (feeding the DirectStream via I2S) to sound the best. Much better than using the DirectStream Bridge II card or from a PC direct using USB.
Not sure I 100% agree with that advice. It really depends on the rest of your system. Is it highly resolving? What specifically are you trying to achieve? The only real drawback to using the Bridge II (besides the usual PSA software issues) is that the Bridge II can’t do high DSD content. The ultraRendu is a great piece but to get the best out of it you need to also buy a good LPS to partner with it. That takes your $900 purchase up to $1300. My question is are you looking to spend $1300 if you can’t hear any difference?
No, that is not the only drawback. The Bridge II just doesn’t sound very good. It’s probably the noise it adds to the DirectStream when used. All I know is that USB sounds better and I2S input to the DAC sounds even better. The DirectStream sounds best with the Bridge II card removed from the DAC.
I am only saying that the DirectStream DAC, the Bridge II card is not as good as USB which is not as good as I2S. He is not using Ethernet now so I told him that using an ultraRendu is better than using his NUC directly over USB. Qobuz and Tidal have high resolution file services that are just as good as Red Book and can be better.
Again I have to ask if he will actually hear a difference after spending over $1000 in his system. If the answer is yes, then your advice is solid. If the answer is no then you are leading him down a path that will net him nothing but an empty wallet.
I have no idea what anyone can hear. Nor do you. I can only say what that the Bridge II sucks and that USB out of a special purpose quiet ultraRendu is better than USB out of a general purpose computer. And that feeding the DirectStream I2S is even better.
The difference in noise output between the ultraRendu USB and NUC USB is significant. So anyone should be able to hear a difference even with tracks downloaded from iTunes.
This should end it. Of course you are right. You are all knowing and very powerful. In fact you are much like the Wizard of Oz in that respect. The poor OP was looking for advice. Instead of buying an ultraRendu why not buy a Signature Rendu so he can take advantage of the I2S connection? This is why I hate posting here. You are making a recommendation with no actual knowledge if it will be of a benefit to the OP. You are not wrong about the gear you are posting about but you are making a completely uninformed recommendation. But of course you are 100% correct in your choice because you can’t conceive of being anything else but correct.
I think it depends if you want to physically sit your NUC next to your DAC?
If you want to locate your NUC and therefore your Roon Core and any USB connected drives to somewhere else on your network (people run them in studies/home office, basements, attics, under-the-stairs, server cupboards/closets etc.) then you will need a Network Audio Appliance (NAA) to sit on your network and connect to your DAC.
There are many ways of doing this. The UltraRendu is just one, as a dedicated low noise environment to run a Roon Ready NAA.
And, John, if you read my messages in this thread you will find that I did not make any recommendations to the OP. I relayed my experiences and laid out some facts. You are the one that made the giant leap suggesting I was making a “completely uninformed recommendation”. So you need to back off a bit a look at yourself…