Should I add UltraRendu to my setup?

Thanks for all the info and passionate discussion.
After lot of back and fourth, I purchased ultrarendu, matrix and utone to test if that will make a difference. I will update soon. meanwhile what voltage to choose in uptone? 7 or 9?

I say 7v but try 9v too.

That question is answered on ultraRendu page, Sonore website:

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I ordered an UltraRendu yesterday, too. Also after a lot of back and forth. Hearing will be believing.

After some research and experiments, I’m not convinced that the benefit is primarily from moving the server out of the listening area, per se. Instead, I suspect it has more to do with moving upsampling away from the DAC, while coupling the upsampling process with better (or more preferred) filtering than the DAC provides. Only after upsampling to my DAC’s maximum rates did the clouds seem to part for me with HQPlayer and Audirvana (both of which are supported by the UR, along w/Roon.)

And even then, upsampling capabilities will differ from DAC to DAC. No matter what I’ve tried with my MSB DAC, the MSB does it better than my computer supplying a modified stream.
Your ears will tell you. Let us know what you find!

I think the advantages are related to using the low noise USB output of the ultraRendu vs the relatively noisy USB outputs of a general purpose computer. Isolating the general purpose computer/server from the music system using Ethernet certainly is helpful as well. Ethernet offers transformer based isolation and, assuming you use UTP, no ground noise propagation. This all helps the ultraRendu receive less noise and send along less noise.

On my setup, the DirectStream DAC seems to sound better using its I2S input as using the Matrix DDC to convert USB from the ultraRendu to I2S sounds better than the ultraRendu feeding the DAC via USB. I also use HQPlayer with Roon which just plain sounds better than using Roon direct…even with all filtering and noise shaping turned off.

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Dear Karthick,

I have briefly read the other comments, and I can just add my experience which might be helpful.

  • My main listening system at my desk is an Auralic VEGA and Taurus MKII headphone amplifier, where the VEGA DAC is fed through USB using an Ultrarendu. Music source is a Roon Nucleus+ with Qobuz account.

  • Main reason to buy an Ultrarendu is to minimise electrical noise. I can also stream from Audirvana using its MP/DLNA renderer, and it also gives you Spotify connect and HQplayer access. However, sound quality is the main reason that you buy an Ultrarendu.

  • In short, it sounds better that a direct USB connection. At first I was sceptical, since my Auralic VEGA already sounds terrific even when feeding it from a mini MAC USB port. But after I while I must acknowledge that it improves the sound quality, but it’s not a new system.

  • However, I had to buy another power supply to really increase the delta with direct USB connection, in my case an Sbooster unit.

  • So, as another post argues, it really comes down to how much money do you want to spend, and to have realistic expectations regarding to the expected increase in sound quality (which there is). I have to say that, if I had to reassess this unit (which I’m happy with), I might consider saving a bit more and go for an Auralic Aries G1 as a source for my DAC.

Please feel free to contact me should you need more information.

Best regards,


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I really do not understand why winder’s posts have attracted so much animosity. It was a fair statement. Everything posted here should not be read not as definitive statement but as a genuine attempt to help by presenting our opinions which are always limited by our experience and readings. Most of us by far are not professionals but we are all hi-fi and music lovers. I’d rather not find animosity in an endeavour that is intended to be fun.

I have read an interview by Paul McGowan saying that the order of digital connection quality is I2S > Coax > Toslink > USB. (Sorry but I do not remember where. And please notice that other professionals have different opinions.) This correlates a lot with what I have read at the British press. Some manufactures that only use USB, like Innuos, go to great lengths ro reduce noise transmission in USB.

These are some links that can be helpful:

Best regards.

Thanks again to everyone for all the support.
I’m trying to put HQPlayer in the mix… I’m trying it out for the first time hence dont have much knowledge but I like the clarity it brings when I stream roon (tidal) through HQPlayer on my PC.

Now the question:
How to stream tidal -> roon -> HQ-Player -> UltraRendu -> DAC?

In other words, how to embed HQ Player to roon rock?

Sure! I am doing this:

Qobuz -> Roon -> HQPlayer Embedded -> ultraRendu -> Matrix X-SPDIF 2 (I2S) -> DirectStream

how to install HQPlayer Embedded to Roon rock NUC?
@Speed_Racer your setup and mine are identical… waiting for your response :slight_smile:

You can’t. I am using a sonicTransporter i5 for my Roon Core.

Man… any plans of rock supporting HQ embedded player soon?

You can install Ubuntu Server 18.04.3 LTS on your NUC.

And then install Roon Server and HQP Embedded on there.

I was doing similar (Debian Stretch Server instead) for quite a while on a fanless NUC7i7DNHE and it worked really well.

Finally I can that my quest for superior audio has reached a good checkpoint. Thanks for all your help and passionate suggestion . Listening at DSD128 on PS DS with UltraRendu/Matrix I2S/Athem ARC/Tidal + Qobuz doing their part is amazing.

Please suggest any alterations to the conversion filter I’m using…

On hindsight I feel good that I got i7 NUC… its helping with PCM ->DSD 128 without sweating (meaning CPU is not running hot)

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That’s an awesome setup! I tend to like letting the DirectStream handle the PCM directly and let it convert PCM to DSD. Especially if all I have is Roon to do the conversion from PCM to DSD. I tried it with HQPlayer and a bunch of settings and still went back to feeding the DirtectStream PCM as PCM and DSD as DOP (DSD128).

I turned off Roon DSP and quality did not regress with DS handling PSM… my guess is UltraRendu needs RoonReady DSD value to be DoP else there is something bad going on, leading to poorer quality.

How to validate the output quality from DS to Anthem? DS only shows input signal info but does not show (in its little LCD screen) any info about the output? I want to see if DS indeed is sending DSD128 to Anthem.

It can’t be. The DirectStream is sending an analog signal to the Anthem. PCM or DSD is digital and the DAC converts the digital signal to analog.

Currently you have Roon converting PCM to DSD.

Your DS DAC ends up converting from DSD256 to analogue…

And then your Anthem is converting this analogue input back to PCM… for ARC (DSP)… which then uses it’s internal DAC/s for conversion back to analogue…

So you currently have PCM to DSD to analogue to PCM to analogue conversion.

I once had an Anthem receiver with ARC and really enjoyed it.

If I were recommending to a friend/family I would recommend to just feed the Anthem a digital signal… to avoid double D-to-A conversion… and it’s a far simpler setup (less components, PSU’s).

How does ultraRendu to Matrix converter direct to Anthem sound?

That was quick! Congrats on the purchase.

So the ultraRendu/ Matrix combo to DSD sounds better than Bridge II on DSD?

Personally I do zero DSP on Roon. I let my DAC (currently a MSB Discrete) do its thing