Sonore Rendu, et. al., vs. Roon Rock USB Direct

I’ll take that as a no:)

I don’t side step anything…in fact, I’m more revealing of our products than most other owners. I personally don’t use USB decrapifiers and don’t really promote them. A lot of people use them…to each his own. We design whatever we think is important right into our endpoints.

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Nobody has mentioned the fact that the uR is a network endpoint… designed for networked audio. If you want solid, reliable, hard wired multi room audio, you can’t use USB… it’s only good for 16 feet! You could of course use active USB cables for however many feet you need but that would be a whole other bag of worms and silly. The question is, if your server/streamer is right next to your DAC, do you use USB or ethernet? Personally, I’m looking at DACs with built-in ethernet since my SonicTransporter is in my main rack and my uR could go upstairs. Seems to me that this solution would save on unnecessary format conversions… ethernet to USB to whatever the DAC uses. So the next question becomes, which DAC input is better, ethernet or USB or S/PDIF! :wink:

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There are quite a number of endpoints that are Ethernet or WiFi to USB. Sonore has a number of products that are Ethernet to USB. There’s also a myriad of Rasberry Pi products. Take a look at Allo. They are really making a name for themselves.

10 posts were split to a new topic: Which DAC input is best?

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Says it all.

Isn’t the output of the Sonore, and the input to the DAC, a “DIGITAL” signal? Which means it either goes through or it doesn’t? There is nothing like a bad digital signal, it is either 0 or 1.

The “digital” signal coming out of the PC/MAC/iPAD, should be exactly the same as Sonore’s output signal. And all what matters is the quality of the “Analogue signal coming out of the DAC…

Does that make the Sonore Rendu an heck of a snake oil? Or am I missing something significant here?

You’re missing most everything. There’s no such thing as a purely ‘digital signal’ - that’s the bits is bits argument which has been disproven over and over again. The digital information is moved on by electricity just as analog is. And the noisy electronics of a PC can be passed on along the cable.

Dedicated audio streamers/servers/PC’s try and typically mitigate that electrical ‘noise’ on the signal with better clocks and power management. You can certainly mitigate some of this by using ‘de-crapifiers’ on the USB or ethernet line out of a noisy PC but a standalone streamer is often better.

The use of better clocks have no effect on “noise” whatsoever, only on timing. I wonder what most people actually refer to when talking about noisy electronics that can pass along a cable. Are you referring to groundloop noise or signal noise? How can a better clock cure any of this, please explain.

One definition of a ‘better’ clock is less phase and spurious noise.

What is “spurious noise” and how does that “travel” along a cable? How can clock related noise be filtered out by galvanic isolation when it has got nothing to do with any groundloops in the first place?

You said clocks and noise weren’t associated and they are. Spurious noise would be the reason why when hobbyists improve clocks they improve power supplies also. And if it is power associated it is systemic.

I said my piece. It may not be entirely accurate as far as terminology goes, but the gist is there, as explained by Sonore/Uptone’s engineer John Swenson.

There are those of us who actually use the gear in question for better sound, and those who just question it for the sake of questioning it. Which camp are you in?

OK, so there are types of noises to the digital signal. The second question is, if the DAC is able to understand the digital signal, and convert it to an analogue signal, why would we care if that noise existed.

Shouldn’t we only worry if the noise is too much that the DAC is unable to process the signal?

I am not assuming that the clock related issues of the input signal to the DAC have any effect on the analogue output signal. I believe this quality is only affected by the quality of the DAC itself.

That is a key question. Some DACs are better than others in rejecting noise from the signal path, but I don’t suppose any DAC is capable of completely isolating a perfect signal in the face of a large amount of noise.
I had a CAPSV3 Zuma running Roon to an MSB Analog DAC via USB. After spending $2000 upgrading to an ethernet input I can say the difference in sound quality was pretty small. But both the CAPSV3 and the MSB DAC are very high quality pieces of gear, so there may not have been much noise coming out of the USB port and/or the DAC was quite capable of rejecting it.
I don’t doubt other people have had different experiences, which is why one really needs to try for oneself. It’s hard to predict what your experience will be.

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And we will continue to enjoy our music, while the “bits are bits” crowd with crappie DACs and sources will continue to miss out. Like a guy I know that keeps complaining how bad his digital sounds compared to his $4,000 turntable. With a Chromecast Audio as his “digital” rig, because of course bits are bits and signal passes through audibly. No s**t…

The Rendu series was developed to be a remote output to existing equipment on the network. You use your computer, NAS, or a streaming service and the Rendu outputs to your DAC in the audio room. We have our design philosophy and it’s our prerogative to design in and leave out what we want to meet our goals. The Rendu series is a hardware and software project and the product webpages are specific about what the products do. So I don’t think it’s appropriate to suggest something is snake oil just because you don’t like the FEMO oscillator we selected or because of all the wonderful feedback our gear gets.

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The CAPS V3 Zuma is a pretty nice design dating back to 2012. I may have provided some of the parts for Chris’ post on The project cost the DIYer about $1547. In comparison a Rendu is $640 and it comes built, has support, and you don’t have to load Windows on it:)

I shared the core technology I was using on the Rendu SPDIF/i2s with MSB for their DLNA only Ethernet input module. The newer modules appear to be different though and based on an ARM processor. The Ethernet modules they make are very good and comparable to very good USB modules. The only issue is that your $2000 investment only works on their DAC. In comparison a Rendu can be used with most all USB devices. FYI most ethernet inputs on DACs these days are based on one or two commercially available modules with generic clocking and power regulations circuits:(


Seif, I can’t give you a technical answer, but I can give you a practical one. I have owned several renderers-Squeezebox, Squeezebox Touch, Logitech Transporter (with Modwright mod), Sonore Microrendu, Sonore Microrendu v 1.4, Sonore Signature Rendu Se, and now the Optical version of the Signature. From that experience, I can say that a good quiet renderer makes a significant difference relative to a computer straight into a dac. Even the lowly and now well out of date Squeezebox is noticeably quieter than the computer into dac set up. The new optical Signature Rendu is lights years (really) better sounding that the computer server. The computer version is noisy and muddy sounding. The optical setup is dead quiet and that enhances all aspects of the sound. The new optical version is exceptionally natural and analog sounding. Not snake oil in any respect.


Here what Chris Connaker had to say about the Sonore Signature Rendu Se optical,

“If the “SE optical” can make a dCS, EMM Labs, and Berkeley Audio Design DACs perform at an even higher level, I’d say the future is bright for almost anything to which it’s connected. Right now we have a leader in the clubhouse for Audiophile Style 2019 Product of the Year.”

You can read the full review here: