Hi, everyone! I’m hoping to get some comments and insight from you as I look for a new endpoint.
Asus Router > Roon Rock > ethernet switch > Fiber optics > Ethergen > Bryston BDP-1 > Holo Audio May KTE DAC (coming soon) > PrimaLuna Dialogue HP Integrated > Martin Logan Summit X speakers.
All cables are Acoustic Zen and Kimber. Ethernet is Wireworld Starlight 8.
I want to replace the Bryston because it is limited to 24/192 kHz and DSD 64. I use Roon exclusively, pulling Qobuz and my own files. I don’t have anything in these higher resolutions, but I might in the future, and I want to play with Roon’s DSP feature for upsampling. I also want to take advantage of what the May DAC can do.
Since I really only need an endpoint and not a full music server (Holo DAC is not an endpoint), I’ve narrowed it down to these:
Lumin Ui mini ($1800)
SOtM SMS-200 ultra neo special edition ($1500) plus IFI power supply
Limetree Network Player ($990) plus IFI power supply
ultraRendu ($1280 with power supply)
I want something that will provide the right clarity, resolution, and quality of sound for my system (a good fit). Something I’ll be happy with for a long time (well, until I get the upgrade bug again).
I’d really appreciate your thoughts on these options, or others you feel would be a good fit.
Firstly, your DAC may have AES input in addition to USB. Some people prefer the SQ of AES to USB, but you will have to be able to use it before you can make a comparison to see what sounds better to you. So Lumin AES output is an advantage.
In case you want to try Spotify some day, which is not available from Roon, we also have official Spotify Connect implementation, not an open source one (which two other ones use). The official one naturally offers more features and is likely more stable, including support of free accounts while the latter does not.
I searched for another one item here and its behavior seems unusual (if not already fixed). Doing more research may help.
I’m interested to hear about your new DAC: Holo Audio May KTE DAC
and of course Pics
I had the Lindemann Limetree Bridge and now I have the SOtM SMS200 Ultra with Sbooster.
The Lindemann was quite nice, but would upsample everything to 24/192 and limited options with Roon and higher formats. But Redbook sounded very nice. A good piece of kit. Standard power supply.
The Sotm SMS200 Ultra Neo is better, especially with a better power supply, like the Sbooster with the Ultra filter. Better transperency, especially midrange aand tighter bass, sounds better than the Lindemann and more flexible.
The Ifi power supply is ok but not for the type of equipment you have - I would advice on something better. I tried one and returned it quite fast.
I keep looking at the Lumin U1 mini with sBooster power supply, the full version U1, and the Auralic Aires G2.1. I can get the Lummin full U1 and Auralic G2.1 for about the same cost. As wklie pointed out, the Lumin and Auralic have multiple digital output options, whereas the Limetree and SOtM are only USB. USB is needed for higher resolution PCM and DSD, but the additional output options of the others are nice. Since I use Roon exclusively, I don’t want to pay for more than I need, but I want to make sure my Roon endpoint is top quality for just Roon. I also don’t want to pay for another DAC since I’ll have the Holo Audio May very soon.
Appreciate your comments and suggestions!
I just ordered the full Lumin U1 (not the mini). What the heck, I also have the May KTE version DAC on order, so why not make sure the entire system is of equal quality? Sure, I could have ordered the U1 mini with sBooster, but I’d always wonder if on my system, am I getting the best it can offer. Hopefully, this way I won’t have that question. Maybe I’m paying too much for a small improvement, but I’m happy with the choice.
It should arrive next week, well before the DAC does, so I will know the improvement by changing only one variable. I’ll let you know.
Depending on how well your DAC manages noise and jitter etc, maybe start with a RPI4 loaded with Ropieee or VitOS > USB. This setup would be perfectly fine and as good as many $000 streamers. You would also have access to maximum rate DSD capability.
You might be surprised by how good it sounds.
I sold my Pioneer N70a in favour of the RPI4.
That’s a circa $2500 streamer.
My advice… your DAC is more important than the streamer, and you have a killer DAC.
Just a heads up, I own the Pi2AES hat, a few reviews favour it to the STOM ultra.
AES/SPDIF 192k limited.
I personally prefer native sampling to DSD up sampling.
I find DSD makes things a little too easy going. Native sampling rates sound more dynamic to me.