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Renderer of Choice?
23-06-2016, 20:44
Post: #11
RE: Renderer of Choice?
I auditioned several renderers (all ethernet-to-SPDIF functionality) before buying one - Cyrus, Naim and Krell which were available in the UK. I heard differences: I felt the Krell was best, closely followed by the Naim with the Cyrus a poor 3rd. I bought a Sonore Rendu unheard and found it as good as the Naim and Krell, and less expensive. I recently replaced my DAC with one that had an on-board renderer - the PS Audio DirectStream DAC fitted with the Bridge 2 board. (I've just updated the firmware to the latest version with a concomitant jump in sound quality - it was already excellent!)

The basic Rendu is no longer available from Sonore and the replacement Signature is much more expensive, so I can see the attraction of the relatively inexpensive microRendu, however I do wonder whether using USB output rather than SPDIF or I2S can compromise sound quality by reducing the isolation from power- & earth-borne interference. I found that by putting optical isolation in the last leg of the ethernet connection to the renderer/DAC I got a small but worthwhile improvement in sound quality.

System: ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer > Airport Extreme bridge > Optical isolation > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge II renderer (controlled by Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP) > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary model
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24-06-2016, 04:46
Post: #12
RE: Renderer of Choice?
(23-06-2016 20:44)DavidL Wrote:  ...I can see the attraction of the relatively inexpensive microRendu, however I do wonder whether using USB output rather than SPDIF or I2S can compromise sound quality by reducing the isolation from power- & earth-borne interference. I found that by putting optical isolation in the last leg of the ethernet connection to the renderer/DAC I got a small but worthwhile improvement in sound quality.

Thanks for your detailed response.

How are you optically isolating the Airport Extreme-to-PS Audio connection?
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24-06-2016, 15:43
Post: #13
RE: Renderer of Choice?
(24-06-2016 04:46)krutsch Wrote:  How are you optically isolating the Airport Extreme-to-PS Audio connection?

I picked up details from a blog by Andrew Everard here:
https://andreweverard.com/2015/06/08/hig...ded-fibre/
(I think I may have quoted this earlier in another MinimServer thread)

The cost of 2 back-to-back ethernet-to-fibre converters with a 1m (say) stereo pair of fibre and 2 linear power supplies is low. If you read through this thread you will find a complete parts list. One thing to note: as pointed out in the thread some renderers cannot accept Gbps ethernet rates (e.g.. some Naim and Sonore boxes) so require 100/1000 converters. I'd advise checking this for your renderer.

When asked why renderers were designed with this "limitation" Sonore said that having Gbps streams around could compromise sound quality by introducing RF interference.

System: ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer > Airport Extreme bridge > Optical isolation > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge II renderer (controlled by Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP) > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary model
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01-05-2017, 23:01
Post: #14
RE: Renderer of Choice?
Simple ethernet wired Sony STR-DN850 7.2 Receiver, very happy with the sound quality.

Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS
BubbleUPnP on Nexus 5 and Nexus 7
Sony STR-DN850 renderer
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05-12-2018, 19:58
Post: #15
RE: Renderer of Choice?
I finally finished ripping all my cd's to my Synology DS212j. Here's the make up of my collection; (90% FLAC, 10% Hi-Res downloads) It's located in my basement HT along with my Marantz SR 6010 and Oppo 203. I can play just about anything via the Oppo. I use 2 instances of Minim Server, one on the NAS and one on my iMac located in my upstairs office which is connected to the same network as the NAS.

When I use the server in the Marantz, it works ok but it has quirks at times like not showing the proper album art and it only has a set list of metadata to view. Enough background details...I'm looking to improve the playback functionality with my setup and I have a spare iPad I keep in basement. What suggestions would you have to enhance my setup? I have thought about buying a streamer from Cambridge, but I thought I'd ask those with similar setup what has worked well?
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07-12-2018, 11:13
Post: #16
RE: Renderer of Choice?
My preference is for a small ( fanless ) windows 10 computer from the Gigabyte Brix range. This gives far more flexibility of sources:-
Minimserver, BBC iPlayer, internet radio, streaming services, local files etc. etc. I only use the computers digital audio outputs and have tried a few different USB devices such as M2tech,RME products, and others. In the digital domain there are only small audible differences and I have kept D/A conversion separate because this is where the technology can make a difference. In terms of source management I use foobar 2K for the best material, my own 192KHz music collection, but also use other players for more basic internet radio streams. Being able to customise playlists so easily via text editing or generate them automatically using Foobar 2K or other software such as "Playlist Creator" is very useful as I hate trying to use small touch screen devices for anything fiddly.
The A to D and D to A elements in the chain are where the magic is captured and retrieved and for me the players in the digital domain are about convenience and practicality where the software and hardware should add nothing and take away nothing. Some understanding of how badly configured windows OS audio options could upset this is necessary, but for now I rely on ASIO drivers and get brilliant results by keeping the spending bias towards DAC, amplifiers, and speakers.
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