Sonore micro rendu- dlna vs roon

Simon,

I hope to post some of my opinions of the SQ of the microRendu into the Chord Hugo, but the arrival of visitors dictates that I won't be able to do this until next weekend at the earliest.

Unfortunately, I don't have Naim amplification, so perhaps not entirely relevant to you, but I will post my opinion of microRendu into Hugo vs ND5XS/TP XPS into Hugo (Krell AV pre/power amps in stereo mode) and also microRendu into Hugo vs Linn Klimax Renew DS (Lindemman pre/power amps).

The microRendu setup will include the cheap iFi power supply (the power supply I will probably buy is currently out of stock) and a cheapo (very) USB cable. All I will say at the moment is that things are looking and sounding pretty good for the microRendu so far. I am really looking forward to some more extended listening come next weekend.    

charlesphoto posted:

The microRendu has a Regen USB cleaner built in. The whole point of the unit is to bring a low noise connection via USB so as to stream to USB from the LAN. 

This is the principle reason I'm planning to try the UpTone Audio UltraCap LPS-1 with my microRendu.  It will serve as a high quality power supply in many contexts but from John Swenson’s comments over at CA it's very much being designed with the microRendu in mind. It's interesting that he's been fundamentally involved in all three projects.

 

I have just been listening to some hi-res music via the microRendu/Hugo on my AV system, and although I won't be able to do a proper comparison until next weekend, I can't resist posting to say that I am stunned by  what I have heard today. Dynamics, soundstage and the clarity and timbre of individual instruments sound way better than I have heard previously on this system.

I may be over-reacting, but I don't think so. I will have more time to try a larger selection of music, and to be a little more objective next weekend. I had been very sceptical indeed  (to put it mildly) about the possibility of any real audible effect of individual 'renderers', and of posts in the past claiming that, for example, an NDX into a Hugo could possibly sound better, even different from an ND5 into a Hugo. Just 3 or 4 hours listening to music played via the microRendu into Hugo has completely convinced me that I was wrong.

I will certainly be adding a better power supply in the near future, and might even get around to eating a second metaphorical hat, and purchasing a decent (within reason) USB cable to fit between my microRendu and Hugo. I may even have to purchase a second microRendu and Hugo combination if my tests on my main system go the way I now expect next weekend.         

As you say the resolving ability of this little box, whether HiDef or CD for me, is phenomenal. Listening to notes that are sustained for a looooooooong time, or drums that are not just struck but resound.

Been listening to the mR into my Bel Canto for the last couple of days. As much as I have enjoyed the Oppo, and what a great piece of kit it is, the BC places these pieces in a beautifully realised sound stage.

M

Hmack posted:

I

I will certainly be adding a better power supply in the near future, and might even get around to eating a second metaphorical hat, and purchasing a decent (within reason) USB cable to fit between my microRendu and Hugo. I may even have to purchase a second microRendu and Hugo combination if my tests on my main system go the way I now expect next weekend.         

What, I wonder,, is the benefit of a better power supply, given that electrical noise/RF are apparently removed at the output (and unlike analog components there aren't dynamics to contend with?

The primary consideration with the usb cable would seem to be preventing Rf pickup, so the screening is probably the prime focus, with ferrites.

Innocent Bystander posted:
Hmack posted:

I

I will certainly be adding a better power supply in the near future, and might even get around to eating a second metaphorical hat, and purchasing a decent (within reason) USB cable to fit between my microRendu and Hugo. I may even have to purchase a second microRendu and Hugo combination if my tests on my main system go the way I now expect next weekend.         

What, I wonder,, is the benefit of a better power supply, given that electrical noise/RF are apparently removed at the output (and unlike analog components there aren't dynamics to contend with?

The primary consideration with the usb cable would seem to be preventing Rf pickup, so the screening is probably the prime focus, with ferrites.

I really don't know, other than that a number of people whose reviews I trust have indicated that a better power supply makes a significant difference in respect of improved SQ.

I may not find this to be the case, but having been very surprised by what I have heard so far and having had several pre-conceptions turned on their heads, I reckon that its certainly worth a try. We are not talking about a cost akin to that of a Naim XS series power supply, let alone a 500 series. The power supplies I will be considering range from around £215 to £300.

Again, I really need more time to listen to the microRendu/Hugo, but from what I have heard so far, my impression is that the addition of the microRendu to the Hugo has a more significant impact on sound quality than originally adding the Hugo to my ND5XS/TP XPS. Most definitely not what I had expected.      

Hmack posted:

Again, I really need more time to listen to the microRendu/Hugo, but from what I have heard so far, my impression is that the addition of the microRendu to the Hugo has a more significant impact on sound quality than originally adding the Hugo to my ND5XS/TP XPS. Most definitely not what I had expected.      

Much the same as I found Audirvana (on a Mac Mini, through a Gustard isolator) into Hugo to be better than ND5XS into Hugo.  I await your more detailed feedback with interest!

So given that the mR doesn't have galvanically isolated output as suggested, this very likely explains the power supply differences, depending on the DAC used. It would be interesting to compare, into Hugo at least as it is known to be susceptible to RF, mR with different power supplies with and without Gustard. My expectation is that with the Gustard there will be negligible if any difference between power supplies, compared to noticeable difference without it.

If that is correct, the question then would possibly which sounds better, best power supply without Gustard, which uses Hugo's usb input, or cheap power supply with Gustard, into electrical SPDIf (though that won't indicate if any difference is power supply vs Gustard, or usb vs spdif).

Hello, new to Naim forums--thanks Mr. Underhill for your posts at CA which got me off my duff to visit here. (I think I've avoided Naim Forums because I read all these glowing reports of the DR amps and I can't afford one now! )

Anyway, I've also been amazed at how good the mRendu sounds and how tweaks like network isolation have helped (or not) my system's sound quality.

I tried Logitech Music Server on my Synology NAS and Minimserver on the same. In my system, LMS sounds much better than Minimserver and I'm at a loss to understand why. Unfortunately LMS doesn't have the best front end controllers, and playlists... Hmm, I guess I'll figure those out eventually ("them's the breaks" I figure).

HQPlayer and it's NAA mode are next on my experiment list.

Slightly off-topic:

Regarding power supplies, my impression is that there is something a dedicated LPS supply offers in terms of on-demand current (I'm guessing) that smaller supplies (or batteries which I've tried) can't deliver. I hear this particularly in the lower mid-range and bass. There's (at least) the tone of a bass instrument, and there's the attack/decay, and there's the presentation (for lack of a better word). 

In my experience, dedicated power supplies seem to get all three much closer to "right" (or well-balanced) than other solutions. A Li-Ion battery pack I tried (as suggested by one avid battery fan) did indeed provide high frequency extension and transients and blacker blacks, but oddly the bass had definition but was less prominent and seemed to be somehow more background than a part of the music. The iFi iPower had better sound vs. the battery overall--the sound of the system held together more (and extremely beautifully as you've all noted).

It seems the upcoming LPS-1 from Uptone may be the best low price alternative for the microRendu, but even Alex and John say they really don't know how it will sound until it's built.

kukur9 posted:

Regarding power supplies, my impression is that there is something a dedicated LPS supply offers in terms of on-demand current (I'm guessing) that smaller supplies (or batteries which I've tried) can't deliver. I hear this particularly in the lower mid-range and bass. There's (at least) the tone of a bass instrument, and there's the attack/decay, and there's the presentation (for lack of a better word). 

In my experience, dedicated power supplies seem to get all three much closer to "right" (or well-balanced) than other solutions. A Li-Ion battery pack I tried (as suggested by one avid battery fan) did indeed provide high frequency extension and transients and blacker blacks, but oddly the bass had definition but was less prominent and seemed to be somehow more background than a part of the music. The iFi iPower had better sound vs. the battery overall--the sound of the system held together more (and extremely beautifully as you've all noted).

It seems the upcoming LPS-1 from Uptone may be the best low price alternative for the microRendu, but even Alex and John say they really don't know how it will sound until it's built.

As the mR deals only in the digital domain, there is no on-demand current increase during music play. A primary benefit of better power supplies is where they reduce RF noise, whether that is linear vs switching, or better filtering. However, with effective isolation between the device and DAC, that RF effect is negated, while an excellent isolator tends to be cheaper than an excellent power supply.

Meanwhile, depending on the architecture of the device, further RF interference can be introduced within it, which is where the mR appears to be better than computers such as the Mac Mini - though again, if effective isolation is in place that would be expected to deal with any additional RF as well as that from the power supply. It would, however, at least in part explain why the mR is said to be so good if compared with a source with more RF without an isolator in line to a susceptible DAC

 

Hi Kurkur9,

Welcome to the forum.

I actually like the LMS interface, but prefer the sound of JRiver and Kazoo with Minimserver. LMS is just a bit less dynamic in my system.

Innocent,

I am currently using the Gustard U12 into my Bel Canto 3.5vb. When the SBOOSTER arrives I will try it with the mR with my Oppo 105 - both with and without the Gustard. The only potential issue is the noise that might be generated attaching with the SPDIF output with the balanced connections into my pre. This has caused noise before - but the balanced give the best sound quality from the 105.

M

Innocent Bystander posted:

As the mR deals only in the digital domain, there is no on-demand current increase during music play. A primary benefit of better power supplies is where they reduce RF noise, whether that is linear vs switching, or better filtering. However, with effective isolation between the device and DAC, that RF effect is negated, while an excellent isolator tends to be cheaper than an excellent power supply.

Meanwhile, depending on the architecture of the device, further RF interference can be introduced within it, which is where the mR appears to be better than computers such as the Mac Mini - though again, if effective isolation is in place that would be expected to deal with any additional RF as well as that from the power supply. It would, however, at least in part explain why the mR is said to be so good if compared with a source with more RF without an isolator in line to a susceptible DAC

Thank you--all this makes me wish I had studied some electrical anything in school! The theory makes sense but practical experience is probably the fun-er part. Maybe you have an idea of what's going on with this tweak:

My file streaming system uses wi-fi so my NAS running LMS has a wi-fi router/client (Apple) in between it and the microRendu. I put a "medical grade" Ethernet network isolator (EMO Systems EN-70HD) in between the Airport Express and the microRendu thinking that I'm separating the audio output from the network so that should sound good. Reality: not so much and in fact, kinda awful.

Disappointed (and $200 lighter in the wallet for nothing!), I put it online for sale since someone else at CA said it helped his system. In the meantime, I thought I'll let it do its work in between my NAS and the wi-fi and maybe it couldn't hurt. Returned to the listening room and... Wow! What happened? A quick listen thru some of my favorite test tracks suggested a noteworthy improvement. ($200 saved!) 

Any clue why isolating the NAS seems to help rather than the microRendu? (Sorry this is OT.)

My Teddy Pardo Linear PS (7V 2A) arrived yesterday to power my microRendu, and obviously it's early days to really provide an accurate comparison with the iFi, as it's only been switched on for 24 hours.  What I will say however, is that those with other Linear power supplies on order are in for a real treat!  

There is a definite and blatantly audible improvement overall to the already excellent sound of the microRendu: immediately noticeable is the how the bass has firmed up and is better defined. Treble and mid-range come across more smoothly, and there is basically a totally 'silent' background if that makes any sense.  

Bizarrely I know find myself preferring the Roon endpoint to the DLNA renderer. It seems every so slightly less strident and just more musical.

My NDX has been sold - arrivederci.

kukur9 posted:

My file streaming system uses wi-fi so my NAS running LMS has a wi-fi router/client (Apple) in between it and the microRendu. I put a "medical grade" Ethernet network isolator (EMO Systems EN-70HD) in between the Airport Express and the microRendu thinking that I'm separating the audio output from the network so that should sound good. Reality: not so much and in fact, kinda awful.

Disappointed (and $200 lighter in the wallet for nothing!), I put it online for sale since someone else at CA said it helped his system. In the meantime, I thought I'll let it do its work in between my NAS and the wi-fi and maybe it couldn't hurt. Returned to the listening room and... Wow! What happened? A quick listen thru some of my favorite test tracks suggested a noteworthy improvement. ($200 saved!) 

Any clue why isolating the NAS seems to help rather than the microRendu? (Sorry this is OT.)

Just to clarify, in a wifi connection between NAS and mIcroRendu, an ethernet isolator at the mR end had an adverse effect on sound quality, but not at the NAS end? I'm unclear as to whether at the NAS end it was better than without in circuit at all, though the implication seems to be that it was. I can't think of any explanation for this, so have to leave to others like Simon who have more experience of networks than I.

I wouldn't bother with so called LAN isolators.. Ethernet is galvanically isolated anyway by design. Some LAN isolators are variants of medical isolators which are designed to protect against a bigger DC offset in a fault condition.

My thoughts are that a LAN isolator is most likely going to consume more power from the Ethernet send twisted pairs.. IE there is at least one additional  coupling transformer to drive. This additional current required may well more modulate or 'pollute' the sender's powerlines.. In this case the MicroRendu. Remember on Ethernet both ends send /drive as well as receive.

I don't have enough electrical background to explain why it's so, but the network isolator between the NAS and wi-fi router sounds "good." The isolator placed between wi-fi and the microRendu sounds "bad." I haven't had time to do any detailed A/B comparative listening with my usual test tracks, but a few casual/semi-critical listens with the same tracks was easily clear about the difference, and a difference versus no isolator at all.

I just read on a streaming thread that someone is testing NASes and believes to have found a correlation between good sound quality and low power, "mid-range" NASes... Well, my NAS qualifies and so this makes me want to try an SSD in my single bay Synology. Getting back to the topic, perhaps this is partly why LMS sounds "better" (in my system) than Minimserver--the latter's requirement of having Java maybe adds noise? (Grasping at straws here I think.)

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I wouldn't bother with so called LAN isolators.. Ethernet is galvanically isolated anyway by design. Some LAN isolators are variants of medical isolators which are designed to protect against a bigger DC offset in a fault condition.

My thoughts are that a LAN isolator is most likely going to consume more power from the Ethernet send twisted pairs.. IE there is at least one additional  coupling transformer to drive. This additional current required may well more modulate or 'pollute' the sender's powerlines.. In this case the MicroRendu. Remember on Ethernet both ends send /drive as well as receive.

Ah, Simon... You beat me to it. I was referencing your posts in my post just posted! 

I guess the point here is that what's done is done (I already bought the unit and have it in-line). I mostly hear improvement at the high end and in the bass, but I need to listen more to the mids as I am not sure about...something. Is the frequency balance a little V-shaped now? I will continue to compare/investigate.

The EMO Systems E70D is a medical isolator I believe. But if it is compromising the signal as you say, why might I be experiencing the positive sound quality effect I've mentioned by isolating the NAS (on that side of the wi-fi "gap")?

its hard to be definitive - but I could speculate your NAS is electrically noisy and is introducing a degree of common mode high frequency noise onto its ethernet line and downstream network - which the isolator might be mitigating or attenuating . In this scenario any additional power loading will be on NAS and Switch and so decoupled from the streamer. HOWEVER this really is speculation and might be due to something else completely.

Simon

Hmack posted:

....... All I will say at the moment is that things are looking and sounding pretty good for the microRendu so far. I am really looking forward to some more extended listening come next weekend.    

How's it going? 

I'm using ND5XS into Hugo (ATC preamp and active 50's) and I'm seriously tempted by your findings so far.

Mr Frog posted:
Hmack posted:

....... All I will say at the moment is that things are looking and sounding pretty good for the microRendu so far. I am really looking forward to some more extended listening come next weekend.    

How's it going? 

I'm using ND5XS into Hugo (ATC preamp and active 50's) and I'm seriously tempted by your findings so far.

Apologies for not posting sooner, but as I explained earlier I have had visitors for a few days, then away for a couple of days, only arriving home an hour or two ago. Now, I also realise that I had forgotten about the Olympics, and so I shall be dividing my time over the next couple of days between listening to music and watching the Olympics.

I shall attempt over the next day (or two) to carry out some comparisons between the microRendu into Chord Hugo and my ND5XS (with TP XPS) into my Chord Hugo. I really hope that my findings turn out the way I expect, because I have ordered a 7v Power supply (the microRendu runs pretty hot when using the cheap iFi (9v) power supply), and so I will also report back at some stage about the difference (if any at all) that the better power supply makes. I have selected the TP 7v power supply, partly because the main alternative (sBooster 7v) is currently out of stock and will not be available until early to mid September.

Prior to my review of the SQ of the two setups, I will comment on a couple of really irritating logistical problems I have encountered with the microRendu (or possibly more accurately with the control application I plan to use with the device). These are causing me some concern, and possibly making me reconsider my plans. They may or may not be an issue for you.       

There is of course the issue that Internet Radio is not easily available via the microRendu. There are workarounds, but however way you look at it, if Internet Radio is important to you, access will not be as straightforward as it would be with a streamer from Linn or (in particular) from Naim. This is not a deal breaker for me, since now that I have Tidal, most of my Internet Radio listening is carried out on my Muso Qb.

From my perspective, the big issue is the inconsistency of network access to the microRendu via my chosen front-end interface (Linn Kazoo).

To give you some background context, I run 2 main systems, both of which access music from my local Synology NAS (currently running MinimServer), and from my subscription to Tidal.  My main system uses a Linn Klimax Renew DS streamer, which I normally control using Linn's Kazoo desktop application installed on a (virtually silent) Windows 10 PC. The second uses a Naim ND5XS (with TXPS) into a Chord Hugo, which I control using the Naim app installed on an iPad. Both of these setups, and their respective control apps operate more or less 100%  flawlessly. If I end up replacing my ND5XS with the microRendu, my intention will be to use Linn Kazoo on the iPad as the control app for this second system.

I have had a number of issues regarding connectivity (particularly consistency of connectivity) to the microRendu , and also a number of problems (now resolved) in obtaining access to Tidal and Qobuz via the device. I now know that bubbleUPnP server needs to be installed on the microRendu to facilitate access to these services. I have had a number of inexplicable connectivity problems getting to where I am now, but I will gloss over them since (to me) they were inexplicable. Still, here is where I am now:

A) The Linn Kazoo application on my Windows 10 desktop now gives me access to 2 'Rooms', 1) the Klimax Renew on my main system 2) the Rendu OH  on my 2nd system, allows me to toggle between them successfully, and successfully play music from either my NAS (any resolution) or from Tidal on either system - more or less perfection.

B) The Linn Kazoo application (used wirelessly) on my Windows 10 laptop gives me equally successful control over either system - again, more or less perfection.

C) I have just (in the past hour) downloaded Linn Kazoo for my Android phone (Samsung J5) as a test, and it too gives me perfect control over either system

BUT, and it's a big 'But' for me, I cannot get Linn Kazoo to work consistently  (or sometimes at all) with the microRenduon my iPad.

I can (most of the time) select both 'Rooms' in the iPad, and the Kazoo application again works flawlessly with my Klimax Renew DS. When I select the Rendu OH room (that works successfully with Kazoo on other operating systems), I can see my music on my NAS, and I can also see the music that is available to me in Tidal. However, when I try to play an album or an individual track. I invariably get the message "Failed to add tracks to the DS", and nothing happens. Infuriatingly, very occasionally a track is 'successfully added' and does play, but the Kazoo application freezes and has to be re-booted. 

I have tried a number of things to get round this problem, including rebooting and restarting almost every component in my system, and uninstalling and reinstalling the Linn Kazoo app (a couple of times) on my iPad, but with no consistency. I am also at the moment in the process of updating my iPad to the latest release of  IOS to see if this makes a difference.

This may not be an issue for you if you plan to use another control application (such as Roon), or if you plan to use Kazoo on a Windows or Android device, but it's a real pain (and possibly a showstopper) for me. It's certainly wasting my time when I would like to be listening to music.

If anyone has any suggestions, or if anyone is successfully using Kazoo on an iPad as the control point for a microRendu, I would very much like to hear from you.          

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Hmack - interesting narrative - so I get the impression you are not bowled over?

S

Simon,

The infuriating thing is that the device works perfectly when I use Kazoo on Windows 10 or Android, just not with Kazoo on the iPad. I used to work in IT, and so am used to the fairly regular frustration of applications (programs) not working as they should for no apparent reason. It's still b****y annoying though.

Interestingly (or more accurately, infuriatingly), I have reset BubbleUPnP Server, and created a brand new 'Open Home Renderer' in the microRendu. After doing this, my Windows 10 and android Kazoo apps still work for both local UPnP and Tidal playback via the microRendu. However, I now have a completely different problem with Kazoo on the iPad. I can now play music from my NAS successfully and consistently (a clear step forwards), but I no longer even see the icons in Kazoo that allow me to access Tidal or Qobuz. When I access Tidal on my Klimax Renew DS, then switch to the microRendu room, I get the message:

"Tidal is not available"

"Your DS needs to be running Davaar 23 or later"

This makes absolutely no sense to me at all, but I can't figure out where I am going wrong.

The really infuriating thing is that when I do listen to music on the device it still sounds really good. It's just that the problems have prevented me (up to now) from doing a comparison. I'm going to rest for a while (my head hurts!), and regroup tomorrow. Rather than attempt to resolve the glitches on my iPad's instance of Kazoo, tomorrow, I will concentrate on the SQ and a comparison of the microRendu into the Hugo vs the ND5XS/TXPS into the Hugo.

A couple of paracetamol and a couple of large shots of single malt on the menu for tonight, and I'm sure I'll be up to having another go tomorrow.  

 

      

I really don't understand why, but I have just restarted the BubbleUPnP server on my microRendu for what must be at least the 3rd or 4th time. On this occasion, it appears to have resolved the problem, and I can now access both my NAS and Tidal from Kazoo on my iPad as well as on my Windows and Android devices.

Everything now appears to be Hunky Dory, and in the event that it's all still good in the morning, I'll be all set for some real listening and will hopefully be in a position to report back on the performance of the microRendu/Hugo in my system.  

I'm really not sure (in fact I haven't got a clue) why the iPad app is now working as it should with the microRendu, but having torn most of my hair out over the course of today, I'm not going to complain that it's now working.

Aren't computers just great?    

Maybe I too will shortly be able to report that "I love that small box". 

SOLVED!

By Martin @Vortexbox. If you are using the microRendu and change apps/DACs then you need to re-initialise the communications with the DAC. This is done via the relevant app in mR.

In my case I have been using MPD, going into the MPD app there is nothing to change, just press 'save changes' - voila, MUSIC.

M

P.S. Doesn't explain why it worked with the Oppo and not the Gustard, at least it is working.

M,

Glad you have resolved your problem. Unfortunately, my problem still exists. Tidal was available in Kazoo on my iPad last night, but not this morning. However, I have been posting and searching through the Computer Audiophile microRendu thread, and I have discovered that quite a few people have encountered the types of problems I have encountered. A number of people have suggested that the Tidal problem may be down to BubbleUPnP server issues with the version of Java installed in the microRendu, and a  suggestion to fix the problem is to remove BubbleUPnP server from the microRendu, and install it (along with Oracle JRE) on a Windows computer instead.

I don't want to do this, and so I have decided to carry out my comparison of the microRendu vs ND5XS/TXPS into the Chord Hugo using Kazoo on a Windows 10 laptop (this works perfectly for both my local NAS based files and Tidal). I could still use Kazoo on my iPad for NAS based files, just not for Tidal.

However, I am now going to state something that will probably disqualify me as a reviewer for most people, because I don't really believe it myself. I felt that tracks played via Kazoo on my Windows 10 laptop sounded subtly better than those played using Kazoo on my iPad. I am pretty sure that this can not be the case (unless anyone tells me otherwise), and so it is likely to be the case that my detection of a difference was most likely due to minor differences in volume when switching between the two.       

Hi Hmack,

I run Bubbleupnp on my Synology NAS, don't know if that assists. I find all the clients sound slightly different, so if you are disqualified so am I! Whether difference is better?

I am using Kazoo on Win 10, and access Quboz and have a tile for Tidal - but I don't use it.

Looking forward to your review.

M

I have just spent a few hours comparing the microRendu into Hugo vs the Naim ND5XS/TXPS into Hugo, and have come to a fairly consistent conclusion. The tests were carried out on my 2nd (AV) system, using Krell Pre/Power amplification into Ruark Solstice speakers. I use a decent (Mark Grant) digital coax cable to connect my ND5XS to the Hugo, and I also have a TXPS power supply that to my ears significantly improved on the sound of the bare ND5XS. For the time being I have connected the microRendu to the Hugo using a very cheap (ex satnav I think) USB cable, and I am using the cheap iFi power supply that I have seen reviewed pretty unkindly in a number of places. I do have a TP 7v supply on order, which I would expect to improve the SQ of the microRendu, and I may also source a 'decent' reasonably priced USB cable (possibly Audioquest Cinnamon). However bear in mind the potential limitations of the current power supply and USB cable when you read my comments below. I use a Synology NAS, currently running MinimServer (transcoding from FLAC to WAV) and my control points for the test have been the Naim app on an iPad AIr for the ND5XS/TXPS (System A), and Linn Kazoo on a Windows 10 laptop for the mircroRendu (System B).

The first thing to point out is that Systems A and B do indeed sound 'different', and sound different in a fairly consistent way across each of the music genre types I played. I have no doubt that some people would describe the differences as being fairly subtle, and others as being very significant. They were certainly pretty obvious to me. 

I would broadly describe the differences in this way:

System A (ND5XS/TXPS) across almost all types of music sounded 'warmer', 'fuller' and more rounded.

System B (microRendu) sounded slightly leaner, slightly more dynamic, and with more separation or 'air' between individual instruments.   

These differences were evident in both CD quality and hi-res (all resolutions) files, and also with the few DSD files I had to hand. My interpretation of the differences is that System A sounds by comparison very 'pleasant' and 'relaxing', but that having compared the two, there appears to be a 'glaze' or 'sheen' (it's so difficult to try and convey one's subjective impressions to other people) on the top of the music that somewhat muddies the sound. System B. on the other hand, without that 'glaze' is able to convey subtle details, such as acoustic guitar and violin harmonics, or the hand movements on fingerboards much more clearly.

Clear examples of this were evident when playing each of the following tracks:

Rachel Podger - Bach - Partita for flute in A minor (on violin) (24 bit/192 kHz) 

Cristophe Rousset (Harpsichord) - "Suite en do majeur: Allemande" (24 bit/96 kHz) 

Rory Block - 'Send the man back home' (16 bit/44.1 kHz) 

Anne Drummond & Dr Chesky - 'Dancing flute & Drum' (24 bit/192 kHz)

The Eagles - Hotel California (Acoustic version from 'Hell freezes over') (16 bit/44.1 kHz)

I also felt that music dynamics generally were better via System B, possibly in part because I found that I could rack up the volume significantly higher (always a good sign, if not for your neighbours) without the sound becoming bloated and overpowering. This was particularly impressive on each of the following pieces of music:

Sigmund Groven & Iver Kleive - "Undring" - an amazing piece (Harmonica and Organ). The entry of the Organ on this track (led in by harmonica) is amazingly dynamic and startling. Don't play this piece at high volume if you have neighbours or if your speakers are not 'robust'.

Steely Dan  - "Gaslighting Abbie" & "Cousin Dupree" (from the "Two against Nature" album) (24 bit/92  kHz)

Pink Floyd - "What do you want from me?" (24 bit/96 kHz)         

The Who - "Magic Bus" - from "Live at Leeds" (24 bit/96 kHz).

These are tracks I often use when comparing pieces of hi-fi equipment. However perhaps it is more relevant to say that my overall impression is that I simply consistently enjoyed listening to music more when played via the microRendu. I hope that the arrival of the power supply I have on order will improve things further. There is no doubt in my mind that the microRendu, when coupled with a good compatible DAC (such as the Hugo) offers very good value for money, despite its diminutive size.  

I have to mention a number of caveats.

1. If your intention is to use Kazoo on iPad as your control application, you may well run into the problems I have reported in earlier posts, particularly in respect of access to Tidal or Qobuz. If you plan to use Roon and Roon Player (or indeed Kazoo on Windows 10), you will probably be fine.

2. Obtaining access to Internet Radio via the microRendu is not straightforward. A number of people have posted guidelines for gaining access, but there is no doubt that if Internet Radio is important to you, then your Naim streamer will provide a much better interface for you.   

2. The microRendu runs pretty hot when used with the cheap iFi (9v) power supply that is often bundled with it. I would probably recommend a better 6v or 7v linear power supply, which may or may not also enhance the SQ. This will add a couple of hundred pounds to the overall cost.

3. My Ruark Solstice speakers are big speakers (around the same size as B&W 802s), and can probably be described as having a fairly 'warm' sound. If you have more overtly analytical or leaner sounding speakers, you may not be so enamoured with the slightly leaner (but to my ears more accurate) presentation of the microRendu. When my TP 7v power supply arrives, I will probably try slotting the microRendu and Hugo into my main system in place of my Klimax  Renew DS. The Magneplanar 3.6R speakers in this system are significantly more 'revealing' than my Ruarks, and so it will be interesting to find out if I feel the same way about the microRendu in this system.   

 

 

 

 

 

   

Thx Hmack,

Look forward to hearing about your main system.

I absolutely agree with your observations about the resolution of detail, even with the IFI.

I find that JRiver gives a warmer presentation than Kazoo. But, I find the U12 is less sharp as well and so prefer Kazoo in combination with it. That said that is using JRiver 'as is', I have no doubt there is a world of tweaking in it.

M

 

Brubacca posted:

@HMack

So for less than the cost of the TXPS one can get an amazing transport (mR and TP PSU).  

I am terrible with the verbal prose about what music sounds like, but you summed up my observations with- Music is more enjoyable to listen too.  

Yes!

In fact the cost of the mR and TP PSU is very significantly less than the ND5XS with TXPS. Of course the Hugo (or equivalent DAC) is also required for both transports. The ND5XS/TPXPS without the Hugo would not come close to the mR/TP PSU + Hugo.

I agree with you. It probably suffices to say that the mR/Hugo simply makes music more enjoyable, to my ears at least.  

charlesphoto posted:

No problem finding both Tidal and Qobuzz tiles on both Kazoo and Lumin apps on my iPad 2. I have an account for neither so couldn't check functionality or sound quality. Sorry to hear about your ghost in the machine. Sound quality is worth it to persevere. 

Hi Charles,

I have just downloaded Lumin for the iPad, and am able to access Tidal and Qobuz, so it appears that my problem with these services is restricted to my use of Kazoo on the iPad.

Very strange!

Lumin will take a bit of getting used to, but certainly appears to be reasonably intuitive. This means I will have a possible iPad option for the microRendu.  thanks! 

For anyone who is interested, I have just carried out a very brief comparison of the MicroRendu/Hugo vs the Linn Klimax Renew DS on my main system, having already posted that I prefer the microRendu/Hugo to the ND5XS/TPXPS in my 2nd system.

This time round, on admittedly a very short listening session, my initial finding is that I prefer the presentation of the Klimax Renew DS - a more solid, dynamic and musical presentation to my ears on this system. One thing to note is that in this system, I had to turn the volume control significantly higher on the Hugo than the turquoise setting I normally use on my 2nd system. I'm not sure if this contributed to my findings. The microRendu did, however. perform flawlessly with both local and Tidal sources when controlled by the Windows 10 version of Kazoo I use for this system.

I am going to wait for my TP 7v supply to arrive before carrying out a more extensive comparison.  

Hmack posted:

For anyone who is interested, I have just carried out a very brief comparison of the MicroRendu/Hugo vs the Linn Klimax Renew DS on my main system, having already posted that I prefer the microRendu/Hugo to the ND5XS/TPXPS in my 2nd system.

This time round, on admittedly a very short listening session, my initial finding is that I prefer the presentation of the Klimax Renew DS - a more solid, dynamic and musical presentation to my ears on this system. One thing to note is that in this system, I had to turn the volume control significantly higher on the Hugo than the turquoise setting I normally use on my 2nd system. I'm not sure if this contributed to my findings. The microRendu did, however. perform flawlessly with both local and Tidal sources when controlled by the Windows 10 version of Kazoo I use for this system.

I am going to wait for my TP 7v supply to arrive before carrying out a more extensive comparison.  

The Hugo could have more to do with the presentation than the mR. Too bad there are no digital outputs on the Klimax, you could hook it up to the Hugo and compare.

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RobH
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