Having ju1st done one of the last of the 1.4 board upgrades on my microRendu, I would say go for the Ultra if you can stretch it if you are after ultimate sound quality. The original rendu will get you 60% there, 1.4 board 90%. I guess it depends on your other gear as well, and how revealing your dac is, and what you plan on doing for a power supply, and of course your budget. $499 is a good price for the rendu, if that’s your ultimate budget, and will be much better than the SE by all accounts. I lived happily with mine from almost the day they came out, but so glad I sneaked in the 1.4 upgrade. Lots of used Uptone LPS-1’s on the market now since they announced the 1.2 version, and that is considered one of the best ps for the rendu.
Putting myself in your position and imagining a 500 level system in the house, even in another room I would start with the ultraRendu. If you like it (which I am betting you will) then upgrade the ps with a LPS later on. Sonore gives you a trial period I believe. If you decide to return it, the ComputerAudiophile Marketplace usually shows mRs or SOTM sms units for sale in the $300 range.
Keep in mind there are used 1.4 microrendu’s out there too. Quick search using hifi shark and there is one listed on Audio Circle for $675. They come up pretty regularly as people upgrade to the Ultra or other streaming options. I would’ve gone for an Ultra if I wouldn’t have lost so much in reselling the micro, so the board upgrade made sense while it was still (just) available.
Thank you for the replies. Yes I am on the fence and I guess I have today and tomorrow to think as the Sonore promotion ends tomorrow night. I even inquired if the promo price applied to the UltraRendu however it did not - the flash sale was only put on due to MR inventory levels. That leads me to believe they have too many MicroRendu's and are looking to clear them out - perhaps most people are now going for the Ultra?
I have a sneaking suspicion that in the end I will end up with the Ultra. Since my iMac/external HD w/ Flac files resides downstairs in the kitchen the only way to get music to my dedicated listening room is via ethernet. That is how I feed the Klimax DS. So ultimately where ever my DAC journeys take me for the headphone system a device such as the UltraRendu is mandatory and will grow with me as it is the only way to get the music files into the listening room.
Power supply recommendations are strange - I have read quite a lot about the new version of the Uptone - Sonore even claims the external case of the UltraRendu was designed to match the Uptone supply - yet in private correspondence with me they tout the Channel Islands brand power supply. I am curious to know why - do they think it is better - or perhaps some political squabbling with the Uptone folks?
I also have read that with the UltraRendu people no longer need to bother with USB regeneration boxes (such as what Uptone sells) as the UltraRendu internally takes care of this problem. Possibly another reason to go in the direction of the Ultra as I do not want to get bogged down again with a multitude of external boxes. I am into simplicity as I get older - part of the reason why I culled my black boxes and went for a simple internal Urika in my LP12 - losing a SuperLine and SuperCap in the process.
USB cables - what are people using? I again do not want to go down the same rabbit hole I did with my Naim system (Chord Music throughout). I have seen some reasonably priced recommendations made for Oyaide Neo d+ Series Class S USB Cable, Supra USB cables, Vertere Pulse (although not easily available in the States) - all priced around $100. Are these some of the popular reasonably priced ones?
You do know you can feed Roon to anything using the Bridge app in the microRendu (I suspect you are already doing this with the SE).
If you can fit it, the Uptone USPCB is a great option, and what I use with my V1. It can be purchased straight or twisted 90 degrees. You will need to rig up some sort of support (I used legos from my son’s bin). It runs about $35 I think. You may also want to consider the Ghent Audio JSSG USB cable, if you need an actual cable.
Not heard of Channel Island. I always thought of Sonore and Uptone having a symbiotic relationship, but perhaps not.
Yes - I am currently using the new Sony Signature Series Headphone DAC/Amp and am in fact using the SonicOrbiterSE as a ROON endpoint. I was pleasantly surprised with the sound I am getting and can only imagine what a MR or UR would bring to the equation. My intent is to use the Sonore product in this fashion as I want to have ROON for my headphone system.
Something like the Uptone USPCB is interesting as this was one of the benefits the Sonore boys were touting in using a MR instead of the UR - the need to not spend further money on a USB cable and instead use the included hard USB adapter. The only thing they said is that it would be more difficult with the UR due to the much larger case size. Some improvisation would definitely be needed.
Welcome to the thread!
I would agree with the above. Only you will know how much digital listening you will do and whether the extra the ultra offers will tempt you if you don't opt for it, personally it is the one I have and I would recommend.
PSU: I would recommend getting a 6A/8V R-Core Zero Zone LPSU from eBay and then follow this with two 1A 7.2V LT3045s; this is better than an LPS-1 and for less than half the price. The LTs will require a couple of project boxes, DC connectors and a tiny bit of soldering but is WELL worth the effort.
The cable I would recommend is the IFI Mercury 3.0, the PCUSB is excellent VFM and has been 2nd best in my system.
The best chain I have found, and I have done a LOT of testing is:
ultraRendu > PCUSB > Uptone Iso Regen (powered by a 0.5A/5v LT3045 - hence the 6A/8V LPSU) > IFI iDefender 3.0 > IFI Mercury 3 > IFI iPower 2.0
In my case this feeds a Matrix SPDIF2 & then a Border Patrol SE DAC.
Look forward to reading your decision and then thoughts.
Thanks for this. I think I will need to spend some time on Google to figure some of this out!
While the power supply recommendations I am sure are valid they are a bit DIY. Something like the NEW Uptone LPS-1.2 may be easier and was designed (case wise) to match up with the UltraRendu. Some of the house issues with the first generation were apparently fixed.
The Iso Regenerator - what about what I have read which says that this is no longer necessary when moving up from the MR to UR - that the UR has this capability already built in?
Re Ifi - off to the website to decipher what these boxes do.
Comments not directed towards your setup but rather to the numerous setups I see on the CA forum where people have 10 different boxes etc. all to achieve the best in digital sound - it makes me appreciate Linn even more that they are able to take care of everything in one single box. One has to admire how smart they were way back when ten years ago when all of this was in its infancy. The lengths that people go to fix the inherent problems with USB ie Regenerators, cables, isolators etc. and Linn discovered in its infancy that bringing in the files via Ethernet was the way to go. Smart chaps those boys up in Scitland!
I’ve had a microRendu in my system for the last week and can vouch for the fact the engineers at Sonore have created a little network audio gem. I have it connected to the USB input of my DAC-V1 using the Uptone USPCB A to B USB Adapter. Why would I want to potentially undo all the good work of the engineers at Sonore, and at Naim, by introducing components, into the data chain, which can potentially do more harm than good. I was always brought up to believe the weakest link are the connectors. Keep the signal path as short as possible is my motto.
If you wish to upgrade there's the UltraRendu or, for those with very deep pockets, Sonore Signature Rendu SE. Not forgetting the recommended PSU options of course.
Why would I want to potentially undo all the good work of the engineers at Sonore, and at Naim, by introducing components, into the data chain, which can potentially do more harm than good. I was always brought up to believe the weakest link are the connectors. Keep the signal path as short as possible is my motto.
Right but to keep the signal path as short as possible we need servers and network players with high quality outputs that match the inputs of our DACs. We need modular designs and the option of ordering the devices with the outputs that we need. Finally, we need flexible and usable devices: it does not make very much sense to invest time and money in software solutions that are obsolete or that only work for pop music. Some folks at CA have successfully replaced long replay chains with simple solutions based on Innuos servers. The new Antipodes also look quite promising. And, in terms of flexibility, straightforwardness and price a DigiOne directly connected to a S/PDIF DAC is likely unbeatable. It also sounds quite good to my ears ...
Shame you are on the other side of the pond, makes doing a demo a tad more awkward.
I think you will be able to find a supplier who will sell you the ingredients on sale or return. You'll get most the effect with the iDefender, Mercury 3.0 and iPurifier 2.0, without the Iso Regen.
If you can manage the LT3045s they are well worth the effect, and will allow the R-Core to be better than, and half the price of, the Uptone. But, I understand the DIY hesitation.
I completely agree these chains of gadgets appear to be ridiculous. They are additive. The Mercury is the ONE cable I have found that revealed detail that the PCUSB didn't, and the iPurifier acts like a concentrator. The mR or uR plus the PCUSB will give a very nice result, the rest is icing, but isn't icing enticing!
Mr Underhill posted:
If you can borrow them with a return policy I would have a go with the IFI Mercury USB 3.0 followed by the IFI iPurifier 2.0 between the uR and the DAC-v1...
Thank you for the suggestion. I did briefly check out the iFi Mercury3 (USB 2, 1m -with only a few hours on it) & iPurifier2 (USB B, a shop floor unitl) in my main system.
First of all- I use the 90 deg A>B USPCB in the uRendu>DAC-V1 setup. The V1 will not accommodate the uRendu width with the straight USPCB! This means that the uRendu orientation is vertical rather than horizontal. To hook it up horizontally, I can use two USPCBs with a B>A adapter between them but I find that this degrades the performance slightly. Why do I mention this - I believe the 90 deg USPCB performs better than my straight ones when used with ISO-Regen. I do not know if this is due to normal variability or physical orientation. Does this apply to the uR setup as well? I do not know, but I like what I hear.
I listened to some familiar tracks as follows;
1. start with: LPS-1.2->(uR->USPCB, 90deg)->DAC-V1.
Listen for a while, to get a mental baseline.
2. add the iPurifier2 to the setup: LPS-1.2->(uR>USPCB, 90deg)->iPuriifer2->DAC-V1
I felt that there was a slight 'softness' added to the sound. This could help in an 'edgy' setup.
3. use just the Mercury3 cable. LPS-1.2->(uR->Mercury3->DAC-V1
I found it to be very good, with a slightly 'rounded' sound when compared to 1. Again this might help in some setups. As mentioned earlier it only had a few hours on it so I do not know whether it had reached 'break in' status! I did not play with the ferrites location much, so cannot comment on the ability to 'tune' this rather unique and fine sounding USB cable.
4. add the iPurifier2 to the Mercry3. LPS-1.2->(uR->Mercury3->iPurifier2->DAC-V1
I found it to be as good or slightly better than 3. (not sure)! I would need to listen some more.
5. Return to 1.
I can only describe 1. as the 'purest' sound and ultimately the most musically communicative to me. It suits me the best in my setup.
Having said that I can see (hear?) how these iFi components can benefit an 'edgy/hard' sounding setup.
I'm using the microRendu as in Brilliant's set-up 1 above, i.e. microRendu -> USPCB, 90deg -> DAC-V1.
Currently I'm powering the microRendu using the stock Meanwell 7.5v SMPS but looking at upgrade options. I know the LPS-1, now I believe superceeded by the LPS-1.2, is highly regarded.
Any thoughts and/or recommenations would be welcome.
In a week or two, I can listen to and post my impressions of the DAC-V1 with the mR/LPS 1/Iso-Regen, vs LPS1.2 etc if you like
My feeling is that the DAC-V1 still has great potential on the USB interface (as evidenced when fed a clean signal) and I would not be surprised if NAIM works this toward a V2. Imagine if they added an A/D convertor and a digital out option for the archiving of LPs or general digital recording!
Dave, using a 1.4 microRendu with 90 degree uspcb into V1 myself with LPS-1.
Definitely lowers the noise floor considerably, even from an iFi and HDPLEX lps that I cycled through first. Pretty sure the lps-1.2 brings even more to the game.
Would love to see a V2 with analog in too.
Thanks for the feedback.
I would certainly be interesting to hear comments comparing LPS-1 and LPS-1.2. I believe the LPS-1.2 is now supplied with a customised 7.5v energiser and not the Meanwell.
I'm not sure the LPS-1.2 is available on this side of the pond yet but there are a couple of LPS-1's for sale, on that well known auction site, so I'm not sure wether I should jump or wait.
Regarding the DAC-V1 I would definitely agree with your comments. Installing the uR has really made me appreciate it's capabilities as an USB source. I'm sure I can squeeze a bit more out of it yet.
The LPS 1.2 consumes more power when charging (36 W). I am guessing your uR above refers to your microRendu rather than the ultraRendu. I have not tried the LPS 1.2 with the microRendu yet. The LPS-1.2 has a noticeable performance advantage over the LPS-1 when used with the ultraRendu, most noted in the resolution of the lower frequencies!
I imagine there will be a few LPS-1s on sale for a while due to the1.2 intro.
I also have the Ghent Audio DC cable with Oyaide 45 on both ends, as well as their JSSG ethernet cable with Metz connectors one at 45. The 45's help as the microRendu is close to the wall. Affordable, well built, and neutral. Built a little holder out of spare legos (kids are good for something). Some grungebusters under the feet of the LPS-1 and a cheap heatsink and weight on top. LPS-1 is charged by an HDPLEX. I guess the new charger that comes with LPS-1.2 is all that you need to break leakage.
Semi-non sequitur if you’ll forgive me - my question doesn’t really merit its own thread. Earlier in this thread, there is discussion of a power source for the rendu. Seems unlikely, but is there any merit (or madness) in connecting it to a powered aux input on a nac?
Egads man! Only merit would be if you want to fry your rendu. Rendu is 7v best, 9v max. I believe output on NAP is 24 (or is it 13?). Anyway, maybe with some sort of drop down, but there’s a reason to bite the bullet and go with a purpose built power supply for these low voltage dc devices. If money was no object, I would go for the Uptone JS-2 at $995, or their LPS-1.2 at less than half that. The new HDPLEX 200 watt coming out in May looks like a contender as well at $485. Multi rail ones are nice for their flexibility in powering different devices. Lots out there and many of the cheap Chinese ones work as well, esp for aux devices. Just choose high, and wisely.
Can’t fault a post that begins with ‘egads’! Useful too. Thanks CP. More homework for me to do.
Thanks for the feedback.
I would certainly be interesting to hear comments comparing LPS-1 and LPS-1.2. I believe the LPS-1.2 is now supplied with a customised 7.5v energiser and not the Meanwell...
I had a quick listen with the LPS 1 and LPS 1.2 powering the microRendu 1.3 (mR) f/w 2.2 and could hardly tell the difference! The 1.2 might be slightly better but I cannot swear on it. However either one of them provides a clear improvement in resolution over the supplied smps direct into the mR. In my setup the new smps (direct) improves the higher frequencies somewhat but not the lows.
Please note that some other LPSs (e.g. those described above like the ZeroZone) do give more body to the sound, and might be better vfm. I find the mR to really benefit from the Iso-Regen when inserted before the DAC-V1.
If you can find a deal on an Iso-Regen, I would heartily recommend this setup (at least as good or better than the various mR combos I have tried in my system):
Zerozone (9V/3A, or bigger*) > mR>USPSCB>Iso Regen>USPCB>DAC-V1
Iso Regen can be split fed from the same ZeroZone. I am using this very setup as I type and it is fab.
Note: Sellers tend to exaggerate the rating or give no-load specs.
Mr Underhill has also described above the benefits of the LT3045 regs when inserted in his setup.
I see that you are using an mR with the 1.3 board and much earlier firmware - I highly recommend finding a 1.4 board and/or moving sideways to an Ultrarendu. Either is going to give you a lot bigger bang for the buck than mucking about with incremental improvements in the power supply or adding another cleaner device.
I have a whole lot of stuff that I do not find relevant enough to list in my forum profile! I do have an ultraRendu (listed). If you look in some of my earlier posts you may find it as a uR. It is a nice unit but so is the mR/Iso-Regen in the setup above!
PS- I never liked the 2.5 MPD/DLNA sound, and when I upgraded it to 2.6, my Win7 setup has trouble seeing it on the LAN! I am working on that, but 2.2 is great for what I use it for.
The LPS-1 output voltages settings are limited to 3.3v, 5v and 7v. The LPS-1.2 offers 5v, 7v, 9v and 12v and an on/off switch has been added. The noise floor has been reduced from 4.2uV/RMS to 0.8uV/RMS and with lower output impedance, 3mOhm in the 10-100KHz range!
A used LPS-1 seems like a good option but the LPS-1.2 is very tempting as a long term investment.
When used with the ultraRendu the 1.2 is better at allowing more resolution. Yes they widened the output voltage range (probably looking at some future products as well, the down side being double the power draw!) and added other goodies. They did switch the output regulators (now two // LT 3045s with better specs). An improved unit, but not as obvious with the mR as it is with the uR (IMO, after the quick listen).
Sorry to have gone dark, been rather poorly.
WRT IFI Mercury 3:
My thoughts parallel your own. In my system I would say that it allows more information to come through, especially in the higher registers, and that cymbals etc just take on a more natural sheen.
I do have a high regard for the USPCB & have swapped back and forth and listened for extended periods.
I have continued ringing the changes as I find that the fine tuning shades the excellent results I have been getting. For the last couple pf weeks I have been running with:
ultraRendu (powered by 2 x 1A/5v LT3045 < R-Core 6A/8V LPSU*) > IFI iDefender 3.0 (0.5A/5v LT3045 < R-Core 6A/8V LPSU*) > IFI Mercury 3 > Matrix SPDIF2 (1A/5v LT3045 < R-Core 2A/8V LPSU) > Border patrol SE DAC
This much simplified USB chain is the best all round setup I have used to date.
I have parked the IFI Purifier 2 currently. It and the Iso Regen do bring things to the party, but it is subtle and robs the music of reverb while perhaps tightening up on some detail.
WRT LPS-1 & LPS1.2
Alex is a frequent contributor to a thread elsewhere that I have borrowed from heavily. He has acknowledged the efficacy of the LT3045 for a long time and so their use in the 1.2 is no surprise. HDPLEX are using them in a new PSU they are about to release, as well as an R-Core transformer.
If you can do a bit of soldering buy a few LT3045s off eBay, get a few project boxes and DC connectors and make your own. Then buy one or two cheap R-Core LPSUs (Teradak/Zero Zone) and roll your own. IF you are competent with a soldering iron 7 multi-meter, or know someone who is.
Alex would try and additionally sell the LPS on the leakage current angle. This is something I have experimented with but have heard nothing to accept it as a definite way forward. Of course Uptone will bang on about it as it is a differentiator for them.
Your feedback re: LPS-1 v LPS-1.2, when used with the microRendu, is very helpful.
There is a Dutch guy, on YouTube, who compared the LPS-1 with the cheaper SBooster power supply. The bottom line seemed to be the LPS-1 controlled sibilances slightly better but the SBooster gave a slightly greater dynamic sound. You pays your money and you takes your choose.
I admire you ingenuity and DIY skills but I think my days of using a soldering iron are (unfortunately) long gone.
Just cheap! .....and, standing on other people shoulders.
Remember the LPS is sensitive to what powers it, and the following DC cable also shapes the resulting sound.
Simpler is nice to see -great then!
LPS AC leakage was measured at audiosciencereview . com (Amir) with eyebrow raising results and Alex was challenged to produce evidence supporting its design claims. Some obviously goes through due to capacitive coupling in the switches and in the physical layout, and how about EMC etc? Alex seemed in disbelief initially but did produce some charts later that showed leakage. Most users already knew that the feeder supplies affect the LPS performance.
Personally I do find the LPS to improve on the smps direct into the mR/uR, but also to give a 'thinner' sound when compared to some other LPSUs. I do like them most however because they reveal good mR/uR/DAC-V1 resolution while preserving the PRaT.
Personally I do find the LPS to improve on the smps direct into the mR/uR, but also to give a 'thinner' sound .....
Precisely. I preferred an R-Core LPSU overall, but valued the precision of the LPS-1, the added LT3045 gives the balance between that detail and the weightier sound of the R-Core.
Whilst I admire the time and effort he puts in I find he can be too defensive when challenged, and perhaps a tad less than transparent.
Can be very insightful, but also wants to make sales!
PS- I never liked the 2.5 MPD/DLNA sound, and when I upgraded it to 2.6, my Win7 setup has trouble seeing it on the LAN! I am working on that, but 2.2 is great for what I use it for.
re: 2.5 to 2.6 web interface upgrade for the mR- the problem above got solved. From Jesus over at CA:
" Go to Settings and then from whatever output mode you are using press Save. "