If you stream music from the internet, I can't recommend this more highly


I had been using a Roon Nucleus to stream Qobuz, with my Chord Qutest directly connected to the Nucleus. I thought I was getting pretty decent sound quality. And then I got a marketing email from Small Green Computer touting some of their optical gear. The basic idea is that normal cables and connections used to stream from the internet pick up noise of one kind or another (radio frequencies and electromagnetic something or other). But fiber optic cables and their connections/interfaces do not. I don’t know anything about anything, but it made theoretical sense to me, it wasn’t a huge amount of money ($1,400), and with a 30 day return policy I figured I could always return it if I didn’t hear any improvement. Well, I didn’t just hear a slight improvement; it was like turning on the lights in a dark room. Much greater clarity and detail, much better micro and macro dynamics, better timbre to acoustic instruments -- overall just more lifelike. Two quick examples: I’ve listened to some of Steely Dan’s top songs 100s of times over the course of my life, and this is the first time I’d ever noticed a particular and very subtle sound characteristic of Fagen’s keyboard in Babylon Sister. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like there’s a slight sound of air being exhaled by it. The other example: the specific timbre of whatever percussive instrument is used at the beginning of Copeland’s "Fanfare for the Common Man" (a recording by the Minnesota Orchestra). There’s more of a metallic sound than a drum skin sound to it that I didn’t know was there before. The metallic sound starts in the center and then projects out and to the sides, like a wave washing over you. Anyway, I’m just thrilled about having stumbled upon the whole "optical" thing and felt obligated to let others know about it. If you stream music over the internet, I highly recommend giving it a try. (The product I got was the opticalRendu, with the linear power supply option, and the Fiber Ethernet Converter Bundle option.)
128x128hiphiphan
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I will say that with my DirectStream DAC + Bridge 2, going from an all copper ethernet connection directly to my router to going with TP Link optical converters on both sides and a long optical run, including using linear power supplies for the optical converters, router and modem, made a notable improvement with blacker background and more nuanced sound. 

Now that I've purchased a Holo May DAC and am using Roon for streaming, it seems like the USB is the best way to feed this DAC for streaming, and given that the Optical Rendu does both USB and Roon, it seems like the way to go.  I already have the optical cable and plenty of linear power supplies, but my TP: Link isn't the right one (need single speed gigabit).  I'm looking for advice for serving up the optical to the Rendu.  Get a different converter, or get a switch with a built in optical outlet?  If possible, please provide a model or link to your recommendation, and why.  

Thanks, Peter

Peter, if I'm understanding correctly, the optical converter you have isn't compatible with the Optical Rendu. If so, no worries -- if you order the Optical Rendu, it comes with a compatible optical converter. If you need any further info, I would recommend emailing the owner/operator of SmallGreenComputer:  andrew@smallgreencomputer.com

@hiphiphan I don't believe that the optical rendu comes with an optical converter for the sending side.  I think you can buy one from Sonore (e.g. optical module for $300), but I am hoping to get the same result with something like a TP Link and a linear power supply, or a switch with an SFP outlet.