Optical vs Ultra Rendu.

Is it worth the $696 more to go with the optical Rendu:


Over the standard (ethernet connected) ultra Rendu:


Has anybody compared these units, is there a notable difference in sound quality between these two?  Both still connect to the DAC via USB. 


Thanks all. I have been researching a digital front end for some time now, sort of the last piece of the puzzle for me. It really seems this SGC bundle is something that checks all my boxes. My last hurdle was just trying to make the final call on the Ultra or the Optical. From what most of you are telling me here, it sounds like the $700 upgrade would be worth it. 

Another vote for Optical Rendu.  Here’s another product I just saw.  Interesting that it actually throttles down the speed to reduce noise and not too expensive.  Just another option...


One needs to think holistically when setting up streaming system. Network should be set up to take advantage of best input on dac. While some dismiss usb, usb is often best input on dac, many dac manufacturers have taken great pains to maximize usb format.

So, assuming usb superior input on dac, streamers such as optical and ultra rendu become viable and/or optimal streaming solution. The problem with usb in many streaming setups is using the common motherboard usb out on most servers, this is far from optimal. One must use one of the various usb renderers/improvers like Uptone usbRegen, Innuos Phoenix usb or any number of others to take advantage of full capability of dac usb input. OpticalRendu will eliminate any need for further usb rendering.


One must use FMC, optical out server or optical out switch in front of OpticalRendu, also must use LC format for optical module, this to make sure optical cable will be compatible with OpticalRendu. My present solution uses Bidi Gigabit Multi mode SFP LC FMC (purchased from Amazon) with 5v Teradak LPS, eventually will go to Sonore OpticalModule with LPS when chips become available for unit.


@high-amp I presume the LPS sold with Sonore bundle is fine, but assuming one gets full value with more expensive LPS, may not be optimum lps for OpticalRendu. As I mentioned previously, I use Uptone JS-2, aprox. $1k lps, I haven't tried another lps with my unit so can't ascertain for certain value of this lps in sound quality of my setup. I can only say major upgrade over SOtm, SMS200Neo which I also powered with the JS-2.


sns - thank you for your detailed response, but I'm starting to find this a little bit overwhelming. Would it be possible for you to send me a simple drawing via PM or attach it here, so I can get a better handle on what you have done with your system so I can possibly duplicate it?