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. 

sns - I do not have a server, if I purchase a bundle from SGC the Sonictransporter i5 would be my music server.

My current router is a combo router/modem, an older Netgear AC1750 so the only reason I presume I would need a switch would be for a optical line for the Rendu. 

There hasn't been much emphasis on modems in most of these "Digital" conversations. My older Netgear AC1750 works great but should I consider upgrading it? It has been discontinued so this is the only this is the only link I could find for it:


@high-amp Don't put too much on your platter for the time being. Get the bundle and I5 and you'll be good to go, actually doing really well! You can upgrade router/switch later on, the bundle will supply vast majority of high quality streaming for you. I don't know which dac you're using, but this may be worth looking at down the road with these network upgrades, dac really most important component in the entire setup.

sns - thanks for all your help and advice. I will be using the DAC onboard my SPL Director Mk2 pre-amp to start. I have no idea how it will compare to the many other DACs touted here, such as Musetec, Denafrips, Holo Audio, MHDT, etc.

I tried starting a thread elsewhere to see if anybody has compare this on-board DAC to some of these DACs mentioned but no takers yet. The SPL line doesn’t seem to get a lot of press here on AG?

I may be maxed out for cash once I’m done and may have to leave out chasing DACs for my next life.

You can insert optical into your system much cheaper — about $80 — using this from Audiogon.  


soix - Thanks, but inserting what for $80?

This SGC i5 bundle includes a music server that has a Roon core built in saving me from purchasing a Roon Nucleus at $1,459. Then it comes with the optical Rendu, a LPS and all the cables for $2,695.

If you have a cost saving alternative, I’m all ears!!!

Honestly, in the past, I just ran a Roon Nucleus, via USB directly into my DAC and I thought it just sounded fine, but everyone seems to say USB to DAC isn’t so great. It’s also stated it's better to have a dedicated music server , then use  ethernet to DAC (better than USB) with optical being better yet.