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. 


@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.



I run the SMG/Sonore setup and just added optical units purchased from Amazon for $150.

Basically the TX/RX come in pairs, for about $60/pair. I used two pairs and have them between the switch and i5 and the switch and UltraRendu.

I can't say how it compares with the Optical Rendu because I've never used one. SGA was going the send out an OR for review, but so far that hasn't happened.

I ran the optical stuff to hopefully treat frequent crashes requiring resetting of the UR, i5 and Roon server. I don't have enough time on the clock to know if the crash problem has improved. I can say that installing the fiber system was a breeze, it's plug-and-play. It also keeps the UltraRendu well away from wifi, which was SMG's recommendation.

I like the SMG/Sonore stuff but it hasn't been trouble free. There's a review here