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. 


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

rooze - Interesting read, thanks. Could I trouble you for a link to the optical units you purchased from Amazon? Also, what are you using for a music server?

Do you have any idea what the alternative "one box solution" is, as mentioned at the end of the review?