You can insert optical into your system much cheaper — about $80 — using this from Audiogon.
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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?
FWIW, last fall I upgraded my digital chain from a VBA to Sonic transporter i5, UR, and SGC LPS. I use the switch SGC recommended, a $22 Trendnet. My system always seemed quiet, before and after upgrade. I did not try OR. My DAC lacked USB, which I was happy living without until the UR arrived, requiring a USB DAC. Long story short, none of DACs I tried (4 DACs priced from $500 to $1300) sounded as good as my old DAC. The solution was the SGC USB to S/PDIF adapter. Pricey at $500, but everything sounds pretty good now. I will say that this digital chain is more revealing and less euphonic than the old set up, so I can now differentiate between really good recordings and not so good ones. Honestly, I miss the euphony a bit. I might try that iFi power supply for the switch.
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