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. 


I had both UltraRendu then upgraded to the opticalRendu, connected to my Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC and didn’t hear a difference.  The opticalRendu continued to have music dropouts and ran really hot, so I returned it just at the end of my 30 day trial window.  No issues with the UltraRendu though.

dbt - very interesting, you are definitely bucking the trend of most who say optical is their preference.

@high-amp I had to consult multiple resources before I figured out how to install optical. It sounds like you're still learning, so I recommend reading that article I linked to earlier in this thread for another take on the topic of getting started with optical. 

I forget what you said you use as your current streamer, but you might be interested in trying optical with your current system before committing to the OpticalRendu. And yes, the opticalrendu will eliminate the need for the second converter. 

I've been streaming with optical now for about a month (with a non-optical compatible streamer, so I have to convert to optical and back again). Although I felt the difference was big when I first installed it, I'll switch back to sanity check myself at some point and be able to articulate just how big the difference is. 

classdstreamer - Yes, just learning. I am currently rebuilding my system. Have speakers and amp but no streamer at this point. 
Originally had a Macbook Air to DAC via USB then a Roon Nucleus to DAC via USB. I am debating between the two SGC unites mentioned in my initial post and trying to get a feel from others on their related experiences.

I'm sorry, I must have missed your link, I'll go back and check it out, thank you.