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Sonore Streamers
#1
There has been a bit of chatter in various threads about Sonore Streamers.  (I guess "renderer" is the right term?)  In particular the "Sonicorbiter" and forthcoming "microRendu", although they do make other products.

It strikes me that these little widgets might be of some use for those looking for a simple streaming solution, or Roon implementation with a Devialet, for example.

Has anyone tried one?

To be honest, I'm thinking that they are unlikely to be as good with respect to pure sound quality as say a Melco, Aurender or similar.  That said, could you hook one up to a reclocker, something like a Mutec MC-3 + USB, with potentially good results.  How good?  Who knows until someone tries it.  Probably better than a Mac Mini or a NUC via USB?   As good as a Melco N1A / Aurender X100?  That's a tough call, personally I doubt it, but you never know, something like a Sonicorbiter + Mutec combo might just be spectacularly good, and all for £1000 or so, plus some cables.  In fact if it was good, you could buy two or three Sonicorbiters or microRendus, they are that cheap, run them with different configurations, all through the Mutec to get the SQ up to scratch.

This is all very speculative, and reading through the bumf on the internet re the Sonicorbiter, I haven't quite worked out how you would set one up.  For example, I notice that the Sonicorbiter has two USB sockets.  So could you connect one to the Dev, one to a USB hard drive and away you go?  Or do you need the additional hassle (and hardware) of a NAS drive to get a functional set up?  Then you have the additional issues of control apps and so on.  Is this simple plug and play stuff or one for IT specialists only?  It might just be simpler to use a NUC or Mac Mini, and if you are hunting ultimate SQ, stick that through a Mutec or similar.

In summary, I have no idea if these things will be an endless nightmare to set up, sound terrible and be utterly pointless or if they will be the greatest thing ever, simple to use, all the functionality you desire and crush £10k streamers with regard to sound quality.

The other issue that these things are made in the USA and not officially distributed in Europe or anywhere else.  So you are looking at ordering one on-line, and hoping it slips through you local customs office without too much difficulty.  Plus niggles such AC voltage and funny foreign plug on the power supply.

Any thoughts?  Has anyone tried one?
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#2
I'll buy a microRendu as soon as it is available. True, it comes from the US and we do not know the price yet, but I think it will be a very decent product. I do not think microRendu will be difficult do deal with at all. Generally I find Linux to be more reliable than  the other alternatives and I do think microRendu will be very good.
I'll report back when I have it connected.
*
microRendu 1.4::LPS-1::USPCB::Mutec MC-3+USB::250 Pro::Roon Core on Debian Linux::Intel NUC::Audiolense 5.0 filters::Netgear Ultra 2+ NAS::Monitor Audio MA201 (thoroughly rebuilt, now with a SAM profile)

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#3
(30-Jan-2016, 12:26)Confused Wrote: There has been a bit of chatter in various threads about Sonore Streamers.  (I guess "renderer" is the right term?)  In particular the "Sonicorbiter" and forthcoming "microRendu", although they do make other products.

It strikes me that these little widgets might be of some use for those looking for a simple streaming solution, or Roon implementation with a Devialet, for example.

Has anyone tried one?

To be honest, I'm thinking that they are unlikely to be as good with respect to pure sound quality as say a Melco, Aurender or similar.  That said, could you hook one up to a reclocker, something like a Mutec MC-3 + USB, with potentially good results.  How good?  Who knows until someone tries it.  Probably better than a Mac Mini or a NUC via USB?   As good as a Melco N1A / Aurender X100?  That's a tough call, personally I doubt it, but you never know, something like a Sonicorbiter + Mutec combo might just be spectacularly good, and all for £1000 or so, plus some cables.  In fact if it was good, you could buy two or three Sonicorbiters or microRendus, they are that cheap, run them with different configurations, all through the Mutec to get the SQ up to scratch.

This is all very speculative, and reading through the bumf on the internet re the Sonicorbiter, I haven't quite worked out how you would set one up.  For example, I notice that the Sonicorbiter has two USB sockets.  So could you connect one to the Dev, one to a USB hard drive and away you go?  Or do you need the additional hassle (and hardware) of a NAS drive to get a functional set up?  Then you have the additional issues of control apps and so on.  Is this simple plug and play stuff or one for IT specialists only?  It might just be simpler to use a NUC or Mac Mini, and if you are hunting ultimate SQ, stick that through a Mutec or similar.

In summary, I have no idea if these things will be an endless nightmare to set up, sound terrible and be utterly pointless or if they will be the greatest thing ever, simple to use, all the functionality you desire and crush £10k streamers with regard to sound quality.

The other issue that these things are made in the USA and not officially distributed in Europe or anywhere else.  So you are looking at ordering one on-line, and hoping it slips through you local customs office without too much difficulty.  Plus niggles such AC voltage and funny foreign plug on the power supply.

Any thoughts?  Has anyone tried one?

Confused - not tried one but have been reading a lot about them.

Sonore have a good reputation for high-end renderers - their top of the line Signature rendu appears to have a good following, but has limited output options.

The just released Sonic Orbiter SE is a standard cubox (they admit this) but running their custom designed OS which is optimised purely for audio playback and supports various products 'out of the box' as network endpoints. I was interested for RoonReady but it can be an HQ player NAA as well as others. I believe it's a case of plug it into the network, attach it to a DAC via USB, and set which mode you want it to run in - ie RoonReady - via their web interface.

A few users on the Roon forums have started giving feedback, and some of them less technical. A couple of snippets from memory were 'set up and playing in 60 seconds or less', and 'it's the best I've ever heard my system sound'.  So it seems like a safe bet that it's not going to be a technical hassle. I don't know if you can attach a drive - I think it's purely a network endpoint, but you'd have to check that one. Of the quotes above I've no idea what they were comparing too or whatever, but Ive not seen any posts about issues other than the newness of RoonReady on certain high rate DSD on certain DACs purely because they need supporting or are still in development. It can be powered by a linear PSU too.

Sonore say they're not happy with any current hardware, so the planned micro rendu will be designed and built by them (in colaboration) with the goal of making it the best USB renderer available - still running their OS. Of course, it's not built yet and there's no price, so not a lot known other than it will be a small box like a Regen.

If I weren't running Dirac I'd have bought an SE to use with Roon. But I need to sort out where Room Calibration fits in so I'm holding off for a bit.

My hunch is a tiny purpose built computer will be able to blow away expensive streamers, but that's purely based on my understanding of the theory and what I've read.

What would you be looking to use it with?

Added to say here's the Roon forum link. Worth reading from the beginning but the feedback starts here:
https://community.roonlabs.com/t/have-yo...nt/6440/21

Roon lifetime > Mac mini (Core) > Allo DigiOne > BNC ( >AES via Neutrik) > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact.8
 >>> Fingers crossed for a RoonReady Core Infinity and the death of AIR...... here's waiting for October (or November, or December....  Big Grin ) <<<
- London, UK -

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#4
(30-Jan-2016, 21:39)Hifi_swlon Wrote: My hunch is a tiny purpose built computer will be able to blow away expensive streamers, but that's purely based on my understanding of the theory and what I've read.

That is a bold statement!  I must admit I'd be impressed if such a thing simply matched AIR for SQ.  Time will tell once a few folk have had the chance to test.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#5
(30-Jan-2016, 21:39)Hifi_swlon Wrote: What would you be looking to use it with?

I am actually a pretty happy PC / AIR user.  Whenever I think of what functionality I'd want from a dedicated streamer I fine that a PC +AIR does it all, and the specialist music streamers all have some kind of limitation.

I tend to use my system in different ways at different times.  There are times when I want to turn it on, select an album or specific track and play - simple stuff.  So that is all I'd want a Sonore device to do.  If it could act a Roon server or anything else, that would be a bonus.  The key thing here though is sound quality, if it didn't at least match AIR, I wouldn't ever use it.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - microRendu - Mutec MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#6
I've been waiting for the MicroRendu for months, last week I finally received the first mailing list message. But the wait isn't over yet, still no release date/details on pricing.

Curious how it'll perform as and endpoint behind my current DIY music server. Will connect it to my network using fiber ethernet and of course the Intona USB isolator between it and the Devialet.

I think it'll be great especially for those using unoptimized PC's/Macs now.
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#7
(31-Jan-2016, 17:26)Confused Wrote:
(30-Jan-2016, 21:39)Hifi_swlon Wrote: My hunch is a tiny purpose built computer will be able to blow away expensive streamers, but that's purely based on my understanding of the theory and what I've read.

That is a bold statement!  I must admit I'd be impressed if such a thing simply matched AIR for SQ.  Time will tell once a few folk have had the chance to test.

True, it is. And maybe renderer would have been a better term.

But seriously, it seems to me all it has to do is receive data on a network interface, and re-send it via another interface, adding as little noise as possible. Ok there's a bit of processing but by today's standards and cpu designs, it's nothing. Assuming a well designed device and OS with a half-decent power supply, it should be easy. I think up til now a lot of the effort has been trying to take hardware/software that wasn't really ever right for the purpose, as well as a lot of r&d to work it all out, so things were getting overly complicated = expensive.

The new generation devices start from an incredibly simple approach, separating all computationally intensive stuff into one box well away from the hifi, and having an incredibly simple device at the end of the chain - which is all that's really required. Beyond this it's heavy, expensive looking but empty cases, and not a lot else.

I think the next few years will be really interesting as a lot of pieces of the puzzle regarding why digital audio does or didn't sound good have been understood and addressed so the next wave of products cut straight through these issues.  

Whatever happens there will always be people that still pay the price of a sports car for an audio source that's 'the best' and can 'extract that last ounce of airyness', but I gnuiy think the rest of us will be enjoying similar levels of quality with small, relatively cheap devices.

Like you say though, the proof will be in the listening - and I'm working on hypothesis only.

Roon lifetime > Mac mini (Core) > Allo DigiOne > BNC ( >AES via Neutrik) > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact.8
 >>> Fingers crossed for a RoonReady Core Infinity and the death of AIR...... here's waiting for October (or November, or December....  Big Grin ) <<<
- London, UK -

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#8
Is there anybody out there in Europe who received an Sonicorbiter SE from Sonore ? They are offering it shipping to Germany for 367 $, but I think this is without tax and duty so I will get a lot of trouble with the customs if it isn´t declared correctly what is sadly so often so buying from USA.

Is there a distribution for Europe ? The Sonore homepage is very vacuous.
Devialet 220PRO, B&W 805 D3, 2 Gold Phantoms, Dialog, Mac Mini/ROON, Raspberry Pi2 Digi+
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#9
(14-Feb-2016, 20:19)midi Wrote: Is there anybody out there in Europe who received an Sonicorbiter SE from Sonore ? They are offering it shipping to Germany for 367 $, but I think this is without tax and duty so I will get a lot of trouble with the customs if it isn´t declared correctly what is sadly so often so buying from USA.

Is there a distribution for Europe ? The Sonore homepage is very vacuous.

I've asked them via email, and it's also been asked via Roon forums - sadly it's only available direct from Sonore / Green Computer in the U.S.  

Whether customs slap on taxes it is probably down to luck on a shipment of that value......

Roon lifetime > Mac mini (Core) > Allo DigiOne > BNC ( >AES via Neutrik) > Devialet 250 Pro > PMC fact.8
 >>> Fingers crossed for a RoonReady Core Infinity and the death of AIR...... here's waiting for October (or November, or December....  Big Grin ) <<<
- London, UK -

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#10
Just wondering...has anyone tried a Sonicorbiter SE yet, or is everybody holding out for the microRendu?
Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Sonos ZP90 (Cullen modified), Devialet 440 Pro, Kaiser Chiara
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