Is There Such a Thing as a Better Sounding Streamer?

@JohnVF - is it me or has JohnVF added zero value on this subject. He seems to have no clue what it costs to design, develop, ship, and support a complex audio product. This is a typical series of posts from from an armchair audiophile that doesn’t know what they are talking about.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I would like to play as well. FYI I read the forum rules and appreciate you keeping them short.


We started out building a music server and after a while, we really wanted to pivot and build our own endpoint. We closed sales and embarked on the microRendu project. We had to have a "Do It Yourself" attitude with this because nothing quite like it existed and the goals were very ambitious. This was a very expensive and time-consuming project to develop the hardware and the closely matched software. Consider that we first have to go through a 3000 page manual for the CPU so we can understand how to accomplish the goals of the project. This project continues behind the scenes today (literally) even though we launched several years ago. We are currently updating the software and all the apps and rolling this out soon and continue to provide support to our customers. The price of the units has to reflect this or we can't afford to do it. Very few companies that are not large multi-billion dollar companies make their own chip. We provide a PS if you want to buy it but we don't make you buy it. I wish we could be a Chromecast endpoint but we can't because there is no open-source emulator for it. They wish they could be a Rendu and play hi-resolution PCM and DSD via USB while also supporting DLNA/SqueezeLite/RoonReady/NAA but they can't. Also, all Rendu have server apps built-in.


It's actually easy to objectively measure changes at the output of the DAC with different endpoints/power supplies. So at least on the Rendu series, we try to design in the lowest noise possible. Remember these units and their ground planes are directly coupled via copper to your DAC.


The answer is simple...you are wrong. These cost much more to produce, assemble, ship, support, etc.

We don't make any outlandish claims. We are simply making a remote output for audio streams which is the size of credit card that can be hidden out of sight behind your audio rack. That said we don't ignore overwhelmingly positive customer feedback.

I agree that the data must be perfect. It's a funny point because we have been incorrectly accused of altering the data.

If this was your reasoning I would have hoped that you would at minimum have asked us for comments and not make an assumption that negatively affects us. I feel you calling us DIY and charlatans based on unsubstantiated claims and bias opinions is inappropriate. I wasn't expecting written defamation from the administrator of this forum. We don't claim to make our chips and its unreasonable to expect this from just about any audio manufacturer.

As discusses above the comment about 3rd party devices is inappropriate. Those cases are relatively inexpensive, but they have to be machined, anodized, artwork applied, shipped, and assembled. When you multiply the cost of this work times thousands of units the cost is significant. In regards to the iFi iPower Supply it is an inexpensive SMPS after all so not sure what you expect. I use them here for casual listening and we recommend them to people because they work on just about any power outlet in the world. We also recommend that people use the best power supply they can afford because they make things subjectively and objectively better.
I appreciate your feedback and comments. And actually agree that it was out of line to so harshly make assumptions on something I haven’t used and in fact I’ll just delete my post. You’re welcome to charge whatever you want for your wares and people can make their own decisions on if it is worth it to themselves. Mostly I’m just sick of this hobby’s tribalism and my lengthy post contributes to it.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
@JohnVF - is it me or has JohnVF added zero value on this subject. He seems to have no clue what it costs to design, develop, ship, and support a complex audio product. This is a typical series of posts from from an armchair audiophile that doesn’t know what they are talking about.

And that certainly isn't called for. Definitely not in keeping with the rules or spirit of the Haven.
 
@JohnVF - I have never heard the product in question either. Your posts showed your ignorance of what it takes to design, develop, test, market, ship, provide warranty service, and ongoing support of audio hardware and software.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
And that certainly isn't called for. Definitely not in keeping with the rules or spirit of the Haven.
Given that I think the tone of my original post was not exactly within the spirit of this place, I don’t think his comment is uncalled for.

I would rather this place be the friendlier backroom that we wanted.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Given that I think the tone of my original post was not exactly within the spirit of this place, I don’t think his comment is uncalled for.

I would rather this place be the friendlier backroom that we wanted.

Conversation between friends can become passionate and heated at times. Just jumping in to critique and insult adds nothing to the discussion.
 
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prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I would like to play as well. FYI I read the forum rules and appreciate you keeping them short.


We started out building a music server and after a while, we really wanted to pivot and build our own endpoint. We closed sales and embarked on the microRendu project. We had to have a "Do It Yourself" attitude with this because nothing quite like it existed and the goals were very ambitious. This was a very expensive and time-consuming project to develop the hardware and the closely matched software. Consider that we first have to go through a 3000 page manual for the CPU so we can understand how to accomplish the goals of the project. This project continues behind the scenes today (literally) even though we launched several years ago. We are currently updating the software and all the apps and rolling this out soon and continue to provide support to our customers. The price of the units has to reflect this or we can't afford to do it. Very few companies that are not large multi-billion dollar companies make their own chip. We provide a PS if you want to buy it but we don't make you buy it. I wish we could be a Chromecast endpoint but we can't because there is no open-source emulator for it. They wish they could be a Rendu and play hi-resolution PCM and DSD via USB while also supporting DLNA/SqueezeLite/RoonReady/NAA but they can't. Also, all Rendu have server apps built-in.


It's actually easy to objectively measure changes at the output of the DAC with different endpoints/power supplies. So at least on the Rendu series, we try to design in the lowest noise possible. Remember these units and their ground planes are directly coupled via copper to your DAC.


The answer is simple...you are wrong. These cost much more to produce, assemble, ship, support, etc.

We don't make any outlandish claims. We are simply making a remote output for audio streams which is the size of credit card that can be hidden out of sight behind your audio rack. That said we don't ignore overwhelmingly positive customer feedback.

I agree that the data must be perfect. It's a funny point because we have been incorrectly accused of altering the data.

If this was your reasoning I would have hoped that you would at minimum have asked us for comments and not make an assumption that negatively affects us. I feel you calling us DIY and charlatans based on unsubstantiated claims and bias opinions is inappropriate. I wasn't expecting written defamation from the administrator of this forum. We don't claim to make our chips and its unreasonable to expect this from just about any audio manufacturer.

As discusses above the comment about 3rd party devices is inappropriate. Those cases are relatively inexpensive, but they have to be machined, anodized, artwork applied, shipped, and assembled. When you multiply the cost of this work times thousands of units the cost is significant. In regards to the iFi iPower Supply it is an inexpensive SMPS after all so not sure what you expect. I use them here for casual listening and we recommend them to people because they work on just about any power outlet in the world. We also recommend that people use the best power supply they can afford because they make things subjectively and objectively better.

Hi again.
I'm curious about your products now. I'm using the digital output from my Bluesound Node, directly into the digital input of my powered speakers . Which of your products would be the best replacement for that?
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Hi again.
I'm curious about your products now. I'm using the digital output from my Bluesound Node, directly into the digital input of my powered speakers . Which of your products would be the best replacement for that?

No single Sonore product replaces the Node for your particular use case, i.e. SPDIF to your speakers.

The closest one is not a streamer/endpoint, nor a server, it is a USB -> SPDIF/I²S converter, it's called the ultraDigital. You'd still need a suitable streamer with a USB output.

Ironically, that same piece might be interesting in connecting to the I²S (LVDS) input of a Topping D70.

Full disclosure: I have absolutely no affiliation (financial or otherwise) whatsoever with Sonore, Small Green Computer, nor any other audio manufacturer, distributor, or dealer. I do not attempt to answer on behalf of Sonore, I only offer my opinions based on owning a single Sonore product, the microRendu v1.3 and that's all.

I did not invite or urge Sonore to join or post here at HFH, nor make any mention of the existence of this thread at all to anyone, not via other fora, nor PM, or email, etc... my total involvement is confined to just those public posts that I have made here.

I also do not know Projectman, we have never conversed in any way ever that I can recall, not via thread posts, nor PM, here or anywhere else.
 
I appreciate your feedback and comments. And actually agree that it was out of line to so harshly make assumptions on something I haven’t used and in fact I’ll just delete my post. You’re welcome to charge whatever you want for your wares and people can make their own decisions on if it is worth it to themselves. Mostly I’m just sick of this hobby’s tribalism and my lengthy post contributes to it.
No worries. I just wanted to provide my point of view.
 
Hi again.
I'm curious about your products now. I'm using the digital output from my Bluesound Node, directly into the digital input of my powered speakers . Which of your products would be the best replacement for that?
I had to search for it because I didn't know much about the Bluesound Node:) Currently we do not have and direct SPDIF or analog outputs on the Rendu series. We use to make two units called the Sonore Rendu and the Sonore Signature Rendu (I know it's confusing) which where SPDIF or SPDIF/i2s output. These are discontinued now. We discontinued then in favor of the now USB output on the current Rendu series. That said we are circling back to the idea and have a digital Rendu planned for late 2020.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
No worries. I just wanted to provide my point of view.
I just don't want you to get the wrong idea about this place based on a post from me that, I'm being sincere, was outside of the tone we're trying to set here. There's objective folks and subjective folks and all places in between, combinations of both, and I want everybody to feel welcome here, and to passionately defend their positions or just promote their own opinions without it getting personal. Talking about audio instead of fighting about it.
 

kirk57

Junior Member
Yet you can't possibly be far behind when Squeezebox to this day is a very viable streamer, especially a modified unit like the one you describe, no doubt really good sounding to this very day.

Though it is sad that Logitech bought and then quickly shuttered Squeezebox, at least they open-sourced the software, which is still actively developed to this day by the open source community, now called Squeezelite. That mode of "rendering" is standard on lots of high-end devices, proof positive of just how good it was/is, and also how far ahead of it's time it was 10-12 years ago. So you were cutting edge.



Always the biggest difference in my experience, and "digital" is no exception, quite the opposite.

Are you saying there is a way to stream using a Squeezebox? I gave up on my Squeezebox Touch because the ability to stream Pandora (I know, I know) stopped working. I went to a Raspberry PI-based setup that works fine, but if I could get my Touches to stream again, that would be swell.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Are you saying there is a way to stream using a Squeezebox? I gave up on my Squeezebox Touch because the ability to stream Pandora (I know, I know) stopped working. I went to a Raspberry PI-based setup that works fine, but if I could get my Touches to stream again, that would be swell.

I'd have to enlist the Squeeze aficionados here for detailed specifics, but yes, Squeezebox never really died, though Logitech did stop producing the actual hardware. The Squeezebox Server software (aka Slim Server) was renamed Logitech Media Server, and made open-source, and there is a still thriving Squeeze community that maintains and develops it to this very day.

So it lives on in open-source software guise, and the RPi can operate in a Renderer mode called Squeezelite that is fully compatible with a Logitech Media Server (LMS). Or, if you still have any functioning Squeezeboxes themselves, all you'd need to use them is a LMS instance running somewhere on your network.

While I have helped others to get the RPi to function as a Squeezebox using that Squeezelite Renderer mode, I personally do not run a Logitech Media Server and never did, so those details would best come from someone who does have a LMS. I believe the LMS itself can also run on a Raspberry Pi, for instance with piCorePlayer, or Max2play, and probably other Linux distros too.

Our own @Thermionics runs the LMS on a Windows machine, and also uses the Moode distro on RPi-based Squeezelite Renderers. Perhaps he can shed some light on the possibilities there.

Or, maybe a question was in order upfront... do you still have a LMS (aka Slim Server) instance running somewhere on your network?
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Are you saying there is a way to stream using a Squeezebox? I gave up on my Squeezebox Touch because the ability to stream Pandora (I know, I know) stopped working. I went to a Raspberry PI-based setup that works fine, but if I could get my Touches to stream again, that would be swell.

Kirk, yes it still works. Or rather it works AGAIN. Tidal is also supported now.
 
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