Sonore optical rendu

Hello,

Has any of you experience with the Sonore Optical Rendu product with a network bridge and if so have you seen a sound improvement ?

Thanks for your feedback,

Guy,

Guy, “sound improvement” as compared to what? How are you streaming music to the NWB right now?

It’s not quite what you asked, but I do have Sonore Optical Rendu that I use to feed the the USB input of my Legacy Wavelet. It’s a well-built piece of kit, and it performs quite well as a Roon device. For me, in effect, it makes my Wavelet directly “networkable” for purposes of comparing its playback against my Vivaldi stack.

Inasmuch as the SOR only outputs digital audio through a USB-A output, why would you want to use it with the NWB?

I was wondering if the product could eliminate EMI RFI coming from the copper wire used in typical non optical data transmission and thus improve the performance of the streamer
Since I wrote this post I’ve been recommended by the manufacturer to use solely an optical module to isolate the bridge from the network noise,
Not to familiar with these product neither in their operation but I read favorable comments on the Audiogon forum from users saying the had heard significant overall sound improvement, darker background, better sense of space etc…

For what it’s worth, when listening to my prior DAC (Chord Dave and Mscaler), a quality optical connection (such as DH Labs GlassMaster Toslink cable) was recommended over USB, to eliminate the possibility of ground loops and RFI noise.
With the Rossini, I listen to music from the ethernet connection and to movies (through my PC) with the optical connection.

Either the EtherREGEN or GigaFoil will meet that requirement. “Significant”? Meh, maybe. I own and use both. I think people who hear significant differences have much noisier networks than I do, but both can be effective. Some users here have reported problems with the GigaFoil. I have not had that experience.

Thank you both for your input, here is the link to the recommended product https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/collections/systemoptique/products/opticalmodule
If somebody has tried it les me know

Yep, that will work. I happen to like the GigaFoil4 best of all because its Ethernet & fiber jacks are on opposite sides of the box, and work well “in line,” while the Sonore Optical Module is, for my purposes, awkward to place in my layouts. That may not be true for everyone. I also generally prefer the GigaFoil4 over the ER, because it runs much cooler, and I like its funky “welded shop project” look:

C3A4B263-1931-412B-840B-98A996899583_4_5005_c

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The GigaFoil would not work in my set-up, continuous dropouts. I switched to the opticalModule from SmallGreen Computer (I believe sourced from Sonore) and it is rock solid. I do not have the latest opticalMoudule that was just released so the layout is “in line” with the optical input on one side and the ethernet output and power on the other. I “think” I would prefer them all on the same side.

Jim, I know we discussed this before, and I remain puzzled by it. As I don’t work for DJM, I can’t worry about it too much, though. I think the Sonore is a great choice, and it’s even cheaper. Tell me, does it run warm? My EtherREGEN runs very warm, my Sonore Optical Rendu moderately warm, and my GigaFoil fairly cool. I wonder what’s going on inside the three.

Greg. My opticalModule runs warm but not hot. I just checked it with my digital thermometer and it shows 93F.

That’s a great suggestion. I should get the gun out and check all three.

This fiber optic suggestion to reduce electrical noise generated by copper Ethernet cables has come up multiple times for me this week. And then I see it in this Audiogon forum, https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/if-you-stream-music-from-the-internet-i-can-t-recommend-this-more-high?lastpage=true&page=2#2091450.

I understand the concept but I’m not sure us dCS owners would benefit from it as unless you’re using a computer to drive the USB input of your dCS equipment.

I sent an email to Andrew, the owner of the Small Green Computer, who sells the Sonore optical components and asked him the following. If there’s no computer and USB being used, is adding a fiber optic segment before the dCS gear helpful to remove electrical noise that might be present on the copper Ethernet cable used to connect the dCS gear, in my case a Rossini.

Perhaps someone on this forum has experimented with this already.

Thanks,
Brian …

Brian, as a precursor to the optical question, I’m not a big “Ethernet cables” kind of guy. I think a properly spec’ed, unshielded Ethernet cable does just fine. [One of the dCS guys uses an Amazon Basics cable.] I use Blue Jeans Ethernet cables throughout my system. But, and this is what matters, there are ways for some parasitic noise to be carried over Ethernet. Whether anyone can actually hear it may be debatable. It’s possible that the noise floor (and the sense of blackness with which that seems associated) can be improved in some systems. But it depends on the system, and it is decidedly not dependent on whether one is only using a computer and USB. In fact, in such a situation, fiber isolation would be of minimal value in my expectation. The benefit comes in isolating your network DAC/renderer from other noise on your network. If you have a network to deliver music to your DAC, there is at least the theoretical possibility of some noise.

It’s difficult to generalize, because everyone’s system is different. I have a large home network with over a hundred devices on it. And I have multiple runs of fiber in my network. The very first time I inserted fiber between my NAS and my Roon end-point (not a dCS in that case), I hear a distinct improvement in noise reduction. That cause me to take a number of steps to look for sources of noise and improve my network, including subnetting & VLANing the audio and video where I could. Since that time, I have never been able to reliably identify network noise through either my MSB DAC or my Vivaldi. Part of the reason may be that I run fiber between well-made router and switches where I can, and I use reliable power I still run fiber “breaks” in the form of a Gigafoil in front of my Roon Nucleus+, and an EtherREGEN in front of my Vivaldi Upsampler and MSB DAC. Those are “belt & suspenders” precautions. I am not at all sure I can hear a difference given the general lack of noise on my network, but I want to be sure.

Greg, thanks for all the information you provided. I have a very simple LAN network in my home but something I forgot to mention that I have a 300MB ATT fiber optic internet circuit that comes into our upstairs office area. That’s also where the media converter is to transform the fiber to copper to feed the router. I then run about 75’ of outdoor copper Ethernet cable that goes from the upstairs office router outside of my home to the downstairs listening area to a UniFi switch. The home has poured solid concrete walls so so running cables inside the walls via conduit isn’t an option. For various reasons ATT wouldn’t change the location of the fiber drop so we’re stuck with it entering our upstairs office area.

I’m concerned that the length of the outdoor Ethernet cable may be an issue re: electrical noise. I’ve considered replacing the outdoor copper Ethernet cable with fiber optic cable and get a UniFi switch with an optical port and RJ45 ports and use short copper Ethernet cables to connect the Rossini and NAS.

However, if just adding a short fiber optic segment in the listening area will eliminate the electrical noise that may be generated by the 75’ outdoor copper Ethernet cable, this would be less work and expense.

Thoughts?

@Anupc is my go-to-engineer for specifics on these questions, but I cannot imagine why a 75’ line of Ethernet should cause a problem, so long as it’s properly jacketed/protected. And to make sure, I would slap any of the fiber isolation devices like the Sonore/GigaFoil/EtherREGEN right before your DAC. Question: why not leave the NAS up in the office upstairs, and keep it more removed from the DAC? Normally, I would not want my NAS in that physical or electrical proximity to my DAC.

Greg, thanks for the recommendation to put the NAS in the upstairs office to keep it away from the Rossini. Never considered that option. To help remove electrical noise from the 75’ copper Ethernet cable, I think I’m going to try this option from the Small Green Computer, https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/collections/systemoptique/products/opticalmodule?variant=32001196589125.

I’ll let everyone know the results.

Brian …

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Looking at the Sonore optical deluxe you should be able to have that right next to your network switch via fiber and then run the 75’ Ethernet off of the Sonore. That would isolate the network noise. I’m planning to add a GigaFoil before my Lumin but the Sonore looks like it could work for me as well.

Related, I switched to Unifi Network equipment (Dream Machine Pro and a 24 port switch; both have optical ports) and I will never go back to anything else. The App interface is great not to mention if you really want to get down in to the weeds (firewalls, etc) you can. I also use PoE Access Points which have created a much more robust WiFi network. I still run Ethernet to all my high BW stuff, especially my Roon and Lumin streamer. Highly recommend UniFi if you’re in the market.

Thanks Matt. Andrew (owner of SGC) confirmed what you mentioned above isolating the electrical noise with the Sonore fiber optic device. He also confirmed Greg’s suggestion of moving the NAS away from the DAC.

I recently upgraded from a Linksys 8 port switch to a UniFi 8 port switch and it did make a noticeable sonic improvement.

Thx, Brian …

Brian, something like the TP-Link Fibre Media Converter will do the exact same job for a tenth the price. Get a pair and you’re all sorted with no loss of quality. :slightly_smiling_face:

Anupc, Is there something going on inside the Sonore Optical Module Deluxe (https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/collections/systemoptique/products/opticalmodule?variant=32001196589125) that isn’t going on with the TP-Link Fiber Media Converter? Perhaps some kind of filtering. It’s hard to believe the Sonore device costs 10X more than the TP-Link and is only a media converter.

Thanks,
Brian …