Auralic VEGA with and without Sonore Ultrarendu

#1

Dear all,

I’ve had a observation for a long time that I would like to share for some insights:

  • I have an Auralic VEGA, Taurus MKII and Hifiman HE-560 headphone. I don’t listen through loudspeakers.

  • Music comes from a Mac Mini with local files and a connected NAS. I use both Audirvana and Roon.

  • A direct USB connection from my Mac to the VEGA sounds outstanding, with all the clarity the VEGA is famous for. On sound quality (SQ), Audirvana beats Roon by a nose (with no further processing to make a fair comparison).

  • As many people kept telling me that a direct USB connection is not the way to go to get best SQ, I decided to buy a Sonore Ultrarendu with dedicated Sboost power pupply.

Verdict:

  • The Ultrarendu is a very good device (Roon mode and DLNA for Audirvana).
  • The SQ is however, to my ears, not better, just different. You loose some clarity, “headspace” you may say, and it sound a bit more rounded off, what can be I guess termed “more analog”.
  • After going back and forth for some time now over prolonged periods of time, I can honestly now state that the Ultrarendu is not worth its money, as SQ changes are not at par with its cost (for me anyway) when combined with the VEGA.

So the questions is now; does the VEGA already have pretty good jitter reduction for the incoming USB signal, so that the Ultrarendu does not bring anything substantial to the table? Any other users here with the Ultrarendu/VEGA combination?

Final note: all Ultrarendu data going through wired ethernet with very decent bandwidth. I DON’T want to go into the rabbit hole of network purifiers and so on. All things being equal, in the end I like the VEGA more without than with Ultrarendu.

All comments appreciated!!

Rodrigo

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#2

Cannot answer specifically to your setup but I will say that I have decided to not rely on “widgets” anymore as they can get expensive and I could never hear any “wow” differences whether it be USB thingies, LPS (have a closet full of unused boxes now) etc. I am going with the less is better strategy for both my sanity and bank account balance. That is the one thing I like about the Auralic equipment, it is good enough out of the box to my ears.

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#3

That’s a good post Rodrigo, pointing out that your own particular set of ears are the ones to trust! :slight_smile:

My experience tells me that a separate server/bridge connected via ethernet is the preferable way to go, but things change!
On the other hand, i have used my MacMinis’s as bridges/transports since many years, and they have a very nice usb audio interface.

And like you guys, i prefer not to spice up the playback chain with gadgets and doo-dats that quite likely does more harm than good.

And, sorry for resurrecting an ancient thread! :smiley:

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#4

No problem, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Rodrigo