Today, I got a nice surpirse when I opened my mailbox and found this:

IMG_20200411_124116
Pulling the optical cable wire out of the box…

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle has arrived! Well, not really the very last… as you know, a real audiophile optimizer is never satisfied. There is no end! 🙂

But at least my plans for eliminating any possible electrical noise have come one big step closer to heaven… I am going optical! So the optical cable which I am pulling out of the box in the image above will help me to get galvanic isolation in my audio network. It is just the cable connection. I am building a “System Optique” where the ordinary copper Ethernet signal is being converted to optical Ethernet. A complete set of devices is required to reach perfection in the whole chain (as shown in the image below).

Screenshot 2020-04-11 at 15.43.33
Flow chart: from copper to optical Ethernet to USB

I know there are a lot of people praising audiophile network switches. I think this is not necessary and a “simple” galavanic isolation by using an optical connection for your audio player is all you need. Forget the rest! Everything before that point is irrelevant.

My existing system was far away from being basic. I already used a purposed built audio device: The Sonore microRendu. The Sonore microRendu is an audiophile microcomputer with Ethernet input and USB Audio output. The microRendu utilizes a proprietary printed circuit board with only the essential components and therefore outperforms a standard computing device (such as a PC or Notebook) by far. The problem with computer music servers is that they all rely on mass-produced motherboards designed for general purpose computing and are built to the lowest possible price point. The microRendu solves this problem by removing the consumer grade computer peripherals and optimizing power supplies where necessary. The microRendu has been specifically built for processing USB audio perfectly.

Using the microRendu, I have been a happy camper for many years. However, there is always something that can be done better. On the microRendu, it is potential electrical noise of copper Ethernet. So I am moving away from this:

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… to this:

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…where the “magic” happens: Conversion from copper to optical Ethernet

What you see in the picture above is just the first part of the whole chain. 🙂

The copper Ethernet cable from my network switch is connected to the Pink Faun LAN Isolator, which already should provide galvanic isolation between the Sonore opticalModule that is connected to the network and the network itself. The Sonore opticalModule then converts the copper signal to optical Ethernet (using the orange optical cable connection). The Sonore opticalModule is getting clean power by the enormous Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO MKII linear power supply. If you want to get rid of electrical noise, you should also make clear that you do not introduce new noise by putting a bad engineered power supply into the chain…

Last but not least, the optical Ethernet signal arrives free of any electrical noise at the Sonore opticalRendu. The Sonore opticalRendu is an extension of the microRendu project. Let’s say: It is the ultimate level of an audiophile audio player! In my setup, the opticalRendu acts as a Roon endpoint. Of course the opticalRendu is fed by an identical linear power supply as the opticalModule. Remember: It’s all about the noise! Finally, the opticalRendu is delivering perfect data from the USB audio output to my current NuPrime DAC.

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Sonore opticalRendu (top view)

Is it a coincidence that almost all of the products i use enjoy a special position in the market? After all, 3 products and services that I use, have won a Product of the Decacade awards by “Audiophile Style”: Sonore (Hardware), Roon Labs (Software) and Qobuz (Music Service). Yes, it is an absolute coincidence. I made these decisions long before those awards. But I’m satisfied that I have not done everything wrong 🙂

And when I have a look again at the review of my NuPrime Evolution One Monobloc Amps, in the German “Audio” magazine of February 2020, than I belive that I am a genius! Hehehe… I bought them back in 2018, when none of my colleagues had ever heard about NuPrime.

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Summary of the German “Audio” magazine about the NuPrime Evolution One

Next stop: AV-Processor. I am talking about you, Emotiva!

Happy Easter!
//Alex

 

 

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