Sonore is a young company dedicated to allowing listeners to enjoy high-resolution audio without relying on a lot of off-the-shelf computer hardware and other equipment.
This keep-it-simple approach was on display at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, where Sonore was showing its compact MicroRendu Ethernet-to-USB source ($640) and Signature Power Supply ($1589).
According to Sonore, there are a lot of ways to set up a high-rez audio rig, but not all sound the same. The company believes that designing dedicated components engineered for sound quality is the way to ensure hearing all the new formats have to offer.
The Sonore microRendu essentially is an audiophile micro-computer. It contains an Ethernet input and USB output, and features a proprietary printed circuit board. The microRendu connects directly to a USB device via a USB cable or hard adapter. It can accept audio streams from a variety digital sources.
Sonore recommends combining the microRendu with its Signature Power Supply to achieve the lowest possible noise floor.
In Denver, the two units were hooked up to a system that included a Synology NAS Roon-ready server ($900), an Ethernet network and a PS Audio BHK stereo amp ($7,499). Cable was from Cardas Audio and the speakers were Joseph Audio’s Pulsar ($7,700 a pair).
I’ve been complaining for a while about the varying degrees of ultimate resolution I’ve been hearing at shows from streaming audio. The Sonore system, however, seemed to reveal the promise of the technology.
I listened to “Babylon Sisters,” a classic Steely Dan song recorded by the late genius Roger Nichols. The rhythm parts, as written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and laid down by a cast of A-list session musicians, displayed impeccable polish and pace. Fagen’s voice also was suitably world-weary, while the horns had both bite and sheen.
Overall, there was a depth to the track that was impressive. Instruments were well-defined and easy to follow, the background was about as “black” as one can imagine and the bass was rendered as plucked notes.
The Sonore-based system would seem be an affordable way to upgrade from a straight consumer PC source to a dedicated hi-fi solution that really does wring out every last one and zero. Definitely a company to keep an eye on.