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RMAF 2016: Sonore Brings Musicality to Ones and Zeros

dsc_0361Sonore 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.

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Rocky Mountain Audio Festival coverage brought to you by Noble Audio. Visit them at https://nobleaudio.com/.

Sonore recommends combining the microRendu with its Signature Power Supply to achieve the lowest possible noise floor.

dsc_0362In 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.

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About John Stancavage (183 Articles)

Contributing Editor for Part-Time Audiophile

4 Comments on RMAF 2016: Sonore Brings Musicality to Ones and Zeros

  1. Insert User Name Here // November 20, 2016 at 1:15 PM //

    … I’m a bit confused: the described setup requires a DAC, but I didn’t see one mentioned on the equipment list. (You’d also need a way to adjust volume, although that could be done with a DAC w/ volume control and/or with Roon, I suppose, as long as the DAC could drive the amp directly.)

  2. Brian Wilson // November 20, 2016 at 10:53 AM //

    Signature Series Power Supply (with optional Synergistic fuses) price is $1589 USD, not $589 as reported.

  3. This setup is extremely close to my own, with Roon through the MicroRendu and Pulsars. My power supply, preamp, DAC, etc comes from the Vinnie Rossi LIO. Overall I’ve been extremely pleased with the sound, and the setup is very slick and fits the aesthetic “built for speed” or “travelling light is the only way to fly” or something similar. Thanks for posting!

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