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Found 12 results

  1. From what I am hearing now on my system it is a massive upgrade from the older SMS-200 version. Do you have the same findings?
  2. Note from @austinpop I am NOT the OP of this thread. That would be @romaz. I have just been given authorization by him to create an index of useful stuff for this thread. Original post by @romaz ===================== Ok, MASSIVE is a bit of an overstatement at this level of high-end audio but now that I have your attention, I would say that this improvement is quite significant, nonetheless, and once you hear it, I suspect you will not wish to go back to your previous setup. More importantly, this is neither difficult nor expensive to implement. Much has been said about how ethernet renderers like the microRendu and the sMS-200 are immune to upstream components. Because ethernet is transformer coupled, it is inherently galvanically isolated and because of the error correcting packet protocol it employs, data is always bit-perfect and so it would seem that ethernet is an ideal data delivery vehicle for a digital audio stream. Indeed, when I first purchased my microRendu back in May, I tested it with a variety of standard sources including a Windows NUC, Windows laptop, Mac Pro, Macbook Pro and sonicTransporter and even when a certain source was powered by my HDPlex, I noticed no significant difference among these sources, at least not enough to care which one was feeding my microRendu. I have also explored and compared a variety of ethernet optimization techniques including optical isolation with FMCs (powered by LPS-1), an audiophile switch with TCXO clock by Paul Pang (powered by LPS-1) and various audiophile ethernet cables (BJC CAT 6A, SOtM dCBL-CAT6 with iSO-CAT6, AQ Vodka + Diamond, Supra CAT8, WireWorld Silver Starlight CAT8) and while they can and do make a difference, even collectively, the difference has never been that great, certainly not enough to want to spend lots of effort or money on these things. At least that has been my experience and so this is a compliment to both the microRendu and the sMS-200, that they are that immune to what is upstream...or are they? Like with many of you, things changed when I received my LPS-1 as this power supply was eye opening in how it transformed my microRendu. This should have come as no surprise as John Swenson had been telling us all along that the microRendu, as a low noise and low impedance device, benefits from a low noise and low impedance power supply. What I wasn't prepared to experience, however, was how a good low noise, low impedance power supply would also transform my upstream components including a simple NUC or Mac Mini even with the microRendu or sMS-200 in place (I own both of these units). It was surprising to find out that even my internet modem/router similarly benefited. It turns out that while ethernet is good for isolating noise, it cannot fix a signal already molested at the modem/router or music server level. In the same way that the LPS-1 improved both the macro and microdynamic capabilities of my microRendu, my Paul Hynes SR7 has also magically transformed my modified Mac Mini and internet modem/router and both the microRendu and sMS-200 fully reveal these benefits but truth be told, these benefits are much more fully realized if these endpoints themselves are powered by a low impedance PSU. This is not some mild transformation that you need to blind test to convince yourself is real, this is something a semi-deaf person can distinguish because the dynamic contrasts with the Paul Hynes SR7 driving both my Mac Mini and internet modem/router is that much more thunderous, enough so that I have had to literally turn my subwoofer down a notch. If you think about it, there's no good reason why this shouldn't be happening. The whole purpose of the microRendu or sMS-200 and devices like the USB Regen is to present a DAC with a signal of the highest integrity. Why wouldn't the microRendu or sMS-200 similarly benefit from being presented with high signal integrity by the components before it? I have come to the conclusion that this impact has more to do with low impedance than the low noise characteristics of the power supply fronting these upstream devices because as you recall, ethernet is transformer coupled and so is inherently galvanically isolated and with the FMCs that I employ in my network (which are powered by my LPS-1), no RF noise or leakage current should be reaching my microRendu or sMS-200. What is the measured output impedance of the Paul Hynes SR7? According to Paul, his SR5 and SR7 measure <3 millohms from DC to 100kHz and so consider this number as a reference point for comparison. Having asked around, it seems no one else can provide these impedance measurements over what John Swenson describes to be his ideal frequency range either because they don't own the measuring equipment to do so or because they don't believe this spec is important. What I can tell you is that neither my HDPlex or Teradak are low impedance LPSUs because neither of these units are good enough to allow me to distinguish one source from another when fronted by either the microRendu or sMS-200 and both are soundly trounced by my LPS-1 and my SR7 when it comes to soundstage dimensionality. While I have not had the opportunity to compare the Sonore Signature Power Supply to either of these two units, based on what I am hearing from respected sources and conversations I have had with Barrows, I have no doubt this is an excellent and very low impedance PSU. Based on how good the LPS-1 is, logic would suggest Vinnie Rossi's ultracap-based supply is likely of similar caliber. The problem with these other supplies is that neither of them have enough juice to power a Mac Mini, Nuc or my TP-Link internet modem/router as each of these devices require at least 12V/3.5A. Of course, this discovery led to quite a bit of curiosity about other areas. What would happen if I directly connected my Mac Mini to either my microRendu or sMS-200? Intuitively, I had a hard time believing this should make a difference. If so, why weren't the microRendu or sMS-200 designed by their wise creators to connect this way? I further had a difficult time believing my internet modem/router or my Paul Pang switch with TCXO clock should have any real detrimental impact on either of these endpoints since the modem/router was currently being powered by my Paul Hynes SR7 and my Paul Pang switch was being powered by my LPS-1 and moreover, I had optical isolation in place and yet Mark Jenkins, owner and developer of the Antipodes line of music servers, had this to say about his latest generation Roon Ready DX music server. This excerpt is taken from John Darko's review of this latest generation DX server: "A third way to plumb Roon inside the DX is to have Roon Core talk to Roon Ready directly. Think of this scenario as Roon playing out the server-client model not on a LAN but inside a single computer. Jenkins clarifies: "They [Roon Core and Roon Ready] talk using RAAT but when they are in the same device they do not need to use the not-so-good comms layers that sit underneath RAAT when the two apps talk across a network." I'm not sure I know what Mark meant by this exactly but he details a greater clarity and immediacy to the sound of Roon using this method and so I felt compelled to try and create this direct connection between my Mac Mini and my microRendu/sMS-200. This wouldn't be so difficult if either device had the ability to assign itself a static IP. Unfortunately, this was never possible with the microRendu and this feature was taken away from the sMS-200 after firmware 1.9 and because each device must be assigned an IP address by a router for control purposes, it didn't appear as if there would be an easy way to accomplish this. It turns out OSX can function as its own DHCP server and so I used El Capitan to assign an IP address to one of the two ethernet ports I have on my Mac Mini (the Mac Mini comes natively with only one ethernet port but my Thunderbolt hub comes with its own ethernet port thereby giving me two such ports). I connected my sMS-200 to one port and my router to the other port and it worked but there were problems. Because OSX insisted on connecting this second port on a separate subnet, my sMS-200 had no outlet to the internet (for Tidal streaming) nor could it be controlled remotely by my iPad and so this was a "no go." When I manually forced both ports to be on the same subnet, my Mac Mini would get confused as to which ethernet port had control and it would lock up. It then dawned on me that I could bridge the two ethernet ports and BINGO! This accomplished exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Both ethernet ports were now on the same subnet and with one port connected directly to my sMS-200 and the other port connected directly to my router, everything was running smoothly. I could now easily access the sMS-200 remotely from my iPad and other machines that were on the network and the sMS-200 could access the internet. While I have not yet tried my microRendu this way (it is presently on loan), I don't see why it wouldn't work the same way. What is interesting is with this bridged configuration, my internet modem/router is now responsible for assigning the sMS-200 an IP address and yet the sMS-200 is physically directly connected to my Mac Mini without the intermediary "not so good comm layers" that Mark Jenkins describes. So how does this direct connection sound? Simply glorious! While a low impedance power supply brings depth and dynamics to my upstream components, this direct connection brings amazing clarity and immediacy. It's as if one very thick veil has been removed and that my seat has been upgraded from the balcony to the stalls. I would rate the impact of this as equivalent in magnitude to employing a low impedance PSU. Many of you are aware of the claims many are making on several threads here on CA but also on HeadFi of how RedNet and Dante provides this "you are there" clarity. I had a ReNet 3 in my home for evaluation for nearly a month and I agree, it provides this beguiling sense of clarity that has to be heard to be appreciated although the problem with RedNet, I believe, is its inferior switching PSU. These units sound flat and dimensionless compared to my described setup above and so this clarity that RedNet brings almost sounds sterile and lifeless in comparison. Regardless, proponents of RedNet have suggested the problem with USB endpoints like the microRendu and sMS-200 is with USB. What I am hearing suggests USB is not the problem but perhaps the Dante technology by Audinate that RedNet utilizes has figured out how to eliminate the impact of these "not so good comms" in the network signal path. I have now been listening to this arrangement for much of the past week and so the initial emotions that can cloud one's judgement have settled down and my opinion remains the same as the first moment I heard it. To borrow from Chris Connaker, after all of this, I can unequivocally say that my audio system has never sounded better than it has now. For me, there is no going back. For those interested in reproducing what I have done, first of all, you will need a music server with 2 ethernet ports. Current Mac Pros already have 2 ethernet ports. Mac Minis do not but I can verify that you can add a Thunderbolt ethernet port and it works very well. Many Windows PCs have 2 ethernet ports and if not, if you have a spare PCI or PCIE slot, you could inexpensively add one. Will a USB ethernet connection work? I don't see why not but I haven't tried it and I don't know how it will sound. I do know that you can't bridge a wi-fi connection and an ethernet connection. So how do you bridge 2 ethernet ports? If you are on Linux, I can't help you but I'm sure it's possible. If you are on a Mac, here are the fairly simple instructions that I followed. Feel free to use DHCP but you are also free to assign a static IP: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18510?locale=en_US For Windows, @jelt2359 has confirmed for me that the following directions below worked on his Windows 10 Nuc although he had to manually configure the bridge's DNS and IP addresses. How to create a Network Bridge in Windows 10/8/7 Obviously, if you decide to try this, please report back your findings here. If there is consensus that this improvement is universal, perhaps Sonore and SOtM can be convinced to allow their units to be configured to be directly accessed more easily. ============================================== Last Edit 7/22/2017 The Big Picture about this thread - by @austinpop This thread is primarily about @romaz's explorations in the areas outlined below. Over time, others have contributed to this body of work. While it is inarguable that this thread has meandered, the S/N ratio has remained reasonably high! Much of the exploration and findings here do not really fit the conventional wisdom about the Ethernet and USB chain, so the reports are empirical, based on listening impressions. The thread started with Roy's findings that a direct connection, using a technique called bridging, between a music server and an endpoint greatly enhanced SQ. Many tried and confirmed this finding. Since then, the thread has meandered, covering such disparate topics as DC power supplies, cables (Ethernet and USB), OS optimizations, motherboard mods, alternate NICs, USB cards, etc. The other primary focus of this thread has been the effect of clock improvements, first with the SOtM sCLK-EX card in their Ultra components, and more recently, the use of reference clocks. Even more interesting are the findings with regard to "clock chains," where SQ has been observed to improve by constructing a chain of "good" clocks upstream of the DAC. What follows is an index, organized by topic. Under each topic are posts that either I consider particularly helpful, or have been nominated to me for inclusion in the index. This index is mostly current through page 124. Feel free to use what's here, and I will add content as and when I come across something interesting. I did not fill in the sections on mobo mods, SATA, and Adnaco. If anyone can volunteer to supply me with these sections, I will gladly add. NOTE: If you would like to nominate a post to this index, just PM me. Bridging/Direct Connection What do we mean by direct or bridged connection? A topology explanation Windows: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=613653 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=618990 Using a 3rd wifi adapter in bridge to overcome problems some folks were having: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=620592 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=626327 HQPlayer Win Server 2016 GUI Network Bridge Walk Through How to use Interface Metrics Linux MacOS QNAP NAS Synology NAS Power Supplies Info about Paul Hynes PSUs Aside on AC power cables and dedicated lines More info on Paul Hynes PSUs Even more info on PH PSUs Clock Mods, reclocker chains, and sCLK-EX @romaz's Experience with Pang switch @romaz's rationale for trying sCLK-EX mods Some insights on clocking from John Swenson and Rob Watts @romaz's first round of findings with the SOtM sCLK-EX Ultra chain @romaz explains experiments with his music server Bad clock > Better clock > Best clock @romaz's planned mobo sCLK-EX mods @hols review of tX-USBultra @mozes's review of tX-USBultra (from another thread) @austinpop's initial impressions of Ultra trifecta @austinpop's Ultra trifecta impressions - Part 2 @austinpop's Ultra trifecta impressions - Part 3 @limniscate's listening impressions of Ultra trifecta @romaz switches gears and considers direct USB @austinpop Summary of clock chains - what we've learned so far @romaz met with Lee and May of SOtM at High End Munich @austinpop describes upcoming Ultra-vaganza, which will allow experiments with more than 4 sCLK regenerations @austinpop Ultra-vaganza report @romaz Rationale for going direct USB ISO-Regen in the Mix @mozes Direct USB impressions of IR with tX-USBultra @mozes Optimum configuration of IR and tX-USBultra with VR Mini PSUs @austinpop ISO-Regen meets Ultra trifecta @austinpop ISO-Regen-polooza Part Deux Master Reference Clocks @romaz stunned by Mutec Ref 10 at Munich @JohnSwenson's insights into clock oscillators @romaz returns with more insights on master reference clocks What exactly are reference clocks? @hols Cybershaft 10MHz reference clock driving tX-USBultra @hols Cybershaft update @Bamber First impression of Mutec Ref 10 DACs An excellent perspective on DACs Ethernet cables, isolators @romaz's experience with iSO-Cat6 and dCBL-Cat7 USB Cables @hols Update on ISO-R and liking the new Lush USB cable @romaz Experiences with USB cables Computer mods - mobos, NICs, drives, etc Booting Win on Mac Mini and benefit of AO: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?page=21#comment-625475 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=627891 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=629472 Adnaco fiber mods @romaz initial impressions with Adnaco SATA mods General Excellent summary of John Swenson thoughts on USB and leakage loops @Superdad talks about Uptone thoughts on future Ethernet upgrades
  3. According to the SOtM website the new sMS-200 will be unveiled in May at the Munich High End. Hardware and software specification published on the website are as follows: "sMS-200 is a new generation of mini network player with built in ‘Media Player Board’ developed by our own technology. The significance of sMS-200 comes from the dedicated ARM processor board developed for only audio purpose, it is definitely not the similar kind of those ready-made processor boards in the market offered with dazzling low price but not that much of high sound quality, of which the most of audio product manufacturers experience deterioration of sound and are forced to use unnecessary features from the ready-made boards, but now it’s gone with the sMS-200. SOtM developed the product just for audio sound performance, getting rid of all unnecessary features concentrating on the high quality sound tone at a reasonable price. sMS-200 is particularly designed to provide the best sound quality based on our own unique technologies accumulated to date since those days of media players, and it is probably be the only one capable product exceeding the current network players on the market in terms of functionalities. As to the player software, ROON, MPD, DLNA, SqueezeLite and others are available. And the music files from an external USB storage device, network shared folders and streaming services are also available. As well, the more functions can be easily added via software upgrade. Plus, the simple and nice looking Web GUI allows users to choose the desired audio function, setup and control playing music file through Apps on users’ smart devices." Hardware Specification Dual core ARM processor 2G DDR3 RAM microSD slot for OS Audio grade USB port x 1 USB port x 2 for standard USB device GigaBit Ethernet port x 1 Optional WiFi module Power input : 9V/2A max Software Specification RoonReady Logitech Media Server Squeezelite MPD & DLNA audio Renderer Shairport HQplayer NAA and others Dimension : 105 x 53 x 150(mm) Weight : 1kg > Looks like a competitor for the new Sonore MicroRendu! They should have the same software, same functionalities, similar dedicated board, similar audio grade USB port. sMS-200 is certainly bigger, has 2 more USB ports for attaching external hard-drives and don't know about the Ethernet port. Price is not announced yet, but I expect it to be in the 600-800 $ range. Anyone with more skills than me would like to comment on this? Simone
  4. SOtM sMS-200 Review

    The SOtM sMS-200 is one of the more popular products on the market in the Ethernet to USB category. A category that was pretty much created by the team at Sonore with its early products and the release of the microRendu. Ethernet to USB devices are now the 'it" products. More manufacturers are copying these idea and features, to implement them in products at all price levels. At its most basic level, the sMS-200 is a digital to digital converter. Ethernet packets in and USB packets out. I guess it's even possible to consider the device a protocol adapter, from TCP data packets to USB data packets. The sMS-200 is great for people with USB DACs or even more traditional DACs without USB or Ethernet inputs. In the case of a USB DAC, a direct connection between the sMS-200 and the DAC is made by a single cable. Other DACs will require a USB to S/PDIF converter to sit between the sMS-200 and digital to analog converter. If all this sounds like a lot of converters and boxes and potential problems, it really isn't an issue for the most part. A larger problem is replacing a DAC that one paid thousands of dollars for, just because it isn't RoonReady or doesn't support Ethernet input. Devices like the sMS-200 open a whole world of possibilities for any USB DAC, and save one's investment in whatever DAC he or she already owns. With respect to hardware, the sMS-200 appears to be a ground-up SOtM design. It features an ARM processor on a custom motherboard that's typical SOtM white in color. On the inside, the device looks very similar to one of the popular SOtM USB cards that many in the Computer Audiophile community have used for years. Digging deeper into the software running on the sMS-200, reveals a Linux operating system and support for Roon, as a RoonReady endpoint, Squeezelite, MPD / DLNA, AirPlay, and HQPlayer as a Network Audio Adapter (NAA). I know many readers will want to understand differences between the sMS-200 and the Sonore microRendu, and the software is where a major difference lies. The software running on the sMS-200 is less stable and far less advanced than that of the Sonicorbiter OS running on the microRendu and Sonore's Sonicorbiter SE hardware. For example, I frequently switch USB DACs and input applications on these devices. When doing so, the sMS-200 didn't always work. I tried to restart the application such as RoonReady or HQPlayer NAA, but sometimes these apps would just spin in circles, as if stuck in a loop trying to restart. To resolve the issue I restarted the whole sMS-200. Once rebooted, everything worked great. Another less than advanced "feature" of the sMS-200 is the requirement that each update to the system software be done serially in order. When updating my review unit, I clicked the update button, waited for the update to download and install, then restarted the unit. Upon reconnecting to the web interface, I had to update to the next version and go through the same procedure. Unfortunately I was about five versions behind the current release, so I had to manually update the unit five times. It would be nice to just click update and have the sMS-200 update to the current version of the software (from version 1 to version 3 in a single update rather than from version 1 to version 2 to version 3). One other piece of the sMS-200 software that could use an improvement to get closer to the level of the microRendu is the informational screens, or lack thereof. The mR offers several places to get information about the connected USB DAC. This would have been nice on the sMS-200 when I had issues connecting to the McIntosh D1100 DAC. It turned out to be an issue with the DAC, but I was unsure because I didn't have any information about the connection from the DAC to the sMS-200, like I did when connecting the same DAC to the microRendu. There are little things that the Sonicorbiter operating system, used by Sonore products, does much better than the sMS-200 OS. Some users will never notice these things and never care about the differences. Others will find that these are deal breakers. I'm just presenting the information so each reader can decide for his or herself. One area where the sMS-200 has a leg up on the microRendu is when playing high resolution content under a very specific set of conditions. I'm not talking about sound quality here, I'm talking about playback without dropouts. On the rare occasion that someone has an enterprise class network (think Cisco switches and the like), and plays 24/192 content or DSD128 or upsampled HQPlayer material, the microRendu can drop tons of packets. This leads to dropouts because the mR's 1 Gbps Ethernet interface can't keep up with the incoming data. The sMS-200 only has a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet interface and this somehow makes the sending servers slow the data down. Even setting a switch or the microRendu manually to 10/100 doesn't fix the issue for the mR. The mR's gigabit interface is an achilles heel in these very rare circumstances. No, extremely rare circumstances, that I've only experienced in my home. The problem doesn't happen when using Roon because Roon Labs implemented a fix for the issue last year. In addition, I can slow down the data just enough if I stick an Ethernet isolator from Baaske inline with the mR. This resolves the issue 100%. Note: I mistakenly thought the sMS-200 had a 10/100 Ethernet interface and that was the reason it worked when the microRendu didn't, but I've been corrected by SOtM. The sMS-200 has a gigabit interface. Overall, I think the sMS-200 is a really good product that needs some tweaking on the software side. The hardware is pretty fast and accepts either the SOtM power supplies or any of the aftermarket supplies that the CA community is so fond of using (myself included). By explaining a few of the shortcomings of the sMS-200, I hope to make decisions easier for people considering a product in this category. If these shortcomings don't bother people, they may just save some money by selecting the sMS-200 over a more expensive product. Listening I've had the SOtM sMS-200 in my system for a pretty long time. During this time, I've connected the unit to many DACs. Based on my tests, the sMS-200 had no trouble playing PCM or DSD (via DoP) to any of them. Playback of Native DSD may be a different story, but I was unable to test native DSD for this review. The system I used for much of my listening consisted of a RoonServer outputting to the SOtM sMS-200 to either a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB / Alpha Reference DAC Series 2, EMM Labs DA2, dCS Rossini, McIntosh D1100, or Schiit Yggdrasil DAC. The analog side of the system was a Constellation Audio Inspiration PreAmp and monoblocks, with Wire World cabling. Powering the sMS-200, I used the SOtM mBPS-d2s "intelligent battery power supply." Earlier this week, the McIntosh Group hosted John Mellencamp at its townhouse on Lafayette Street in lower Manhattan. I watched the interview and was inspired to listen to John's new album and his older stuff that got him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I stumbled upon an acoustic version of Pink Houses (DR11) via Tidal. After listening to the track a few times I created an acoustic playlist and added both the acoustic versions of the Stone Temple Pilots' Plush (DR12) and Pearl Jam's Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town (DR11) to the playlist. One thing was constantly on my mind as I played these three acoustic tracks. The sound is so clean. It's hard to explain more about this sense of cleanliness that I heard. In a way, this is like proving a negative. How do I write about something that isn't present? As I switched from the dCS Rossini to the EMM Labs DA2 to the McIntosh D1100, I could hear clear sonic differences when playing the same acoustic tracks. This is exactly what a source component should enable. I should be enable one to hear the differences between components further downstream, as well as components upstream and most important of all, the recording. On Pink Houses, I heard nothing but John Mellencamp's voice and his guitar. Ah, that sounds rather stupid, as this is an acoustic recording. But, this was something different. The sound provided a view back into 1983. Perhaps the fact that John's voice sounded 500,000 cigarettes cleaner, contributed to the lack of grunge, noise, or anything I would consider dirty. Note: John estimates that by 2010 he had smoked 650,000 cigarettes in his life. Later in 2014 he told the Associated Press, “Two million cigarettes later and I finally sound like a black guy. Thank God. The cigarettes finally paid off. They’re going to give me cancer and they’re going to kill me, but for a short amount of time, they’re going to make my voice sound like it should.” Given that the acoustic version of Pink Houses was recorded in 1983, John's much-less smoke-affected voice contributed to this very clean sound I heard. I also can't discount the fact that the SOtM sMS-200 doesn't seem to be adding any noise to the recording. This raises some serious questions, 1) Is the SOtM sMS-200 doing anything to the signal to make the music sound clean? 2) Is this clean sound similar to edge enhancement in video, that soon becomes unnatural and annoying? Without a deeper scientific analysis of the sMS-200, I can say that all the music is bit perfect. The sMS-200 isn't changing anything that would cause my bit perfect indicator lights to go dark on a couple DACs. Also, I haven't experienced any fatigue or unnatural sound when using the sMS-200. This leads me to believe the music signal isn't changing and if something else is at play, it isn't a negative to my ears in my system. Sonically, this clean sound is very different from the sound I hear through the microRendu. That statement shouldn't be taken to mean the microRendu is the opposite and dirty sounding. Rather, the mR sounds more organic and analog-like than the sMS-200. From a technical point of view I can't explain the sonic differences, but I suspect some of this may be related to the different power supplies and technologies, or there's always the placebo effect. I'm disinclined to believe it's a placebo, based on the amount of sonic difference I heard between the units. Comparing the sound of the sMS-200 to the microRendu further, I listened to some 1970s rock and roll. I've been on a real 70s kick lately. Playing it for my five year old daughter in the car on the way to school in the morning as well. Not sanctioned by the hoity-toity audiophile society, but damn good music made to sound as good as it can through a real HiFi system. I put on Fleetwood Mac's Gold Dust Women in 24/96, first through the microRendu. Once I had that sound committed to memory as much as possible, I switched to the sMS-200. I immediately thought the sMS-200 was louder. I don't know what contributed to my perception, but I know it wasn't a change in the audio signal. I was so concerned that I immediately checked the sMS-200 and the microRendu for bit perfect audio (again). Both were sending unaltered audio to the dCS Rossini. Despite the (mis)perceived difference in volume, I heard the same types of differences with Fleetwood Mac that I heard with the acoustic tracks, but a bit less audible and with a slight twist. The sMS-200 was very clean, just as it was previously. The sonic cleanliness was nice, but it perhaps gave the sound an ever-so-small amount of sterility. By contrast, the microRendu sounded a little lower in level and, as it did before, sounded more organic and closer to an analog sound. Neither device is perfect nor 100% better than the other, for all people in all systems. I'm unsure if the sonic differences I heard would be present in another system, connected to different equipment. Or, if they'd be present with someone else's ears and brain. When considering a device such as the sMS-200, one should consider the whole, rather than a single piece. Consider the software, support, upgradability, sound quality, and anything else that's important to the individual. Conclusion The SOtM sMS-200 is a reasonably priced Ethernet to USB converter that adds Roon, DLNA, AirPlay, Squeezelite, and HQPlayer NAA to almost any system. If the sMS-200 hardware is the system's heart, the operating system is its head. Based on my tests, the sMS-200's heart is in the right place, but its head is a few steps behind the curve. Also note, this may not mean anything to those who want to set it and forget it. The SotM sMS-200 will likely work very well if connected to a USB DAC, set to one of the output modes such as Roon or DLNA, and left alone. In fact, this is what I imagine most users will probably do with the unit. When it comes to sonic quality and the sMS-200's ability to reproduce music, it's a wonderful piece of equipment. The sound I heard through my system, with the sMS-200 in the mix, was incredibly clean. In a way, it was like a pristine Steely Dan or Donald Fagen recording. Everything was tight, with no loose ends or extraneous frequency bumps. Compared to the microRendu, I'll say the sMS-200 is like a clean crisp compact disc whereas the mR is more like a 180 gram vinyl record. Both can deliver the goods sonically, but one may be better suited to a user's specific taste or requirements. I'm certainly sold on the concept of the SOtM sMS-200 and all its input application options. I used this device, and its competitors, seven days a week here at CA HQ. The product is very capable of delivering what most HiFi aficionados want, and that's great sound quality first and foremost. I recommend everyone in the market for such a versatile device consider the SOtM sMS-200 and its matching mBPS-d2s power supply. Many people will find they can simply add this SOtM combination to any existing USB DAC and call it a day. Product Information: Product - SOtM sMS-200 ($450 or $510 w/ 1 yr. Roon subscription), SOtM mBPS-d2s ($450) Product Page - sMS-200, mBPS-d2s Operating Instructions - sMS-200 (PDF), mBPS-d2s (PDF) Associated Music: Computer Audiophile 100 Playlist Computer Audiophile PJ4CA Playlist Associated Equipment: Source: Roon DAC: Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 2, dCS Rossini, McIntosh D1100, EMM Labs DA2, Schiit Audio Yggdrasil D-to-D Converter: Sonore microRendu, Sonore Sonicorbiter SE Amplifiers: Constellation Audio Mono 1.0 / Monoblock Power Amplifiers Preamplifier: Constellation Audio PreAmp 1.0 Loudspeakers: TAD Labs CR1 Compact Reference Remote Control Software: Roon Remote Remote Control Hardware: iPad Air 2 Playback Software: Roon, HQPlayer, JRiver Network Attached Storage (NAS): Synology DS1812+, CAPS v4 Cortes Server Audio Cables: Wire World Platinum Eclipse 7 Interconnects (XLR & RCA), Wire World Platinum Eclipse 7 Speaker Cables, Wire World Platinum Starlight 7 Digital Cables, USB Cables: Wire World Platinum Starlight 7 USB 2.0, AudioQuest Diamond USB 2.0, Nordost Purple Flare USB 2.0 Power Cables: ALO Audio AC6 Power Cables Ethernet Cables: AudioQuest Vodka Ethernet Cables throughout system Network: Cisco SG200-26 Switch, Baaske MI-1005 Ethernet Isolator, Apple AirPort Extreme, Calix 716GE-I Optical Network Terminal, ZyXEL C1100Z modem / router, CenturyLink 1 Gbps download / upload
  5. Article: SOtM sMS-200 Review

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  6. I now received my new gear (Vitus Audio SCD-025) and am thinking about to improve sound quality of my chain. First of all a description of the starting point: I am using Roon 1.3. Roon Core is running on a Mac mini Server late 2012 i7 16 GB located in my workroom. For Roon remote I am using an iPad. Via wired network actual I am using a Raspberry PI Digi+ Pro as Roon endpoint located in my living room which is connected with my Vitus Audio SCD-025 DAC via coax. Mac mini —> Cisco Switch SG 100-16 (workroom) —> Raspberry Pi (living room / out coax) —> Vitus Audio SCD-025 (CD/DAC) The audio specifications of the VA SCD-025 are listed below: Digital Audio Output: 192 KHz/24 bit Digital Audio Input: USB Class A/B supports up to DSD128, 32bit 384KHz PCM AES/EBU 1xXLR Following constellations I am thinking about: Mac mini —> Cisco (work room) —> Aqvox AQ-Switch (living room) —> SOtM sMS-200 —> Intona High Speed USB Isolator —> VA SCD-025 Mac mini —> Cisco (work room) —> Aqvox AQ-Switch (living room) —> SOtM sMS-200 ultra —> Intona High Speed USB Isolator —> VA SCD-025 Mac mini —> Cisco (work room) —> Aqvox AQ-Switch (living room) —> Lumin U1 (via USB and/or AES/EBU) —> VA SCD-025 The sMS-200 will be powered by a UpTone UltraCap LPS-1. I am quite uncertain about an additional extension of alternative 1. with tX-USBultra or perhaps to use dX-USB HD and the AES/EBU input of the SCD-025. I also will try the additional usage of HQ-Player in the next weeks. Any thoughts and/or recommendations would be very welcome. Also recommendations besides the above mentioned constellations 1. - 3. SCD025
  7. used Breeze Audio R-core linear power supply with DC power cable and 10’ AC power cord good for Sonore microRendu, SotM sMS-200, Uptone Audio USB REGEN output voltage adjustable from 5V-10V with LED readout $65 inc.PayPal and shipping, USA only
  8. Question about USB power for a DAC

    Okay here is my question. I have a HDPlex 100W linear power supply and a SOtM sMS-200 on the way. I will power the sMS with the linear power. My DAC is powered by USB and also receives digital signal over the same cable from the sMs. I am wandering, because I am supplying the sMS-200 with clean linear power, will the DAC will benefit as well or if I need to get an adapter like the UpTone Audio USB Regen to split the power off from the usb out on the sMS-200 and add back in power from my HDPlex supply? So firstly would it be beneficial to power the DAC separately versus off of the sMS (powered from a 100W linear supply)? Secondly, if it is beneficial to power the DAC separately, instead of an expensive USB Regen and more high quality cables, could I not just order a high quality USB-Y cable and remove the ground and 5v connections from the first male end that goes into the sMS-200 and then just plug the other male end directly into my linear power supply so that data is received from one male tip in the sMS and power is received from the other male tip in the linear supply?
  9. My current DAC only way of receiving power is over USB. I have the ability to power it over the USB and send it digital signal through S/PDIF, but I just ordered a SOtM sMS-200 and I would like to use it in my setup. I am wandering if the sMS-200 audio usb port sends digital audio signal as well as 5v power. I know some high end audio units strip the 5v power line out of a USB to remove a possible source of noise, so that is what made me curious as to whether the sMS-200 will power my DAC as well as send it digital signal. I have asked the question twice to SOtM, but there appears to be a translation issue and they think I am just confirming that I can send digital signal to my DAC via USB. I know that if it does not output power over USB then I will be forced to buy something like the UpTone Audio USB Regen to allow me to add power to the line cleanly from my linear supply. If anyone has insight on this issue please share your knowledge. If I need a device to add power to the USB line then I would like to order it now so I am not sitting staring at the sMS-200 waiting to hear it. Thanks guys. Mike
  10. SOtM sMS-200

    Greetings, My name is May and I’m working for SOtM as a marketing manager. It’s so pleasure to introduce myself here officially and great chance to announce the sMS-200 availability through this chance. Some may already have known our sMS-200 but some may not know about this brilliant mini network player, so here I briefly introduce what sMs-200 is, [ATTACH=CONFIG]28837[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]28838[/ATTACH] It features - Excellent modern design. - Use the separated audio power board. - Use the exclusive large audio condenser. - Use the exclusive audio components to reach forward to analog sound. - Use the heat sinks for the stable operation and anti-noise. - Use the high standard noise reduction circuit which has been qualified by SOtM’s tX-USBexp, SATA filter and others. - Use the high standard active noise filter and UKJC which has been qualified by SOtM’s tX-USBexp, sDP-1000EX and others. - Use the High-End audio grade USB port. - Use the 2 x standard USB ports for USB storage device. The pictures below prove how sMS-200 is valuable. And the new features are planning to be also updated step by step. [ATTACH=CONFIG]28839[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]28840[/ATTACH] And there will be the same series of products coming up, the USB audio signal re-generator called tX-USBUltra will be the next up which has the upgraded "sCLK clock" board installed and the audio grade power supply will be following up soon. All these combinations will bring you the most satisfaction. [ATTACH=CONFIG]28842[/ATTACH] This is the certificate of Richard Beers Innovation Award, the award honors “those who contribute to the growth of our industry and encourage innovation every year”. Please check more details including specification on our website, click here. and also you can purchase sMS-200 through our website. Click ‘Buy sMS-200’ button and it will lead you to SOtM shop to purchase sMS-200. Every user who purchases a sMS-200 would get a 2 months free trial Roon license and we can offer a 1 year Roon license at the very special price if you request. Lastly, we are preparing the event for our valuable customers who are currently using our sMS-100.The event will be arranged by this simple way, but this is not fully confirmed yet, I will need to discuss more details in next few days and get back to you shortly.. Step 1. Return your sMS-100 to us. Step 2. Buy sMS-200 in US$350. Thank you for taking your time to see what sMS-200 is and how valuable it is. I may need to update few more information after this weekend. In the meantime if you have any question regarding sMS-200 or our products, please feel free to leave a message or question. Thank you very much. Warmly, May Do not allow cheap products. Don’t be blinded by well-advertised products. But enjoy your music life with the valuable audio products made by SOtM.
  11. Greetings, Please have a look and update your sMS-200 to the latest F/W ver. 0.2.1, it is now available. Please proceed the upgrade via Eunhasu Web GUI. 1. Enter http://eunhasu/ or its IP address(http://eunhasu/local on iOS) on the web browser. 2. Mouse over or click the System Setup image on Eunhasu web page and the action buttons will appear. 3. Click the System upgrade button and the Upgrade page will appear. 4. Click ‘Upgrade Now’button to upgrade to the latest version. It will take around 10mins to be updated, please do not disconnect while proceeding the upgrade. sMS-200 is now completely profiled and tested as Roon Tested player. And HQplayer and Shairport have been updated. SOtM will exhibit at RMAF, and bring the variety new products, the room number is 5032. Please visit and enjoy your time with us. Thank you very much!
  12. SOtM special Event : sMS-200

    Greetings, Finally, I came back with the event for whom owns our sMS-100 currently. Thank you for waiting for this event and all your patience, I'm going to copy this and make the new post shortly. Before I officially proceed this event, I would like to share the reason why we prepared this event, it is simple but is going to be very meaningful for ourselves and our customers as well since we would love to give a full of joy for all our valuable customers and it will be also a great chance to upgrade the current system to the higher level of sound system for sure. [ATTACH=CONFIG]29063[/ATTACH] Here is how to join this event, Step 1. Return your sMS-100 to us by any shipping service. There are special shipping instructions required, Please pack sMS-100 very tightly and safely, so that sMS-100 can’t be damaged while shipping. Please put sMS-100's value as under US$70 on the shipping bill if it is necessarily required, otherwise it will take longer to clear customs in Korea or we may need to ask the extra charge to clear customs. Shipping address : Attn : May Park, SOtM Address 1 : 202(Ssangyong Dong), 84-9, Wolbong 4ro, Seobuk gu, City : Cheonan si, Province : Chungnam, Country : Korea Postal code : 31171 Tel : +82-41-576-7663 Step 2. Please email me or send me a private message with the tracking number, your shipping address and your name. so that I can distinguish the parcel when it reaches to us. [ATTACH=CONFIG]29064[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]29065[/ATTACH] Step 3. Once we receive the unit at our end, we will generate US$100 coupon or the link which can purchase sMS-200 at US$350 as the very special price. This event will be starting from 19th, September to 19th, October for a month. In the meantime we are running the event, we will attend 2016 RMAF and exhibit at Room 5032 with BOENICKE audio, and the sMS-200 will be demoed and the earlier mentioned upcoming products(the USB audio generator, new power supply and new music server & player) also will be displayed as well. Check us at 2016 RMAF! As always, if you have any question or concern regarding our product or this event, please simply email me. May : sotm.marketing@gmail.com or marketing@sotm-audio.com Thank you very much. Best regards, May PS, Check these combo sets for your current computer audio system, "tX-USBexp and sCLK-48.0" or "tX-USBhubIN and sCLK-12.0", the sCLK clock guarantees the outstanding enhanced audio performance with absolutely crucial mid-high range for audio band operation. If you already owns tX-USBexp or tX-USBhubIN, please request how to upgrade your current USB card to work with sCLK clock.
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