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Found 45 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. It has been mentioned by others that clock cables are becoming of increasing interest, but posts on the subject are being spread through a number of different threads, notably the Mutec REF10 thread, SOtM threads and the infamous "A novel way...." thread. So this is an attempt to to try to bring existing and future clock cable knowledge together, and with a bit of luck we should be able to identify some top performing clock cables that do not cost $1000's. To start this thread off, I would like to pick up on the issue raised by @zoltan on the "A novel way...." thread. Two things. For one, if you are in the EU, anything from outside the EU will cost 30-40% on top of the list price. In this case SOtM cables will be close to $1000 (I am almost sure that they will be sold around 800 euros) which makes them equally expensive as Habst. Shunyata is much more, needless to say. Second, I bought a tx-USB ultra the other day as the last piece of the puzzle. I opened it to change the voltage to 12V. I noticed that the clock cable that goes from the input connector (inside of the BNC) to the board is curled up. I measured it and it is 40cm. By looking at it, it looks like more industrial than something in the league of high-end clock cables. I wonder how much our effort (both keeping short lengths and high quality) matters in this case when the last 40cm is something like that. Then again, given that SOtM is as good as it is (both products and as a company), my only conclusion is that they don't think that this matters that much. But why do they sell the first 1m for $700? As you can see, I am a little confused here. OK, I have to say that I was a little disappointed when I saw this post. I have just purchased both a sMS-200Ultra and tX-USBultra and have spent some time and money buying custom made clock cables to optimise (minimise) clock cable length. I then find that I probably have half a metre of cheap clock cable curled up in the case of the SOtM kit. The addition of a reference clock connection is £200 when bought from the UK distributor for SOtM, or £400 in my case for the two units. So this is not a cheap addition. I guess my main frustration is that it seams to me that it would not take much additional effort to minimise the cable length from the connector to the board, oh well... So this leads to a number of questions. Firstly, does it really matter? If so, what is the best way to resolve. Could the units be sent back to SOtM for a more optimal solution? Could users modify themselves, or would this invalidate warranty? What would be the optimum solution anyway? Simply shorten the cable? Or maybe terminate the existing cable with a male connector, and use the cable to the board direct to the reference clock. It occurs to me that you could simply disconnect the female from the case, pull the cable to the outside of the case, and connect direct to the reference clock with a female to female adaptor. Is no (additional) cable better than a Habst cable? I did demob my tX-USBultra from the system and took a look through the case vents. Mine has the 75ohm connector, and it looks like the clock cable is a little different for the 75 ohm, it is copper coloured, but still appears to be over length. I must admit that I was not prepared to open the unit, it is brand new with full warranty, so if I inadvertently broke something, it would be bad. Some have mentioned that SOtM are fairly relaxed about users opening the kit, to adjust jumpers etc., but is this official policy, what about people shortening or replacing clock cables or whatever. Maybe @MayfromSOtM would be kind enough to provide some good advice here?
  3. Bricasti M1 > M5 > M12: Network Player - Member REVIEW w/OEM Response from Brian Zolner President/Owner Bricasti below s Hey Guys - I have been going back and forth between what to go with for a Ethernet Network Media Player - either Innuos, SOtM, Sonore, Uptone, Bricasti M1 Network Player or M5, etc. I have a thread dedicated to working toward this decision and got some fantastic help from many CA members. I learned so much and in such a short time. This forum is Fantastic - so many people are so helpful and I appreciate it very much. I am including the link below to anyone interested in that very educational journey. Great stuff if you are interested in Innuos, SOtM, Sonore, Uptone, Bricasti Network Player or M5 I purchased a bunch of these product to try and learn for myself to be sure. I did not want to question my decision with any what if's and wanted the best sounding option for me and my system. I ended up going with the Network Player Option installed in my Bricasti M1SE DAC and I wrote this feedback to one of the best people in all of Hi-End Audio, Brian Zolner President/Owner/Designer Bricasti Design. His digital and analogue products sound absolutely fantastic and the build quality is second to none and the support is as good as it is anywhere. All made by hand right here in good old Massachusetts, USA. I asked Brian if it would be OK if I share my thoughts with the super helpful crew - the CA members that were so important in helping me get to this decision. He said no problem I also asked if he wanted to respond and comment and he provided some great insight below my feedback on his thoughts on the M1, M12, M5 network players and USB audio. I am glad to be able to share this with you guys. I will send Brian this link and I am sure if any of you have any questions or feedback or thought that would be fantastic. We will get you all the info you need. This is some seriously good sounding gear and its a lot less money than the Aurender and Lumin and it blows their doors off! Also, I would love some idea's and feedback and any idea's really now that I am all in with Ethernet audio what is my next step? One member told me to buy The Linear Solution OCXO Audiophile Switch. (link at bottom of the page). This is supposed to provide a great bump in SQ and it is $679 and comes with a dedicated purpose built Linear Power Supply. Please share you thoughts on this or any other upgrade that can help me get the most out of my Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Media Player. Subject: Re: Feedback Send to Brian Zolner and Joe at Bricasti Hey Brian and Joe, I wanted to reach out and thank you both for the very kind and outstanding service installing the Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Player option in my M1SE DAC. Guys, it is absolutely fantastic! It needed about 40 to 60 hours of burn-in to get to where it was going and honestly the upgrade over that time was substantial. I get that some people don't believe in burn-in and others like me clearly hear it but I am just telling you guys this Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Player option is absolutely fantastic. At first I was strongly considering the M5 just because I already own all of the premium - supporting USB Gear and thought it might be great and I am sure it is but honestly guys in all fairness I didn't think the Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Player option would end up being this good? Man is it good! I thought it would be good and/or even great but it surpassed even those expectations and that's not an easy thing to do. I am looking for an awful lot out of my gar and I had some premium gear it needed to stand up against. I can speak from first hand experience about this Network Player option and how it compared to all the similar other gear listed below. All my thoughts are in comparison to the gear listed below. I was able to do a/b verse some really good Ethernet / USB options that are some of the hottest, best selling products going and I assumed from an a/b it would be close and/or maybe I couldn't even tell the difference but this is where my non-audiophile wifey serves as a sort of blind test. Yes her ear has evolved but she is not an audiophile. What the Bricasti Network Player option does that is so much better than everything else is actually something you never even knew was missing until you hear it and then remove it. It jumps off the page during A/B's. Sometimes A/B's can be tough but here it stands out as clear as day it was simple. To test myself I asked my wifey for her help and what she thinks. I set up the Sonore/Uptone Combo and then the SOtM/Uptone power supply combo and the Bricasti Network Player and mixed them up and she picked it out each time. She actually picked out the SOtM over Sonore also so maybe her ear is getting better than I think but she heard it and picked it out clearly and simply so that reinforced what I already knew but wanted to check it. Bricasti Network Player is so much more direct and decisive. It's immediacy and directness just can't be missed. I was like "yes, yes, oh man yes"! "Thats what I am talking about" and you know what - those are far and few between these days so when it happens you REALLY appreciate it. Thank you It not like it is a little warmer and a little clearer or it widens or deepens the stage or something like that which by the way it does all these things but that's not my point. It is immediate, decisive and startlingly quick. Its got jump and you are just much closer to the event. It was a combo of heightened transparency with just layers removed and more information magnified and exposed in all its greatness. Also, I want to make sure to note that I am not talking about being more upfront either because it offered a deeper stage and the voices are actually pushed further back which normally I don't prefer. I actually like that dynamic and sort of upfront sound as a rule but that is not what this is. This does it totally different! It does it the only fashioned way. It earns it. This is no designers voicing choice, this is simply a much more robust and substantial component. It performs at a much higher level and it is shows on so many levels. Vastly better separation and delineation in that more direct package. The stage opens and the walls expand and out comes a richer and more layered and more natural presentation. Man that separation is just fantastic! I just can't get over that open space it puts around everything and the air and the extension go on and on. It's just that every item is so sharp and precise and magnified in 3D space. Everything is tighter and wider and deeper and it all just holds together so well and is so confident and that heightened image precision is such an enjoyable effect. I don't want to touch anything - this the best sound I've ever had and I'm ecstatic! Better than analogue IMO. I am sure there are some uber turntables that will out do it but pound for pound I doubt it IMO. I was impressed at this much closer to the event effect. It's kind of hard to articulate but I think this might shed a little more light. Sort of that same effect you get when you have a great DAC or CD player and then you remove the preamp. The only thing with removing a great preamp is you gain that great immediate directness but then lose all that greatness that a great preamps provides but that increased directness is such a desirable effect so many people do it. I did it but then you get a great preamp and you say man I love the directness but I am giving up so much to get it. Some big time trade off's and many go back and forth. I know I did for a while. So this new Network Player upgrade was like keeping your amazing preamp and all the great benefits the pre provides while still getting that great directness a preless set up gives you. Best of both worlds! How often do you get to have your cake and eat it too? Well that is what happened here IMO with this so I think you can see why I am so happy about it and hope this does a little better job of explaining the main effect of this Ethernet Network Player option I added to my system. This preless type directness while keeping all the greatness of a preamp is worth the price of admission all by itself but there is more. All that directness has a great effect on the bass which is tighter, cleaner and more nuanced with much better separation. There isn't any more slam or power. It is not rounder or warmer which some may prefer but it is different. It is more nimble and lighter on its toes with more precision and definition. I don't think its any less powerful but it's different sort of like my Magico speakers are. People think or feel with Magico's sealed Aluminum cabinets there is less bass when in actuality there isn't any less but it is faster and more defined but some interrupt this as less bass but I don't agree but also each to their own. I find it to be a nice improvement and upgrade but I can see someone that likes to listen to a lot pop or rap music they may refer a thicker or rounder sound but everyone else will love this IMO. I will take quality and precision over quantity every time but that's just me and everyone is different. I want take a moment to thank you and your company again for your approach to supporting the folks that purchase your gear. Premium Hi-End Audiophile gear is quite expensive and so many of the top Hi-Fi companies come out with a new model every few years and that kills us. We need to sell our old one to get the new one and that makes expensive gear insanely expensive to own. Many people like me want the most recent and best gear they can afford. You guys make this possible and care more about your customers than any of the other OEM's and we appreciate it very much! You guys are totally different from the Vast Majority of high ends OEM's. Also, this feedback was not made in a vacuum. Here are the items I had in my system that I did an A/B with that allowed me great insight into how your Ethernet Network Player option worked verse the others. Some of these I only owned a for a short while because I knew there was no contest. Most have either been sold or are in process of being sold on Audiogon because your Network Player made them obsolete. I am keeping the JS-2 and P10 for my new system set up. Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB Cable Curious Regenlink USB Cables (2) Uptone Audio USPCB Connectors Uptown Audio ISO Regen USB Uptown Audio LPS-1 UltraCap Power Supply Uptown Audio LPS-1 UltraCap Power Supply Breeze Audio 12v Linear Power Supplies Breeze Audio 12v Linear Power Supplies Uptown Audio Amber Regen USB Uptown Audio JS-2 Linear Power Supply Sonore mircoRendu 2.5 Ethernet / USB Player Ghent customer DC power Cables PS Audio P10 Regenerator SOtM tX-USBultra w/50 ohm connector SOtM sms-200 Ultra w/50 ohm connector I honestly thought in my heart of hearts USB might be the way to go just because it has come so far in not that long of a time. Sonore, SOtM and Uptone Audio in my opinion changed the world in regards to the USB landscape and in a huge way. There are a few others as well. They brought, real world price upgrades to USB that made semi-inexpensive gear better than super expensive legacy products from just a few years back (CD and SACD Players) and this changed the game. Now it appears you have changed the game on the Ethernet side. I call tell anyone out there that doesn't own a Bricasti M1 is to buy the M5. I am not sure how the M5 sounds because I have not heard it but if it sounds anything like the M1 Ethernet Network Player then there is nothing that can touch it. Great job and thank you guys. With your permission I would like to share this personal email on my forum post and if you are ok with it any of your responses as well. People are waiting to hear my thoughts so I thought I could email you and inform them at the same time. Thanks Frank Fsmithjack Subject: Re: Response / Feedback from Brian Zolner Bricasti President/Owner/Designer to Frank Smith / Fsmithjack Frank, Thanks for all that commentary, and well guess only thing I can say or add is once we got the LAN working in the M12, and then the M1 ( it’s the same streamer used in all products) I never went back to USB, clearly better even just connecting with 50’ cat5 from my server to the M1. We do all shows with the LAN and try to convince users this is the way. I feel that regardless of the cables and power supplies and clockers etc for USB that seem to make some differences, one might say they create differences and subjective to if its better or not, but I feel USB is fundamentally flawed and when the player or renderer is installed directly in the M1 it eliminates all the issues of USB, it removes it from the computer, and places it in the M1. We made our own player, running on a linux core on an ARM processor, runs off the linear supply in the M1 too. so no extra processors running as with a PC where the computer is doing all kinds of other co processing, switch mode power regulation on the PC mother board etc. But in the end of all that stuff, this approach eliminates it. For the sound of USB, People are fooled by things and as you point out someone might like the effect of the USB, but I think what we get with the streamer is true sound reproduction with no jitter and noise added to make the sound dance a bit, I hear it clearly on my Tidals, and our M28s, no loss of bass at all for me, but tight clear and excellent extension, no bloating. The M5 was made so that a user could run off the network or PC without using USB, I feel the AES is the best as removes these issues. But installed in the M1 or M12 is the best, direct I2S to the DSP and then to the DAC. The M5 with AES is darn close to what you have, I have done a lot of listening and that was the idea of that product to offer great playback and no USB for anyone and any DAC. Enjoy it, I know it changed my life, my server PC is in another part of the house and I run it all from Jremote, there is just no other way to play, besides the sound there is the convenience factor and I play tracks from my phone or stream from it to the M1, or the server, or the NAS or any PC in my home, all the computer stuff goes in another room away from the listening room. It’s a network and that is what starts becoming interesting and you don’t get that with USB or any other point to point interface. Go ahead and share the story, its what we hope others will find out too. Brian Subject: Re: Response / Feedback from Joe at Bricasti to Frank Smith / Fsmithjack Hi Frank, thank you for great write-up! Enjoy your M1, if you ever need anything just let me know. Thank you again, joe http://www.bricasti.com/en/consumer/m1se.php http://thelinearsolution.com/ocxo_switch.html
  4. 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
  5. Hello, I have just discovered that latest version of Qobuz standalone software player is now compatible with UPnP/DLNA. Unfortunately my SMS200, even if appear in the list, return and error that the device is not properly recognized by the software. Did any of you try this feature? Thanks. Ciao, Giuseppe
  6. Hi Everyone, I'm thinking of getting the U-DAC8 ($250, the only 8ch USB DAC under $3800) for my HTPC and buff it up with goodies (up to ~$1500) which I could still use when a better option for a DAC would come along. Thought it would be fun as a project to see how a low-end DAC could benefit from high-end PSU and USB interfaces. Options I had in mind: tX-USBexp (sPS-500) --> U-DAC8 (LPS-1.2) - $1,250 PC --> tX-USBultra (sPS-500) --> U-DAC8 (stock) - $1,685 tX-USBexp + sCLK-48 (PC PSU) --> U-DAC8 (LPS-1.2) - $1,477 other? What do you think?
  7. Hi Everyone, I recently delivery of the SOTM tX-USBultra and posted my impressions on another thread, but here it is again for those interested in this device. Initial impressions of SOTM tX-USBultra: I got delivery of my unit yesterday, then I plugged it in my system in the evening. What I did is to critically listen to 3 or tracks on my system with configuration (1): (1) Nimitra (JS-2)>>Curious 20cm link>>Intona>>Curious 20cm link>>RUR (LPS-1)>>Curious 20cm link>>Brooklyn DAC. The system simply sounded fabulous, music just flows with a sense of realism and 3D especially after installing my two dedicated circuits (one for digital and another for analogue) Here I would like to mention that I upgraded my AO from version 2.0 to 2.10 and it made a significant improvement, then I upgraded to the beta AO 2.20 and the sound went to another level (more transparent, wide soundstage and better separation). Then I removed the RUR+LPS-1 and replaced them with the SOTM tX-USBultra powered by the second rail of the JS-2 at 12V (my unit has the 12v option) so configuration (2) is as follows: (2) Nimitra (JS-2)>>Curious 20cm link>>Intona>>Curious 20cm link>>SOTM tX-USBultra(JS-2)>>Curious 20cm link>>Brooklyn DAC. just out of the box without any burn-in, configuration 2 clearly elevated the sound of my system in all directions, most importantly to me, a sense of feeling that the music is so real and so clear you feel that the notes are sharper and more defined in the soundstage, a veil taken off the music! (a cliche but it accurately describes my experience) I didn't try to power it with the VR MINI because I use it on the Brooklyn and if I change this configuration, then it won't be A/B comparison anymore. My logic now is that I can improve it by freeing the JS-2 from feeding two units and keep it only to Nimitra and get a dedicated PSU to power the SOTM tX-USBultra, but too early now to make any decisions before I get my DC ammeter working. So (RUR+LPS-1) will be staying with me for a short time to do some A/B comparisons after 1 or 2 weeks when the SOTM tX-USBultra has settled in my system and most probably will be listed for sale. My learning is that isolation by ultra-capacitors is important but super clock with a good LPS can be more important. I hope this helps others on a similar path
  8. Nordkapp

    SOTM SMS-200 vs. PC/JRiver

    Guys, can I expect an audible sound improvement with this SOTM server over my laptop?
  9. Chrisc10115

    SOTM sCLK ex

    I bougt the Mutec Ref 10 and I use it with the Mutec 3+ USB. I built a Server like I reported before an I want to build it in my PC (Server) now the SOTM clock sCLK ex. The Server (PC) has the the following configuration: HD PLex Case, HD Plex linear power 200 watt, HD Plex 160 w DC Atx, SOTM USB Card with CLK 48 Clock, Pachanko Pure Reference SATA Cable, Samsung SSD 250 GB, WD Red 4 TB, USB and SPIDIF cable by Aqvox, Maimboard Asus prime B250 plus, Intel Chip I5 7600, DVD Plextor, Soundcard [email protected] (good Sound, better SQ with USB Card), SOTM SATA Filter III, as Interface DDC Mutec MC3 +USB, SAC Dac (German factory in Essen). Software: Windows Server 2016 Essentials (I changed from Windows Server 2012 R2, Server 2016 really improves the SQ), Server optimized with Highend-AudioPC (audiophiler optimizer), HQ Player, Roon, Fidelizer Pro. I want to use the SOTM clock and I want to connect it with the Oszillator Crystals of the Mainboard and the ethernet comunication ans the SOTM USB card. Standard values are 14,318 MHZ (minbaoard) and 25 MHZ for the Ethernet Crystal Oszillator. The ehthernet comunication crystral has a number on it 25. This would fit. But the maiboard Crystal oszilator has a number 24 (TP0Q24 0 M326). Does it means it does not have 14,318 MHZ-and has 25 MHZ. Does anybody has a clue to this question? SOTM does not really wnat to answer this and the Asus Support (Mainboard Asus prime B 250 plus) says they can not give an answer. I hope there is somebody who can help.
  10. Nordkapp

    SOTM SMS-200 vs. PC/JRiver

    Guys, can I expect an audible sound improvement with this SOTM server over my laptop?
  11. For sale is my Sotm SMS200ULTRA 12v/w Master Clock port (75ohm) for $950.00 / Wall Wart PSU included. (buyer pays all transaction and ship costs). As per SOTM this is their upgraded network player equipped with a dedicated media player board and a high performance audio clock". http://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/shop/sms-200ultra/ Unit in excellent condition with all original packaging. This is a sms200ultra SOTM already configured to clock a modified switch (I'm keeping mine). Please PM me with any questions
  12. SOtM dX-USB HD USB to SPDIF converter with optional SOtM sCLK 2224 Super Clock (this option costs $500 extra, but greatly improves the preformance). 3 months old, 10/10 condition. $499 US retail: $499 + $499 (sCLK 2224 Super Clock) Price for EU residents (with VAT) - €549 dX-USB HD is a high performance DDC that can upgrade the sound from PC. dX-USB HD converts the maximum 24bit/192Khz signal to high quality AES/EBU, Coaxial, Optical output through USB connection. It is designed by USB audio class 2.0 asynchronous interface. Key Features: -24/192 USB interface -Asynchronous clock mode -Bit-transparent operation -USB power operation -External power operation -AES/EBU,Coaxial,Optical output -sCLK-2224 option installed (+$500) Comes in original box and packaging, PSU, all manuals. All enquires welcome and will be answered in full. NO TRADES. Price is FIRM. PayPal pls add 4.9% Shipping: EU: €35 US: $50
  13. Hoping to get some advice and clarity! I own a set of KEF LS50W active speakers. They run 24/192 through Asynchrounous USB. I'd like to take sound to the next level and am considering an NAA + linear power supply...specifically either Sonore Signature Rendu or SOtM 200Ultra. With much of the success (and cost) of these devices attributed to the timing/clock corrections, can I expect improvements to an ASYNCHRONOUS USB utilizing its own clock? My thought is that the DAC on the KEF is going to leave its fingerprints all over the timing from the Sonore or SOtM and make it a bad investment. Yes, I know NAA's do more than just timing in addressing jitter...paricularly with good linear power. Are NAA's only going to improve timing for synchronous connections where the source is responsible for the clock? Much appreciated!
  14. This listing probably only makes sense to those who have been following the "A novel..." thread, and know what an SOtM trifecta is! Up for sale is my modded sMS-200. It has been modded to accept external clock signals of 24MHz (for USB) and 25MHz (for Ethernet and the mobo) from an external Ultra component. Typically, this would be a tX-USBultra, or a dX-USB HD Ultra, that has also been modded to supply these 2 clock frequencies to the sMS-200. CAUTION: This unit does not work standalone unless connected to a clock source. Please make sure you understand this before buying. I will not be responsible for any confusion on this score! See my listing for the Uptone LPS-1 for a perfect power supply for this unit. Update: the LPS-1 is sold. MSRP Price: sMS-200: $450 + $170 for mods = $620 Asking Price: $450 Terms: Payment via PayPal Price includes USPS Priority shipping within continental US only, and PP fees I will consider international buyers, but they must cover actual shipping and international PP fees.
  15. For sale is SOtM Tx-usbUltra with Clock Input Option (50ohm connector) Virtually new condition. Bought couple weeks back and I do not need it. Hence, look for new home for it. I've opened and tested the tx-usbultra making sure it's working fine. < 20 hrs. Power setting is set at 6.5-8.5v and it can be powered with 9v. It comes with 9v power adapter and a usb cable. original box. New is $1200. Asking: $950 shipped and paypal fee included. Ship USA only. I have long history of excellent Agon and ebay feedback 100%. Bay area local pickup welcome, please be free to inquire location. Paypal with friend payment (no fee) and cash are welcome.... $50 less. Thank you for viewing
  16. The Computer Audiophile

    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
  17. The Computer Audiophile

    Article: SOtM sMS-200 Review

    View full article
  18. This is not a thread to debate the merits of master clocks. I just thought it would be convenient to have a place where we can list what is available for those that drank the kool aid. Are there oem switches, DACs and motherboards with clock inputs? If one has SOtM products do they need to go back to Korea for modification? Are there any NUC style PC with master clock inputs?
  19. Well, I have just connected my newly received Cybershaft Platinum clock. Added to the Mutec MC3+USB + SMS-200 ultra + Lush, this is quite unbelievable. This clock is worth 2-3 times its price when I compare to DACs, amps and powercords costs... Not saying these components are not worth their price (quite the contrary!) but really, I didn't know the rest of my system could sound like this... I don't have enough words to describe the complexity, control and realism that gets out of my speakers... I can just say that this translates into some kind of relaxed tranquility when I let the music play. No more underlying stress searching for something that is not really there.. This took a lot of reading of infinite forum threads... :-) That said, I really want to thank those who are taking time to explore new tweaks and components and take time to write about their findings. What I hear today is the result of this communities' work and exploration! Thank you all!
  20. Hello everyone. I am in research for a streamer or network audio player. Expectations: - it can read mp3, flac and DSD from NAS (network attached storage, in my case Synology DS212j) and USB memory stick - it should transport digital signal (via SPDIF or USB) to external DAC - reliable while operating - price of the player should be within 1500€ (linear power supply included) - I don't want solutions that need external display (e.g. computer monitor). It should be HiFi device that can be turned on via button Advantage: - dedicated mobile application, and not just web control interface - AirPlay - Internet radio - streaming services Current candidates: - Sonore microRendu - no dedicated application. 640 $ + linear power supply. - Sonore ultraRendu - no dedicated application. They say at several forums that this model is better than its predecessor. 875 $ + linear power supply - SOtM sMS-200 - no dedicated application, didn't hear it. 450 $ + linear power supply - SOtM sMS-200ultra - no dedicated application. They say at several forums that this model is better than its predecessor. 1200 $ + linear power supply - Auralic Aries Mini - dedicated application. AirPlay + internet radio. 550€ + linear power supply - Auralic Aries LE - dedicated application. AirPlay + internet radio. I heard there are several problems with the stability caused by network problems. 1000€ + linear power supply - Auralic Aries - dedicated application. AirPlay + internet radio. I heard several problems with the stability caused by network problems. I do not know the price. - Bluesound Node 2 - dedicated application, Airplay, internet radio. No DSD support. 600€. - Electrocompaniet Rena S1 - dedicated application, Airplay, internet radio. 600€. - Onkyo NS-6170 - dedicated application, Airplay, internet radio. 350€. I heard only Sonore microRendu which had great sound for me. There are not candidates: - Raspberry Pi - there is no customized version of the HiFi I just buy, without having to do anything, put together, buy separately etc. that is sonically good enough for my system. Correct me if I'm wrong. - Aurender - great equipment but out of the price category. - dCS Network Bridge - great equipment, but out of the price category. Questions - do you have candidates to add to this list? - did you ever heard one of this candidates or can you compare it? It is own hearing experience that is most relevant to me, not reviews from 3rd sources. - if there is perfect or near-perfect process of comparing different streamers, what would it be? I noticed there are no such information available publicly. Many thanks!
  21. Like New. Asking 1200 Euro (250 Euro below list) + shipping (from Germany). The 200 Ultra is only 5 weeks old and in mint condition with original packaging. The sMS-200Ultra (in black) is voltage selectable via jumper (either 6.5v-8.4v, 9v, or 12v). This unit includes the optional Master Clock Input. A 9v power supply is included. Just PM me if interested. BB
  22. I ordered the SoTM sMS-200ulrta sPS-500 for a home demo which will allow me to audion it before deciding whether to go ahead and purchase it. I will post my initial impressions hopefully next week!
  23. baburh

    SOtM sCLK-48 installation

    Need help here. I m trying to install SOtM sCLK-48 as an upgrade to my existing tX-USBexp card. My case is an HDPlex H5s (1st gen), it's very similar to the Streacom F5. My motherboard is microATX size and I have one SSD in the case. The good old CAPS v3 Zuma setup. Is there anybody out there who has accomplished this? Comments? Recommendations? Any pics?
  24. Hi everyone. I tried to find an answer to my question searching the forums but could not. I have fallen behind my hobby in the last 4.5 years and computer audio has moved on considerably. The last time I shopped around and felt like up to date, there was no Roon and no Microrendu, no HQPlayer. It was mostly about Jriver, Jplay and AO. And definitely linear power supplies. I’m willing to upgrade what I have in hand and I’m very confused. I will very much appreciate if you can help. Please do not recommend me to do years of reading. Help if you can. Digital side of my setup: 1. Dual boot Single PC CAPS V3 Zuma (Intel i7-3770T / Intel DH77EB Micro ATX / SOtM tX-USBexp / SOTM Sata filter / Streacom F5 / 128gb SSD only for OS) 2. Powered by 3 rail Paul Hynes linear power supply (Motherboard, SOTM, SSD) 3. Dual boot: a. Jriver19 on WinServer2012R2 AO1.26 Core – strictly audio b. Jriver20 on Win10 – audio, video, family, ease of use… 4. Meitner MA-1 DAC 5. Synology NAS – where all audio(/video) files are Now the hard part, I would like to upgrade my hardware to venture into more resource intensive software like Dirac and/or HQPlayer. My idea is to upgrade the CPU, motherboard and memory cards and stick with the rest (case, ssd, sotm gear and the power supply). I really need video capability, that’s why I have the dual boot currently. Does this make sense? I already have a brand new CPU in hand, i7-7700T. Can you recommend me a motherboard? Preferably microATX to stick with the former CAPS v3 design? Or am I being foolish? This route will ignore the MicroRendu trend, right? Spending all that money for new mobo, memory etc I could very well get myself a MicroRendu. Am I sacrificing too much for that friendly video capable win10 boot for family? Is there a way to have best of both worlds? Your guidance will be most appreciated.
  25. 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
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