EtherRegen vs optical, or both?

So, I have an etherRegen in the mix. It helps to clean up the Ethernet connection to my ultraRendu.

I’m starting to move into optical with the OpticalRendu. I have yet to piece it together.

Since the OpticalRendu isolates the Ethernet from any outside influences (speaking loosely), would the etherRegen be redundant/superfluous/unnecessary? Or would the two be complimentary somehow?

Just spitballin’ here…

1 Like

Well, according to John Swenson, the designer of the EtherRegen, clock phase noise survives in the data passed over optical connections. So, even when using optical, you still need the EtherRegen…at least that is the story. I’d like to see this clock phase noise before and after on a scope…

Ok, I have been down that road;

ultraRendu with EtherREGEN and sonicTransporter i7 ( good )
ultraRendu with EtherREGEN and opticalModule and sonicTransporter i7 ( better )
opticalRendu with EtherREGEN and sonicTransporter i7 ( much better )
opticalRendu with opticalModule and Netgear GS105 and sonicTransporter i7 ( great )
opticalRendu with sonicTransporter i9 optical, this is a “bridged” configuration, no switch between the render and server ( the best )

If you are going optical, go full optical.
If you are staying with Ethernet, go with the EtherREGEN.

Power supply quality is extremely important with any of the above scenarios.


What do you think of the SGC power supplies, assuming you have that experience?

For the opticalRendu and opticalModule I would go with the Sonore power supplies.
Thats what I would do if I were starting over.
Avoid the generic power supplies from SGC, you want the full potential from each product.

The oR with oM and GS105 was a “light bulb” moment.

I use a Teddy Pardo 2 amp PS for my oR, I no longer use the oM, but I powered it with the UpTone LPS 1.2,


Yah, I have a couple of those. I’m looking forward to experimenting.

Thank you for this most excellent post!

I spoke directly to Sonore about this and they recommended keeping the ER or using an opticalModule. Either way, you need some way to convert your ethernet connection to a SFP connection unless you have a server with SFP output like @mrderrick.

I went thru several configurations including SFP on my custom server, my endpoint is a Signature Rendu SE. The best I found was:

server (running Euphony)->wifi->switch->ER->SFP->SigRendu SE->usb->Matrix->i2S->DAC

Note the server is located over 50ft away from the rest of the equipment. I also have an oM but haven’t tried it yet vs. the ER so I can’t say if it’s better or worse.

I did try server->SFP->SigRendu SE but that wasn’t as good, I suspect because I had no way to connect them and keep the server away from my listening room. This was before I moved from Ubuntu to Euphony (which also provided a nice increase in SQ for me) and I don’t know if Euphony has the drivers to recognize a SFP card.

IMO longer runs of SFP work better than short runs.

1 Like

Indeed, @mrderrick had a great post there. I found it informative.

It also seems that he set a land speed record for 0-to-expensive for me. My system is about to go through a state of flux as I get the oRendu up to speed, but now it seems as though some re-thinking might be in order.

Like, I ordered up an SGC LPS to power the oRendu, but now I’m thinking Pardo. Like, my Mac Mini had a hissy-fit recently, so perhaps it’s time to think about updating the server, etc.

I love this sport/hobby. It allows us to bankrupt others, not just ourselves. :slight_smile:

1 Like

In this case, my strategy (to keep costs down) is to flip the etherRegen around so that the incoming wire is on the B-side, and put an SFP module into the cage on the A-side. Those are the only two connections to the eRegen, so in theory it should be fine.

So, incoming ethernet to etherRegen, optical out to the opticalRendu. USB out to Matrix, yada, yada, yada.

Is this a reasonable setup for getting started with optical?

1 Like

Yes, that’s exactly how I do it, SFP cage into the ER A-side, ethernet input into the ER B-side - works perfectly fine.

1 Like

I am coming from my router to the EtherREGEN via fiber so I’m kinda blocked there.
I wonder how noticeable the difference is between the OpticalRendu and the UltraRendu is. Gotta do it or…

@aangen Soon I’ll know.

1 Like

The eR is an amazing device, I was in the first batch.
UpTone, Sonore and Small Green Computer are all at the top of my list.
I have owned quite a bit of product from all of them.

I don’t know when the journey ends, it seems endless.
It all started with the Sonore Signature Series Rendu > ultrRendu > opticalRendu and opticalModules.
I’ve tried all 3 sonicTransporters, i5, i7 and now i9.
Regen, isoRegen, EtherREGEN, LPS 1.0 and LPS 1.2.



Since I’m in a 30-day window for returns with SGC, you now have me wondering. I’m wrapping my head around various configurations.

What do you think would make the most effective upgrade, 1) replacing the opticalRendu with a Signature Series Level II Rendu, or 2) SonicTransporter i9 to opticalRendu.

Assume that I don’t have the finanicial stomach to jump into the I9/SigRendu combination.

1 Like

Thinking about it further, I’d lean toward replacing my current ultraRendu with a SignatureRendu Level II Optical.

My modded Mac Mini is quite solid and in another room. The SignatureRendu, with its on-board power supply, would allow me to get rid of one UpTone LPS 1.2 and DC cable, and I wouldn’t have to buy into a Pardo LPS, which I would likely do with an OpticalRendu.

So, fewer boxes on the rack is good. I have quite the collection of them.

What I can’t discern at this time is, is the SigRendu really much better than the OpticalRendu? Perhaps @mrderrick can shed some light on that question.

If you have the resources, go for the Signature Series Rendu SE optical.
As you mentioned, it eliminates another black box.
I 'm not certain how it will integrate into your setup. ( optical Module, another box and PS )
I have no doubt that it performs at a higher level than the oR, how much higher is the question.

The harsh reality is that sometimes when you are splitting hairs the sum of your other components and space may be what determines how much of a difference you can/could actually hear.

Speaking of getting rid of black boxes, if you are prepared to go for the SSR ES optical, you might want to take a look at the DCS bridge and then you can get rid of USB also.

I bought into the SSR for I2S to my DAC and I still have it in a second system, USB is not my favorite connection, its a connection that can make or break your sound.

I use the ultraRendu as an HQPlayer NAA. It would seem crazy to spend over $4000 US on an HQPlayer NAA. If I were to get an opticalRendu, I would have to get a EtherRegen to go with with it. I might do that someday…but probably not. I am still waiting for a nice HQPlayer NAA that has Ethernet in and I2S out that supports DSD256. Someday…maybe.

Thanks again for the input.

I wish there was some way to quantify the sonic differences between the OR and Signature, but that’s likely difficult. Add in the extra 2K+ and it gets really hard to justify.

I think my choice, as it stands now, will be what I mention in the next post.

So, I have an OR in the house, just waiting on a power supply to test it. I imagine that it will be better than the ultraRendu. I can’t seem to mentally justify the ‘crazy’ uplift for the Signature.

If I keep the OR, I’ll likely feed it with a Pardo LPS, as @mrderrick suggested.

That should hold me for a while. I think. Maybe.

1 Like