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Questions for Auralic Video Interview


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How important of a consideration was it to Wang for the Aries to achieve better sound quality than one might get from running a Mac with something like A+ or Amarra? Or was his main focus simply on providing an easy to use platform for folks who don't want to mess with a computer?

 

Or maybe said another way, whom does he consider the Aries' target audience?

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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I'd like to hear more about the flexible filter mode from the Vega and will it be included in the Aries at some point. The ability to 'tune' a DAC somewhat to the content intrigues me. Although I'm not a tube lover, a defeatable tube pre stage is a nice feature to have for overly engineered, sterile recordings.

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Chris, all I would say is, based on my experience with the Aries, and some of the concerns that regulars here have shared in the hardware and software threads, I think it is fair game to give Wang (and yes, I'm guessing he does go by Wang, as in China the family name goes first) an opportunity to be forthcoming about some of the issues. To me it would be like an elephant in the room if it wasn't acknowledged in a way that goes beyond what feels like corporate spin.

 

I also can't help but be curious if you yourself are at all surprised about some of these issues, based on the early excitement you shared with your readers about this product, although I know that you didn't start this thread to get into that. I suppose we might just have to wait for your formal review for that. Seems like you've made a conscious choice to not comment as of late.

 

You clearly had a great introduction to the Aries, and I'm assuming you didn't see any software bugs, missing album art, app crashes/freezes, communication issues between server/app/device, and so forth.

 

I'm for now going to wait for a couple more software/firmware updates before I get genuinely concerned. But that's truly what I would like to know.

 

When's the interview scheduled to happen??

 

Thanks for all you do.

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I believe that quite a few Aries owners would like to be able to provide feedback and submit feature requests for the Aries and Lightning DS software as well as engage in some degree of dialog with the company, be it a dedicated thread here, their own Auralic forum/community ala JRiver or some other such method.

 

While this has been touched upon and acknowledged by Mr. Wang in some of the recent threads, it would be helpful to understand the mechanism he feels most appropriate for this interaction. While I suspect quite a few are happy with the hardware, it is clear that the software itself has quite a ways to go. And I think everyone is willing to help to get it there as quick as possible.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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It's pretty clear that the hardware is capable of doing what it needs to and that the software is in need of multiple fixes. I'd like to hear something about a timetable for firmware and Lightning DS updates that places basic functionality higher on the priority list than projected added features for Q3, Q4, etc. If the software team has sufficient depth to address both simultaneously and one is not dependent on the other then it would be good to have that clearly explained and stated. An update on the status of a downloadable and complete user manual, likewise, would also be great to hear about.

 

Sound quality and ease of use is a considerable dual agenda for a new product like the Aries but I'm confident that the Aries will get there in time and I'm at least happy that the hardware doesn't look to be going the way of the original PS Audio bridge.

 

Regarding the target audience, I would assume that Auralic is looking at the less computer savvy person who wants an essentially plug and play device and who also at least wants sound quality equal to or better than that of, say, a Mac mini with Audirvana , versus targeting the sound quality of a well setup Audiophile Optimizer Windows 2012 PC.

 

Esau

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1. Is Mr. Wang interested in bringing out versions that are developed for specific DACs using an I2S output only, bypassing USB and S/PDIF completely? This would include a motherboard without USB and without S/PDIF chips to lower electrical noise.

 

2. What motherboard is being used currently?

 

3. Any plans for a version without a wireless antenna to lower electrical noise?

 

4. Any plans for a super basic version with no LEDs and no lit display to lower electrical noise? All display and setup done remotely through e.g. an ipad.

 

Combine 1,3 and 4 and you have a winner (for some :) ) and something that is not currently on the market.

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1. Is Mr. Wang interested in bringing out versions that are developed for specific DACs using an I2S output only, bypassing USB and S/PDIF completely? This would include a motherboard without USB and without S/PDIF chips to lower electrical noise.

 

2. What motherboard is being used currently?

 

3. Any plans for a version without a wireless antenna to lower electrical noise?

 

4. Any plans for a super basic version with no LEDs and no lit display to lower electrical noise? All display and setup done remotely through e.g. an ipad.

 

Combine 1,3 and 4 and you have a winner (for some :) ) and something that is not currently on the market.

 

I love your ideas and I would suggest that the product would be modular; using "cards" one could order with any combination of the outputs (i2S, USB, S/PDIF). Perfect fit and price for the customer.

 

Also would like the configurability to use it as a NAA (for HQplayer).

 

I would also know if the wireless function (and antenna) can be switched off for the ethernet afficionados...

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In addition to tranz' item 1 (I2s via HDMI, PS Audio format), will there be one with

1) Internal storage (ref. upcoming LH labs Geek Source)

2) Ripping capabilities

3) Tagging capabilities

4) Proprietary uPnP server built in (like the Lumin L1)?

 

Great suggestions too but it seems your requirements fits more a "partner" new product for Aries, a Auralic Music Server...

They would do a great "stack" using the beautiful Aries design...

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1) Does he get mad that people call him Wang instead of his first name Xuanqian?

 

(and yes, I'm guessing he does go by Wang, as in China the family name goes first)

 

Could you ask Xuanqian Wang about his name and how he would like to be addressed ...

 

My understanding of Chinese names was that usually the family name is first followed by given name; but then to my understanding Xuanqian is more likely to be a given name and Wang a family name?

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I would like his opinion on the following...

 

Does he feel the Aries offers superior sound quality into a USB DAC (lets hit the nail on the head and say superior sound quality into the Auralic Vega) vs a Mac Mini or a custom build Windows server; or is the aim of the Aries to provide a good source which is fairly easy to use.

 

Second, would Auralic ever consider a ripper/server type device as a companion to the Aries?

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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About Vega: they don't want to upgrade the DAC to DSD256 because they say there is no way to play this format with Mac OSX.

I don't understand this statement.

exaSound wrote its driver, other companies consider individually Win from OSX (with Win and ASIO it's possible DSD without DoP).

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About Vega: they don't want to upgrade the DAC to DSD256 because they say there is no way to play this format with Mac OSX.

I don't understand this statement.

exaSound wrote its driver, other companies consider individually Win from OSX (with Win and ASIO it's possible DSD without DoP).

 

I can confirm that I can successfully play DSD256 over DoP and PCM 705.6/768k to iFi iDSD Micro on Mac OS X...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Don't ask about his name, if you've not done the interview already. It might be uncomfortable for him to answer. Wang is his family name, and unless you're well acquainted it's not appropriate to refer to him by his given name without his family name. Asking what he likes is akin to asking for permission to call him by his given name, which none of us should do. Mr. Wang, or just Wang, is appropriate.

 

(For what it's worth, his name is pronounced "Wong Shwann chyann, with nasal "a"s on "shwann" and "chiann". Each word is one syllable, like all Chinese names)

Silent Win10 Music Server -> Roon -> HQP -> Singxer SU-1 -> Holo Audio Spring -> ECP L2 -> HD800 / Grado HP2i / HE-1000 / JH 13

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I believe that quite a few Aries owners would like to be able to provide feedback and submit feature requests for the Aries and Lightning DS software as well as engage in some degree of dialog with the company, be it a dedicated thread here, their own Auralic forum/community ala JRiver or some other such method.

 

While this has been touched upon and acknowledged by Mr. Wang in some of the recent threads, it would be helpful to understand the mechanism he feels most appropriate for this interaction. While I suspect quite a few are happy with the hardware, it is clear that the software itself has quite a ways to go. And I think everyone is willing to help to get it there as quick as possible.

 

I redact my question as I have found the feedback mechanism offered within the Lightning DS and via email extremely effective, and it is clear that they take great pride in all that they do, and wish to redress any deficiencies.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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