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Article: Auralic Aries Review

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Does it support multichannel audio or ISOs?

 

It's just a 2ch audio recording on CD.


2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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Thank you for the review Chris. Can you tell me how the Aries compares to the SOtM sMS-100 Mini-Server in terms of sound quality?

 

Like many people I have been intrigued by the Aries but last year I decided to buy the sMS-100 Mini-Server based to a large degree on your favourable review. The Mini-Server is obviously a more simplistic device with fewer features than the Aries (and a price that reflects this). Truth is, I don't really need all of the excellent features offered by the Aries because I really only wanted to stream music from my NAS and use J River as my control point. The sMS-100 does this perfectly well for my needs.

 

But the lingering question I have relates to the quality of sound delivered by the two devices. Is there a premium in sound quality delivered by the Auralic Aries that would justify the extra cost of the Aries relative to the sMS-100? Thanks again.

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Thank you for the review Chris. Can you tell me how the Aries compares to the SOtM sMS-100 Mini-Server in terms of sound quality?

 

Like many people I have been intrigued by the Aries but last year I decided to buy the sMS-100 Mini-Server based to a large degree on your favourable review. The Mini-Server is obviously a more simplistic device with fewer features than the Aries (and a price that reflects this). Truth is, I don't really need all of the excellent features offered by the Aries because I really only wanted to stream music from my NAS and use J River as my control point. The sMS-100 does this perfectly well for my needs.

 

But the lingering question I have relates to the quality of sound delivered by the two devices. Is there a premium in sound quality delivered by the Auralic Aries that would justify the extra cost of the Aries relative to the sMS-100? Thanks again.

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Chris-

 

Thanks for the review.

 

You just published a review of the Sonore Signature Rendu. Do you have a preference of one over the other in terms of SQ?

 

+1

 

You used the same language here as the review for the SSR. ".....sounds as good or better than anything.....including CAPS...." This device has more flexibility and costs less. Does it sound as good in your reference system as the SSR? 95% as good?

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+1

 

You used the same language here as the review for the SSR. ".....sounds as good or better than anything.....including CAPS...." This device has more flexibility and costs less. Does it sound as good in your reference system as the SSR? 95% as good?

 

Another +1.

 

And more generally, can a streamer/renderer like this yield sonic results equal to a server that uses local HDD or SSD storage (Rendu, Aurender, etc.)? Why one approach vs. the other?


Mac Mini 5,1 [i5, 2.3 GHz, 8GB, Mavericks] w/ Roon -> Ethernet -> TP Link fiber conversion segment -> microRendu w/ LPS-1 -> Schiit Yggdrasil

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A question for Chris or anyone who may have a thought to share. Is it fair to say that this unit is operationally similar to the new Aurenders, the N100 and N10, although the the two latter units can be fitted with a 1TB SSD drive, in that each are media servers with attached NAS drives? If so, how are they dissimilar?

Does the Aries have a linear power supply?

Is the iPad interface and media management better on one over the other?

Do each control the NAS Drive or is additional software required to "spool" music from the NAS?

The Aries is less expensive so preferable from that perspective but wonder how each would be compared to the other.

Thanks in advance.

wdw

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Good review but not sure if its pointed towards USA based people or as an advert for Tidal?

For those of us in Europe the Aries offers full Qobuz integration.

Having tried both I would not give up my Qobuz account for Tidal, Tidal has far to many well documented performance issues at this stage.

Qobuz also offers a full purchase solution and multiple devise usage that puts it ahead of the streaming competition in my view.


Setup:

Apple Music >Sonos> Antelope Zodiac Gold with Voltikus PSU > Austin Trew AT5000 > Focal 806

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A question for Chris or anyone who may have a thought to share. Is it fair to say that this unit is operationally similar to the new Aurenders, the N100 and N10, although the the two latter units can be fitted with a 1TB SSD drive, in that each are media servers with attached NAS drives? If so, how are they dissimilar?

Does the Aries have a linear power supply?

Is the iPad interface and media management better on one over the other?

Do each control the NAS Drive or is additional software required to "spool" music from the NAS?

The Aries is less expensive so preferable from that perspective but wonder how each would be compared to the other.

Thanks in advance.

wdw

 

Aries is a upnp/openhome device. When you attach a HD to it an internal server is used to bridge the HD files to the renderer. Functionally identical I would say.

 

Aries does come with a LPS. Aries LE does not (odd naming convention).

 

LightningDS (the app) is pretty decent. Has a few quirks, is not as fast and responsive as JRemote or iTunes apps. But it's quite alright.

 

To get full functionality you need minimserver on the NAS but you don't need a NAS at all if you can have a computer serving the files. In this case minimserver or JRMC DLNA servers would work.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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LightningDS (the app) is pretty decent. Has a few quirks, is not as fast and responsive as JRemote or iTunes apps. But it's quite alright.

Yep, V2 should be much better. I look forward to it's official release.


2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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Aries is a upnp/openhome device. When you attach a HD to it an internal server is used to bridge the HD files to the renderer. Functionally identical I would say.

 

Aries does come with a LPS. Aries LE does not (odd naming convention).

 

LightningDS (the app) is pretty decent. Has a few quirks, is not as fast and responsive as JRemote or iTunes apps. But it's quite alright.

 

To get full functionality you need minimserver on the NAS but you don't need a NAS at all if you can have a computer serving the files. In this case minimserver or JRMC DLNA servers would work.

 

I am a dummy with this stuff....if understanding your post correctly the Aries can, with a USB music hard drive attached and using LightningDS on an iPad, drive the music to the DAC without any other software or device in the path. (So operationally similar to my current Mac Mini with attached bus powered music drives but with better sonics)

No Audirvana/JRiver/etc....and sounding better that a Mac with any of these programs installed.

Thanks,

WDW

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I am a dummy with this stuff....if understanding your post correctly the Aries can, with a USB music hard drive attached and using LightningDS on an iPad, drive the music to the DAC without any other software or device in the path. [/QUoTE]

Correct.

 

So operationally similar to my current Mac Mini with attached bus powered music drives but with better sonics)

No Audirvana/JRiver/etc....and sounding better that a Mac with any of these programs installed.

Thanks,

WDW

You could even use the same exact drive. Now whether the sound is better I cannot garantee...


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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Chris: Though you put it at the top for a network device, would using it as purely a source to deliver music to the Berkeley Reference is this the best you've experienced in your system to date? Guessing not.

 

Yet, to get the best SQ would using USB or wired Ethernet be optimal if pulling the bits from a drive?


Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ WD USB Drive / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler  / dCS Vivaldi DAC / dCS Vivaldi Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral DMA-500 monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers

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Chris-great review! if the Aries is a linux system can it be used if one's system ie computer uses OS yosemite? Now in my system I use USB out from my mac mini to a Schiit Gungnir DAC then RCA's out to my avr and Schiit Magni-where does the Aries come in and how does one get from the DAC to the Aries if the DAC only has one USB port(or vis a versa,if thats the case)? Will a Schiit Gungnir be compatible with Aries? Can i still use Amarra SQ when I stream TIDAL? What about Qobuz(i have it even tho I live in the USA) and what about BeatsMusic(I only listen to my MOG transferred playlists)? The pics show three Aries devices is the system 3 separate components or just one? Finally I don't have an iPad-is this an excuse to get one?? thanks bobbmd

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Yep, V2 should be much better. I look forward to it's official release.

One thing that irritates me with the LDS is the light theme. I really want a dark theme like the Lumin app provides (too bad the OH Lumin app was not mentioned in this review, btw). The light theme (which does not dim) keeps disturbing the musical experience, so I have to put my iPad away from my lap during listening (yes, I know I am a demanding customer and probably the only person dissatisfied with this).

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I am a dummy with this stuff....if understanding your post correctly the Aries can, with a USB music hard drive attached and using LightningDS on an iPad, drive the music to the DAC without any other software or device in the path.

 

Yes exactly.

 

(So operationally similar to my current Mac Mini with attached bus powered music drives but with better sonics)

No Audirvana/JRiver/etc....and sounding better that a Mac with any of these programs installed.

 

HUGE sonic upgrade by having an Aries replace my Mac Mini that was running A+ (though all my music is stored on a NAS).


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

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

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Oracle speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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One thing that irritates me with the LDS is the light theme. I really want a dark theme like the Lumin app provides (too bad the OH Lumin app was not mentioned in this review, btw). The light theme (which does not dim) keeps disturbing the musical experience, so I have to put my iPad away from my lap during listening (yes, I know I am a demanding customer and probably the only person dissatisfied with this).

 

+1


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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Yes exactly.

 

 

 

HUGE sonic upgrade by having an Aries replace my Mac Mini that was running A+ (though all my music is stored on a NAS).

 

 

Very cool, thanks to you both. Time to put that ole mule, the Mac Mini, out to pasture.

 

;-)

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Very cool, thanks to you both. Time to put that ole mule, the Mac Mini, out to pasture.

 

;-)

 

That's what I did. I put it aside thinking I'd still use it. After two months I sold it as I never even turned it back on. I sold it and the LPS I built for it. ARIES is the real deal for me.


2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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Thanks! Downloading now. ;-)

 

Good stuff!

 

image.jpg


2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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Good stuff!

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16590[/ATTACH]

 

Yeah. Her rendition of Yellow Brick Road surprised me. Great. Gravity and Brave are also gorgeous here. Blessed Unrest is a great album as well.


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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Yeah. Her rendition of Yellow Brick Road surprised me. Great.

 

+1

 

So cool that I can play this from Tidal via the Aries. A game changer.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

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

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Oracle speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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Further to Chris's comment that the unit sounded better with the Alpha USB, I find this somewhat confusing....if AES balanced digital is superior wouldn't a direct AES to AES cable be the preferred connection?

 

If the Alpha USB was superior this could only posit that the USB is sonically better than the other three outputs and this is still apparent when converting to a balanced signal with the Alpha USB or, rather tangentially, simply everything is better when bathed through the Alpha USB.

 

(the reviewing was with AES balanced out each end or USB to AES with the Alpha USB)

 

The Auralic site does list the AES / Coax / Toslink as limited to 192K and DSD64...inference that their USB output is not similarly limited.

Odd!

 

Cheers,

wdw

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Yes exactly.

 

 

 

HUGE sonic upgrade by having an Aries replace my Mac Mini that was running A+ (though all my music is stored on a NAS).

 

Question: Do you or anybody else have any thoughts on the Aries ($1700) versus the Aries LE ($1000)? I'm running a mac mini with A+ into an Ayre QB-9. The QB-9 is relatively isolated from electrical noise, but maybe there's more to it than I understand.

 

Great review Chris. I'm seriously thinking about switching to the Aries, but it's an act of faith, given that there are no dealers in my small town: Chicago. A well thought out review from a reliable reviewer helps. See you at AXPONA?


Music: Mostly classical with some jazz and 70's, 80's and 90's rock. It's mostly ripped CD's, but I have quite a few DSF files ripped from SACD's and some hi res downloads, too.

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