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The "Official" Aurender Discussion Thread

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I have tried the AQ JB (also two of them) on the X100L and initially I liked it. But after 1 month of listening I removed it, and the sound was actually much better without it! Airier highs and many more fine details such as spatial clues were suddenly back again! Please note I'm using an excellent DAC solution, being the dCS Puccini + U-Clock. Results will probably highly depend on the quality of the USB implementation of the source (Aurender) as well as of the USB receiver (Puccini U-Clock in my case). One AQ JB ended up in my router, which does help to clean up the signal, w.o. any negatives. So, do try before you buy!

 

Best,

Vincent

 

Hello lmf22,

 

Excuse my OT as I do NOT employ the X100L. (See my signature). However, my reason for posting is to validate that after adding the JS-2/MMK/Regen (amber) to my system, the initial improvement was evident. But in time the SQ turned brighter than I prefer. AND, the bass mids/highes were more diffused/blurry than without the Regen. In other words, the bass was excellent before the introduction of the Regen and less so after.

 

To get to the point, for some time, I wondered what the solution might be for the brighter sound and change in dynamics of the bass. Remove the Regen? By chance, I also adopted and added a AQJB (AudioQuest JitterBug) in line with my Light Harmonic LightSpeed (0.8m, standard -- red) USB cable. The SQ changed. And, the change was positive, specifically, the brighter sound was less bright, the bass mids/highs were better defined again. Influenced by other reviewers AudioStream/Stereophile, I added a second AQJB, this time, to the empty USB output port next to the first AQJB, which required an extender cable for the two AQJB side by side would not fit in the back of my Mac Mini.

 

The addition of the second AQJB added even more improvement, in my opinon. The SQ that I favor returned with the mitigation of that brighter sound originally with the addition of the Regen's introduction. Furthermore, there was even better instrument voicing, or the opposite of what other members who report that AQJB created a lack of focus and blurring. For me the two AQJBs added was like changing a camera mediocre lens to a better one, hence clarity, focus, details, SQ rendition improved or returned. I left the Regen connected as it powered by the JS-2 and my Mac Mini by the MMK did improve dimension and voicing of instruments with certain exceptions. The AQJB removed those exceptions and made them exceptional.

 

I realize you are concerned with what others experience from adding to the X100L. In that regard, I am OT. But overall, my experience with my own system different from your system, may or may not be useful to you. Adding one or two AQJB(s) to your system and discerning what the difference that makes the difference is the best (only?) way to reach an assessment.

 

Best,

Richard

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Hi PhilR,

 

Thx for your advice. However, I have become very cautious in applying any USB filtering after this experience. I do think if you use a very high quality USB source such as an Aurender and ditto for the receiver (dCS) and you're using filtering you will probably end up having more negatives than positives. Besides, in the meantime I have upgraded to the N10 and a Crystal Cable Dreamline Plus USB cable. Now, thát's a real improvement! :-) I'm wondering why we haven't heard back from the dealer who tested the N10 against the W20..? He claimed they might be closer than we would think. Anyone more news on that?

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N10 on top shelf, W20 below it. Listening tonight.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]19275[/ATTACH]

Hi Brian,

 

So what about the N10 vs W20..? Or did I miss your judgment..? Really curious about your verdict, since I recently upgraded from X100L to N10; a huge improvement in every way!

 

Thx,

Vincent

A good place to discuss Aurender products.

 

No other apps running, have an iPad Air 2 .. plenty of memory available > 900 MB.

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Fully optimised N100 (as per my sig) vs N10 / W20 is what I would be interested to compare, the reason being I doubt there is much more music to be gained from a source via USB than a fully optimised N100. Those who have optimised theirs will know what I mean.

 

I can envisage the potential gains from using other outputs, but via USB I would suspect that the margins are going to be minimal.

Hi r_w,

 

Actually I was thinking the same about the X100 vs N10. The X100 has a similar USB implementation as the W20's. And although I read some other experiences here, my dealer clearly thinks the N100 sounds not as good (via NAS) as the X100 with its own storage. I am aware that the N100 has a linear PS compared to the X100's SMPS, which in theory should give the N100 an advantage.

However, Aurender would not sell any N10's or W20's if all they offer are more outputs. There's simply no free lunch.. Both do sound (via USB) way superior than the N100 and X100 series. It's probably due to better components, much more extensive PS (the N10 has three linear ones) and much better shielding of the audio outputs. It all translates to better sound, more details, more space, deeper bass, more refinement etc. Of course this only makes sense if your DAC has the capabilities to perform on a high level. If your DAC is around $ 2000-3000 I would stick with the N100 or X100. Hope this helps.

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Well, not all agree with the N100 being better as you have seen.. ;-) I myself have not heard it or compared it with the X100 and I suspect differences will be small, considering similar price brackets.

 

W.r.t. local storage or NAS: I do get your technical argument but also here opinions differ. Not from a logical POV, but from listening. There could be a technical difference when using Ethernet which could mean more internal processing within the Aurender, which by itself is not a good thing looking at additional noise in a very small housing.

 

What I do know for sure is that the N10 sounds much better than the X100. I have no doubt that extra measures help your N100 to sound better than standard. But the construction of the bigger ones, especially PS and shielding, is on an entirely other level. Would be interesting to compare them with your optimized N100, but as said,

I found out there's no such thing as a free lunch. ;-)

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Hi r_w,

 

True w.r.t. the technical use of Ethernet. Still, more people on this forum hear differences.. I will do some testing with the N10 with non-local files when I have the time. I have always worked with local files until now.

 

Indeed, your external adjustments are not a free lunch ;-). But if they work that well on the N100, shouldn't you also use them with the N10 to be able to define the differences between the devices 'as they are'?

 

I think implicit quality will always pay out in the end. I also thought the X100 was the perfect USB machine for me. Seems it wasn't, but to be able to come to that conclusion I needed to hear the N10 first. Listen and trust your ears. If you don't hear the difference, don't buy it. If you do, and you can afford it, think again. ;-) Aurender is a clever company. No use to design much more expensive machines w.o. any added value. In my opinion the N10 is great value.

 

BTW: Stereophile just tested it for those interested:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/aurender-n10-music-server#5vAMvMGX6MGLF4lz.97

 

They included it in their Recommended Component list of 2016 in the A+ category. But to be clear, I bought mine before the review.

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Vincent,

Congratulations on your upgrade. Yes, it's a major improvement. Regarding the N10 vs. W20, my advice is don't audition the W20 unless you can afford it. I have all of the models here for comparison.

Hi Brian,

 

Thanks! W.r.t. the W20, I already was afraid of that.. ;-) My local dealer (I live in Europe) has the same opinion. Maybe in a few years time some nice second hand samples will become available.. ;-)

 

Best,

Vincent

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Hello,

Question for Aurender owners. I have an Auralic Aries which we have enjoyed but have lately experience drop outs where the Aries will lose it's network status and will be offline briefly. The work around involves starting and stopping the unit and other bothersome rituals. Just wondering how stable the Aurenders are with maintaining network connections and responsiveness. Thanks, in advance, for your comments.

Wdw

Aurenders are very stable in my experience (X100L and N10). Only very rarely a reboot might be necessary (once every few months). It's somewhat less stable when using Tidal, however. Tidal is formally still in beta, but even then it's working pretty OK, with a very occasional reboot if you're unlucky. Nothing to be worried about.

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My N-100H has needed rebooting once in the 7 months I've had it and only after lightning storm briefly knocked out power. Music is all on internal HD so no network is needed or used for that purpose. I consider it highly stable and reliable, but then I'm a fanboy.

Nothing wrong with being a fanboy. ? Aurender makes fine stuff!

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Fully agree with Cycleman. I used an X100L on a dCS Puccini DAC and clock for 2 years and then upgraded to the N10. In this combination the N10 is in a completely other league. Of course the improvements will be system dependent, specifically w.r.t. the DAC you're using. I thought the X100 sounded great (I still do), but the N10 improves on it in all respects, especially in tone, fluency, details and space. The N100 uses a linear PS, whereas the X100 has an SMPS, but they're in similar price brackets. So my guess is that the differences between N100 and N10 will be pretty similar. Do check it out and test for yourself!

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Re: Tidal on Aurender for classical.

Is there enough selection to make it worth the bucks?

Yep, I certainly think so! Lots of Decca, DG, Sony etc. Also loads of Jordi Savall in his usual fantastic recording quality. I would certainly try it. First month is for free anyway, at least in Europe.

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Thanks, Vincent1234. I certainly can't tell by their promotions!

Hi Coot, as usual the promotions are mainly focused at main-stream pop. But I think you will be quite happy with their classical catalogue. [emoji4]

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New update for the unit. A clean shut down and faster operation. Some improvements to Tidal and radio play for European markets.

Wow, internet radio has been missing for so long.. It works like a charm, listening to it right now! :-D Some channels (classical) even indicate 24 bits. But I guess the stream will still be MP3-based? Anyway, a great addition. I'm a happy camper!

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Netherlands, Switzerland and Czech republic only at present according to the version revision on the iOS App Store when the Conductor app updated.

 

What I don't get is, does that mean local stations are now available for people in those regions or a more wide Internet Radio option for just those countries?

Given Internet radio stations are usually available to anyone with an internet connection connection anywhere, I don't really get this current geographical limitation, but I'm sure there's a reason behind it. Hopefully not too long till more regions get it.

Hi stedes, I live in The Netherlands and the only options I have now are stations in The Netherlands and in Belgium. Fine for me, but also to me the limitation is not clear.

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How does it come up in conductor app? Can you post a screenshot?

69d166aa8feaf2a3737d42d458d21fe1.jpg

 

It comes up in the Conductor app like this. There's a separate button for the stations (next to local files and Tidal if you have it), which after selecting them appear in your current playlist. Easy and consistent. [emoji4]

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How does it come up in conductor app? Can you post a screenshot?

Correction! Looking better now and there are thousands of stations available from all sorts of countries! Until now I only looked under the tab 'Recommended'.. So no local limitations after all.

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This 2.7.27 latest version did not work for me on my iPad Air 2.

 

Pretty much each time I went back to the app, it crashed. Then, if I went to it right away, yes, it worked, but those regular unbidden quits were very irritating.

 

So I reinstalled the previous version (2.7.17), and all is right again.

 

Dave, who says one man's story is not necessarily applicable to all but he is curious what others' experiences have been with this lates 2.7.27 version of the iOS app

The same over here, I'm afraid. Not very stable indeed..

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Had no issues either with music stopping. But the rest of the bugs you are describing above do appear here on my iPad Mini exactly the way you describe them. Time for a more stable version, Aurender..

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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New update today 2.7.32- Internet radio for Belgium and Luxembourg. Bug fixes - Improved stability and fixed sometimes the Aurender is not connected even when the app shows it is connected.

 

It was a quick update.

This latest version indeed seems to be more stable.

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Does anyone here use the AES/EBU output on their N10 and find it better than the USB output?

Hi,

 

In the Stereophile review of the N10 below I think only USB was used, so that doesn't really help.

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/aurender-n10-music-server#DWTgJXKdTZg55Yrq.97

 

However, I read elsewhere all outputs of the N10 have very similar quality. I do know a different case from my dealer of a customer having initially used his W20 with two ultra high-end AES EBU's (Crystal Cable Dreamline Plus) to his dCS Rossini, but ending up using the same Crystal Cable quality as a single USB cable instead. There was NO discernible difference and it DID save him EUR 3.000! So it's pretty likely the N10 will have similar quality on all outputs. However, the USB implementation of your DAC can play an important role here. If I were you I would certainly try before I'd buy.

Hope this helps!

 

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Does anyone here use the AES/EBU output on their N10 and find it better than the USB output?

By the way, I'm using my N10 connected via USB to a dCS Puccini (via the dCS clock). I recently upgraded my USB cable from an AudioQuest Diamond to the Crystal Cable Dreamline Plus mentioned below. The improvements in sound quality, fluency, details and soundstage space are simply ridiculous, no matter what some people claim about the (un)importance of USB/digital cabling quality. Just try first and buy whatever your ears tell you that you should.

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Nope. All my music on the N10's internal drives is PCM, mainly Red Book but about 10% higher resolutions.

And it's a mix of ALAC and AIFF, again about a 90% (ALAC) / 10% (AIFF) split.

 

I've regularly tested favorite albums -- music I love that's also well-recorded -- by having both ALAC and AIFF versions, to see if the file type makes a difference.

 

And I've not really heard a difference.

 

That's likely because the N10 -- the the robust Mac Mini I used before -- has enough computing power to unpack the ALAC fully and quickly before playing.

Hi Cycleman,

 

Interesting. I also did several comparison tests with the N10 in my system between FLAC and WAV (unpacked from the same FLAC files!) and I must say WAV does sound slightly more detailed. Of course there are no huge differences, but very worthwhile nonetheless IMO. Will no doubt be system dependent, so your mileage may vary. And yes, I know that FLAC is unpacked in a bit-perfect way and pretty fast too. But apparently the extra processing can still be audible.. Interestingly, I read yesterday that the designer of the Antipodes server has the same experience (see my previous link to the N10 review of Stereophile to easily get there). Apparently the way files are being read from the internal memory is critical to sound quality.

 

Best regards,

Vincent

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Hi Cycleman,

 

Interesting. I also did several comparison tests with the N10 in my system between FLAC and WAV (unpacked from the same FLAC files!) and I must say WAV does sound slightly more detailed. Of course there are no huge differences, but very worthwhile nonetheless IMO. Will no doubt be system dependent, so your mileage may vary. And yes, I know that FLAC is unpacked in a bit-perfect way and pretty fast too. But apparently the extra processing can still be audible.. Interestingly, I read yesterday that the designer of the Antipodes server has the same experience (see my previous link to the N10 review of Stereophile to easily get there). Apparently the way files are being read from the internal memory is critical to sound quality.

 

Best regards,

Vincent

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

As an addition and to make things easier, this is the text I was referring to in the Antipodes review by Stereophile:

 

--- "Jenkins clarified this statement in a recent e-mail:

 

"Accepted digital theory suggests that regenerating the signal in the DAC should cure all prior interference with the digital signal. But...as with all other areas of audio, it turns out everything matters in computer audio too. One area that appears to matter a lot is what happens in the server's RAM. For example, we find [that] an uncompressed FLAC file sounds a lot better than a compressed FLAC file, and the only thing that is different is that, with the latter, the file has to be decompressed in RAM (becoming identical to the former file) before the next step. Just that little bit of extra activity in RAM is enough to make a significant difference (as we have demonstrated in public blind tests).

 

 

Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/antipodes-dx-reference-music-server#rgxFlUb3346XFroC.99 ---"

 

Cheers!

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Yeah I know, I was wishing... Aurender seems to have a lot of overlap in their product line IMO.

Hi AudioDoctor,

 

I wouldn't say the X100L and the N10 have a lot of overlap, except for their functionality. I had the X100L myself for two years and then I upgraded to the N10. Soundwise the N10 is in a completely different league. You only need to look at the internals of both to see the differences, not only in PS's but also w.r.t. isolation of critical components. On a good set the N10 will simply let you hear things you never heard on the X100L.

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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