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The "Official" Aurender Discussion Thread

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1 hour ago, jon2020 said:

After reading so many rave reviews of the N10, I pounced upon an opportunity to audition one at home over the weekend. I have been most eager to find out if the N10 is worth more than double the price of the N100H.

I have found a way to simply describe digital performance in terms of quantity and quality of information conveyed - more bits filling in the sonic landscape, so to speak. Comparison is as always relative between the components. 

I have been using my N100H connected via an Oyaide silver USB cable from its USB output to the ifi USB 3.0 which separates power from audio via its own bihedral USB cable, and thence to the USB input of an Esoteric N-05 network player/dac.

I first listened to the N10 without the USB 3.0 as this is the way it has been reviewed so favorably in the many publications to date. Without going into every parameter of SQ, all I can say is that the N10 is most certainly worth its weight in gold. There is much greater quantity and quality of digital information served in that one can clearly hear the extra bits filling in the spaces that now seemed missing from the N100H. Enough said. 

I next compared the USB and bnc spdif outputs of the N10 to the Esoteric dac inputs. As a caveat, the bnc cable at the dac end was fitted with an adapter as the input is non-bnc. The USB sounds much better than spdif, again more filled in with extra bits. This simply indicates that the USB implementation is superior to spdif for both server and dac, and should not be extrapolated to a more general conclusion that usb is superior to spdif.

The last experiment would be to see whether the N10 can be improved any further by connecting it to the ifi USB 3.0. Well, the outcome is jaw-dropping to say the least - again, more bits filling in the sonic space, presenting a gestalt that is way more satisfying than the sum of its parts.

As an aside, I recently compared the new Pass XP12 to my Ayre K-5xeMP preamp at home. The overall improvement wrought by the N10 alone far exceeds the improvement that the XP12 brought to the table. So preamp or server upgrade? - the choice is now clear.

 

The nice thing about the N10 together with the iFi  USB 3.0 is that they both bring out what I never thought could be possible from my current system.  It is amazing that a server like the N10 can elevate the whole system by such leaps and bounds.  Once in a while,  one component comes along to show up how good all the others really are.  

 

J. :)

 

Nice review, thanks so much, as I too, am (was) debating of upgrading from the N100H to the N10. But my decision is a NO, despite the rave reviews the N10 gets. For me, the N10 is way too expensive. Who in the world needs all those extra outputs (SPDIF, etc.) as you so rightly state, is inferior to the USB output.

To me, it would make much more sense to develop the N100 further to have a refined version that puts it bewtween the N10 flagship and the current N100H model. I‘d jump immediately at the occasion of buying an advanced N100H model, as I very much like Aurender. But buying a flagship so expensive as the N10 with outputs I‘ll never use, is not so attractive to me.

It looks as if I‘ll embark on the Innuos Zenith MKII route. Brilliant reviews and no frills equipment!

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3 minutes ago, biosailor said:

 

Nice review, thanks so much, as I too, am (was) debating of upgrading from the N100H to the N10. But my decision is a NO, despite the rave reviews the N10 gets. For me, the N10 is way too expensive. Who in the world needs all those extra outputs (SPDIF, etc.) as you so rightly state, is inferior to the USB output.

To me, it would make much more sense to develop the N100 further to have a refined version that puts it bewtween the N10 flagship and the current N100H model. I‘d jump immediately at the occasion of buying an advanced N100H model, as I very much like Aurender. But buying a flagship so expensive as the N10 with outputs I‘ll never use, is not so attractive to me.

It looks as if I‘ll embark on the Innuos Zenith MKII route. Brilliant reviews and no frills equipment!

I agree that the price is indeed steep but I am unable to compare it to the Innuos. Good luck with your quest. Would really like to hear your impressions when you get hold of it. Cheers!


Jon

Aurender N100H, Oyaide Continental 5S usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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2 minutes ago, jon2020 said:

I agree that the price is indeed steep but I am unable to compare it to the Innuos. Good luck with your quest. Would really like to hear your impressions when you get hold of it. Cheers!

Will do that for sure! But it won‘t be tomorrow, as I am upgrading my power amp first before turning to another streamer. Will be around summertime. In the meantime, I am enjoying my N100H, with the ‚nagging‘ feeling all would sound so much better with an N10 ?

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6 hours ago, biosailor said:

Who in the world needs all those extra outputs (SPDIF, etc.) as you so rightly state, is inferior to the USB output.

I  do not think this review was meant to give the idea that the other outputs are inferior to USB. As rightly stated it all depends on the combination with your DAC (and on the quality of your cabling!). In this case the DAC likely sounds best via USB. The other connections of the N10 are similarly excellent, as pointed out in several reviews. I can state from my own experience that the N10 is indeed much, much more than an 'N100 with more connections'. It's inherently superior to the N100 due to much more elaborate circuitry and a superior PS. And the W20 is so much better again than the N10. Really..

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28 minutes ago, Vincent1234 said:

I  do not think this review was meant to give the idea that the other outputs are inferior to USB. As rightly stated it all depends on the combination with your DAC (and on the quality of your cabling!). In this case the DAC likely sounds best via USB. The other connections of the N10 are similarly excellent, as pointed out in several reviews. I can state from my own experience that the N10 is indeed much, much more than an 'N100 with more connections'. It's inherently superior to the N100 due to much more elaborate circuitry and a superior PS. And the W20 is so much better again than the N10. Really..

 

Point well taken! If one happens to have a DAC with SPDIF input, an N10 does come handy. Yet, I'd like to see an N100H with more elaborate circuitry, but only USB output. I'd jump to it immediately, as the price difference to the N10 is just too big (at least for me).

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2 hours ago, biosailor said:

 

Point well taken! If one happens to have a DAC with SPDIF input, an N10 does come handy. Yet, I'd like to see an N100H with more elaborate circuitry, but only USB output. I'd jump to it immediately, as the price difference to the N10 is just too big (at least for me).

 

I think an N100H with more elaborate circuitry would probably be equivalent in sound and price to the N10 :) . When you look at the designs of both units, it seems that they give the best sound at their respective price points. Perhaps the folks at Aurender discovered that making a more elaborate N100 would necessitate additional changes that boost the cost of the final product too much.


Aurender N10, Esoteric F-05 Integrated Amplifier, Synergistic Active USB, Oppo 203, Synergistic Atmosphere Level 3 UEF Speaker cables, Legacy Audio Focus SE. Rega Planar 8 with Alpheta 2 cartridge.

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8 minutes ago, rwwjr44 said:

 

I think an N100H with more elaborate circuitry would probably be equivalent in sound and price to the N10 :) . When you look at the designs of both units, it seems that they give the best sound at their respective price points. Perhaps the folks at Aurender discovered that making a more elaborate N100 would necessitate additional changes that boost the cost of the final product too much.

 

You're probably right! I just think that the difference between the N100H (2,700 $) versus the N10 (8,000 $) is just too big a step. Shouldn't there be a model in between? I know, there's the A10 in between, but this is not an option for me as I stick to my DAC. I am thinking of upgrading my N100H, but the lofty 8,000 $ is a bit hard to swallow. Again, as eluded to earlier, the Innuos Zenith is in the range of the N100H and I'd like to try it. Maybe it turns out that the Aurender is better than the Innuos??? I must say, I quite like my N100, if only there weren't those raving reviews how much better the N10 is x-D

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2 hours ago, biosailor said:

 

You're probably right! I just think that the difference between the N100H (2,700 $) versus the N10 (8,000 $) is just too big a step. Shouldn't there be a model in between? I know, there's the A10 in between, but this is not an option for me as I stick to my DAC. I am thinking of upgrading my N100H, but the lofty 8,000 $ is a bit hard to swallow. Again, as eluded to earlier, the Innuos Zenith is in the range of the N100H and I'd like to try it. Maybe it turns out that the Aurender is better than the Innuos??? I must say, I quite like my N100, if only there weren't those raving reviews how much better the N10 is x-D

Im in a situation with my A10 where I'm planning to replace my Classe SSP 800 with maybe the Lyngdorf Mp-50 and take advantage of it's DACs and room correction. Assuming the Mp-50's DACs are better along with it's excellent room correction, keeping my A10 would be unnecessary but I'm not sure I'd like to "downgrade" to the N100H. The N10 is over my budget.


Aurender A10..Oppo UDP 203..Classe' SSP-800..SimAudio Titan MCH Amp..Dali Euphonia MS4s/CS4/Phantom IW..JL Audio F112..Silnote Poseidon Signature XLR.. Pure Note Alluvion speaker cables..Shunyata Research Ztron Alpha HC/Lessloss DFPC PCs..Symposium Svelte Shelf Plus..Billy Bags rack.

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Hi Jon

 

i too have this very weekend updraded from an N100H to the N10.

 

Firstly the size of this thing is immense compared, its like 4 times the size, with a screen you can actually read at distance.

 

Was it worth the outlay from a SQ point, absolutely. Im staggered at what the N10 is doing. Putting detail to one side, the flow of music just sounds so much more musical, more enjoyable.

 

one thing i have to take you to task on is if you feel the USB 3 adds something, which im not sure is possible as its using the same input, then do you not think another player may have provided the sound you want. Maybe i should not make this comment as i have not tried the USB 3 but to me your now hearing the USB 3 over the N10.

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Hi Foxman50,

 

Congrats on your upgrade to the N10!

 

Totally agree with regard to the greater detail and how notes seem to flow and soar so effortlessly in a most musical and engaging manner. 

 

About the USB 3.0, I listened to the N10 with and without it in the chain.  I was really hoping that the USB 3.0 would not make any difference so that I can pack away this little box clutter. But the improvement is there - the clichéd more there there. Try it if you can get your hands on one someday. :)

 

Cheers!


Jon

Aurender N100H, Oyaide Continental 5S usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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2 hours ago, Foxman50 said:

Hi Jon

 

i too have this very weekend updraded from an N100H to the N10.

 

Firstly the size of this thing is immense compared, its like 4 times the size, with a screen you can actually read at distance.

 

Was it worth the outlay from a SQ point, absolutely. Im staggered at what the N10 is doing. Putting detail to one side, the flow of music just sounds so much more musical, more enjoyable.

 

one thing i have to take you to task on is if you feel the USB 3 adds something, which im not sure is possible as its using the same input, then do you not think another player may have provided the sound you want. Maybe i should not make this comment as i have not tried the USB 3 but to me your now hearing the USB 3 over the N10.

 

Oh gosh, you people with your raving N10 reviews! You do make me re-consider of coughing up the money for an N10 x-D! I am getting weaker the minute!

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1 hour ago, biosailor said:

 

Oh gosh, you people with your raving N10 reviews! You do make me re-consider of coughing up the money for an N10 x-D! I am getting weaker the minute!

Hahaha!

Yoda could have said to you, "Be weak, you will."


Jon

Aurender N100H, Oyaide Continental 5S usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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1 hour ago, jon2020 said:

Hahaha!

Yoda could have said to you, "Be weak, you will."

 

Might just as well happen (to become weak)!

Just in case: what miracle DAC would suit that extraordinary N10?

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My personal N10 experience with USB vs AES/EBU is a little different then some other posts.  I'm certain that the results depend on all of the components present.  In my particular case, I found the AES/EBU balanced digital out to be noticeably superior to the N10's USB output.  Big caveat in my case, is that the USB had to go through a Berkeley Alpha USB and be converted back to AES/EBU.  Our Berkeley BAD2 doesn't have a direct USB input, hence the Alpha USB that was used.  Many reviews of the Alpha USB claim that it improves, not degrades, the final result.  But those reviews would also suffer from specific equipment bias.

 

I guess the only point here, is that there are no absolutes, and which digital output sounds best in a particular system (using the N10) has a lot to do with what that system is, rather than just this output vs that output.  Listening and judging for yourself is always required.

 

And just to pile on a little, I never had a N100H, but have owned two similar types of devices.  The step up to the N10, sound quality wise, completely justified the steep price.

 

 

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5 hours ago, biosailor said:

 

Oh gosh, you people with your raving N10 reviews! You do make me re-consider of coughing up the money for an N10 x-D! I am getting weaker the minute!

 

:D That's the thing about this "hobby". There is always something "better" that you want. Every once in awhile I wonder how much better the W20 is. But unless I come into $$$$s I am very content with my system. Well, perhaps a few tweaks around the edges...


Aurender N10, Esoteric F-05 Integrated Amplifier, Synergistic Active USB, Oppo 203, Synergistic Atmosphere Level 3 UEF Speaker cables, Legacy Audio Focus SE. Rega Planar 8 with Alpheta 2 cartridge.

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3 minutes ago, rwwjr44 said:

 

:D That's the thing about this "hobby". There is always something "better" that you want. Every once in awhile I wonder how much better the W20 is. But unless I come into $$$$s I am very content with my system. Well, perhaps a few tweaks around the edges...

 

That is so true! However, I am a big fan of Aurender's. I switched back and forth between Auralic Aries Mini running with Roon, and whenever I switched back to my N100H, I thought it sounded just right. Auralic has this treble glare, sometimes mixed with a very unpleasant ringing, that is totally absent in the N100H. Beautifully balanced and holographic. NOW, if the N10 is even better, I have no choice than to upgrade. Aurender offers a very convenient one-box solution. I don't like having to reserve a server for Roon, although its library features are way above the Conductor app. But ultimately, the sound is what counts. And in this respect, I very much like Aurender!

I try to get a demo of the N10 at the dealer's where I bought the N100H from. For sure, I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all the great input!

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27 minutes ago, biosailor said:

 

That is so true! However, I am a big fan of Aurender's. I switched back and forth between Auralic Aries Mini running with Roon, and whenever I switched back to my N100H, I thought it sounded just right. Auralic has this treble glare, sometimes mixed with a very unpleasant ringing, that is totally absent in the N100H. Beautifully balanced and holographic. NOW, if the N10 is even better, I have no choice than to upgrade. Aurender offers a very convenient one-box solution. I don't like having to reserve a server for Roon, although its library features are way above the Conductor app. But ultimately, the sound is what counts. And in this respect, I very much like Aurender!

I try to get a demo of the N10 at the dealer's where I bought the N100H from. For sure, I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for all the great input!

 

I am also big Aurender fan and N100H owner, but it is quite unfair to compare SQ of Auralic Aries Mini to N100H, which is several times more expensive device. Even Auralic Aries femto (which sounds definitely better than Mini) is cheaper. 

However, real Aurender rival today will be Auralic Aries G2, which has great specs and design and according to initial reviews, sound quality is stunning.  I am also considering upgrade from N100H, so Aries G2 (4000€ price range) is hot candidate. N10 is no doubt excelent, but it is over my price limit. As someone wrote before, model between N100H and N10 would be sweet spot for many and clever choice for Aurender.


Isotek EVO3 Aquarius > Torus Power TOT Max CE power conditioner > C.E.C. TL51XR (as transport) Aurender N100H streamer > Lyngdorf TDAI 3400 amp > Diapason Adamantes III 25th speakers

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Going from the Aries Femto  to the Aurender N100  was like going from cd to Vinyl. Aries upfront and in your face while the Aurender has a deep soundstage and vynal like warmth. 

I have since moved on to the A10 which in getting rid of the USB connection has been a huge upgrade from the the N100>Oppo  105D Modwright combo.  Going to a Audience Au24SX cable loom has really shown off what the A10 can really do.  


EtherREGEN, Cary DMS 600 > Monoblock Odyssey Kismet Extremes in Stratos cases( Stillpoints, Sr Black fuses)> Paradigm Personas 5f, Combak Harmonica Footers, Cerious Technologies Matrix IC and Speaker Cable, SoTM dBl7,

Audience aR2p_TOSOX  power conditioner, Audience Au24se ,Triode Wire labs,Synergistic, power cables. 

 

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52 minutes ago, One and a half said:

Did Aurender fix the issue that when a power failure occurred, the risk of totally losing the library database (and raw data) when stored on the internal drives? 

Thats what backups are for. Can't cover for HDD failure

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2 hours ago, Koso said:

 

I am also big Aurender fan and N100H owner, but it is quite unfair to compare SQ of Auralic Aries Mini to N100H, which is several times more expensive device. Even Auralic Aries femto (which sounds definitely better than Mini) is cheaper. 

However, real Aurender rival today will be Auralic Aries G2, which has great specs and design and according to initial reviews, sound quality is stunning.  I am also considering upgrade from N100H, so Aries G2 (4000€ price range) is hot candidate. N10 is no doubt excelent, but it is over my price limit. As someone wrote before, model between N100H and N10 would be sweet spot for many and clever choice for Aurender.

It is unfair, indeed, to compare the N100H to the Aries Mini! I got it discounted as it was a demo unit. I just wanted to try it out in combination with Roon, but as already mentioned, I thought the setup to be a bit clumsy. I did have the Aries for trial from a local dealer for a few days, though, and yet, I thought the N100H was still more pleasant to listen to. The Aries sounded very clean, but a bit thin. I truly missed the N100‘s bass extension. 

I have not heard the Aries G2 yet, but read good reviews about it. In the same league would be NAD‘s 50.2 streamer.

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13 hours ago, Foxman50 said:

Damn I didn't want you to reply with that :D

 

i may have to do just that. Enjoy your N10.

 

best

Hi Foxman50,

 

I will save you the effort as you have actually delivered me from the trickery of the USB 3.0. One needs to take seriously the words of a fellow audiophile who has likewise invested heavily in an N10 when you made the comment about the USB 3.0. It got me to revisit this issue.

 

Before I got the N10 home, there was nothing else I could compare the N100H to. On its own, the N100H sounded good but adding the USB 3.0 enhanced its dynamics to another level. When I got the N10 home just a few days ago, I listened to a few albums with and without the USB 3.0. And in those few albums, the dynamics of the N10 was also enhanced.

 

But as I listened to more and more albums today, I notice that I have to dial down the volume for many of them. And it dawned upon me that the USB 3.0 was adding gain. I have found that adding gain almost always raises the noise floor. And so it did for both the N100H and N10 but to a more damaging degree for the N10. 

 

But it took the N10's much lower noise floor than the N100H's to expose this trickery of the USB 3.0. And so off it goes, far, far away from the gorgeous looking N10.

 

My apologies to all the USB 3.0 fans out there but I have to call it for what it is. An audiophile lives by his ears, or dies by them and it would be remiss on my part to not report back the truth. 

 

So, many thanks again to you, Foxnan50. 

 

Jon. :):):)

 

 

 


Jon

Aurender N100H, Oyaide Continental 5S usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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