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Aurender N10 Review


DMelby

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Aurender N10 Review

 

I’ve always found the forums here at computer audiophile to be most helpful when hearing about equipment and reports from users. This has allowed me to sort through the maze of audio components through the years and be happy with the purchases I have made.

I’ve been listening to music and tweaking audio systems for myself for almost 15 years now. I’m not an IT person, but have always been heavily involved in computers as a hobby. These two interests came to a very nice intersection as audio has transitioned in the past years from CD based to music file based.

During my extensive listening evaluations, I have certainly observed a very nice improvement in sound quality with CDs compared to lower resolution MP3. I have also observed that ripping CDs to WAV files when done carefully can result in stunning resolution and clarity. I’m both a bits are bits and bits are not bits advocate. Copying data doesn’t seem to ever result in an audible change. Playing data though and ripping data to WAV files I have observed there are audible differences but only in my systems with higher quality (resolution). My point of these observations is to say I don’t have any preference one way or the other. I don’t let one or another viewpoint cloud my judgement. I simply let the quality of the sound and desire to achieve as close to the live mic feeds as is possible.

This desire for optimum sound quality, joy for music of all kinds, and joy in tweaking and playing with audio led me to construct a CAPS v3 carbon. This was a great leap forward in sound quality above my main computer. There was an appreciable expanded sound stage, more micro and macro details, more delicacy, everything top to bottom was just better. Improving further, I did find separate battery power supply to the SOTM USB card, and solid state drive provided a nice improvement. There are many excellent listeners and designers whom I then followed to achieve better sound quality and eliminate little by little the poor digital sound (edge, harshness, lack of delicacy etc.) One of the most significant improvements I found was the installation of Windows server 2012. This alone was an improvement over running windows 8.1. I used a trial version at first which was fine for 6 months. That sounded good to me, and allowed for an evaluation before committing $500-600 just for the OS. Once Server 2012 was installed, I proceeded to load Audiophile Optimizer. And yes as everyone who has tried I also was amazed at the improvements. I moved to core mode and ran it completely like an appliance, booting immediately into JRiver to play music. It was a very nice system with excellent sound.

As I moved through this process of improving the audio quality, I had kind of reached a plateau. I had tweaked the computer with battery power supply, used WS 2012 with AO, even upgraded the SATA cable and USB cable to the best I could find. Used the Berkeley Alpha USB too. But beyond that I was kind of stuck. I was at the point of either moving to a two computer system like many have advocated. Before taking that step though, I wanted to know if there was a music server out there that could do better than I could accomplish myself.

This led me to looking at Aurender. Chris Conakers reviews of prior Aurenders had been a guidepost for me. My interpretation of his reviews was the S10 wasn’t better in sound quality compared with a CAPS. So that didn’t make sense to spend that kind of money just for convenience. I like playing with computers. His review of the W20 though was different. Here was a component that clearly beat a CAPS music server, and he gave me the impression there was no way a CAPS could beat the W20. But at those prices, it seemed a little fool hardy to invest so much when things are continually improving. Also, I had surmised, but wasn’t sure, that Chris had not tried WS 2012 with AO as I had never read him commenting on that. So I thought well my system right now sounds pretty great, no reason to do anything further. And with the recent comments by Chris regarding WS 2012 with AO I thought that might be the strongest endorsement yet. This all occurred just as the Aurender N10 was about to be released. I had my eye on this unit, as it provided multiple outputs beyond USB and enough storage for my library of 1500 albums.

So I decided to settle my curiousity and answer the question, what is better. A fully tweaked CAPS v3 Carbon using a Berkeley Alpha USB or the Aurender N10. I expected the N10 to be about on par, but held me breath, and was able to audition a hot of the presses N10.

Build quality of course is outstanding. The fit and finish are first rate, and in line with any of the best audio components.

Operation of the Aurender is truly excellent, and I do prefer the iPad interface over Jremote for Jriver. SO as everyone who has owned an Aurender, the interaction and use of it is certainly better than my CAPS computer. It was a little bit like moving away from staring at a computer to just listening to music. There’s nothing to tweak, like on my CAPS, just a focus on listening.

 

Audio quality.

I did allow the Aurender to settle in for a few days prior to any critical listening. Prior to that during the first listening I noted an immediate improvement in resolution over my CAPS. In addition, the bass seemed to have gained an extra half octave and improved in resolution. There was a slight harshness though, and loss of delicacy as well as a compressed sound stage. No big deal, I just chalked those up to the Aurender not being broken in.

After a few days I went back to the Aurender to listen more critically.

Now the Aurender was outpacing my CAPS by a fair distance. The soundstage was wide open, but each instrument was perfectly placed in space. Delicacy and micro details were present in spades – cymbal work now sounded delicate and the fade seemed to go on forever compared to my CAPS. Suddenly, the music was alive, realistic with perfectly on pitch timbre. Totally gone was the harshness observed in the first 12 hours. I enjoy all kinds of music – with singers such as Diana Krall the voice is pure and emotional – due in large part to the striking resolving of micro details and dynamics which allows voices to sound real and alive.

No part of the sound spectrum was unbalance, from low to high. Acoustic bass sounds excellent, with all the timbre and weight on full display. Saxophones, and trumpets on jazz music sound like I am in the room with the musician if it’s a studio album, or sitting front and center at the jazz club on live albums. Orchestral music is beautiful - preserved micro and macro dynamics, nice timbe to violins and cellos. And equally important a resolution of the sound stage allowing many works to sound like I’m at Orchestra Hall not a flat 2 dimensional show.

I found, simply, that the N10 sounds better, by every measure, than my CAPS. Yes it is substantially higher price though. And the experience with running WS 2012 with AO was outstanding. But the N10 is better, and not just by a little. At the end, the sound from an N10 is musical, engaging, satisfying. It has increased my desire to just listen rather than tweak. (And this from a tweaker through and through).

So in the end was I surprised by how much better the N10 sounds compared to my CAPS? Yes! Absolutely! Given how Chris had just heard the best digital ever through a WS 2012 with AO. Just wish he was able to disclose the hardware used or why it was better, or a comparison to other items. But that isn’t reasonable in our current state of audio. Only in the forums will we find direct comparisons – which is what we all need. None of us can audition all these items – theres no local dealors for most of us. So that is why I post this review. To help as I have been helped by the forum reviews and comments by people not biased by money or any interest other than the music.

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I have had an extended loan of an N100 and although i have no experience of your CAPS server, your comments on Aurender SQ completely minic my own conclusions.

 

it is very hard to put into words but it has a rightness to its sound that is emotionally captivating.

 

happy listening

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Thank you for the detailed and thoughtful review...for me, this is very timely as I am currently researching Aurender products such as the N100H primarily and the rest of the family (and the N10 was recommended just today).

 

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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Dmelby,

 

What connections are you using for your listening? USB? Did you do any comparison to a N100?

 

Thanks!

 

I used predominately the AES output to my DAC. I also tried the USB output to a Berkeley Alpha USB to my DAC. Both sounded excellent, just the AES out is much simpler and I don't need anything extra to convert like the USB.

I was not able to audition the N100 to directly compare. All I have heard is second hand information from my dealer and Aurender folks suggesting the N10 is somewhat better than the N100. But that would be excellent if anyone can comment directly on this question.

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Yes that is correct, I listen with headphones. Just hard to listen at good volumes through a speaker system - it would wake the family. But my headphone rig is resolving and musical in the extreme. It allows for me to hear easily any and all changes to the audio chain from source, cables, amp, to the DAC.

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Apart from the audio quality, how have you found the process of moving your audio library into the N10? Or are you simply pointing to an existing NAS? If moving songs/albums has the metadata come across pretty cleanly, or have you resorted to a process of editing and reloading or adding album cover files or some other means. I'm assuming whatever you're moving is lossless and possibly uncompressed format/structure. I hear the software is sensitive to artist name (e.g. The Beatles vs. Beatles, The). And as I understand it not only is Tidal available but Aurender is working to get Rune functioning with the player. No word yet on plans for MQA.

Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ dCS Vivaldi Upsampler - DAC - Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral Anniversary monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia 2 / Shunyata Everest / Shunyata interconnects & power cables & Ethernet / Uptone EtherREGEN switch / Cybershaft OP21A-D / Uptone JS2

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Apart from the audio quality, how have you found the process of moving your audio library into the N10? Or are you simply pointing to an existing NAS? If moving songs/albums has the metadata come across pretty cleanly, or have you resorted to a process of editing and reloading or adding album cover files or some other means. I'm assuming whatever you're moving is lossless and possibly uncompressed format/structure. I hear the software is sensitive to artist name (e.g. The Beatles vs. Beatles, The). And as I understand it not only is Tidal available but Aurender is working to get Rune functioning with the player. No word yet on plans for MQA.

 

Steve,

I found the process of moving my library over very simple. I connected my USB hard drive with all my audio files to my main computer, and in windows file explorer just copied them to the N10. The N10 showed up automatically in the network folder in the file explorer. It was much easier to perform by a nice margin compared to JRiver - which I thought was pretty good until using the Aurender system.

The Aurender then took those files and did a very good job with all the metadata. All my files are uncompressed WAV files from CDs I've ripped. During the initial ripping, I used JRiver which would automatically grab the metadata and cover art off the net (when it was available). All of this transferred over to the Aurender and didn't require any editing.

There were a few albums that didn't have automatic cover art. For those, I went back and found a nice cover art myself from amazon.com or google images. Then just save the cover art .jpg to the album folder and called it front.jpg (or if there was back cover art too - then back.jpg - A nice feature to be able to display the back cover).

Over all, I have to admit, and to my surprise being so used to using an audio PC for 4 years, the Aurender is easier. I'm thinking now mostly about what I'm going to listen to, not what am I going to tweak, or things I need to do to my PC.

But its not completely plug and play. Easier yes then JRiver, but still needs some file and folder management. In the case of folders named Beatles and The Beatles, these show up as different artists - so I am going back and copying those into a single folder. Not hard to do though just need to click on the N10, and rename the folders.

 

BTW - the N10 continues to break in, outpacing my modified CAPS v3 by more each day. Truly fun to listen to - extremely musical :-)

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Did you have a chance to compare USB audio out quality on both servers ?

 

BTW - the CAPS v3 can be greatly improved be replacing the SOTM USB card with the Jcat one.

Adam

 

PC: Hot rodded CAPS v4 Pipeline: Teradak ATX linear PSU, MojoAudio super regulator, Pink Faun Ultra OCXO USB card

Digital: Lampizator Pacific DAC

Amp: Dan D'Agostino Momentum Stereo

Speakers: Magcio M3

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Did you have a chance to compare USB audio out quality on both servers ?

 

BTW - the CAPS v3 can be greatly improved be replacing the SOTM USB card with the Jcat one.

 

Hi Elberoth,

Yes I had a chance to compare - both running into my Berkeley Alpha USB. The N10 outpaced my CAPS by a wide margin. I haven't heard the JCAT but had my eye on that for quite a while.

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Aurender N10 Review

 

I’ve always found the forums here at computer audiophile to be most helpful when hearing about equipment and reports from users. This has allowed me to sort through the maze of audio components through the years and be happy with the purchases I have made.

I’ve been listening to music and tweaking audio systems for myself for almost 15 years now. I’m not an IT person, but have always been heavily involved in computers as a hobby. These two interests came to a very nice intersection as audio has transitioned in the past years from CD based to music file based.

During my extensive listening evaluations, I have certainly observed a very nice improvement in sound quality with CDs compared to lower resolution MP3. I have also observed that ripping CDs to WAV files when done carefully can result in stunning resolution and clarity. I’m both a bits are bits and bits are not bits advocate. Copying data doesn’t seem to ever result in an audible change. Playing data though and ripping data to WAV files I have observed there are audible differences but only in my systems with higher quality (resolution). My point of these observations is to say I don’t have any preference one way or the other. I don’t let one or another viewpoint cloud my judgement. I simply let the quality of the sound and desire to achieve as close to the live mic feeds as is possible.

This desire for optimum sound quality, joy for music of all kinds, and joy in tweaking and playing with audio led me to construct a CAPS v3 carbon. This was a great leap forward in sound quality above my main computer. There was an appreciable expanded sound stage, more micro and macro details, more delicacy, everything top to bottom was just better. Improving further, I did find separate battery power supply to the SOTM USB card, and solid state drive provided a nice improvement. There are many excellent listeners and designers whom I then followed to achieve better sound quality and eliminate little by little the poor digital sound (edge, harshness, lack of delicacy etc.) One of the most significant improvements I found was the installation of Windows server 2012. This alone was an improvement over running windows 8.1. I used a trial version at first which was fine for 6 months. That sounded good to me, and allowed for an evaluation before committing $500-600 just for the OS. Once Server 2012 was installed, I proceeded to load Audiophile Optimizer. And yes as everyone who has tried I also was amazed at the improvements. I moved to core mode and ran it completely like an appliance, booting immediately into JRiver to play music. It was a very nice system with excellent sound.

As I moved through this process of improving the audio quality, I had kind of reached a plateau. I had tweaked the computer with battery power supply, used WS 2012 with AO, even upgraded the SATA cable and USB cable to the best I could find. Used the Berkeley Alpha USB too. But beyond that I was kind of stuck. I was at the point of either moving to a two computer system like many have advocated. Before taking that step though, I wanted to know if there was a music server out there that could do better than I could accomplish myself.

This led me to looking at Aurender. Chris Conakers reviews of prior Aurenders had been a guidepost for me. My interpretation of his reviews was the S10 wasn’t better in sound quality compared with a CAPS. So that didn’t make sense to spend that kind of money just for convenience. I like playing with computers. His review of the W20 though was different. Here was a component that clearly beat a CAPS music server, and he gave me the impression there was no way a CAPS could beat the W20. But at those prices, it seemed a little fool hardy to invest so much when things are continually improving. Also, I had surmised, but wasn’t sure, that Chris had not tried WS 2012 with AO as I had never read him commenting on that. So I thought well my system right now sounds pretty great, no reason to do anything further. And with the recent comments by Chris regarding WS 2012 with AO I thought that might be the strongest endorsement yet. This all occurred just as the Aurender N10 was about to be released. I had my eye on this unit, as it provided multiple outputs beyond USB and enough storage for my library of 1500 albums.

So I decided to settle my curiousity and answer the question, what is better. A fully tweaked CAPS v3 Carbon using a Berkeley Alpha USB or the Aurender N10. I expected the N10 to be about on par, but held me breath, and was able to audition a hot of the presses N10.

Build quality of course is outstanding. The fit and finish are first rate, and in line with any of the best audio components.

Operation of the Aurender is truly excellent, and I do prefer the iPad interface over Jremote for Jriver. SO as everyone who has owned an Aurender, the interaction and use of it is certainly better than my CAPS computer. It was a little bit like moving away from staring at a computer to just listening to music. There’s nothing to tweak, like on my CAPS, just a focus on listening.

 

Audio quality.

I did allow the Aurender to settle in for a few days prior to any critical listening. Prior to that during the first listening I noted an immediate improvement in resolution over my CAPS. In addition, the bass seemed to have gained an extra half octave and improved in resolution. There was a slight harshness though, and loss of delicacy as well as a compressed sound stage. No big deal, I just chalked those up to the Aurender not being broken in.

After a few days I went back to the Aurender to listen more critically.

Now the Aurender was outpacing my CAPS by a fair distance. The soundstage was wide open, but each instrument was perfectly placed in space. Delicacy and micro details were present in spades – cymbal work now sounded delicate and the fade seemed to go on forever compared to my CAPS. Suddenly, the music was alive, realistic with perfectly on pitch timbre. Totally gone was the harshness observed in the first 12 hours. I enjoy all kinds of music – with singers such as Diana Krall the voice is pure and emotional – due in large part to the striking resolving of micro details and dynamics which allows voices to sound real and alive.

No part of the sound spectrum was unbalance, from low to high. Acoustic bass sounds excellent, with all the timbre and weight on full display. Saxophones, and trumpets on jazz music sound like I am in the room with the musician if it’s a studio album, or sitting front and center at the jazz club on live albums. Orchestral music is beautiful - preserved micro and macro dynamics, nice timbe to violins and cellos. And equally important a resolution of the sound stage allowing many works to sound like I’m at Orchestra Hall not a flat 2 dimensional show.

I found, simply, that the N10 sounds better, by every measure, than my CAPS. Yes it is substantially higher price though. And the experience with running WS 2012 with AO was outstanding. But the N10 is better, and not just by a little. At the end, the sound from an N10 is musical, engaging, satisfying. It has increased my desire to just listen rather than tweak. (And this from a tweaker through and through).

So in the end was I surprised by how much better the N10 sounds compared to my CAPS? Yes! Absolutely! Given how Chris had just heard the best digital ever through a WS 2012 with AO. Just wish he was able to disclose the hardware used or why it was better, or a comparison to other items. But that isn’t reasonable in our current state of audio. Only in the forums will we find direct comparisons – which is what we all need. None of us can audition all these items – theres no local dealors for most of us. So that is why I post this review. To help as I have been helped by the forum reviews and comments by people not biased by money or any interest other than the music.

 

This information within this post is what makes this site such a resource and joy...many thanks for your review and insights.

 

Are you using AES/XLR out to your Berk? Reference series so I'm green with envy. Did you compare USB to Alpha USB to DAC and just AES/XLR to DAC? Would love to hear your thoughts on this comparision.

 

Best

Warren

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DMelby, thank you for the useful review. I currently have a S10 model and intend to pick up the N10 in the near future. Glad to read it sounds like another great product.

 

Kenreau

Synology NAS> Aurender W20> AQ Wel AES/XLR> Devialet 200> AQ Castle Rock Bi-Wire> Vandersteen 5As.

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This information within this post is what makes this site such a resource and joy...many thanks for your review and insights.

 

Are you using AES/XLR out to your Berk? Reference series so I'm green with envy. Did you compare USB to Alpha USB to DAC and just AES/XLR to DAC? Would love to hear your thoughts on this comparision.

 

Best

Warren

 

Hi Warren,

 

Great question - unfortunately I am unable to compare USB to Alpha USB to DAC because the Berkeley Reference does not have a USB input.

Comparing the USB out on the N10 to the AES out, the USB sounded excellent but I preferred the AES - very musical. This comment though comes with one caveat - I've put more time on the AES out, so it was probably more fully broken in compared to the USB output. That might explain some of the difference I heard in favor of the AES output. Part of me thinks though as a general rule the less steps in the audio chain the better.

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Hi Kenreau,

Definitely worth checking out the N10. I'd love to hear your thoughts comparing it to your S10 so please post your experience when you have a chance. Give it a good 7-14 days of break in though before rendering your verdict. I could hear the greatness from the beginning, but it is still getting better day by day and I'm at day 10 of continuous play/break in.

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K

Hi Warren,

 

Great question - unfortunately I am unable to compare USB to Alpha USB to DAC because the Berkeley Reference does not have a USB input.

Comparing the USB out on the N10 to the AES out, the USB sounded excellent but I preferred the AES - very musical. This comment though comes with one caveat - I've put more time on the AES out, so it was probably more fully broken in compared to the USB output. That might explain some of the difference I heard in favor of the AES output. Part of me thinks though as a general rule the less steps in the audio chain the better.

Hello,

Thanks for your reply...I thought you may have the Berkeley Alpha USB (USB to AES converter) so tried both the USB out and AES out of the Aurender. The Aries people claim the USB input sounds better but since I am using a bus-powered USB drive I couldn't mount the drive and use the USB digital input simultaneously.

I have the non-ref Berk so am using AES between my Aries and the DAC. I had the Alpha USB but sold it when pitching my Mac Mini/Audirvana/VNC driven tweaky machine for a turnkey server...never looked back. Am very curious as to any sonic differences between an Aries and the N10.... Can the 2 TB drives be replaced with SSD?

Best,

Warren

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K

Hello,

Thanks for your reply...I thought you may have the Berkeley Alpha USB (USB to AES converter) so tried both the USB out and AES out of the Aurender. The Aries people claim the USB input sounds better but since I am using a bus-powered USB drive I couldn't mount the drive and use the USB digital input simultaneously.

I have the non-ref Berk so am using AES between my Aries and the DAC. I had the Alpha USB but sold it when pitching my Mac Mini/Audirvana/VNC driven tweaky machine for a turnkey server...never looked back. Am very curious as to any sonic differences between an Aries and the N10.... Can the 2 TB drives be replaced with SSD?

Best,

Warren

 

Hi Warren,

Wish I could comment directly on the Aries, but I haven't had the priviledge of hearing one yet. Some other posts I have read discussed the differences Aries to the Aurender N100 and they sonically preferred the Aurender. Each experience though of course can be different. But it was based on those that I looked at Aurender over the Aries. I just want to maximize the sound quality as much as I can. User interface is a nice extra, but not my top priority.

I think the 2TB drives might be replaced, but probably not necessary as the data is transferred from the hard drive to SSD as a cache to optimize playback fidelity. The hard drives are basically turned off as I understand it. So doubt there would be an advantage from an audio quality perspective. And the cost would be very high for 4TB of SSD. Wish they were less expensive! And as long as you have something like an external USB backup drive then if the hard drives ever fail, easy and less expensive to replace.

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Just a brief update, after continuing to allow the N10 to play continuously for the past week or so, there has been continued improvements in detail, soundstage, and overall delicacy (for lack of a better word). There was a period of about 3-5 days where the bass just left, but when it came back, it came back even better than at the beginning. I really wish this hadn't left my CAPS v3 Carbon in the dust - I had spent more than a year tweaking that server on and off :-/, but I'm glad I tried the switch!

 

On a side note for anyone interested, I have observed all digital (cables, servers, all things computer related) breaks in faster playing high res files...

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Thank you for the review! I'm in the process of purchasing a (black) N10 myself and your observations certainly reinforced the conclusions I came to on my own.

 

My system is fully digital (TacT RCS2.2X and four S2150 amps, all heavily modified) so I was trying to find a player/streamer with or without internal storage that was designed to audiophile standards, did not have an internal DAC as my system does not utilize it, and had an AES-EBU output which I have found works best with my gear. The N10 met all my criteria, and even matches my TacT gear almost perfectly. Other units I was considering include the Ayon NW-T, Bryston BDP-2, Aurelic Aeries. Like you I am somewhat of a computer geek and habitual tinkerer, so I was trying to avoid anything like a CAPS that would likely morph into an indefinite project ;)

 

The N10 will be replacing an ancient Slim Devices Transporter, one of the early units with the big knob. It was also heavily modified and sounds pretty darn good to this day - it was really the paradigm unit in this sector, quite sad that Logitech acquired Slim, neglected its development, then ultimately dumped it.

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Yes. The Roon SDK for partners has been delayed, but as soon as it's available Aurender will work with Roon.

I am on the sideline for Roon as my Macbook is aging rapidly and I am thinking about getting a music server independently from my computer. That decision will be much easier if there is a better and not manufacturer specific software becoming available. And it should also integrate streaming (Tidal now and others?) including MQA (if and when it becomes reality).

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I am a big fan of ROON software. Any idea if ROON will be implemented with AURENDER sometime ?

I suspect the answer to that, is the same answer for every hardware manufacturer.

 

Once ROON release the details and SDK they will assess if they can incorporate ROON on their hardware; if it affects other aspects of the hardware / software on their device.

 

While (as Chris comments) people like Aurender have interest in ROON, the eventual decision will depend on many factors including customer demand and ease of implementation.

 

The post on ROON forum says

Already in contact with Aurender smile

 

No ETA....

 

My advise (as always) is to buy a product only on the functionality it has now, don't buy anything on the promise it will support something later!

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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After much consideration and listening I put an N10 into my system a few days ago. I cannot yet say how much better it will be compared to my late 2014 Mac Mini running Amarra/JRMC but already after a day's listening it is head and shoulders above what I was listening to. And that it is a purpose driven system where a single manufacturer controls the hardware and software stack certainly helps. My experience with the combination of Mac Mini and Amarra drove me crazy. Occasional yet annoying dropouts had me chasing both hardware and software sources of the problem. Eventually it seemed to come down to a simple upgrade of OS X Yosemite from 10.10.3 to 10.10.4 that was the culprit. JRMC had no issues. Just really glad I've made this move. In a few weeks I'll see about replacing the stock power cord with something better, but right now I'm just enjoying the server.

Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ dCS Vivaldi Upsampler - DAC - Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral Anniversary monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia 2 / Shunyata Everest / Shunyata interconnects & power cables & Ethernet / Uptone EtherREGEN switch / Cybershaft OP21A-D / Uptone JS2

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