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Aurender N10 a/B to iMac


Weerstandje

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Hello audiophiles,

 

Recently I added an Aurender N10 to my set. Previously i was using an iMac with iTunes/Audirvana. I still use that to maintain the library and to rip CD’S.

I like to share a few of my thoughts here.

 

Most importantly the sound quality:

My dCS Paganini stack (that is a dac) has two USB inputs, so the iMac is connected to one and the Aurender to the other. Both via an Audioquest USB cable of equal quality. When iMac and Aurender are both playing the same album, I can, with one flick of a switch compare A to B.

 

The outcome is that at first I was thinking that the difference was almost non-existing. That was because I was enthusiastic about the new purchase and was expecting to much. After coming down to earth a bit I must say that the difference is certainly there. Not noticeable in all music, but in more complex music the instruments are placed against a darker background. Most noticeable is that the soundstage is deeper and there is slightly more space between instruments. Also is everything cleaner and…. ‘more relaxed’?

A long time I have been happy with the sound quality coming out of the iMac/iTunes/Audirvana combination and I could still be. However, the Aurender DOES improve the sound quality by an inch. Wether that inch is a lot or just a bit is relative to what length you compare it to :-).

Although I most certainly do not regret my purchase, I must admit that some (normal) people must think me crazy to spent that much on this kind of improvement, but that goes for most of the audiophile thingies. You do have to know what to listen for to hear it.

 

Itunes has these very handy smart-playlists ability that I use a lot. For instance to make a selection of music that is classical, rated more than three stars and from the baroque genre.

The Aurender does not do playlists like that, but I have found this program called ‘Export for iTunes’. Now I make a smart lists in iTunes for music I want copied to the Aurender. It helps to place music on the Aurender (as opposed to copying the library as is from the MacOs finder to the Aurender's HD) in a more sorted and organized way that would take ages to do manually.

The Aurender is big enough to hold all my files, but I do not want al my files on it. Not the ones i rated 1 star for instance, cause I hardly ever listen to them. So ‘Export for iTunes’ lets my place my classical files in the map [classical] on the first level of the Aurender disk and anything else in other kind of maps. Very convenient.

 

I am happy with te Aurender

 

 

P.S.

Very annoying how the computer’s autocorrect keeps changing the word Aurender into surender ;-)

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Thank you for the views on the N10, and the effort for the test. That you could do a direct A/B comparison, this is sometimes, not so easy.

 

Granted, if a software is easy to use, then you can go back to that level of comfort, until it starts to "eat at your ear" and is unlistenable. Then the clearer sound quality is far better to listen to, but not so good on the software, it's a tussle.

 

Just thinking out loud here, I wonder if the iMac is fitted with Jitterbug it might be closer to the N10, however what you describe in the imaging and the darker background I don't think you can get from Jitterbug or Regen. This requires the platform to be dead quiet, the PC/Mac is not there yet.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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The outcome is that at first I was thinking that the difference was almost non-existing. That was because I was enthusiastic about the new purchase and was expecting to much. After coming down to earth a bit I must say that the difference is certainly there. Not noticeable in all music, but in more complex music the instruments are placed against a darker background. Most noticeable is that the soundstage is deeper and there is slightly more space between instruments. Also is everything cleaner and…. ‘more relaxed’?

A long time I have been happy with the sound quality coming out of the iMac/iTunes/Audirvana combination and I could still be. However, the Aurender DOES improve the sound quality by an inch. Wether that inch is a lot or just a bit is relative to what length you compare it to :-).

 

Thanks for the observation. I find this valuable, because it makes for more realistic expectations.

 

It also got me wondering if something other than an iMac (i.e., a mac mini, with no attached screen), might lower the noise floor a bit more. (The Aurender is in some senses a headless computer.)

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