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Auralic Altair DAC/Streamer


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Well I made the plunge and purchased an Altair, received today. Since I am in the middle of a remodel I could only set it up quickly in a temporary room using DLNA/Minimserver. Initial impressions...very very detailed. It works. It plays everything perfectly with no hiccups (unlike my departed Marantz). Looking forward to a proper set up in a treated room with quality connections. Will keep you folks updated!

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Well I made the plunge and purchased an Altair, received today. Since I am in the middle of a remodel I could only set it up quickly in a temporary room using DLNA/Minimserver. Initial impressions...very very detailed. It works. It plays everything perfectly with no hiccups (unlike my departed Marantz). Looking forward to a proper set up in a treated room with quality connections. Will keep you folks updated!

 

 

congrats! Do you use ROON?

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I also took the plunge today, with the Altair replacing a Mac Mini/Audirvana/iFI iUSB/Meridian Director combo. Initial impression is bags of detail compared to the previous setup but there seems to be something missing in the bass. Will give it a week or two to burn in.

Music Room: Naim CDX/XPS (Olive) and Auralic Altair>Naim NAC82 (Olive)>Naim NAP250 (Olive)>Atlas Ascent 3.0 speaker cables>Focal Aria 906 speakers.

Kitchen: Auralic Aries Mini>Arcam Alpha>B&W M1 speakers.

Office: Mac Mini 2012>Audioquest Evergreen>Meridian Explorer2 DAC>Ruark Audio MR-1 active speakers.

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I also took the plunge today, with the Altair replacing a Mac Mini/Audirvana/iFI iUSB/Meridian Director combo. Initial impression is bags of detail compared to the previous setup but there seems to be something missing in the bass. Will give it a week or two to burn in.

 

I noticed the subtle lower bass output as well. I changed to Smooth mode and it calmed the highs just a tad (a good thing).

Have been leaving the unit on continuously to see if there is any improvement with burn in. Will continue to listen as and report.

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I noticed the subtle lower bass output as well. I changed to Smooth mode and it calmed the highs just a tad (a good thing).

Have been leaving the unit on continuously to see if there is any improvement with burn in. Will continue to listen as and report.

 

I have not noticed any bass insufficiency fwiw.

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I have not noticed any bass insufficiency fwiw.

 

It's not really an "insufficiency", just slightly less bold than when I was using my Pono Player as my source, headphone out direct into my Rogue Audio Atlas Magnum (that's all I had while waiting for the Altair to arrive). The Altair definitely has much greater detail/clarity. And again, I am still in a temporary set up, in less than optimum conditions...so take anything I say (for now) with that in mind.

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Please compare the DAC section directly with the Vega as a % of attainable SQ.

 

The Altair will arrive here tomorrow :~)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I have really been enjoying my Altair, still getting to know Lightning DS. I do have a question for other owners...I am experiencing a tick/click in between songs when playing random and bitrate changes? It is noticeable and consistent for me. I asked Auralic support and they suggested increasing delay (buffer) time, which has not solved the problem. Anyone else?

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I have really been enjoying my Altair, still getting to know Lightning DS. I do have a question for other owners...I am experiencing a tick/click in between songs when playing random and bitrate changes? It is noticeable and consistent for me. I asked Auralic support and they suggested increasing delay (buffer) time, which has not solved the problem. Anyone else?

 

I haven't experienced this myself, but I'll pay closer attention and report back.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Dear sirs, but...to set the first time an Altair does I need an Ipad correct?Is it ok an Ipad mini too from 2013? After can I manage it by my iMac or I need always the iPad to go auralic app? Thanks

 

LigthningDS (which AFAIK is the same on Auralic Aries) needs the Lightning iOS app for setup and settings. You can use other control apps for playing music if you like. I use both BubbleDS Next and BubbleUPnP on android. There is other suggestions on Auralic support page.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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At the moment, I use either the LightningDS app on my Ipad or the Lumin app on my Ipad (depends on how I want to browse my collection). LightningDS has an easy filter to list additions to the library by import date, which gives me fast access to new stuff. Lumin allows me to easily search by folder, which allows me to track down items where I know I filed them... In either case, I believe you should use an Ipad to browse and play.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have tested both setups side by side:

Aries (the fancier one) with a Vega and an Altair.

Both with an exact copy of the same music files from MP3 to 24/192 FLAC on a Tosshiba 1TB external hard drive, using the Lightning app.

 

Let me put it this way, I kept the Altair.

Selling the Aries and Vega and buying the Altair left me enough $ to take a vacation...

 

Sound quality?

In my ears the same, maybe a little detail gets lost. NOT $3,100 worth of difference...

 

Of course Auralic can't say that the Altair practically sounds the same as the Aries/Vega combo.

 

For 99% of the people that have a decent setup it will sound close enough to use an Altair over the Aries/Vega combo. (self conducted survey with 1 person asked the question...)

Happiness is wanting what you have.

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Thanks for posting your findings... that makes it superb value.

 

 

I have tested both setups side by side:

Aries (the fancier one) with a Vega and an Altair.

Both with an exact copy of the same music files from MP3 to 24/192 FLAC on a Tosshiba 1TB external hard drive, using the Lightning app.

 

Let me put it this way, I kept the Altair.

Selling the Aries and Vega and buying the Altair left me enough $ to take a vacation...

 

Sound quality?

In my ears the same, maybe a little detail gets lost. NOT $3,100 worth of difference...

 

Of course Auralic can't say that the Altair practically sounds the same as the Aries/Vega combo.

 

For 99% of the people that have a decent setup it will sound close enough to use an Altair over the Aries/Vega combo. (self conducted survey with 1 person asked the question...)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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I got mine a while back and have been listening to it as just a DAC vs my QuteDac and Metrum Octave. It definitely puts out less bass that the other two.

 

Anyway, I decided to get it going as a streamer yesterday. The Lightning DS app gets as far as the bit when you are meant to select your home LAN but unfortunately the app just keeps scanning and although I can see my router I can't click on it.

 

The Altair just sits there now looking for a network and won't even act as a DAC. Have tried numerous resets and reinstalls of the app.

 

Auralic support is quite responsive and I'll probably get a solution at some stage (also need to check the booklet again) however I suspect I won't be keeping the Altair.

 

Ps how do you add pics with an iPhone?

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I have tested both setups side by side:

Aries (the fancier one) with a Vega and an Altair.

Both with an exact copy of the same music files from MP3 to 24/192 FLAC on a Tosshiba 1TB external hard drive, using the Lightning app.

 

Let me put it this way, I kept the Altair.

Selling the Aries and Vega and buying the Altair left me enough $ to take a vacation...

 

Sound quality?

In my ears the same, maybe a little detail gets lost. NOT $3,100 worth of difference...

 

Of course Auralic can't say that the Altair practically sounds the same as the Aries/Vega combo.

 

For 99% of the people that have a decent setup it will sound close enough to use an Altair over the Aries/Vega combo. (self conducted survey with 1 person asked the question...)

Anyone else want to give an opinion?

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I got mine a while back and have been listening to it as just a DAC vs my QuteDac and Metrum Octave. It definitely puts out less bass that the other two.

 

Anyway, I decided to get it going as a streamer yesterday. The Lightning DS app gets as far as the bit when you are meant to select your home LAN but unfortunately the app just keeps scanning and although I can see my router I can't click on it.

 

The Altair just sits there now looking for a network and won't even act as a DAC. Have tried numerous resets and reinstalls of the app.

 

Auralic support is quite responsive and I'll probably get a solution at some stage (also need to check the booklet again) however I suspect I won't be keeping the Altair.

 

Ps how do you add pics with an iPhone?

It may be a "Share" issue. Have you changed settings on your computer (PC?) to allow "everyone" and "read/write" sharing?

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It may be a "Share" issue. Have you changed settings on your computer (PC?) to allow "everyone" and "read/write" sharing?

 

Cheers. I'll have a look.

 

I got it working as a DAC again and have being back-to-back listening to it against other DACs. It's an interesting experience.

 

the Auralic is definitely drier sounding than Metrum and Chord. Really wish I could throw a T+A DAC 8 DSD into the mix.

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