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Anyone using SD card drive to feed their Aries ?


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I'm curious if anyone has tried/liked/optimized SD card as music drive for their Aries? I've been driven nuts by some "digital dissonance" on 16 bit movie sound tracks I like when played back from NAS (Inception, Interstellar, Pirates of the Caribbean) and have found that a 32gb class 10 SD card used as USB music drive cleans the sound up quite a bit for my planar headphones and OTL headphone amp setup... I can pay attention to the music details vs wince at "finger scraped across chalkboard" irritants. Wasn't impressed before with USB thumb drive or internal SSD in the Aries mini as source, but this has me motivated to experiment with what folks see as optimal SD card setup to compare against NAS solution.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Hmm, continuing to experiment with this. Compared the following options

 

1) existing NAS setup with wired connection to Wifi router - sharp transients but digital irritants/ dissonance, muttered background details

2) NAS with 802.11AC USB adaptor connection to router - digital irritants reduced but sharpness lost for transients and poorer background details

3) Crucial 480 gb SSD in Sabrent USB "toaster" connected to Aries Mini with wallwart PS - snore, sounded as dull as a USB thumb drive

4) same as above but with a better (but not LPS) power supply. Better than NAS for irritants, transients, background details

5) 32gb class 10 SD card in USB slot- best sound with sharpest background, bass, and transient "punch"

 

I have a 5v externally power-able case on order for the SSD that I plan to compare using the HDPlex 5v output... I'm hoping that brings SSD to parity with SD, as SD cards are capacity challenged. All signs so far point to retiring my NAS in favor of option 4 (with LPS) or 5 for music source.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Also tried the internal SSD option with the Aries mini again... it gets better as the PS feeding the mini is improved but I can't match the low level clarity of the SD card as source. Will see tomorrow when the 5V external powered SSD case arrives if there is any hope of staying with large capacity SSD drives vs having to figure out how to bridge/"RAID" lower capacity SD cards

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Received the 5v powered case which does use USB 3 controller, sounded pretty much the same as the Sabrent "toaster" when used with LPS... not as good as SD card for bass resolution and elimination of muttering in background music detail. Need to chase down a powered USB 2 case for the SSD as last step... could be the USB 3 controller stepping on USB 2 connections for performance. The SD card improvement has become one of those changes where I can't go back...a definite upgrade.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Tried 128gb SDXC card as well as powered USB2.0 SATA drive and NAS last night with Oppo 103, coax to DAC. Same results, SDXC over USB 2.0 is best sound... the Oppo sounds really good, fast, full and rich this way, just not as detailed as the Aries mini. Then repeated with a Raspberry Pi 2 using Digipete coax out... a little raw compared to either the Mini or the Oppo but still much more life like than using network attached NAS or USB attached SATA SSD.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Not sustainable to use SD cards, so decided to take the plunge with the microRendu and hope that it brings NAS Source to par with SD card. I was fairly happy with the mini until it got put under the microscope of extended planar headphone listening vs used in main system. Some misgivings about feature loss with the microRendu but at the end of the day I care more about "absolute sound" than feature richness.... and being able to have all my music in 1 location

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Did you try the new Beta firmware? There is quite an improvement in sound quality there.

 

In any case, do share your impressions of a comparison with the microRendu, especially if you do the Beta firmware update.

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Did you try the new Beta firmware? There is quite an improvement in sound quality there.

 

In any case, do share your impressions of a comparison with the microRendu, especially if you do the Beta firmware update.

 

Tried it, a little smoother but NAS playback still lacks transient speed/resolution compared to SD card.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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  • 1 month later...

Just to close this thread out, now have the mRendu, its much better at low volume level detail than the Aries mini. It also still stands that SDXC card is better for source clarity than Synology NAS with SSD, have ended up with Foobar2000 as my fileserver to allow me to keep the benefits of the SDXC card and allow streaming to the mRendu.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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