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Best way to output from Auralic Aries Mini into D/A Converter?


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My Auralic Aries Mini is connected via USB to my Chord Mojo. This gets me the highest bitrate capability and sounds excellent. Better in fact than the built-in 9018K2.

 

I'd like to know what output method (Coax, Optical, USB) you use and why?

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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IMO USB is the best choice for Aries Mini, though it can be further helped by adding galvanic isolation. I use Intona USB Isolator (industrial edition) for this.

 

Also, as with the Aries Femto & Aries LE, the sound of the Mini can be improved as follows:

 

* Avoid adding local storage (increases electrical noise)

* Stream in WAV (PCM) instead of FLAC/ALAC/MP3 etc. to remove the stream decompression workload from Mini's processor

* I take advantage of MinimStreamer to do FLAC-to-WAV decoding on the NAS

* Use good linear power supply to replace the included SMPS

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For me personally there is no competition. USB is way better than the other available options on Aries Mini. However, just connecting a fancy USB cable wont do it. You'll need to make sure to make the most of it by removing 5v power (if possible), remove shielding on the USB cable, remove GND after DAC handshake (if possible) and atleast adding a USB Regen or similar with great psu. I recommend that you read John Swensson reply on this link http:// http://www.computeraudiophile.com/showthread.php?p=589606

Sonore microRendu - PSU Observations, Considerations & Commentary . Explained much better than I ever could! :)

 

In short terms you will never get a better galvanic Isolation than removing the capasitive coupling (5v,GND,shielding & dielectrics) all together! :)

 

BTW my DAC is using dual ESS9016 and still beats Aries Mini hands down. A good DAC is not about DAC chips. It is about implementation.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to do them all yourself. Graucho Marx

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IMO USB is the best choice for Aries Mini, though it can be further helped by adding galvanic isolation. I use Intona USB Isolator (industrial edition) for this.

 

Also, as with the Aries Femto & Aries LE, the sound of the Mini can be improved as follows:

 

* Avoid adding local storage (increases electrical noise)

* Stream in WAV (PCM) instead of FLAC/ALAC/MP3 etc. to remove the stream decompression workload from Mini's processor

* I take advantage of MinimStreamer to do FLAC-to-WAV decoding on the NAS

* Use good linear power supply to replace the included SMPS

 

Good suggestions. I intend to implement some of them. Does Cornan's advice below to get a USB cable that removes the 5v line, shielding, etc negate the need for the Intona?

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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Which LPS is suitable that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? The iFi profucts look reasonably priced.

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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Which LPS is suitable that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? The iFi profucts look reasonably priced.

Teradak sells a 16V 1A LPS for the Aries Mini. You can find it on eBay in the $130 ballpark.

 

My Aries Mini is currently powered by Auralic's LPS that got freed from my Aries Femto which moved to an UpTone JS-2 LPS. I don't have the Teradak 16V 1A LPS to compare with the Auralic LPS, but may get one anyway just to find out how much "you get what you pay for" applies.

 

I also like to do LPS mods. For a couple of my Teradaks, I swapped in Schottky power rectifiers and Panasonic FM electrolytic capacitors. If you are in the SF Bay Area and would like a Teradak LPS modified, I may be able to offer such a service for a small charge.

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Scan80269, I'm in the Sacramento area which is close enough to the Bay Area to make a trip over. I'll PM you to discuss details.

 

The iFi iPower is much more eonomical @ $50 and they have a compatible model @ 15VDC @ 1.5A, which is perfect for the Mini.

 

Thomas

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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The iFi iPower is much more eonomical @ $50 and they have a compatible model @ 15VDC @ 1.5A, which is perfect for the Mini.

For $50 I'm tempted to get one myself just to compare with other power supply options.

 

I'm not familiar with the iFi iPower design, but if it is an SMPS design with active noise cancellation, it may have low noise at the DC output, though as a switcher it *may* dump more noise back to the AC line. One of the reasons I modify my Teradak LPS with Schottky power rectifiers is to reduce their risk of leaking rectifier switching noise back onto the AC side. Schottky rectifiers do not have the ultrasonic switch-off noise burst of silicon rectifiers and virtually no recovery time. I really should have done a before vs. after SQ assessment for this mod, but didn't find the time to do so.

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Here is a very valuable LPS for the Aries Mini http://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFI-30VA-Linear-Power-supply-LPS-DC5V-9V-12V-15V-18V-24V-for-choose-FR-/122003692789?hash=item1c67fc9cf5:g:aR4AAOSwepJXT6bB which are using R-core transformer for better performance. It can be used for both 15v, 16v (recommended) or 18v for the Aries Mini. Remember that Aries Mini is using 2,5/5,5 inlet...not 2,1/5,5.

 

If you read my previous link to JS reply on the Sonore microRendu thread you get the answer about the galvanic Isolation. Intona is not as good option as removing the capasitive coupling in the USB cables.

http:// http://www.computeraudiophile.com/showthread.php?p=589606

 

 

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to do them all yourself. Graucho Marx

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In my experience there isn't a best way to output / input audio. It all depends on the devices in use. In this case we are talking about the ARIES MINI. We have to think about the best way to output from the MINI and what functionality we want. If we want 32/384 or DSD256, then we are only able to use USB. If you only have Tidal or 44.1, all the outputs are in play. Then we come to which output sounds best in the MINI. All device specific. Then we get to the DAC, if not using the internal MINI DAC. All DAC have inputs preferred by their designers and inputs that perform best. In the case of Berkeley Audio Design and Schiit Audio, this means AES/EBU. In the case of Ayre Acoustics, this means USB.

 

So, if using a MINI with Ayre, go USB, etc...

 

There are many variables to this equation.

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In my experience there isn't a best way to output / input audio. It all depends on the devices in use. In this case we are talking about the ARIES MINI. We have to think about the best way to output from the MINI and what functionality we want. If we want 32/384 or DSD256, then we are only able to use USB. If you only have Tidal or 44.1, all the outputs are in play. Then we come to which output sounds best in the MINI. All device specific. Then we get to the DAC, if not using the internal MINI DAC. All DAC have inputs preferred by their designers and inputs that perform best. In the case of Berkeley Audio Design and Schiit Audio, this means AES/EBU. In the case of Ayre Acoustics, this means USB.

 

So, if using a MINI with Ayre, go USB, etc...

 

There are many variables to this equation.

 

I completely agree. Both the renderer and DAC can greatly influence SQ in the system, and YMMV definitely applies. That's why I have a preference for renderers with multiple outputs and DACs with multiple inputs. Even though the designs get more complex with higher number of I/O ports, the flexibility to enable the user to experiment and compare the SQ with different input/output options for a specific system setup is invaluable.

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The iFi iPower is a SMPS. I found a test by Thorsten Loesch of iFi who tested the iFi iPower against what looks like the TeraDek LPS and several other SMPS's. The iFi iPower came out on top. The test doesn't speak to the issue of dumping noise back into the AC Line however. The only way to tell is to buy one and test it.

 

http://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/data/ULNAdapter.pdf

 

For the money the iFi iPower is hard to ignore. I may be picking one up. Scan80269, I can bring it over for you to test!

 

Thomas

 

For $50 I'm tempted to get one myself just to compare with other power supply options.

 

I'm not familiar with the iFi iPower design, but if it is an SMPS design with active noise cancellation, it may have low noise at the DC output, though as a switcher it *may* dump more noise back to the AC line. One of the reasons I modify my Teradak LPS with Schottky power rectifiers is to reduce their risk of leaking rectifier switching noise back onto the AC side. Schottky rectifiers do not have the ultrasonic switch-off noise burst of silicon rectifiers and virtually no recovery time. I really should have done a before vs. after SQ assessment for this mod, but didn't find the time to do so.

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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Agreed. Looking for the Chord MOJO's preferred input method I came across this article: http://www.the-ear.net/how-to/rob-watts-chord-mojo-tech. The interviewer states "I am getting rather different sound from coax and USB inputs with the latter sounding better..." Rob Watts prefers the optical input. He prefers this input because it avoids RF and correlated noise injected into the Mojo, is the smoothest sound quality and best depth.

 

Not sure which output method the Aries Mini was designed to best output from.

 

In my experience there isn't a best way to output / input audio. It all depends on the devices in use. In this case we are talking about the ARIES MINI. We have to think about the best way to output from the MINI and what functionality we want. If we want 32/384 or DSD256, then we are only able to use USB. If you only have Tidal or 44.1, all the outputs are in play. Then we come to which output sounds best in the MINI. All device specific. Then we get to the DAC, if not using the internal MINI DAC. All DAC have inputs preferred by their designers and inputs that perform best. In the case of Berkeley Audio Design and Schiit Audio, this means AES/EBU. In the case of Ayre Acoustics, this means USB.

 

So, if using a MINI with Ayre, go USB, etc...

 

There are many variables to this equation.

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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The iFi iPower is a SMPS. I found a test by Thorsten Loesch of iFi who tested the iFi iPower against what looks like the TeraDek LPS and several other SMPS's. The iFi iPower came out on top. The test doesn't speak to the issue of dumping noise back into the AC Line however. The only way to tell is to buy one and test it.

 

http://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/data/ULNAdapter.pdf

 

For the money the iFi iPower is hard to ignore. I may be picking one up. Scan80269, I can bring it over for you to test!

 

Thomas

 

I will most likely pick up one iFi iPower 15V to try with my Aries Mini. I completely forgot I actually have one iPower 9V, which can be used for my microRendu along with the UpTone LPS-1 when it arrives. Come to think of it, if the iPower is so good, I should get a few to replace the wall warts for my gigabit switch, FMCs, Raspberry Pi3, etc.

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With all the talk about d/c, a/c, digital and analog noise, what method do we have for measuring noise before and after the addition or subtraction of a device in the system. This would confirm or disprove the products statements about performance.

 

The best situation would be to have the measurements back-up what we are hearing.

 

Thomas

 

I will most likely pick up one iFi iPower 15V to try with my Aries Mini. I completely forgot I actually have one iPower 9V, which can be used for my microRendu along with the UpTone LPS-1 when it arrives. Come to think of it, if the iPower is so good, I should get a few to replace the wall warts for my gigabit switch, FMCs, Raspberry Pi3, etc.

Thomas Turner

 

SPEAKERS - Snell Type C/V | PREAMP/DAC -  Project Pre Box S2 Digital  | SOURCE - Auralic Aries Mini | ROOM TREATMENT - LEDE, bass traps @ Rear of room, acoustic panels @ 1st reflections point: side walls | AMPLIFIER - Acurus A100

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My Auralic Aries Mini is connected via USB to my Chord Mojo. This gets me the highest bitrate capability and sounds excellent. Better in fact than the built-in 9018K2.

 

I'd like to know what output method (Coax, Optical, USB) you use and why?

 

OP -

 

To go back to your original question, I use USB. Why? Because the designers of my DAC (Ayre Codex) recommend it above other inputs. Also, for my DAC, some resolutions (DSD64, DSD128, and DXD) are only supported over USB.

 

That said, I've also embraced the cottage industry around USB and network isolation tweaks that other posters on this thread have mentioned.

 

But I didn't want to lost sight of your original question. :)

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