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Article: Aurender A10 Review


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Interesting that you list Roon as a source. I searched your article and Roon only comes up under "Associated Equipment", but not that you used it with the A10.

 

If I remember correctly, Aurender doesn't support Roon and that's a deal breaker for a lot of us. I'm curious why that's not mentioned in your review.

ChrisG

Bend, OR

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Interesting that you list Roon as a source. I searched your article and Roon only comes up under "Associated Equipment", but not that you used it with the A10.

 

If I remember correctly, Aurender doesn't support Roon and that's a deal breaker for a lot of us. I'm curious why that's not mentioned in your review.

 

I used Roon to stream Internet radio to the A10 via AirPlay.

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Interesting that you list Roon as a source. I searched your article and Roon only comes up under "Associated Equipment", but not that you used it with the A10.

 

If I remember correctly, Aurender doesn't support Roon and that's a deal breaker for a lot of us. I'm curious why that's not mentioned in your review.

 

I also searched the article for "Roon" and found no mention as you stated.

 

If this Aurender unit were Roon-ready, it would be at the top of my list for consideration for my new music player/streamer. Since it is not, I will pass.

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I felt the review highlighted MQA and Tidal more rather than the A10's performance which was more of a sideline.

In particular the relationship between the A10 and pre and power amps wasn't clear enough (for me), a little more elaboration just a paragraph would have been fine to clear up either way.

Copying a file from a NAS to the local drive in the A10 makes technical sense which implies playing over the network has a limitation on SQ? To setup to play from the local drive involving copying first is a drag on spontaneity. As for DSD256, I would not part with cash until the A10 played this rate with no hiccups, promises, promises are often empty words.

"For some listeners, it may be time to ditch the Mac Mini and external DAC, in favor of an all-in-one A10." Here, here, amen to that. Just looking for the right product to come along, the A10 is not it for me.

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Roon is not for everybody. I care more for performance and listen to music not browsing while listening to music. And Aurender serves best in that area.

 

A10 is a great device. It substituted my Mac with all possible modifications+ dCS Debussy dac.

It was intended for my secondary system but I am stunned about its dac performance.

And I am using it also in my main system, for the moment. Couldn't believe how much better played the A10's dac vs dCS Debussy.

I already new the server/streamer because I use to have the X100 in main system.

 

Great review Chris, I'm not into MQA for the moment, but my files and tidal steaming are a real joy through A10.

 

My trouble now is upgrading the main system using N10 or another A10 with a "heavyweight" dac (from EmmLabs/Meitner & dCS).

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I felt the review highlighted MQA and Tidal more rather than the A10's performance which was more of a sideline.

In particular the relationship between the A10 and pre and power amps wasn't clear enough (for me), a little more elaboration just a paragraph would have been fine to clear up either way.

Copying a file from a NAS to the local drive in the A10 makes technical sense which implies playing over the network has a limitation on SQ? To setup to play from the local drive involving copying first is a drag on spontaneity. As for DSD256, I would not part with cash until the A10 played this rate with no hiccups, promises, promises are often empty words.

"For some listeners, it may be time to ditch the Mac Mini and external DAC, in favor of an all-in-one A10." Here, here, amen to that. Just looking for the right product to come along, the A10 is not it for me.

I agree that there was not enough info on the A10 itself. This is a pretty special unit that just so happens to stream Tidal and the new kid on the block MQA. I think because several other Aurender products have been reviewed that somehow it's just assumed the reader knows some of the great aspects of a Aurender product.

2 Channel: Bricasti M21 / M28 SE /Aurender W20SE Treatments: Acoustical panels(F, S, Bass Trap & R walls) Misc.: SR Orange Fuses

Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART (Dark Cherry) w/30# weights / 2-ML 212's Subs tuned w/PBK and Special Phase technique

Grounding: QKore 1&6 / Networking: Sotm switch and Pwr Supply / AQ Diamond Power: Furutech GTX-DNCF / Oyaide inwall  wire

Nordost: QV2's, QK1's, 2-QX4, QPoint's,TC Kones, Sort Fut & LIft / Full O2 Loom / QSource & Points 

Misc.: iPad 3 /Lovan Rack Media Rm: ML: 13A's, Descent i's, Vanquish, Focus / Parasound: 3-A23 / Mark Levinson 433 / 77" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60 / Pioneer Elite DVD Nordost: Odin/V2/T2/H2, BC Kones, H2 Network, V2 HDMI

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I agree that there was not enough info on the A10 itself. This is a pretty special unit that just so happens to stream Tidal and the new kid on the block MQA. I think because several other Aurender products have been reviewed that somehow it's just assumed the reader knows some of the great aspects of a Aurender product.

For me, the fact that other Aurender products have been reviewed means I would have loved to hear some comments in this review about how the sound quality of the A10 compares to the two Aurender units above and below it in cost. That is, the N10 and the N100H. For example, the N10 has double the solid-state memory of the A10; and if memory serves, the N10 has more isolation for its outputs.

 

While an all-in-one package like the A10 makes sense for a lot of people, the N10 made sense for me for two key reasons:

  1. I already owned an excellent, high-end DAC. That was the Berkeley Ref Series 1, and is now the Chord DAVE.
  2. The multiple digital outputs on the N10 - one each of the five main types - gives me many options, including using separate outputs to the DAVE and to other units, such as headphone amp/DACs.

Other reasons why an included DAC, as with the A10, doesn't attract me is that DACs are ever evolving. It's the same reason why an amp with a built-in DAC could be shortsighted too.

 

That said, I've found the Aurender servers to offer a great blend of sound quality, ease of use, and solid, no-need-to-tweek-or-regularly-reboot operation.

 

Yes, the Aurender Conductor app can improve, and likely will. But for now, I've found it better, with more controls and logical structure, than other iOS apps, including the Lumin and iPeng and Audirvana Plus apps.

 

Dave, who originally bought an Aurender N100H in late 2015 and sold it after one month because he loved it so much he bought the N10 instead and then went on to buy another N100H for his secondary system

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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I also think they are limiting themselves by not making the device Roon friendly. I've only read about their app, but I'm sure I wouldn't be happy with it as my main playback interface. Same goes for the Auralic devices, which is why I didn't buy one when they came out. But they've gotten on board with Roon.

I understand why companies want users to use "their" software. And I understand they don't want to support other software. But consumers should have choice of the playback interface.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I also think they are limiting themselves by not making the device Roon friendly. I've only read about their app, but I'm sure I wouldn't be happy with it as my main playback interface. Same goes for the Auralic devices, which is why I didn't buy one when they came out. But they've gotten on board with Roon.

I understand why companies want users to use "their" software. And I understand they don't want to support other software. But consumers should have choice of the playback interface.

 

Two comments:

 

1. You have only read about the Aurender app if you ever tried it I think you may have another opinion. They have a rock solid ever improving product. Those who use it including myself consider it the best out there. Sure they need to add some more features but what is there is very good and surpasses the competition by a lot. Combined with the hardware it's awesome.

 

2. Everyone please get off the Roon request. There are good reasons why Aurender has not incorporated it and I for one support that decision. Going their own way to be the best music servers you can buy at any price point has served them well. I give them credit to not get involved with Roon and so far their business instinct has been right on.

2 Channel: Bricasti M21 / M28 SE /Aurender W20SE Treatments: Acoustical panels(F, S, Bass Trap & R walls) Misc.: SR Orange Fuses

Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART (Dark Cherry) w/30# weights / 2-ML 212's Subs tuned w/PBK and Special Phase technique

Grounding: QKore 1&6 / Networking: Sotm switch and Pwr Supply / AQ Diamond Power: Furutech GTX-DNCF / Oyaide inwall  wire

Nordost: QV2's, QK1's, 2-QX4, QPoint's,TC Kones, Sort Fut & LIft / Full O2 Loom / QSource & Points 

Misc.: iPad 3 /Lovan Rack Media Rm: ML: 13A's, Descent i's, Vanquish, Focus / Parasound: 3-A23 / Mark Levinson 433 / 77" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60 / Pioneer Elite DVD Nordost: Odin/V2/T2/H2, BC Kones, H2 Network, V2 HDMI

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I have a lifetime subscription to Roon but I am not married to it. I don't do anything fancy with it, I just play music. I am sitting here with 1,500 ISO files which Roon cannot play based on my latest research. JRiver can play these files but I don't want to use two different software programs. It would take a long time to convert them. Apparently the the Aurender software will convert it per Chris' article a few years ago.

 

Computer Audiophile - Aurender W20 Review

Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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Just a couple of more comments on the A10. I have not heard it yet but sure it will be at Axpona in someone's room maybe several. Knowing the quality products that Aurender designs I would think you would be hard pressed to find separates including the interconnect cable that will be even close in sonic performance for the dollars invested and then when you add in the app it's not even close.

2 Channel: Bricasti M21 / M28 SE /Aurender W20SE Treatments: Acoustical panels(F, S, Bass Trap & R walls) Misc.: SR Orange Fuses

Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART (Dark Cherry) w/30# weights / 2-ML 212's Subs tuned w/PBK and Special Phase technique

Grounding: QKore 1&6 / Networking: Sotm switch and Pwr Supply / AQ Diamond Power: Furutech GTX-DNCF / Oyaide inwall  wire

Nordost: QV2's, QK1's, 2-QX4, QPoint's,TC Kones, Sort Fut & LIft / Full O2 Loom / QSource & Points 

Misc.: iPad 3 /Lovan Rack Media Rm: ML: 13A's, Descent i's, Vanquish, Focus / Parasound: 3-A23 / Mark Levinson 433 / 77" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60 / Pioneer Elite DVD Nordost: Odin/V2/T2/H2, BC Kones, H2 Network, V2 HDMI

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I have a lifetime subscription to Roon but I am not married to it. I don't do anything fancy with it, I just play music. I am sitting here with 1,500 ISO files which Roon cannot play based on my latest research. JRiver can play these files but I don't want to use two different software programs. It would take a long time to convert them. Apparently the the Aurender software will convert it per Chris' article a few years ago.

 

Computer Audiophile - Aurender W20 Review

 

The article says that the Aurender will make the ISO to DSF conversion and then delete the ISO file. So you might want to store a copy of the ISO file somewhere.

I am not sure how high in Ron's agenda is to add management and playback of ISO files. But you can do batch conversions of ISO files using free software like iso2dsd. I do not have as many ISO files as you do, but it is a process suitable to be done in discrete batches overnight.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Just a couple of more comments on the A10. I have not heard it yet but sure it will be at Axpona in someone's room maybe several. Knowing the quality products that Aurender designs I would think you would be hard pressed to find separates including the interconnect cable that will be even close in sonic performance for the dollars invested and then when you add in the app it's not even close.

 

I just saw that a friend who is dealer sells it, so I can listen to it at his listening room. It also has a LAN connection for my network. I was thinking about buying a micro Rendu and a good power supply when I saw this. I am definitely interested in it.

Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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The article says that the Aurender will make the ISO to DSF conversion and then delete the ISO file. So you might want to store a copy of the ISO file somewhere.

I am not sure how high in Ron's agenda is to add management and playback of ISO files. But you can do batch conversions of ISO files using free software like iso2dsd. I do not have as many ISO files as you do, but it is a process suitable to be done in discrete batches overnight.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

 

Yes, I have them on three 6TB external Hard Drives. My plan is to load them onto my Lenovo server which will have 24 TB of space and then make another back-up of the music.

 

I have used iso2dsd before but the time involved is too much. Over time I could do it. There is Russian program that will convert it to PCM which I have used but it takes 10 or 15 minutes for each album. This has a batch program also but I not sure how good it is. The music would probably sound better if not done on the fly.

 

Roon has said ISO conversion has a low priority and I don't think they will do it. I guess it complicates the tagging.

Roon software, Lenovo TS 440 server, IPad Air 2 for remote control and Dell 2340T display, Dell Latitude 7140 tablet (Windows 8.1, 256 SSD and 8 GB RAM) with Dell docking station, Aqua Hifi LaScala mk ii DAC, Allnic L 5000 DHT preamp, Shaker Logic Attune with two outputs for the amplifiers, Vitus SS-101 mk ii amp, Bosendorfer VC-7 speakers and Focal Sub Utopia Be subwoofer.

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I also think they are limiting themselves by not making the device Roon friendly. I've only read about their app, but I'm sure I wouldn't be happy with it as my main playback interface. Same goes for the Auralic devices, which is why I didn't buy one when they came out. But they've gotten on board with Roon.

I understand why companies want users to use "their" software. And I understand they don't want to support other software. But consumers should have choice of the playback interface.

I actually have NO idea why anyone would want to produce their own library management software. Ok maybe for basic operability before people discover Roon...

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

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...playing Elton John's acoustic version of Candle in the Wind. This version has been available in a few different formats over the years and on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Celebration/ Super Deluxe Edition). I have the 24 bit / 96 kHz, DSD, and Redbook (Tidal) versions. The acoustic version is producer Greg Penny's 2003 remix of the original, recorded in France on May 7, 1973...Quiet, clean, and incredibly engaging is an accurate description of what I heard playing this track over and over through the A10.

 

I thought the 24/96 version, or SACD/DSD versions would be fantastic, offering greater fidelity and dynamic range. I then check the DR database, and am appalled that the greatest DR versions are the Redbook CD editions from 1984-1992. From then on it's all downhill. The 2003 version is found on DVD-A or SACD. The DVD-A 24/96, on a scale that goes from 1-20, lists a DR of 11, peak of 13, peak of 12. The SACD version even worse, with a DR of 9. Meanwhile those 1984-1992 CD versions are listed at DR 13, with peaks of 16. Perhaps it doesn't matter for an acoustic rendition, nevertheless, really disappointing.

 

Album list - Dynamic Range Database

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Two comments:

 

1. You have only read about the Aurender app if you ever tried it I think you may have another opinion. They have a rock solid ever improving product. Those who use it including myself consider it the best out there. Sure they need to add some more features but what is there is very good and surpasses the competition by a lot. Combined with the hardware it's awesome.

 

2. Everyone please get off the Roon request. There are good reasons why Aurender has not incorporated it and I for one support that decision. Going their own way to be the best music servers you can buy at any price point has served them well. I give them credit to not get involved with Roon and so far their business instinct has been right on.

1. Nope. Very clear to me it doesn't do some of the things I want. That's fine. I'm sure it's very good at what it does. It just isn't for me.

2. "the best music servers you can buy at any price point"; is an extemely debateable point, to say the least....

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I thought the 24/96 version, or SACD/DSD versions would be fantastic, offering greater fidelity and dynamic range. I then check the DR database, and am appalled that the greatest DR versions are the Redbook CD editions from 1984-1992. From then on it's all downhill. The 2003 version is found on DVD-A or SACD. The DVD-A 24/96, on a scale that goes from 1-20, lists a DR of 11, peak of 13, peak of 12. The SACD version even worse, with a DR of 9. Meanwhile those 1984-1992 CD versions are listed at DR 13, with peaks of 16. Perhaps it doesn't matter for an acoustic rendition, nevertheless, really disappointing.

 

Album list - Dynamic Range Database

 

Doubt you will hear any difference in dynamics between an album rated 12 and 13 DR when min DR is either 10 or 11, respectively.

SHM-SACD rating there is 12, and the rating was done with a format conversion to PCM. So possibly not an accurate portrayal of the DR of the actual SACD.

Sadly, for many albums the 80's and early 90's CDs are the only digital versions where DR hasn't been compromised.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Anyone know what Aurender's policy is about the end User making changes to the internal HDD's under the following situations:

 

1. It fails

2. They want a bigger one

3. They want a faster one

 

A followup question would be if anyone knows if the device offers any means for preparing a new harddrive once its been inserted and if any of the main OS components used by the device itself are located on a different drive/rom/usb stick other then the drives used for music storage and or caching?

 

Im not a potential customer for an all in one device like this but there is certainly a market for it. My bone to pick about these esoteric priced All in one devices is that they happen to hold multiple computer components which are archived every 6mo due to the rapid advances still being made in those areas of technology.

 

This may not necessarily be a bad thing as long as the manufacturer allows the End User to make his/her own adjustments to the storage..etc without needing to send the box back to the the maker or be worried about voiding its warranty by attempting to keep the device compatible with the rest of the world around it.

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