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The 24/192 streamer solution coming


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The sixth annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest had already closed when I finally had the time to stop by Reference Recordings’ booth to check out their latest mouth-watering HRx high-resolution master WAV file DVD-Rs. There I encountered Demian Martin, who, together with Ray Burnham, has produced the Auraliti (pronounced Aurality) disc player ($800).


“Right now,” Martin explained, “if you try to play hi-res files, you need to fool around with a computer. Nor does USB support hi-res 176.4- or 192kHz-sampling rate data in standardized format. Our alternative is the Auraliti, a computer specifically modified to play hi-res files.”


Martin claims that the Auraliti plays everything from 16-bit Red Book CD up to 24-bit, 192kHz files in “flawless, bit-perfect form.” With neither internal storage nor moving parts, its solid-state memory is “hard to screw up.” It also emits almost no heat.


The Auraliti, it should be noted, needs a little help from its friends. Users start with their computer, and transfer Red Book or hi-res files onto a separate USB hard drive (approx. $50) or memory drive (approx. $100). Once they use a USB cable to plug the drive into the Auraliti, it reads the data. So I guess you do need to mess with a computer after all to use the Auraliti.


You can also connect an iPod Touch ($200) to the Aurality, and gain access to the iPod Touch’s content through WiFi. Martin believes that any iPod user will be comfortable with the process. He also asserts that the Auraliti will play the content in bit-perfect form. “It doesn’t know how to do anything else,” he said.


The Auraliti does have an internal DAC, but sounds far better if connected to an external, state-of-the-art DAC such as Berkeley Audio Designs’ fabulous Alpha DAC ($5000) that Martin had on display. S/PDIF and optional switchable outputs are supplied.


ATV, MBL 1531 CDP, ARC Ref3 Pre amp, MBL 8011M Pwr amp, Verity Audio Fidelio Encore Spkers, Pure Not & AQ wiring.

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Looking at the device it reminds me of a MacMini with a few twists ..

The mini-jack out has been replaced with 2 RCA plugs ( basic sound quality reading the piece .. ) and they included an spdif out.

But you still need an external PC/MAC to rip al your discs and edit tags and so on.

As I understand it only reads music files over USB but no support for wifi or streaming over any kind over wired/wifi networks ...

The benefit should be the support of 24/192 which seems to be limited over USB-out to 24/96.

The convenience of a real PC/MAC and the lower price tag of a headless MacMini with iPod Touch still wins for me ... unless you already have a good AC without USB input ...


Rigelian iOS app -> BeagleBone Black with Botic driver + Linux MPD + XPEnology NAS -> Soekris dam1121 DAC I2S direct from BBB -> DH Labs Revelation -> NAD C162 -> DH Labs Revelation -> Odyssey Khartago Plus -> DH Labs Q10 -> Boenicke Audio W5

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The point of a streamer is to do away with setting up a whole new CAS in the living room where you wanna listen to music via the hifi system. The idea is for the NAS or Mac or the PC to remain in the study room, while the streamer "only" streams the music to your external DAC and via the Amplifiers towards the Speakers.


Having a Mac mini or a laptop next to your hifi equipment still requires you to load the OS, and managed the usually opening of Itunes or other types of software etc.


ATV, MBL 1531 CDP, ARC Ref3 Pre amp, MBL 8011M Pwr amp, Verity Audio Fidelio Encore Spkers, Pure Not & AQ wiring.

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With all due respect to the Auraliti ... you can already build this yourself.


It's a Mini ITX based computer - presumably with an Atom or maybe VIA processor - running Linux and mPD ... all (except the hardware obviously) available free. IIRC when mentioned before they then just add a ESI Juli@ card. Not sure how the price of the Auraliti would compare. Edit: I reacon (in UK) a Mini ITX Atom motherboard with 4GB memory and a 128G internal SSD built into a "cube" type case would cost you around £330 with the ESI Juli@ being another £120-130 vs $900 for the Auraliti


Jesus recently posted a description of how to implement this using a Vortex box Linux distribution as a starting point which also is a CD ripper so makes an all in one solution.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Ray and Demian have done is cut down the user's need to build, install, configure a Linux based system that has extended support to 24/192. In most cases Linux will only support 24/96 so this in it self is a great improvement.


Though it is very untrue that USB does not support 24/192. I have 32/192 sitting in front of me right now and we have qualified 16 channels of any configuration using input or output channels to 24/192. Actually the USB spec says it supports 24 channels on each USB leg but of course that is not reachable.





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  • 2 weeks later...

support for 24/192 in linux can be had by anyone using mpd for playback. You can even have mpd upsample to 24/192 as well and it's pretty darn good. Some limitations apply on upsampling like you need at lease a dual core pentium, but that should not scare to many people!


You might also want to know that Gordon's usb products are compatible with mpd with minimal configuration. If any one needs help with that just let me know!


Jesus R



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