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Everything posted by cordobaman

  1. Thanks for your message, Duck! I'll clarify some... My Auralic Altair is currently acting as pre-amp, server/streamer, and DAC. There is an internal SSD with flac and dsf files, the latter I rip from SACD and have a hundred titles. The Altair has no analog input so I was not able to try the "loop back" with the ARES. I no longer have the ARES, I flipped it in the event I found another all-in-one solution like the Altair...but would re-purchase if I found a pre-amp solution. I am trying to avoid having a second control for volume, and seek the ability to select music and control volume from my iPad. I just thought it would be cool to have that complete control and be able to try different DACS. The Altair is 90% perfect. It ticks all my boxes except I believe I could improve on the sound (DAC). Plus there's an annoyance that Auralic has not addressed on this model nor the new G version. As an audio hobbyist, the hunt is part of the fun!
  2. Great replies so far, thank you! Here's what led me to the search. Threads on Denafrips DACs intrigued me to the point of purchasing an ARES II. Old school analog sound via PCM and DSD to boot...perfect! Connected it to the usb output of my Auralic streamer, only to discover that in order to use the usb out from the Aualic, I had to set its volume control to 100% in order to play DSD. Ok, if the R2R DAC sounds as analog as they say, will I need DSD? Changed over to Auralic's software volume control to play PCM.. The overall sound quality was drastically reduced. Not the DACs fault, I could still detect the expanded stage and depth from the ARES II, it was just obvious that the same songs in PCM (software) vs DSD (hardware back with the Auralic DAC), the DSD was better. OK, so how about using a "Sonore Rendu type thing" and let ROON handle the volume control for the new DAC. Nope, I found a thread on the ROON forum where somebody attempted this very thing...the output of the Rendu needs to be set at 100%, just like my Auralic streamer. I've even gone as far as trying to find a streaming DAC that utilizes R2R and also plays DSD, not having luck there either. Hope I am making sense. Please keep the ideas coming!
  3. My Goal: A pre-amp with built-in streamer, hardware volume control, and iPad app interface for streaming from a music library as well as Tidal. The usb digital output would be bit-perfect, DSD compatible, and sent to an external DAC. Analog inputs would allow the analog out from the external DAC to feed back to the pre-amp for hardware volume control. Then I can change out the DAC any time I want, and always have just the one (iPad) interface for song selection and volume control. Use with Roon...that may be ok. Dream budget $2500 USD. But does this exist any any price? I cannot find one!
  4. Alvin got back to me quickly with answers via email. Basically all is good except since the balanced/unbalanced outputs are shared, so using simultaneously would diminish sound quality (I'm guessing for the "Why not Wye" reasons). Order placed!
  5. Hello @alvin1118 I have a modest Budget and considering the a ARESII. I saw a note in the manual, they do not recommend using both balanced and unbalanced Outputs at the same time. I currently do that with my Auralic Altair, using one set for my amplifier and another set goes to a whole home audio system. What are the ramifications of using both? I would be using the usb output of the Auralic Altair into the ARESII. It requires a “Linux based” DAC for the Altair to recognize it. Do you anticipate any issues using your DAC with my Altair? Lastly, could you please confirm that the ARESII has the upgrade to eliminate ticks or pops during clock changes. Thank you very much!
  6. New firmware pushed to our Altair's today. I believe as a result I lost the ability to add/remove files to my internal SSD (sharing/permissions have changed). Will look further and report. Firmware Version 5.4 Build 20180319 About This Release: March 19, 2018 Fixes: Spotify Connect function wont work after recent Spotify App upgrade Windows 10 computer can not find device internal storage after recent upgrade (disabled SMBv1 protocol) Unable to initialize internal storage over 2.2TB size Unable to play transcode WAVE file generated by AssetUPnP server software Web control interface become blank if room name contains special character Improvements: Lightning Server general improvement USB DAC output compatibility improvement on Spotify Connect, Bluetooth and Songcast input
  7. I have resurrected the Femto clock change anomaly with Mr. Wang at Auralic. He was very receptive to investigating what was happening, so I sent a video of my Altair's intermittent tick/snap sound as it changes between the 44.1 and 48 MHz clocks. He believes they have a potential software fix! Here's what he told me... " We have done a simulation on our internal development platform, it appears the problem maybe fixed by software update. The current testing result shows if we put the DAC chip in reset (off) status before switch the clock source then the noise can be eliminated. However this is a very complex operation as the DAC chip need to be re-initialized after the reset operation, we will need extensive time to test what we have done to make sure the change will not mess anything else up. So if there is any fix for this problem, the path will be included in firmware 5.5 rather than 5.4 (next version). Xuanqian Wang" Great news for us Altair owners!
  8. Simply enter your Altair's IP address into a browser address bar and it takes you there. To get the IP address on a Windows machine: find your Altair on the network, right-click, properties.
  9. New Lightning Server 5.0 is working fine on my Altair. They've addressed the library sorting issue by allowing "the" and "A" to be ignored for Artist, Album, or song. The web interface to choose options is nice. Also better support for TIDAL/MQA allowing native sampling frequency (no more limit to 44.1/48). Sound a little different somehow, will take some listening time to pinpoint...
  10. photonman, may I suggest you Please contact AURALiC support and express your issues? Global Tech Support = [email protected] Especially the loud "scratchy" sound, I have experienced the same issue with two different units! It is intermittent but absolutely there. AURALiC actually exchanged my Altair so they could test it after my complaints. I performed detailed experiments to pin down the occurrence, hoping to help them find a cause because at first they could not seem to reproduce it. After I pointed out exactly how to make the anomaly occur, they admitted the issue and stated " there are maybe 4 of you guys out of the whole world wide market taking issue with the sample rate click". I was told the sound is due to clock changes between 44.1 and 48 Hz frequencies and their multipliers (96 Hz, 192 Hz). They tell me it occurs because there is no hardware muting circuit for clock changes, however they may be able to minimize the problem thru firmware. So again, please contact them so that there are more voices asking for relief from the annoying tick/pop/static! I absolutely LOVE the Altair's sound quality, one-box ease of use, and overall performance. But I cringe every time I listen to a variety playlist with multiple sampling frequencies because I know that dreaded tick may pop out. If it weren't for this one issue I'd give the Altair a100% Five Star rating!
  11. The metal box is part of the Altair. The drive "initializes" for several minutes upon first start up. For me, the initializing phase was taking too long and I was impatient after 1/2 hour and re-booted the Altair. I also had to re-boot my router/PC network in order for my Windows 10 PC to see (what it called) ARIES-xxxxxx on my network. After all that I was able to treat the Altair's SSD just like any other drive, adding folders and dragging files. 500 GB of files took a few hours to transfer.
  12. I have done it with permission of AURALIC. Took me about 20 minutes. There is an adapter kit that takes the IDE style power connector and converts it to SATA power as well as a SATA connector. You could also do this with generic Computer adapters. There is a metal shield that encases the hard drive area and the kit also has the correct screws to mont the hard drive, but again nothing extraordinary that you couldn't use standard computer screws for. I love using the internal hard drive. Everything is dead quiet with a total black background. The only real downfall is it takes forever to transfer files wirelessly. Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile
  13. Sorry I sound like a broken record. The AURALiC Altair has all the same features (less analog input) and has gapless playback but costs $1000 more. Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile
  14. My goal was simplicity as well. ARAULiC Altair with an internal SSD connected to an amplifier and controlled with Lightning DS via iPad. I have the Altair on my network so I can transfer downloaded and ripped music and also stream Tidal. Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile
  15. Boxes left unticked would be support for Android or Windows. Likely you could use in DNLA mode (Minimserver + Bubble UPnP) to achieve it though I have not tried. I actually bought a used iPad Mini just to use as a remote control for my Altair. Tidal is fully integrated with their Lightning DS interface (for iPhone/iPad). How about using Tidal as your service instead? I was please to receive a free 3 month subscription to Tidal with my Altair purchase. You can also stream the Masters (MQA) files at 24bit thru their Lightning DS interface.
  16. I believe your answer does light in the meta-data. If you put the album artist in the "album artist" field it may sort correctly for you. This is a different field than simply "artist".
  17. Seems they still have not addressed Artists sorting, with "The", "A", etc. in the beginning of the name. Very annoying having to go to the "T" section to find them. I emailed the suggestion to have LDS address this issue with the response "...planned for future..." Maybe if everyone complained they would react?
  18. AURALiC Altair has the same features plus a volume knob. Plus you can add an internal drive if you like. Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile
  19. Yes AURALiC supports software decoding of Tidal-streamed MQA using the TestFlight version of Lightning DS, plays 24 bit with a cap of 48 MHz at this time. Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile
  20. I went through this same exercise last year, I also wanted DSD capable as well as gapless playback and a physical volume control. The lowest cost unit I could find was an Auralic Altair. Double your budget with. Hard drive. So I saved and sold off stuff and went for it. Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile
  21. TestFlight is an app in the Apple store that is a conduit for private testing of other apps. To get the Lightning DS betas to test, you apply to be a tester on AURALiC's website in the Lightning DS section. If they grant your request they send a link to the DS beta app.
  22. I have been enjoying DS TestFlight v4.1 and the new Tidal Master support. Thanks to AURALiC for incorporating MQA into the software! (even with the cap of 48 Hz sampling it sounds very good) HOWEVER, I get the intermittent tick/pop while streaming Tidal and changing between HiFi 16 bit and Master 24 bit...yes with Tidal too! My testing concludes: - The tick/pop occurs during the change from 16 bit to 24 bit, regardless of sampling frequency. - Not related to my file storage, happens with networked SMB/NAS, direct-connected external HD, flash drive, or thu Tidal. - Not related to connected equipment, occurs with thru headphones (with my amplifier turned off). The tick/pop is easy to reproduce. I find it unlikely that you folks couldn't reproduce it by switching between 16 bit and 24 bit songs over and over...sometimes it takes 10-20 song changes before it occurs but when it does it is quite obvious. Would some of you volunteer to try? Anxious to hear responses from the CA Altair owners!
  23. My Altair(s) have no problems playing DSD files (except for MJ's Billy Jean...which skips but that seems to be a known issue). It is when transitioning PCM files from 24/96 to/from any other br/freq. Actually occurs with legit HDTracks downloads more often than my DVD-A rips. I have the Altair connected in WiFi mode (also tried ethernet-connected), streaming flac and dsf files, sourced from various download sites plus CD, SACD, and DVD-A rips, all stored on 2TB internal hard drive housed in Windows 10 PC. Files are accessed using Lightning Server (SMB) and Lightning DS software, controlled from an iPad mini or an iPhone 7 running IOS10. The problem also occurs with files on a USB thumb drive or external hard drive inserted into the USB port on the rear of the Altair. All items have latest firmware/software versions. I tried using headphones only, the amplifier was switched off, absolutely still occurs. Note that my previous system was a Marantz SR6009 AVR, and streaming the same files on the same network did not exhibit the tick/pops. Originally the electrical power was a shared circuit. As an attempt to eliminate interference/noise problems I ran a dedicated circuit direct from the main panel. Only the Altair and the amplifier are on that circuit. Voltage reads 124 VAC and a quality hospital-grade outlet is used. I also tried a different hospital-grade power cables, no difference. To test, I loaded 4 songs into queue, two were 16/44.1 and two were 24/96. I then switched between the different files, alternating bitrate each time. I could hear a very subtle (acceptable?) tick every time. However every 10 or so the louder/annoying tick/pop DID occur, it was quite obvious. And definitely was in single/random channels. I am game for any other ideas or suggestions...please keep them coming!
  24. New TestFlight v4.1 just released. They have added Tidal Masters playback capability and a Masters category! The Masters files show playing at 24 bit, but sampling frequency seems to max out at 48 kHz. This all being said, some of the Masters albums sound really good, like Christopher Cross is an improvement over the cd. However Fleetwood Mac Rumors does not have as full of a tone as my SACD rip. Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile
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