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LowMidHigh

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  1. LowMidHigh

    Article: AURALiC ARIES G2 Review

    Greetings gents, I received a G2 recently and the urge to share an opinionated monograph is upon me—tangent to the above discussions. When it comes to digital output, the only factor that affects sound quality is timing, or lack thereof. As the “bits-are-bits” crowd asserts, a $30 Chromecast Audio and a $7,000 Lunim U1 do a perfectly good job in that regard. But, as we know, the clock accuracy and electronic “pollution,” that comes along for the ride, make a difference that cannot be overstated. To rephrase Chris, only when that jitter is aggressively suprassed can the "magic" be conjured up. Enter G2. I usually sidestep "Made in China"—I suppose some abysmal experiences till linger in my mind—but it was difficult to pass on Auralic. Dual LPS, galvanically isolated, each powering a different PBS, is a brilliant way to set off a dead-quiet operation (regrettably, that architecture is seldom deployed by the industry). Add a uni-chassis, effective in blocking EMI, so prevalent in our immediate surroundings, a pair of precision Femto clocks and sprung footspikes to absorb vibrations, the nemesis of oscillators, and you've got a remarkably robust foundation for a low jitter device. I was further intrigued by the novelty of the overall galvanic isolation. It's more than USB treatment, as some good people have characterized and dismissed offhandedly above. Nor should it be confused with the galvanic isolation between the dual LPS. On exhibition is a dual circuitry isolation, both for signal and ground, that blocks noise from traveling into the digital output stage. You can detect telltale signs of that mechanism in the marketing photos of the innards. Props for Auralic for going the extra mile. Giving more credit where it's due, Auralic is one of the more transparent vendors in the industry. Visit dCS website, and you're curtly told that auto-clocking (whatever it means) and an LPS ensure low jitter in their bridge. So am I supposed to pony up $4,750 base on that vague description? Fine, I’ll think it over…To fine people of Lumin didn't bother responding to my technical inquiry at all. Way to go…It took numerous phone calls to Naim to pry out that the digital output stage is merely an afterthought with little consideration to jitter reduction. (BTW, I’d love to see some actual measurements around. Those are sorely absent throughout the audiophile industry). (BTW.2, vis-a-vis dCS: their bridge is a waste on any none-dCS gear. One pays for useless dual AES and dual SDIF (not to be confused with SPDIF), both in terms of hard-earned cash and increased electrical noise. Onward we march…As Chris contends in one forgoing post, SQ is foremost but not be all end all. UI standards, supported protocols and services, frequency of firmware and software updates, warranty and ease of getting service should all play a part in the purchasing decision. In that light, Auralic shines: a sleek and mature UI, frequent updated with attention to details, 3 years warranty and a local dealer who can service the streamer should that unfortunate need arise. To juxtapose, I had Pink Faun on my short list too. Their architecture is a traditional RPi, but the execution is a paragon of EE. Their devices are so brilliant, they should be come in crystal clear cases for all the world to see (although that would add some noise. Grrr!) However, dealing with LMS, amateurish plug-ins, a separate OS vendor and potentially costly 35kg round-trips of sensitive electronics to Holland, in case of hardware failure, dissuaded me. Finally, some suggestions to improve the G2—at least in my mind. Switch from RCA to 75ohm BNC, and for a good reason: It's nearly impossible to source out a true 75ohm RCA connector. Thus, the mismatch in impedance could introduce jitter. If anyone is adamant on using an RCA terminated cable, they can mount a $2 adapter onto the BNC and be done with it. In that respect, I don't know why any serious audio companies would even bother with RCA. Implement world-clock input, or 10M input to elevate the internal clocks to a higher plain. Add “Chromecast Built-in”. There are so many advantages, one of which is to turn scores of Android application compatible with the G2/G1 (without writing a single line of code). Separate the LPS x 2 from the G2. Thais is, power the G2 via an external box with 2 x DC outputs to mirror the existing design. And excuse me while I drown in music…
  2. Allow me to attack it from a different angle. Will the new switch eliminate, or at the very least minimize, the difference between various NASes? People report on varying sound quality among NASes, I suppose the result of more or less electrical noise being carried downstream. If I understand correctly, the new switch will wipe away all that. Can you please opine?
  3. LowMidHigh

    Allo Digione

    Fried my card real nice. Sunny side up.
  4. Let me bring the discussion down to my neanderthal level: After I hook up my streamer to the coming switch, is there any benefit in hooking my NAS to it too? Or should I keep the NAS far off, connected to the router? Thanks!
  5. LowMidHigh

    Auralic G1 or Lumin u1 mini

    As for the original OP question: From my reading and applying my own analysis, it seems thd G1 has lower jitter level than the mini. It makes sense: the G1 employ a LPS wherase the mini is equipped with SMPS. Moreover, the G1 has 2 x lps, galvanized and powering a different PBC each to reduce jittet. There are LPS upgrade kits for the Lumin, ranging between $450 and $700. Their advantage it the total separation between power and processing, but the Lumin has a single PBC so some interfere is inevitable. There was an attempt to minimize it, though, with a rudimentary display and no user input built in. Lastly, we shouldn't forget the pesky issue of voiding the warranty...(Lumin would've been wise to implement a wall wart, so customers could've connected an LPS without modding the device. I suppose it would've reduced the price too. Double wammy). I like the Lumin--the look, small footprint, quality of construction , BNC output, and great software. But the G1 seems to hold the SQ edge.
  6. LowMidHigh

    Auralic G1 or Lumin u1 mini

    Anyone who prompts MQA is sawing the branch they site on. The format is there to line the industry's pockets, force the customers to toe the line, and adds nothing to SQ whatsoever. Don't forge your own chains!
  7. Guys, just drop it. The rabbit hole is deep enough.
  8. If they spit them between the faces it's because of lack of room or internal topology, not to piss us off. They've got 6 x RJ45 ports (maybe the "special' one is spaced out a bit) + BNC for ref clock + a hook for earthing + DC input. That's quite a bit.
  9. Stacking up units ain't too good...Reconsider
  10. The reviewers usually exaggerate, and their reports are quite predictable. “I’ve swapped that and that in my chain, and a vail was instantly lifted. The bass is much tighter, the trebles are crystal clear, bla bla bla.” In most case, the more expensive the part, the more flowery the superlatives. Generally, the improvement non-essential components bring to the table is marginal. Sure, many drops make for a river, but each drop is still only a drop. There’re are phycological reasons behind those inflated claims, rooted in the personality profile of audiophiles. But that’s not the place nor time. As for the science behind audio-grade switches: their electrical interference/noise/hum is minimized, which translates into a quitter chain—read, less jitter is injected into the receiver (roughly speaking). The result is more precise the timing, and thus better SQ overall. Happy tunes…
  11. The LPS-1.2 case has the advantage of being wall-mountable. It'd take a few L-shapes hooks, but easy enough. What's the topology of the front panel? Which ports have you designated to that area? (Well done on the toilet! A major work condition improvement).
  12. Yes, the news is that many people ask if there's any news.
  13. LowMidHigh

    Allo Digione Signature

    Fret not, there'll be a new story...RPi + Linux + LMS is a such a kludge that something is bound to fail once you make a change. And changes always happen. I'm so frustrated with the SoundCloud plugin, that I'm seriously considering splurging a pile of money on a streamer/nw player with Chromecast Built-in. Expect a DS + UpTone LPS-1.2 on the 2nd hand market soon...
  14. LowMidHigh

    Allo Digione Signature

    Last advice: Keep the DS running for weeks. It gets better with time....
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