Auralic Aries w NOS DAC

Hi folks,

I'm intrigued by the new Auralic Aries server/streamer device. I love the idea of streaming lossless digital content from Tidal, etc direct to my Red Wine Audio DAC, and I love its ability to pull music from a hard drive over wifi as well. But here's the thing: I have the NOS version of the Red Wine DAC and zero need/interest in upgrading to the high-res version, and the Auralic Aries seems very focused on enabling 192k DSD content. I get that, I admire it, but it's not relevant for me. Would the Aries be total overkill with the Red Wine NOS DAC? If so, does anyone know of a cheaper option with similar functionality and great sound quality? I know that Sonos basically offers this functionality, but I'm looking for true audiophile sound quality.

Thanks as always.
I use a Lenova laptop and stream from Spotify premium and Classicsonlinehd. I tried Tidal but they are missing a lot of classical albums. Classicsonlinehd has only classical albums but streams up to 24/192. I saw the Auralic at CES but the sound quality will still mainly be determined by your dac. If you like your dac I would not spend the money on the Auralic.
I just received an Aries and have been playing mostly Ripped CDs since I don't have much of a Hi-Rez collection yet except for a few demos. And Tidal is CD resolution and the Aries plays Tidal wonderfully. So not sure if overkill but for me the sound quality exceeds playing CD through a transport. I think it is worth the investment.
I am also looking at the Auralic Aries to connect to DAC in my Aesthetix Romulus. I thought that having a good DAC made the Aries a good buy, not wanting to buy a streamer with it's own built in DAC.
I purchases an Aries for sonos like functionality to replace a Mac Mini. It smoked the mini and elevated the sound quality of my nos DAC. I remain surprised by how much better it sounds in my system than the mini it replaced. Definitely worth auditioning.
Can suggest an alternative that works remarkably well for me. I too have a Red Wine NOS Dac that I do not plan to replace simply because the sound quality with Red Book playback is wonderful. I've been using Sonos as a transport, with FLAC files streamed from a NAS. I added a reclocker from empirical audio (Synco-mesh) and was amazed with the result. A dramatic transformation. When Deezer lossless streaming became available on Sonos, the switch from spotify is what I have been waiting for. You have to invest in two devices, Sonos and synco-mesh. The result, reclocking the stream from Sonos snaps everything into focus for the enormous soundstaging, warmth and tonal beauty thet the Red Wine NOS chip can deliver. All this and the elegant simplicity of the Sonos platform. You can add that to the variety of a lossless CD quality library music from Deezer.
I purchases an Aries for sonos like functionality to replace a Mac Mini. It smoked the mini and elevated the sound quality of my nos DAC. I remain surprised by how much better it sounds in my system than the mini it replaced. Definitely worth auditioning.
Mas1951: many thanks for the synchro-mesh recommendation. I currently use a Pure i-20 digital iPod dock as transport, and inserting the synchro-mesh could be a good, cheaper alternative to switching over to an Auralic Aries. Interesting thought!
There are two versions of the Aries, with a significant price difference.
Right - and one of the questions is whether there will be a major difference between the two Aries models if you have an NOS DAC that's not capable of hi-res. Would be interested to hear if anyone has thoughts on that.

Also, has anyone compared the Wyred 4 Sound Remedy reclocker against the Empirical Audio Synchro Mesh? Same functionality, $200 price difference.

It seems to me that there are four good options here at different price points, and I'd appreciate thoughts on the level at which one will "max out" a good NOS DAC:

Wyred 4 Sound Remedy (Apple TV/Pure i20 as transport) - $400
Empirical Audio Synchro Mesh (Apple TV/Pure i20 as transport) - $600
Auralic Aries LE - $1000
Auralic Aries - $1600
I would give Steve at empirical audio a call. He seems willing to offer his advice freely and is knowledgeable when it comes to digital audio.
I have been looking into these same issues. I want to stream Tidal into a Bryton BDA-1 DAC. I don't have ripped CDs and will really just be streaming Tidal. I investigated Sonos with W4S or Empirical Audio and came to the conclusion that Empirical Audio might have the edge if I also purchased Empirical Audio's upgraded power supply (the Dynamo) and bnc cable. But then you are in the price realm of the more expensive version of the Aries. So I am still not sure what to do but the fact that reports are so postive here on a Tidal with Aries makes me lean that way. I am also tempted because of Tidal's recent announcement that it was planning to develop hi resolution streaming, which would be irrelevant with Sonos. But this is also irrelevant to the original query here. Good luck! Margot
Hi Margot,

Have you actually compared the W4S and Empirical Audio? If so I'd be interested in your notes. Without any of the upgrades, the W4S and Empirical Audio appear to be exactly the same thing with a $200 price difference...
I haven't heard Empirical Audio. (My guess is without the upgrades they are very close...some people reported that EA pulls out ahead with the upgraded power supply.) I do have the W4S Remedy connected to a CD player in one of my systems, and yes, it made a big difference and I think is a great deal. You can also buy a Sonos box with the Remedy upgrade basically inside--much tidier. I will be interested to see what route you take!

Get the Aries not the LE if you plan to use USB. Apart from the LPSU, you get separate Femto clocks for the USB and the other inputs, plus some jitter reducing circuits. This has nothing to do with hi-rez or RBCD, its the quality of USB output that is being addressses.

The thing to watch for in the near future will be the ~$200 Regen USB filter that should really lift up the USB ooutput another notch or 2.
If not the Regen, you should consider Empirical's Shortblock for $200 that will also help to shield the Dac's USB input from the Aries. (common mode noise rejection, etc)

The Regen is still vaporware, but close to production. The SBlock is tangible and already marketed for a while.
Thanks, Wisnon. Is there any consensus yet on whether the Aries sounds different through the different outputs? I would happily just use coax if there is no difference in sound quality. If I'm just using the coax output (which I think already utilizes a femto clock?), is there any point to the $600 upgrade on the Aries? I also should be able to use the built-in battery supply in my DAC to run the Aries, which means I have no use for the upgraded wall-wart.
Femto only on the upgraded one. Low phase noise clock on the LE. They claimn the upgrade also brings unti jitter circuitry.

As femto clock is just marketing buzz, that may not be worth it. Separate clocks is the real advantage, as USB works off a different rate.

With your battery power, and just SPDIF, I guess you should be about the same with the LE vs full Aries.