Aurender N10 and audiophile network devices


I’m new to computer audio but not new to high-end, so far I have been more traditional kind of guy.

I have decent turntable ( modded SME 20/2 ), decent heavily modified Tascam R2R, and heavily modified CDP AudioAero MKII.

My CDP does not sound that good like SME or tape but it is listenable and on good quality recording can sound pretty decent.

But since we have XXI already going for years, I have decided to give computer audio a try.

 

So after reading too many threads on different computer audio guru sites I have decided on Aurender N10.

It was supposed to be first Aurender which can sound better then CDP (enough for me), I do not expect digital to sound like analog.

I have bought for it Shunyata Zitron Alpha Digital decent SPIDF Tara Labs RS-1 cable to make it happy.

 

And here comes my surprise, it sounds flat, gray, only hi-res sound better on level with CD. My wife not an audiophile said it sound very boring.

I have invited audio buddies and we did blind tested my CDP and Aurender, nothing to compare CDP wins in spades.

N10  sounds much better when streaming from Tidal (go figure).

Sound from CD is much fuller, stronger has impact, sound from Aurendeer is very resolving but gray , thin sounding. Very uninviting.

To say that I’m disappointed is understatement. My other friend has another media server but it sound even  worse then Aurednder, 

So it is not generic to Aurender but to technology ?

As DAC I’m using internal AudioAero DAC. So basically I’m comparing Aurender transport vs AudioAero Transport. The some music (ripped CD to wav vs CD)

 

And one of my knowledgeable friends, told me that his acquaintance had the some problem, bought media server and was very disappointed, but instead of falling into despair he started looking for solution.

To control Aurender one need some wifi router. He changed power adapter of that router with some good quality lineal PSU (big change).

 

I have found on computer audio sites that connecting NAS and media servers to separate switch connected to router helps.

But it will not work for Aurender I have to control it using Aurender app so I need wifi router.

 

So buying i.e. AQVOX Audiophile High-End Gigabit will not work for AUrender. Does anybody have any advice what would help it make it more alive, sound bigger more colorful.

I’m not used to such thin and gray sound.

I’m cannot get how getting better PSU to some hifi router can help (it is just for controlling app),

How connecting NAS using expensive ethernet cables can help, Aurednder is streaming from internal HDD’s .

 

But I’m open for suggestions from somebody who owns AUrender or like and had similar problem and contrary to me have found satisfactory solution.

Thank you for reading.

Regards


sorlowski
Are your CD's stored on your Aurender in a 100% uncompressed format like AIFF?   If not, what format are you using?   How were they transferred to the Aurender N10?

Are you using the Shunyata Zitron Alpha Digital decent SPIDF Tara Labs RS-1 cable for connecting your Aurender N10 to your AudioAero DAC?  If yes, I suggest you try using an USB Cable and/or an AES/EBU cable instead for better sound quality.  I use the Snake River Audio Boomslang AES/EBU XLR digital cable and the Audience Au24 SE USB Cable for connecting my N10 to my DAC.   In most cases, I prefer the AES/EBU cable for slightly improved sound quality. 

What power cord are you using for the Aurender N10?  Is it connected direct to your wall plug or is it connected to another power switch box?

It is my opinion, based on my use of the Aurender N10, CD's played on your Aurender N10 should sound excellent.   We need to find out what is preventing this from happening.  
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I am not technical but, it seems, Steve’s comments above are similar to my comments about the S/PDIF cable you are using.   I was also told that digital cables should be 1.5 meters in length.  

My Snake River Audio Boomslang AES/EBU XLR digital cable is 1.5 meters in length.
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Also try adding a LAN filter off the router, LPS and the LAN filter will help immensley.

I forgot something.  Please go to your Aurender Settings (software upgrade tab) and update your software, if needed.  I just updated mine to 4.15.19. 

And, go to the Apple App Store and check to see if your Aurender Conductor App needs to be updated.  We need to confirm your Aurender software is current.  

If your Aurender Conductor App is acting strange (not working), delete it and re-install.  You will not lose any favorites or other settings. 
The new version numbers are:

Aurender 4(5).15,19
Aurender Conductor App 2.9.13

The install time is less than 10 minutes.  Do the Aurender N10 first and then the Aurender Conductor App (from the Apple App Store).  

Here is my white-paper on S/PDIF cable length:

https://positive-feedback.com/Issue14/spdif.htm

Coax cables should always be terminated to RF connectors, like a 75 ohm BNC.  Trying to terminate coax to a RCA connector is a non-starter.  A good cable like my BNC cable will make a difference, but the Synchro-Mesh reclocker is 100 times more effective.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

To make your LAN sound good, I recommend the following:

1) AQVOX switch connected to the server, not a router

2) Wireworld 0.5m Platinum Ethernet cable

3) EMO EN-70e isolator

4) Wireworld 2.0m Platinum Ethernet cable

Connect to your server.

This is what I use. This combination in this order will make a huge difference in the SQ.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Thank you all for your  answers.

AudioAero DAC only accepts SPDIF or AES/EBU connection, no USB, it is 13 years old DAC.

But with all upgrades I have done, it sounds better to me and my audio buddies then AudioNote DAC4 Signature ( I have borrowed it for day for comparison), lesser DAC's we have tried do not even come close..

Additionally I have borrowed Transparent Reference XL Digital 1m (AES/EBU) from a friend ( he claimed that it is one of the best digital cable there are ) but there have been not audible difference to me with AudioAreo DAC, so I have stayed with mine Tara Labs RS-1 SPDIF (1.5m).

I'm storing my CD's in WAV format (uncompressed), they have been ripped using ExactAudioCopy on desktop PC running WIn7 and transfered to N10 internal drives using Windows Explorer.

For both AudioAero and N10 I'm using Shunyata Alpha Zitron DIgital. Both power cords are connected directly to wall the the some Furutech GTX socket, I'm using dedicated line.

So all is the some, just comparing CD transport with Aurender N10. I have compared N10 to some lesser transports like some SONY $1500 and some Philips, N10 was much much better in every sonic department, cheap CD transports do not even come close.

Maybe just CD-Pro2 used in Aero is that good ??? I do not know.

I have heard in some studios Lumina and other media servers $5000-$6000 (price range) and always have been disappointing (gray and thin sounding).

But I was extremely thrilled when auditioning some very expensive CEC transport (spinner), as good as good turntable.

But I do not want to invest money in XX century technology and physical media, I like the idea of storing music in digital files, but not in the expense of quality. 


Not sure what your issue is.  What preamp are you using?  Maybe a setting is off.  I have the Esoteric K-03 and Aurender N10 and the N10 does sound better than the CDP so I know it is capable of besting your CDP.  
@cerrot, above, makes a great suggestion. My Aurender N10 sounds terrific with stored AIFF CD’s and yours should too. 

Please double check all settings in all your devices to confirm everything is set correctly.  As you noted above, your cables and power cords are fine.   Please double check your Aurender Conductor App settings and also your electronics.   

>>. I am thinking about what else could impact the Aurender’s CD sound quality.  Please double check the settings you used when you ripped your CD’s to the N10.  

>> When you play a stored CD on the N10, what format is displayed on the screen?  Please confirm it is the correct uncompressed format. 

You stated above that Tidal streaming sounds great and the stored CD’s are the issue.  Is it possible there is something wrong with the Aurender’s CD playing mechanism?

>> The problem is probably caused by something very simple and we have to find it.  You could always take the N10 another system to help isolate the issue. This might help you figure out what is going on.

>> Another suggestion is to log an Aurender on-line remote support call reporting the CD sound issue (from the Conductor App).   This will enable Aurender Suport to remotely check your N10 to confirm it is working okay.  I did this once and they found the issue very quickly (it was an incorrect setting, and was my fault). 

 hope someone else can suggest something.   Please keep us posted.

It's not fruitful to pursue expensive transports when you can beat all of them using a reclocker costing around $1K with an excellent digital cable included.  Nothing matters from a transport or any other digital source, except jitter.  There is no silver bullet or magical transport behavior.

The Synchro-Mesh and cable have 30-day money-back, less shipping.  I have never stiffed a customer in 22 years.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

@sorlowski, You received many suggestions above regarding the poor sound quality from your Aurender N10 Music Server when playing CD's.   Your exact words are "sound from Aurender is very resolving but gray, thin sounding. Very uninviting".   

I asked this above since I am very interested in knowing when you play a stored CD from the N10, what format is displayed on the screen?  Please confirm it is the correct uncompressed format.

I also suggested you log an Aurender on-line remote support call reporting the CD sound issue (from the Conductor App).  This will enable Aurender Support to remotely check your Aurender N10 to confirm it is working okay.  

Please keep us posted.  
I appreciate your answers.
I especially like the idea to contact Aurender support ( they are very responsive and eager to help ).
I have just assumed that there is nothing they can do for me when N10 actually plays music.

I have just used default settings on Exact Audio Copy when ripping CD’s on Win7 based desktop.
When I play CD’s Track01.waw is displayed on the screen. And 16/44.1 on Audio aero DAC. I’m using uncompressed WAV format only.
Yes Tidal steaming are saturated not gray or thin.
As preamp I’m using Supratek Cortese II (last edition additionally modified by skillful electronic). Solid State Clayton M100 monoblocks and YGA Anat speakers.
So setup is quite resolving and capable of discriminating different sources.

I have been recently on Audio Show and heard Aurender A10 being played by dealer, it did not sound good, very uninvolving.

I will contact Aurender support and will keep you posted.
Regards