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.
I have also found that playing ripped cd's on my N10 does not sound as good as playing the original cd through my Esoteric K-01x. If I really want to listen I always put on the CD but for ease of use I use the N10. For me, where I really find the N10 to shine is playing Tidal MQA files through my MQA DAC or playing purchased hi-res files. I use the N10 all the time for that.
It took long time, but finally my Aurender N10 is back home from upgrade.
In summary more body, more dynamic, more colors, it is no longer flesh out, hollow grayish sound.
Is it better then my benchmark: CD AudioAero Capitole mkII, hard to say, very, very close, I still have impression that Capitolle is fuller but darker, which is better, now it depend on your taste. Planning to gather my audio buddies and again run blind tests like before. I have impression that now it is not going to be crashing CD victory but close call.
I attended Audio Show in Warsaw November 2018 (second biggest in Europe), and A10 has been demonstrated by dealer with some expensive speakers and electronic. I would say, it was two level below N10 , very artificial mid hifi sound, huge disappointment for me (I have read great reviews).