Aurender N20 Music Server Comments and Observations


My Aurender N20 Music Server is installed and working great.  The N20 is supplied WITHOUT hard drives installed. This means hard drives are the customer’s choice. Each of the two rear panel mounting sleds accommodates a 1, 2, 4 or 8TB 2.5-inch SSD or up to 5TB 15mm height 2.5inch HDDs. Since users have different storage requirements, Aurender feels this is the best way to satisfy everyone.  Aurender recommends Samsung EVO (I used Samsung EVO) or QVO series internal SSD drives, and Western Digital or Seagate HDDs.

The SSD Disk installation means you loosen the screws on the back of the unit, pull out the slot, insert the SSD, push in and tighten the screws (top slot is Music1).  After I installed the SSD, I went to the Conductor App, settings, disk information tab to format the SSD (please see instruction links below).   If, for some reason, the format command does not appear, please power down (turn electrical power off) and restart manually.  Restarting takes time since the N20 has UPS circuitry inside.

I checked for software updates on the N20 (there were none) and deleted my old Conductor App and installed a new copy from the App Store on my iPad.

My First impression is it sounds excellent. The music is clearer, the bass is better, has more air and it has more musical details. The overall musical presentation is much improved.  I am listening to jazz now and the SQ is much improved.   I really like it.  

You know the music is great when I am typing my message and music catches my attention and forces me to look up.  This unit is truly outstanding.  I am very impressed. Cranking the volume and this unit is truly amazing. It is much improved over the N10.  The music has more feeling and depth.

I copied my albums from my LaCie external hard drive (backup drive) to the N20 okay.  I also ran the scanner, scan for newly added files, so all my albums appeared okay.  This worked perfectly.  Please note the scan for newly added files takes time to run (watch for messages on your App).   

A miracle!  Next, I restored my music1/backup and all my Qobuz links were returned. This is needed since my main library includes BOTH my stored CD’s and Qobuz links.  Previously, I used the backup my Music1 tab and also copied all my albums to my LaCie external hard drive.  For this step, I restored my settings from Music1/backup file.  This is a required step to ensure all my QoBuz related links were restored.  

In summary, my N20 is breaking in but out of the box, the N20 sounds terrific.   For startup purposes, the N20 displays a six-digit code that must be entered into the Conductor App.   The Aurender N20 Music Server is highly recommended.

Useful Aurender Users Guides and Web Manuals links are below:

https://aurender.zendesk.com/hc/en-us

SSD/HDD Installation Guide

https://aurender.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360045605693-SSD-HDD-Installation-Guide


I hope the above is useful.  


 

 

 

 

 

 


hgeifman
Thanks for the comments, hgeifman!   I currently have the N10, myself, and was curious if the extra cost of the N20 would be worth it.  Sounds like it probably is.
I meant the W20 SE above.
@rshad0000, You should also look at the Aurender N30 Music Server. My ’unofficial’ best guess is maybe late 2021 (??) with a $18,000 list price.

https://www.audioshark.org/aurender-185/aurender-n30-19018.html

As per the above post "Based on the Owner’s Manual photos, it looks like the power supply, SSD or HDD storage and readout screen are in the top chassis and the clocking and digital output modules are in the bottom chassis. I would surmise that this combination results in maximum noise reduction".   All of the above needs to be confirmed.  

On the other hand, based on my experience with the N20, it is strongly recommended. You should give it a listen. Thanks.

I like the look of the full color screen on the N20. I prefer to use my W20SE in critical listening mode, with the screen off, though.
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@hgeifman 

Howard,

Thanks for sharing on the new N20. Without your thread, I'd of had no idea that there was a new player.

You may remember that you and I shared a number of conversations when I got my N10. The problem was that sometimes it sang, others it was nearly unlistenable. Long story short, it turned out that my 25mbs DSL connection was old and not always working well. Got that fixed, and sound was mostly the same - not a total fix. ATT has pulling fiber through the neighborhood and it finally became available. So I upgraded to 320 mbs fiber and the sound was not only a bit better, but stable all of the time. Finally, for whatever reason, ATT upgraded me to 1gbs at no charge. Sound get better again; even on my laptop running wirelessly in my office the music sounds better and the sound is now super stable.

FYI, do you have an upgraded internet switch? I purchased an Uptone Audio EtherREGEN the first of the year and it made a very considerable SQ difference. I also played around with a few Network cables and found that to be icing on the cake. I just added a Paul Hynes SR4T LPS and now it is just amazing what I'm hearing. Pretty magical for sure.

I have had the chance to interact with Harry? I believe his name is, a few times (2018-19). I remember telling him that customers would probably be willing to pay for a component that incorporated his 2X isolated lan port - I was thinking a second box that only did the isolation and maybe had a better power supply. It now looks like he has incorporated that into a few of his models. I'm not sure if what he is doing is similar to the switch/LPS I'm using, but they sure made a great difference for me. 

I will be interested to hear what you are hearing N10 vs. N20 comparison. Hope you keep posting about it.

BTW, I've heard the A30 and it may be near to the old W20, but not even close to the W20SE from what I remember; SQ on the SE model is pretty amazing, but I guess it should be at $22k.

@pokey77, Hello, it is great to chat with you again.

My Aurender N10 Music Server cost $8,000 and was very good. The Aurender N20 Music Server costs $12,000 and is truly outstanding. As I noted in my above post, the music is clearer, the bass is better, has more air and it has more musical details. The overall musical presentation is much improved. Aurender says the N20 has “An All-Digital Phase-Locked Loop system (ADPLL) incorporating Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) with OCXO clocks precisely times digital audio data transmissions and minimizes jitter to below negligible levels. The results are sonically audible with better image focus, a wider, deeper, taller soundstage presentation and an uncanny analog-like organic quality”. The above is probably why it sounds so good to me. I suggest you give it a listen and decide for yourself. Based on my listening, I strongly recommend the Aurender N20 Music Server

I am not using an upgraded internet switch. I have had major Internet connectivity issues with my Linksys and Apple Routers. I finally purchased the Luxul Wireless Router Kit – EPIC 3 AC3100 Wireless Router and the XAP-1510 AC1900 Access Point. Everything is working fine AFTER my ISP made some further adjustments (adjusted the Internet signal strength (VERY IMPORTANT), replaced my outside junction box, replaced all my inside cables and tuned their outside signal boosting amplifier.

Successful Tidal and QoBuz Streaming REQUIRES all your devices that connect to the Internet to be working perfectly. This includes the router, switch boxes, modems and the ISP connection (junction boxes, amplifiers, etc.). It seems, unfortunately, I have had issues with most everything down stream.

I suggest you review these many components to ensure they are working okay. And, yes, most likely, you will need to contact your ISP to ensure the cable speed is okay, the cable signal strength is within its required range, etc. My ISP, Wave Broadband, was very helpful ensuring the service was working for me. This is not simple project and requires time and lots of patience to get it working correctly.

Any questions, please ask. Thanks.