I have a Korean car, watch KDramas and even listen to some KPop, but I don’t get what Aurender is doing.

I’m currently in digital hold given that my new Holo DAC died, but intend on listening to my IFi Zen stream and look at upgrade paths.

Some of the most respected members of this forum swear by Aurender, so it must deliver, but here is my point of confusion:

1. Coax and AES are the preferred outputs, but higher bandwidths require dual AES out, but I don’t have dual in on my DAC.

2. Aurender’s top models claim to have great clocks, so why not pass this on to the DAC via I2s?

3. Top Aurenders accept external clocks and I assume this is used with a DAC that accepts external clocks, but why bother when I2s would take care of this?

4. The argument against I2s is that there isn’t a standard, but this isn’t a problem in most implementations.

I’m sure that I have misrepresented things above, so please correct my understanding.



My replacement Holo May DAC KTE will be here on Wednesday. I’m interpreting your post to say that AES/Coax vs USB performance is very close With the Holo. If this is correct, then USB would certainly provide you with the added ability to listen to high bitrate PCM and DSD, but given the fact that you are struggling with interconnects, my interpretation of your remarks might be off.

I used to own a N100H and a separate CD transport which to me sounded great. In the interest of going to a one box solution, I picked up an ACS10 which I run via USB into my Holo Audio May. The Conductor app allows me to flip between Tidal and my stored music easily and seamlessly. I use a dedicated iPad as my interface and scratch my head at why anyone would want a subscription to listen to music? The cost of the iPad is half that of a lifetime Roon subscription so it makes perfect sense (screw using a phone!). The sound is fantastic and Ari has always been very helpful whenever I have questions. I couldn't be happier! 

@vonhelmholtz To respond your assumption, the answer is "typically yes, but not always".

As oddiofyl mentions, he still prefers the coax out from the Aurender to the USB. While the higher end Aurenders have even better clocks, the N200's coax may still be better than the USB interface to your Holo. You would have to experiment and decide.

Sometimes, but rarely, even with USB, some DACs can be set to prefer the internal clock of the source vs in the DAC. Very, very rare.

And in the case of T+A DACs, both the SDV 3100 HV and the DAC 200 both have some masterclock functionality built in, so it still optimizes the clocking coming in from the Aurender when using coax/AES.

And again, with the N200 vs the higher ends via USB, what you are still getting in the other units are a more robust power supply and better isolation that will give you additional tonal density and clarity. I would say something like the N20 would give you more body and meat on the bones in the same way your new phono stage does, where as the N200 will sound just a bit leaner/neutral. The N200 gets very close to the N20, but there is still an audible improvement in the N20 (say 20% better) but at double the price. The N20 is the sweet spot for near end game at its price point, but the N200 is probably Aurender's best unit for price/performance ratio.


I use Roon to broadcast to my 2 channel and 11.2 rooms. Others have many other Roon endpoints. For me, this flexibility would not prevent me from moving to Aurender/Conductor, but it is a consideration.


Just to be fair, I was not implying that the N30SA was better, I've never heard the N30SA or the Taiko. But I have read at least a few that have gone on the record saying that they preferred the N30. My impression on the two compared is that they are more similar than not. With the $10k+ savings on the N30, and the fact that the software is fully dialed in and easy to use, the N30SA makes solid logical sense. -blisshifi, I appreciate your comments.


I think with the exception of the W20SE, all other Aurender streamers have been updated or introduced in the last two years. The W20SE was introduced in late 2019, so isn't all that far beyond the newer streamers.

BTW, I love T+A gear. Heard it many times and it came down to my second choice. Love the looks and the sound quality. The SACD player they have is amazing and it has a built-in streamer that sounds amazing. But the software, at least last time I heard it four years ago, was very poor operationally. I hope it is much better now. But this is certainly where Aurender shines in having such a seamless and easy-to-use software interface. And not only is it easy to operate, it has phenomenal sound quality as well.