Ayon S5 VS Aurender W20

Anyone on this forum did a direct comparison between the Ayon S5 and Aurender W20 network players ?
The S5 has its own DAC, the Aurender doesn't have one.
I already compared the Ayon S5 against the Lumin S1 and to my taste the Ayon S5 is the clear winner.
Wonder about the Aurender W20.
Please leave your comments.
I'm interested in this too.
The Lumin S1 is not quite as warm as the less expensive A1 if your taste goes towards more warmth, the Lumin is amazing.

It also depends on how you were demoing the Lumin NAS or direct connection, the Lumin sounds amazing over a network connection and not as good as a direct connection via USB.

The Lumin sounds amazing, we had a customer trade in a #18k DCS Puccini in on the Lumin which outperformed the DCS.

If you want the sound of tubes an amazing tube based dac the Aqua Hifi La Scala driven by an Auralic Aeries would be a world beating combination and cost considerably less then the Ayon.
In 2012 I sold my Meridian 800DAXV4 (25000 dollar new) and I
was looking for a new network player. It took 1,5 years before
I bought my first streamer.

But......it was not that easy and good as I thought it would
be. The Aurender was by far the biggest dissapointment. I
auditioned it for about 6 times. With different dac's. All
tests had the same outcome. When you compare it to a good
highend cd player you miss the full pallet of colours in the
mid freq. Even for free I don't want this sound.

In a battle at my house between the Aurender S10 and Olive
06HD it was clear that the Olive was superior. Better
dynamics, more resolution, a much sharper individual focus of
instruments and voices, better blacks, deeper and wider stage
and this has the pallet of colours in the mid freq. like the
better highend cd players.

This year I will test the Lumin streamers. When it does what
is promissed I will become Lumin dealer.

In all my tests with computers and drives with a separate dac
I noticed the limitation in the mid freq. as I just told. This
is unexeptable in my personal opinion.

In my perspective when a networkplayer has a dac inside it is
a lot more musical. This is the pallet of colours in the mid
freq, where I was talking about.
I use audio totally different than other people do in audio.
My focus is on properties. I use the full potential of all the
different properties a tool ( amp, speaker, cable,
conditioner, source etc) owns.

I use Purist Audio Limited Edition powercables. They make an
amp or source so much better sounding. A lot more analogue

I prefer 384khz over 192khz dac because I use the extra stage
depth and width I can create with 384khz.

Same thing about a higher dynamic range. When you are aware of
all the properties a tool owns you always can achieve a much
higher endresult than the way most people work in audio.

The price range of 2495,- euro till 9999,- is for me the
perfect balance in price range. it is easy to navigate and you
can choose between PCM and DSD. I have to judge on more parts
than only my personal demands.

I have focussed on Auralic as well. But I prefer different
streamers in price range with an inbuild dac. Till now all
drive/ computer combinations with a separate dac are all
useless in my personal opinion.

I will test different Lumin players soon. The Puccini is also
a source without a soul and that is why it is fully useless in
my opinion.

I also think the Ayon S5 is a very analogue sounding streamer.
But I have to judge also for demands of clients. Missing DSD
and using 192khz and a lower dynamic range give me less space
to create my own sound and adjustments.

For example I prefered Pass Labs XA over X series untill I put
a Purist Audio Limited Edition on my Pass Labs poweramp. It
all changed my mind. After this I prefered X series over XA
series. My focus is on the endresult. This is what counts most
and how I judge at the end.

Thanks Audiotroy for your information.
When i auditioned the Lumin S1 and the Ayon S5 side by side they were both connected to the NAS via ethernet not USB.
I heard tha MSB are going to come out with a streaming option for their DACs in 2015.
Anyone aware of that ?
CH Precision already has this option for the C1 DAC.
Sofar all combinations of Dac and drives were not good enough. When I am at shows I got convinced that many distributers are not even aware of the part which is missing. This is the essential part for emotion and sound realism.

3 Weeks ago I did audition the MSB Diamond Dac. The limitation is the fact that the individuel focus of instruments and voices is not that precise and intimate as the best. This part is also a very important feature for the absolute sound.

Audio ia all about understanding music and audio. When you are not aware of all the different properties of each tool it is a lot more difficult to get to the best sound possible. In most situations most audio/music lovers and even distributers and shop owners only use a part of all those properties their source owns.

When I have auditioned the Lumin streamers I will write my thoughts!
Aurender W20 is the best digital source I have heard so far. It sounded great in pair with Vitus RD-100 DAC. But W20 achieves the best results with MSB and dCS DACs because you can use a single clock (internal in case of MSB and external in case of dCS) for W20 and a connected DAC.
If you are looking for the best streamer you should try Linn Klimax. I heard Klimax DS and Lumin A1 face to face. The latter sounded thin and uninvolving in comparison with DS. And I doubt A1 can compete even with Linn Akurate DS. Linn streamers sound warm and extremely transparent, especially versions with internal preamps (DSM).
Linn is quite poor in streamers. They use old and even cheap
parts in their topmodels. The used dac's are cheap parts and
not that special.

You have to compare the S1 with the Linn and also other

The focus on a drive like the W20 and expensive dac's need to
be on the colour pallet of the mid freq. This is the weakest
part. When you use classical music it is quite easy to hear
and understand what is missing.

I am often surprised how F. deaf many people are at shows when
this part is missing. When I look at them I see that they are
not even aware of it.

This is for me a very important part what I tell and demo to
all my clients. It is important that people understand how
music need to be and what these differences do to music and

Last week I had this discussion also with Desmond of Pass
Labs. There needs to be more focus on realism and quality!
Aurender W20 is an excellent source and it's sound quality completely depends on the DAC quality. But if your DAC has internal clock and has no clock input, then there is no sense in using W20, S10 will sound equal to W20 in this case.

Linn Klimax DS is the best digital streamer I have heard so far. I think the situation will change as soon as MSB release their Network Renderer which will turn their DAC IV plus into digital streamer. It would be very interesting to compare Klimax DS with fully loaded Platinum DAC IV plus.

By the way, Lumin use the same "cheap" and "old" parts in all their models as well, because their streamers in general are copies of Linn's. But Linn streamers have high quality firmware, which Lumin streamers lack of.
Yes, it is logical to compare Klimax DS with Lumin S1. But the difference between Klimax DS and and Lumin A1 is more significant than between Klimax and Akurate DS, so S1 should sound much much better than A1 to compete with Klimax.
"By the way, Lumin use the same "cheap" and
"old" parts in all their models as well, because
their streamers in general are copies of Linn's."

If you are saying these things you are F. blind.

Lumin S1:



Linn Klimax DS:


Audio is always about facts and not about nonsense what a F.
idiot is saying.

The S1 owns a superior powersuppy and dac compared to the
cheaper powersupply and dac of the Linn.

The Linn Klimax DS is using the Wolfson WM8741 dac and works
till 192 khz and cannot play DSD128.

The S1 is using 4 ESS SABRE32 Reference DAC chips to deliver a
total of 16 DACs per channel. This dac is far superior to the
Wolfson dac above.

Lumin bought the Linn Klimax DS a few years ago to create a
superior streamer. They achieved this with the S1.
There is nothing special about Lumin power supply. If they wanted to create high-quality power supply they would make something like MSB top Power Bases.

Linn could easily create such type of power supply. It is not more expensive that their own SMPS.

"The Linn Klimax DS is using the Wolfson WM8741 dac and works
till 192 khz and cannot play DSD128."
Anyway, the ability to play DSD does not influence the soundquality of Lumin.

"This dac is far superior to the Wolfson dac above."
I see no reason to claim that. Some people say that Wolfson is more musical DAC with more analog-like sound, while Sabre is more "digital". I am sure that is the main reason, why Linn use Wolfson in their players.

Lumin wanted to attract some attention to their top player (S1), that is why they replaced Wolfson with Sabre. If you just change the DAC model it is not an upgrade - you need to change and tune a lot of other things in audio device to make it sound better. I doubt Lumin did it.

P.S. There are a lot of fake Chinese Iphones, but the original one is still superior...
Adn Linn just let Lumin make the copy (if Linn did not want it, Lumin would never be able to do it). This means that they are sure that Lumin can not compete with their players.
Many people who compared Lumin with Linn, prefer the Lumin.

It is not only a different dac, there are more parts they changed.

I am in this business for almost 17 years of time. At shows and demos I found Linn a very average or even poor quality product.

I did run a audio shop were Linn was sold before I came there. i did visit a few clients with Linn. One had for over 240.000 euro Linn stuff in his house.

I remember when I visit him that I became very irritated to my boss. I said: what a low quality shit, I will never sell this to my clients.
This is a great topic and thread. Thank you for starting it.

Keep opinions coming. Many of us are watching and waiting for streamers/music servers to come that are truly worth the investment.

some information about the Lumin S1.