I have had a N100H for a while. It replaced my PC as a streaming source to my DAC (Exogal Comet Plus). I find it anything but digital sounding in comparison, but did find that different USB and power cables, and to a lesser extent Ethernet cables, changed the sound significantly with this pairing.
I compared the WireWorld Platinum Starlight 7, Belden Gold, Shunyata Venom, Curious, and Purist Audio 30th Anniversary USB cables (all of which I still have) and, for the money, the Curious is the value leader (the Purist the best, but at a price). The Curious has a very balanced tone, a "non-digital/analog" sound, and is very good re: resolution, detail and air. It is reported to be best in a shorter length, so I bought the .8m.
Another that I have not tried but has been recommended for a smooth and musical presentation without sacrificing resolution is the Audioquest Diamond.
The Triode Wire Labs Digital American power cord is very good on my N100H FWIW. The N100H also benefits significantly from good vibration isolation/transmission, ie a Symposium Acoustics constrained layer platform, bypassing the stock footers.
Good luck to you pg62.
All digital without tubes should be left on for at least 24 hours before any critical listening is done. If you don't like it after 30 days, I would send it back pronto. I know some say that certain components take 500 hours to burn in, and it is also true that you have to get used to it - BUT, if you don't like the thing after a few weeks, let it go.
I heard the same very digital sound from the N100H as well. I was using a wireworld starlite7 800.00 usb cable which was well broken in going to a Wyred4Sound dac2 did se. My laptop sounded much better. I sold the Aurender a.t a loss and bought a second Sony HAPZ1ES music server which I like much better
Same experience with WW Platinum Starlight 7 USB. Much too aggressive sounding in this application. Curious will be a much better match.
Thanks for the input. I reached out to Aurender and they recommend burning in the unit for 100-150 hours. I'm working on that now. Thanks, Dave for the feedback on USB cables. I just heard about the Curious cable from a friend. I checked out some reviews and pulled the trigger on a .8m cable this morning. I am looking forward to hearing the difference. I sure hope this creates more warmth. It seems the unit does provide better sound stage than the modded Connect, but the metallic treble needs to diminish and the bass response needs to improve. I'll let you know how this turns out. Only 90 hours to go.
You’re welcome. I just stumbled on this USB comparison. The Curious accounted for itself quite well:http://audiobacon.net/2017/09/18/curious-cables-usb-review/
I would agree with the reviewer on the relative merits of the USB cables of that bunch (the ones that I have heard). I hope you are pleased with the Curious USB and with your Aurender.
Post Script: re: the review, I would take the 100 hours the reviewer recommended seriously for the Curious to fully relax.
I would suggest researching the LUSH usb by Phaser Audio. I tried several usb cables from the Cable Company (including some expensive ones) and the LUSH bested them all. The most musical usb presentation I have heard. They are very reasonably priced (about $330 for 1M).
My experience with the N100H has never given me an overtly "digital" sound. Quite the opposite. I was coming from modded Mac Mini, which was quite good actually, I just wanted a one box solution and an iPad based control point. It was definitely an improvement over the Mac Mini setup and a more natural/organic sound. I won't say "analog" and open that can of worms because it's not a record player and never will be. That said, the USB cable makes quite a difference in my experience. I started with an Audioquest Diamond USB which is VERY good, and am now using the Curious USB cable (which I prefer). It is a very natural sounding USB cable.
I have found the N100H to be sensitive to power cable selection. I have had good results with an Audience Powerchord "e", Nordost Heimdall 2, and Valhalla. Throwing some Nordost Sort Kones under the unit picks it up a notch also. Beyond that you can try things like an Uptone Audio USB Regen, PS Audio Lan Rover, etc. They all make a difference of some kind with the N100H as I have tried them. Whether the difference will be to your liking and/or worth the investment will be your call. I would start with the USB cable and work slowly from there IF you see the need for any improvement at all in your system, but don't give up before the recommended burn is complete and you have at least tried a different USB cable. I think the N100H is outstanding.
I purchased my N100H slightly used so it was already "burned in". The seller decided to move up to the W20. It came with a high end purist audio cable and sounds just fantastic. I cannot tell if it is the result of the cable but I have no complaints at all with the Aurender.
The N100h is an excellent streamer, been enjoying mine for over a year. I recenly replaced an AQ coffee USB cable with the Statement cable from http://audiosensibility.com/blog/products-2/digital-cables-occ-copper-and-occ-silver/
Very nice cable, it didn't change the sound signature and just boosted the details and clarity. Similar to curious, they separate the power and data. The data is sent through the silver occ conductors and the power is sent through the occ cooper conductors. If you haven't had a chance to use occ cooper/silver cables, they are a big step up from your normal OFC based cables. I also changed out the power cable with an occ power cable from audio sensibility and they was a nice change as well. I agree with the comments that the n100h is sensitive to cable changes but find the right ones and you will be rewarded.
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I've been burning in the N100H over the past week and have to say that it is sounding better and better. I just got the Curious Cable in the mail yesterday and replaced the Supra. A major improvement with only a few hours on it. I think this is working out nicely. I may consider the ISO REGEN and its power supply, but I'll wait a while.
So glad you are warming up to the N100H and like the Curious USB cable.
Don't assume that the ISO Regen will improve your sound. It did not for me. Once you have a clean source like the N100H, it depends on your DAC IMO. Many others really like it in other setups, so YMMV.
I agree with Dave. A good USB cable and a decent dac and N100H should offer great quality sound. Enjoy!
I just acquired a 220v N100h cheap. Anyone out there willing to take a pic of the internal connections to the transformer. It’s a dual core transformer so I’m looking to convert it to 115v. Just need to see the connection. Thanks in advance.
Really appreciate this thread. I just purchased an aurender n100h to pair with my hegel hd30 dac. The dealer loaned me a few step-up cables but so far none sound satisfying. The ansuz x usb is warm and round but dry with no air and grayish background. The worldwide silverlight is very different... tonally colorful and detailed but a glaring top end and very flat Soundstage with no depth. If these were my only two sonic options the aurender would be going back. But I'm crossing my fingers that the curious cable can bring a much needed analog smoothness with some air and 3 dimensional soundstaging. I don't need pefection, but I don't want to lose what I remember from my old transport and audio alchemy dac combo either. The curious cable is ordered! I'll report my results once here...