Any experience with the new Aurender N20? I’m especially interested to learn if anyone has used it clocked to a dcs master clock.
I know that Aurender specifically identifies dCS clocks as compatible with their equipment. Arthur, do you already own your N20?
No. Actually just learned of it. And as I recently added the Vivaldi clock, thought it might be a meaningful improvement in SQ. I use the N10 now.
So, you’re feeding the DAC through what input with your N10? Personally, you’d be better off getting an Upsampler and switching over to Ethernet.
Apologies: should have stated I am running Vivaldi DAC, UPS and Clock (recently added). Running the N10 into the UPS using an Audioquest USB cable (Diamond I think). Do you think linking the N10 to the UPS by Ethernet is preferable? Thanks!
Thanks for the additional info. I don’t think you can run the N10 into the UpS via Ethernet. Unless I am misreading the specs, I don’t think the N10 streams over Ethernet. I know it can receive streams and copy files via its RJ45 jack, but the specs suggest it does not output digital music via the Ethernet port. That seems really odd to me, and a severe feature miss by Aurender. Why would they do that?
Arthur, there was another recent thread where the N20 was discussed, probably addresses some of what you’re asking; USB Reclocker before dCS Rossini+Clock
Many thanks Greg and Anup!
Aurender have always done it like this and as they dont use Roon or DLNA no way to use it on the network and connect other audio equipment that way. It is just a server/streamer that connects to DAC via USB, AES or SPDIF.
The top model W20SE supports dual AES to dCS and also have a RS232 dongle to switch word clock frequency according to what is played.
Yeah, I know. I grok the Roon decision, but completely dissing on network, well, it’s their business, I suppose. It’s what originally turned me away from what is, in reality, and solely IMHO, just an overpriced server/streamer limited to USB, AES, & SPDIF. I thought for sure they would have at least gotten into some form of network playback. But no: in order to work, the Aurender must be connected to a network for its iPad controller. But beyond that, it’s just a file transfer capability and Tidal/Qobuz reception. As part of my quick research on Arthur’s question, I read through various Aurender manuals. For all the gushing about their interface I have read elsewhere, I can see that software development is challenging them just like others. Setup, interface, and maintenance are kludgy.
I had the N20 here to listen to. The idea was to improve the streaming sound quality over the Bartók’s and to get a good offline music server.
The N20 was connected to the ethernet network through the loop port of the Bartók. dCS states they don’t support the loop port. It worked regardless to feed the N20 with streaming content controlling it with the Aurender app. Otherwise I would have had to use a switch to connect Bartók and N20 to the wall socket. As stated earlier the N20 has no ethernet output like a Melco does. Just an input. The N20 digital output was connected to the Bartók via SPDIF BNC Chord Sarum.
The N20 was connected to the Vivaldi Clock as is the Bartók. A caveat, which @octaviars already touched on. The N20 has one clock input. The dCS boxes have two so they can switch if necessary (e.g. from 44.1KHz to 48KHz). The N20 can not. So when I switched from one album encoded at 44.1KHz sample rate to another with 48KHz, i manually changed the setting at the Vivaldi Clock. Whether that is a usability issue probably depends on who’s using it. I found it cumbersome.
I found the sound difference between music stored in the N20 and streaming Qobuz with the N20 to be small. So I listened mostly to streamed content. The sound of streaming with the N20 was audibly different to my ears than streaming with the Bartók. Removing the N20 from the system after maybe a week (it came burned in from the dealer) was not an overall loss. Some things went backwards, some forwards. At other times we remove something and say to ourselves we better get the upgrade. The N20 did one thing that some enjoy. It rendered the music more ‘audiophile’, nicer in a way. Also it introduced its version of orderliness into the music. That can make sense for some music genres but not all. Two genres that get a good deal of listening time for me are metal and goth. That music can be abrasive, destructive, violent, evil even. The Bartók carries this intent over into my ears. The N20 not so much. It became pleasing music, which it isn’t. (I’ve been to the concerts )
It might make sense to consider other upgrades. The N20 test unit went back to the dealer and I am plotting other things now with the generous help of this community!
How would you rate the N10 vs N20? I just have the N10 here for testing and find it much too „soft“ vs melco usb attached or upnp.
Unfortunately I have no direct answer for you. The N20 is the only Aurender model I have tested. I had Melco for years before and was happy and now am looking for something different myself. I tried writing an indirect answer to your question, but came to the conclusion it becomes too speculative. Maybe just one very generalised observation which you most probably have made yourself. With a number of hifi manufacturers if you spend more and purchase newer models (both true for the N20 over N10), you get a bigger better version of what has come before. The exception maybe being manufacturers with non-repeatable/non-existent engineering processes or firms where crucial decision makers change.