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REVIEW: Comparison of 5 High End Digital Music Servers - Aurender N10, CAD CAT server, TotalDac d1-Server, Auralic Aries, Audiophile Vortex Box

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by romaz, Nov 9, 2015.
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  1. astrostar59
    Respect. I seem to have gone the other way, budget server and expensive DAC. I had a demo of an Aurender X100 I think it was, and it was very nice. My Mac Mini max out was as good, and I like the fact I can use any software, Roon or others, filters etc. I think basically the SQ we get comes down to keeping noise out of the signal and feeding into the DAC, and the quality of the software player used.

    I used to believe Ethernet was the best transfer line, but my current DAC is best on USB. There are so many variables, and lower budget DACs I find tend to have compromised inputs, trying to cover all bases. I would prefer in that case a single highest quality input, which doesn't then need boxes and 'fixers' between.
  2. bmichels
    Well, with an Aries Cerat Kassandra Ref II you indeed have a TOL Dac.

    For me, my dream DAC will be a NAGRA HD DAC. I listened many many times, including this last Friday again, connected to my Aurender W20. I hope one day I will find a very good used opportunity.
  3. Whazzzup
    Dave is cheap compared to nagra HD, jeez time for me to get out of dodge
  4. bmichels
    Well, now the Aurender W20 is installed at home above the Denafrips Terminator R2R DAC and under the BHSE amp & the EC445 Amp. I installed them on cones made of lava to decouple them from the furniture which is definitively not a dedicated HiFi rack. A new home made power filter/distributor is also used. Ah... I also removed the strange W20's wooden top to replace it by the factory top :smirk:

    I ordered on loan 3 digital cables from the same company (Hificables.fr) so that next week I will be able to compare USB, EAS and Coax connections and decide which is best...

    --> What best super TOL USB or AES cable can you recommend ?

    Some High quality power cables are also coming soon to test
    (some home made and some from Hificables.fr).


    IMG_5528.jpg IMG_5510.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
    Narayan23, Whazzzup and simorag like this.
  5. astrostar59
    I have tried most of the Audioquest range, but found the Phasure Lush and Curious Silver USB to be great. The Lush is deeper and warmer, the Curious an open gate, faster and more transparent. I prefer the Curious in my system, and would highly recommend it. The designer describes it as having lots of dimension and I would agree with that. 300 Aus Dollars for a .8m USB cable.

    mmichels, I am interested in which output you prefer. My best guess so far is it depends on the integrity of the input at the DAC end, so if your Denafrips has a good USB board, that would probably work best. On S/PDIF and AES you are limited to 192 data rates. Keep us posted!
  6. Whazzzup
    The chord company Sarum t digital super array USB
  7. bmichels
    thanks. I will investigate this Chord USB cable.

    do you own/use it yourself ? to which other nUSB Cable did you compared it before choosing this Chord cable ?
  8. Whazzzup
    Yes I do. With digital signal transfer the ear of the listener and rig itself seems to lead to preferences or not. I could not tell the difference between aq diamond and oyaid 5s continental, but seemed to enjoy the sarum more. But ymmv and all that. I started a thread opinions vary. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-chord-company-sarum-t-digital-super-aray-usb-cable.884705/
    ZappaMan likes this.
  9. astrostar59
    I would try the Curious USB. They do a send back option (try out). I found it very fast, super 3D, transparent but NOT cold or clinical. Basically an open gate, to let the source and amp talk to each other. Other cables I tried can colour the sound, which may or may not be preferred.

    Fredoo likes this.
  10. auricgoldfinger
    Fredoo likes this.
  11. bmichels
    Thanks for your inputs.

    I just received the 3 digital cables (USB, SAE & Coax) from the same manufacturer to compare which will be the best output from the W20 to my Denafrips Terminator R2R DAC

    I will kept you posted...

    onsionsi likes this.
  12. flkin
  13. rgs9200m
    Zenith Statement vs. SE:
  14. flkin
    Clarity Recordings always sound good.
  15. Tubeburner
    I just received the new Acoustic BBQ USB cable from Bill Dion and it blows away every super expensive usb cable I have owned. He now offers a 10 day trial for $159. This is the best deal IMO. Don't be fooled by the price. Bill is a passionate audiopuhile. https://www.audiogon.com/listings/l...ack-usb-cable-new-10-day-trial-return-digital
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