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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. allhifi
    Kenny: Well said; it is the smart thing to do -the waiting game.

    The M-Scaler/DAC is a MUST. Simply consider a modest Network Player (Cambridge Audio CXN, or '851' -heck
    even a Raspberrry Pi/Odroid -SBC -with 'free' OS) > to Scaler/DAC.

    Beyond that, one may wish to consider something like dCs Network Bridge (between source/DAC. And call it a

    REVISION: As I read my reply, (above) I'm thinking to myself: "What was I thinking/ saying" ? ) lol

    I suspect the precision of the analog waveform recreation is paramount; it's been years since I've spent time with a Chord DAC, but each time there was a remarkable sense of liquidity nuance/finesse, speed and dynamics that resulted in a very clear, open, defined musical 'image'.

    At least that's what I think I was thinking...saying !

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  2. Whazzzup
    To late the antipodes audio DX server is a must. I’m not sure one needs m scaler or anything else beyond this. No bridge, no decrapification, necessary. That’s where we stand..... well I’m not willing to drop 7 g cad to find out what mscaler will do or not do when I’m already ecstatic with the sq I got at present.
  3. allhifi
    That works too ! Good call. Excellent equipment, bottom line, is required. The Antipodes certainly qualifies.

  4. nomad777
    yes they are amazing ; compared it to various beats any of the Innuos servers hands down except for the statement. I'd say equally paired there but I prefer the sound signature of the Antipodes more.
  5. nomad777
    the usbultra does not affect the sound signature. I'd say your cables are what is influencing that
  6. nomad777
    The mscaler is amazing and will enhance any music server doesn't matter what brand. So if you have the means by all means.. if not then don't .... Plus mscaler is around 6250 somewhere there.... and as I've said in the mscaler forum realize that to get the same thing before it arrived you had to pay 13K cad for the blu2 .... it is a good sum of money but I could not live without it.

    And for those of you thinking that it won't take your music to the next level you are not correct. It certainly will.... The CX/EX by themselves sound excellent... however with the sotm stack eg.. usbultra/word clock and mscaler it is another level... I've listened with and without....
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  7. Clive101
    Perhaps, but when I tried the SOTM I was using a similar or better cable ie Chord Sarum T and Chord Music USB.
    I have yet to do a full listen with the addition of Music or Sarum T as the second cable when I add the SOTM. Perhaps it may change but from experience I found the best sounding cable was best placed coming out of the SOTM.
    Mind you I thought every addition in the hardware chain changed the sound good or bad if it did not what's the point of adding the SOTM in the first place..? Perhaps personal choice ?

    Edit I will give it another try over the weekend as I have taken out my blue fuses !
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  8. Malcyg
    I can well believe it, it is all about the implementation. I have always preferred the logic and simplicity of the shortest signal path and fewest number of devices and was, therefore, always slightly opposed to the idea of a proliferation of little black boxes. Before the BluDave, I had a Chord DSX1000 which was a streamer, DAC and analogue preamp in one box - all you needed to do was plug an Ethernet cable in the back and you were done. It was a great design and I would love to see an MScaled equivalent in the future. Maybe unlikely, but I think it would be a winner.

    With simplicity of approach in mind, I was one of the first to get the Zenith SE when it came out in order to replace my Melco and Aries boxes and I was very pleased with the results. I was discussing the SE at the time with Romaz - who ended up getting one himself - and, despite my aversion, he persuaded me to try a tX-USB Ultra and, to my surprise, I did prefer the sound. I then added the SOtM Master Clock to the equation when that came out and that improved things further. Logically, adding three boxes with two extra power supplies and an additional USB and digital coax cables should make matters worse, but it was good and I kept all three boxes. The fact that I was originally quite firmly opposed to adding the boxes, I think, refutes any idea of confirmation bias, quite the opposite because I did not want to hear an improvement.

    Skip forward 18 months and I had the misfortune to hear a Statement - I say misfortune because, as far as I was concerned, my system was finished. I was impressed enough though to get one in to demo at home and I have ended up keeping it. It betters my SE plus SOtM setup by a clear margin and, like you with your Antipodes setup, I do prefer the Statement on its own than in combination with the SOtm devices.

    As an aside, it does make me chuckle when people say a device like the Statement sounds ‘better’ through USB or through Ethernet output because, in isolation, that has no meaning really. It is all about the implementation of the whole signal path and the differences that folk may hear could be down to a number of variables. When making those kind of comments, it would be very helpful if the whole signal paths that are being compared could be described so that others could be better placed to make an assessment.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    TheAttorney, allhifi, STR-1 and 2 others like this.
  9. Whazzzup
    True for tt users it’s preferred signal path is USB via galvanic HD port. This enables 24- 64 bit floats 386 pcm to dsd 128 to be interpreted relatively silently. Antipodes DX preferred delivery is usb as well, so all one needs is an excellent USB and the delivery to the dac stage complete. I keep reading mscaler thread tho, just seems like a hassle of bnc, power, rfi, pass through issues. I like simplicity it should plug n play with no thought as to quality interpretation. I have achieved that and have no intention of screwing it up
  10. Malcyg
    I totally agree with your comments about simplicity, the MScaler is a different game entirely. You can read as many posts as you like, but you will have no real understanding of how your system might benefit unless you listen to MScaler at home. You undoubtedly have a very good server, but I would be very surprised indeed if the addition of an MScaler did not improve your sound. Having had the Blu II for 2.5 years now, I couldn't imagine going back to music without it. Many of the improvements that are discussed on here are stepwise improvements, but Blu II and by inference, MScaler, is transformative.

    Word of warning though - if you are not prepared to purchase, don’t listen!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  11. nomad777
    The Usbultra is designed to assist with jitter not sound signature. I'd give in another try... I don't know what your exact setup is but I notice right away when I take it off the chain. It should definitely not make your music sound brighter; just better timing.
  12. poorsod
    I have had my optical Module --> opticalRendu --> Yggdrasil A2 set up for a few months now. I think the most interesting thing it does is with the soundstage. I think in my system, the Yggdrasil widens it and the oRendu gives it depth. When I was using the uRendu, the orchestra from the John Williams Swing album seemed to come from the ground, like it was in a pit. The oRendu moved the orchestra up on stage. The oRendu also sounds very different from the Innuos. I borrowed a friend's Innuos SE and I think the Innuos had more air around the voices. I never had the oRendu and the Innuos SE next to each other to compare, but I believe they would sound different. I am beginning to suspect that the server may influence the sound more than the DAC. Perhaps an analogy might be the server is like a turntable and the DAC like a cartridge.
    motberg likes this.
  13. bmichels
    Has someone used thez playback design dream transport MPT-8, which can be fitted with a Roon Core server module inside, which transform the MTP-8 into a complete CDPlayer/Streamer/Music serever in one box ?

    playback design dream transport_MPT-8.jpg
  14. allhifi
    malcyg: Wonderfully written; insightful, and truthful.

  15. bmichels
    can someone explain me what is the "extreme play mode" implemented in the Aurender W20SE ?
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