Aries Femto Compatibility with McIntosh DACs

Are there any Aries Femto owners out there who are using a McIntosh DAC?

I am looking to upgrade to a McIntosh MHA 100/150 DAC/Headphone amp and wanted to ensure there are no compatibility issues.

My current Wadia DAC is not compatible with my Aries so I wanted to ensure I do my due diligence and not make the same mistake twice.

Hi obkb,

McIntosh / Wadia / Audio Research probably share the same USB solution which is not working well with most Linux-based devices like ARIES Femto. But you should be fine if you are using digital connections like AES / TOSLINK / COAXIAL.

What kind of usb solution do these 3 Companys use?

Thank you for quick reply!

It would be nice to know, what type of USB-modules do have problem with Aries.
I have a Metrum Ametyst (m2tech hiFace TWO USB-modul). No problems.
Before I had Metrum Octave MKII (Amanero Combo384 USB-module). No problems.

I have experienced lots of connection problems using the built in dac on a McIntosh C48 with the Aries femto.
Gave up on it, and started using coax, which to my ears also sounds better and more “organic”
Coax works perfectly, no dropouts, etc.
Br. Jan

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The McIntosh, Wadia and Audio Research (all under Fine Sound Group) are using similar USB input solution which is having trouble working with Linux system, at least of those devices that do not support DSD. The later models that support DSD seems to have switched to another USB input solution which may just work fine.

Hi Xuanquian,

Thank you for taking time to get back to me.

My current Wadia di122 which supports DSD and DXD is not compatible with my Aries so I decided not take a chance on the McIntosh and ended up purchasing a gently used Auralic Vega DAC instead which I know will be compatible.



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I use ARIES Femto with McIntosh C52 - no problems at all, works perfectly fine and sounds great.


Are you using USB connection between ARIES and McIntosh C52?

I thought the McIntosh C52 was a preamp and not a DAC.

Yes - I am. Works perfectly fine.

It`s a preamp with an integrated DAC (and a rather good one I would say) that goes up to maximum sampling rate of 32/384 and DSD.

That’s a good news, it appears the latest McIntosh has a different USB interface which has better compatibility.

Old topic, new problem !

The Aries Femto cannot playback Tidal & Quobus higher than 44,1khz via McIntosh MCD550 and USB Connection. Only faults and jitters. I tried with several other DACs like Wadia and TEAC, no problems.

McIntosh says that this is a problem of Auralic. Anyhow, no time to play games … are there any solutions?

Cheers, Norman