I am sharing this to everyone that has an ARIES and has reliability problems:
- Need to reset a few times every day
- ARIES cannot find the USB interface with the DAC (I have a VEGA)
- Runs very hot, even in standby
- WiFi connection lost a few times a day
- Stuck in “starting mode”
- Need to physically switch off the ARIES
- When in exact clock a change in frequency, for example from 44 KHz to 96 KHZ, or simply playing a 192 KHz file, results in several minutes of drops or white noise for DSD files
- Restart while playing
All these things started happening for me after a few months of normal use. The distributor was very kind and gave me a new ARIES. After a few months the same problems started to appear. So, I did my searches and, thanks to this support site, I tried different things:
- Use the 2.4GHz WiFi, not the 5GHz (it works a little better, but still a lot of problems)
- Use the ARIES wired (same thing, a little better but not enough)
- Replace the Intel 7260HMV WiFi card (this solution is better and lasts for a few weeks; after that the problems start to show again; I changed the WiFi Card three times)
The problem is the Intel7260HMW. This card has a design flaw and, when used in the ARIES, runs very hot and, somehow, deteriorates with time.
I really love how the ARIES and the VEGA sound so, before throwing in the towel and find an alternative I decided to go deeper. On the support site I found that the ARIES firmware has drivers for the new Intel models: 7265NGW, and 8260NGW. The problem is that these cards are not PCIe but use the newer bus format M.2. And the antenna connectors are MHF4 instead of U.FL.
So, I found an adapter from M.2 to PCIe and replacement antenna cables. And I bought an Intel 8260NGW. Replacing the card is easy: remove the white sticky pad under the ARIES, unscrew the 12 screws, remove the upper part of the ARIES cabinet. There are two more screws to unlock the WiFi card. Then just insert the 8260NGW in the adapter, the adapter in the PCIe slot and use the new antenna extensions provided with the adapter. The cables provided with the adapter can be used as an extension but the plugs are a little flimsy. For this reason I decided to cut the original cables and the extension cables near the plugs, solder the wires and isolate them with heat shrink sleeves.
WOW! The ARIES runs a lot cooler now (10°C less on the upper cabinet), sounds a lot better (this was unexpected) and doesn’t present all the usual problems. Even the Exact Clock works fine now. This is the first time in years that I really love my ARIES! I am connected through the 5GHz WiFi.
You will need these two things:
- Wireless Way M.2(NGFF) to Mini PCIe (mPCIe) adapter for Wifi and Bluetooth cards - Suitable for intel 8260NGW 9260NGW with 802.11ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (8260NGW) NGFF Wwifi Card 867Mbps 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Bluetooth 4.2 not for IBM/Lenovo/Thinkpad and HP
Two weeks are gone now, and the ARIES has disconnected from the 5GHz WiFi just one time. It still runs very cool and sounds great! The exact clock needs just a couple of minutes to stabilize from standby and then plays music without drops, at 192 KHz or when changing frequency. No more white noise for DSD files.
Thanks to Mlmowery and Xuanqian for their help!
Enjoy your ARIES and please feel free to comment, correct my English and ask questions.