New Vega user impressions

So I’ve gotten an original Auralic Vega recently. In my system, it replaces the DACs in my Oppo UDP-205 and the Audio-gd HE1 preamplifier. The current setup is:

Win 10 system with Roon feeding Ethernet output to
Oppo UDP-205 (used as a Roon Ethernet Endpoint) feeding digital coaxial output to
Original Auralic Vega feeding balanced output to
1 to 2 XLR splitter with output to
Pair of Emotiva PA-1 mono block amplifiers feeding Emotiva T2 speakers
Pair of Emotiva Airmotiv S-15 subwoofers with on-plate crossovers set to 60-hz Min.

This system is less than optimal due to the lack of an electronic crossover. Mine (a Dahlquist DQ-LP1) is currently being repaired.

Nevertheless, I have compensated acoustically the best I could by moving the T2 towers a full 3 to 4 feet from their back wall and by lifting the subs onto a 18" tall rack and moving them about 2 to 3 feet from their back wall. Although there is still a slight bass peak between about 30 and 50 Hz., it is tolerable for the time being.

So how does the Vega (used as both a DAC and a preamp) sound in this system? A bit “crisp.” There is a LOT of detail and definition, perhaps a bit too much in the upper midrange to lower treble. This is in contrast to the Oppo / preamp combo that were less present in that area.

Of course, this also may be due to the fact that I’ve not yet repositioned the speakers to optimize them for “the Vega sound.” With a touch less toe-in, the effect may be reduced. If I can retain the Vega’s upper midrange / lower treble clarity without it being so much “in your face,” then this could REALLY be an improvement for my system.

The Vega’s imaging is wide and deep (as much so as with my preamp in the system, which surprises me.)

The above comments were made with about an hour and a half’s listening from dead cold. I’ve left the Vega on overnight, and look forward to hearing it again today. I am also looking forward to hearing the Vega with an Aries front end and LDS software rather than Roon. That should happen later this month.

But so far… I’m definitely a new Auralic fan!

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Hi Glenn,

A couple of points you many want to consider, the system is fairly new and although you’ve left in on to “bed down” you may also need to acclimatise to the “new” sound yourself. It’s surprising how we become used to a particular setup and when it changes our brains take a little while to catch up.

Before you do any major changes just let it play and listen, you may find yourself coming around to the new presentation without the need for further adjustments.

But if you find it still requires “tweaking” I’ve found room furnishings can be a big help. Placing thick pile rugs in front of the speakers has a surprising impact, likewise hanging drapes behind the listener or speakers.

Also, if speakers are tucked away in corners try and position them in such a way that the distance from the side wall is not the same as that from the back wall, if not you may get reinforced reflections.

The above obviously can’t compensate for a system being way out, but if it’s very close to your ideal (as it appears your new setup is) it can make a surprising difference.

Enjoy the new sounds.

Thanks, SiHancox -

The room has extensive treatment, and I’ve become VERY familiar with the sound. I agree that the brain does adjust to new sounds, but I prefer NOT to allow myself to do that. I write audio equipment reviews, and to do so, I need my brain to be “calibrated” to the “normal” sound of the room, so that when new equipment is added, I’ll have a fixed standard to make comparisons against. To be able to assess the widest assortment of review equipment, my room is:

symmetrical from side to side.
fitted with acoustical absorber panels on the wall behind the speakers.
fitted with diffuser panels behind the listening position
fitted with a thick rug over the floor
fitted with acoustical absorber panels on the side first reflection points.

The room is about half absorbing and half reflective - not so damped as a recording studio might be, but yet not as reflective as a typical living room. All four corners are vented to other spaces to avoid standing bass waves to the extent possible.

In general, short of building a dedicated room for audio, this is about as good as can be.

Hi Glenn,

You’ve got it well covered by the sound of it (no pun intended) :grin:

It will certainly be interesting to see what you think in a week or so, will the sound bed down or will you need to tweak further.

Out of curiosity how did you assess the room treatment, via measurement or just by trial and error, listening and experience.

Room treatment was applied per the recommendations of GIK acoustics. Their recommendations originally included about 3x the amount of treatment that I eventually applied, but after all, they’re in the business of building recording studios (and selling room treatment).

What happened with the Aries?

If you don’t have the Aries I would connect your Roon to your Vega via USB. I would also use your pre amp to soften down the vega and add connection for your other sources.

You don’t need to leave the Vega on all night just put it to sleep. Also once an hour has passed set your Femto clock to exact.

The Aries is coming later this month, but isn’t available yet.

USB connection is impossible until the Aries arrives. The Roon server computer is at the far end of the house & Ethernet is the only connection.

I’ll warm up & set the Vega clock this evening.

Thanks again for the info!

Glenn Young

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The Auralic Vega is a great DAC, sufficiently detailed without the listening fatigue you get from some comparably priced DACs. That said, I found the volume control really audible as it chopped bits out of the music. It is best used with the volume at 80% or better, so with a good preamp. I would have expected the Oppo to sound similar with that DAC chip and the fact that it is optimized for audio. Did you try plugging into its USB port? Certainly my McIntosh MCD500 does up to it’s 96K capability. My new Vega G2 didn’t sound that great as a Roon end point until I optimized my network with a really good data switch.

I’m burned out with BOTH jRiver and Roon, and I profoundly DESPISE Windows 10. My goal (once I get my Auralic Aries) is to use LDS and never look back.

What’s the best way to link the Aries and the Vega?

USB would be the best link between the two. Get the new Aries. Even though WIFi was better than Ethernet my Aries had the WI-FI module die twice. I can’t imagine anyone hating on Roon once properly set up on a ROCK server. LDS sounded great when playing FLAC directly from a USB hard drive attached to the Aries there isn’t much to it.

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That is a matter of personal preference. I prefer the AES/EBU

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