Quality differences between Aries models

#1

Hi there,
I’m using the following set-up:
Aries Mini with SSD(AIFFs) and Qobuz -> SPDIF -> DAC. First of all, I LOVE the Aries Mini. It streams bit-perfect and sounds amazing and is my only digital source. That said I would like to improve it if possible and wonder how and why would a G1 or G2 improve the sound as the Mini seems to be cruising through its duties.

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#2

I had an ARIES femto and moved up briefly to the ARIES G2 before moving completely to VEGA G2. The improvement with the ARIES G2 over the previous generation top of the line ARIES was noticeable. I would imagine the move from mini to G2 would be very noticeable.

#3

Thanks, I should have added that I listen to 100% AIFF in 16/44.1. I struggle to understand what would make a difference between one Aries and other.
My question was really how? And why Would there be differences? To which degree and because of what. Moving 16/44.1 files bit-perfect is all I need from min Aries Mini and it seems to do it perfectly.

#4

I’m not qualified to give you design theory behind the technology. Before G2, AURALiC had ARIES Mini, ARIES LE, and ARIES all marketed at the same time with a range of price levels. Do you believe they all really sounded the same?

#5

I haven’t had any experience with the other Aries. What I really like about the Mini is having an SSD on board which the other Aries didn’t have. Now the G2 has that which is why I’m very interested. But even before arranging an audition I’d like to know if it will make a difference on 16/44.1 files. I suspect the benefits are more to be found on HD PCM or DSD which I never use.

#6

All Auralic streamers are bit perfect output to DAC, therefore in term of SQ, the variation is very small. The only difference is the amount of noise get coupled to the DAC with exception to Aries G2 is galvanic isolated.

#7

Hi, thanks, that makes sense. Galvanic isolation is often a topic for cables that are not designed for audio like USB and Ethernet and also carry current . I use WiFi (or internal SSD) and SPDIF out so wonder if galvanic isolation is important.

#8

Ethernet is actually galvanic isolated using isolating transformers built into RJ-45 connectors on both the router(transmitter) and the streamer(receiver), they have to confirm to the ethernet standard IEEE 802.3

USB on the other hand don’t have galvanic isolation, so it depends on whether the streamer and or the DAC provide some form of isolation built-in. Users can still invest on USB isolator if both the streamer and DAC doesn’t have isolation.

As for SPDIF, optical Toslink is obviously isolated. As for coaxial, it goes to the isolating transformers, so they can considered galvanic isolated provided the coaxial connector is isolated from the chassis.

#9

Not everyone, myself included, will agree with your premise.

#10

Actually, both Ethernet and SPDIF are not Galvanic isolated. The signal path is transformer coupled but the ground are still connected to each other so the noise can still go into system easily. TOSLINK is isolated but the problem is the process that convert electronic signal to optical signal (and going back) will create a lot of jitter. he jitter introduced is over 1ns which is horrible. You do need a really good reclock circuit to get rid of those things. The luck part is on both VEGA G1 and VEGA G2, we will record the signal and play through streaming platform, which means the jitter inside TOSLINK wont affect.

#11

I’ve a diagram of a typical RJ-45 ethernet LAN connector which is commonly used for routers and streamers. There’s no grounding between them (provided shielded cable is not used) as it needs to conform to IEEE 802.3 standard of 1.5kV isolation.

http://www.rj45transformer.com/sale-447115-right-angle-cat6-rj45-modular-connector-with-transformer-for-monitor.html

As for SPDIF, as long the coaxial RCA connector is physical isolated using a plastic washer with no direct contact to the chassis, I believe it should be isolated.

#12

The shielded network cable is exactly the problem because most audiophile network cable are shielded…

#13

Also the transformer inside RJ45 connector does not provide good enough RF noise rejection。

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#14

Thanks for all the answers.
So… Then what about SPDIF output of the Aries Mini (In my case into the Benchmark Dac2 and Dac3).
I believe that jitter is eliminated inside the Dac and the signal ‘reclocked’ befor conversion stages inside the DAC, but the burning question there is: Is USB actually better? There are tests that seem to indicate that. For many years USB was described as having lots of problems but now it seems to be the go to connection for most digital products.

#15

I think it all depends on whether shielded or unshield RJ-45 connector is used in the first place.

http://www.rj45transformer.com/sale-10253620-unshield-poe-rj45-magnetic-jack-with-100-base-tx-transformer-rj45-female-jack.html

I saw Aries Mini uses a plastic RJ-45 connector (no metallic casing over) so I presumed it is unshielded? If the user uses a audiophile shielded LAN cable, the ground is still electrically isolated. I also saw my wireless router also using a plastic RJ-45 connector (no metallic casing over).

#16

In the diagram, the RJ-45 connector does provide common mode noise rejection on the second transformer.

http://www.rj45transformer.com/sale-447115-right-angle-cat6-rj45-modular-connector-with-transformer-for-monitor.html

#17

The CMR performance of all RJ45 transformer is not enough to eliminate all noise, you may be able to reject noise for particular band for 40dB or maybe 60dB but this is not enough for High End audio circuit…

#18

To go back to my original question (I don’t use RJ45 in and certainly not Toslink out).

All my digital files are 16/44.

  • AIFF library on the Aries Mini internal SSD
  • FLAC Qobuz

I use WiFi and SPDIF out. What makes the G2 better than the Mini? If the stream is bit perfect, then what the DAC gets is the same regardless of the streamer?
Also most DACs will reclock internally.

#19

Noise from streamer to DAC. Aries G2 is galvanic isolated. Unless your DAC is also galvanic isolated on its inputs or invest a SPDIF isolator, noise from the streamer will degrade the DAC conversion to analog signals.

In digital audio, achieving bit perfect is easy but noise coupling from the source to DAC conversion is a killer.

#20

One year ago I’ve upgraded my Aries MIni to Aries Femto (I’m using a RME ADI2DAC). The music sounds since that upgrade more precise with stunning dry percussion. Stage and room is also better than before. Instruments and singer are very well to locate. I think it depends on the Femto Clock, hiqh quality power supply and USB connection with Jitterbug instead Toslink cable.

Hope that is a little bit helpful for you: