Question about Vega / Aries

Auralic newbie here…

I’ve the opportunity to acquire a used Aries / Vega combo, but am confused about their function. Do I need a computer to use this combo? I’m trying to get away from the computer…

My understanding was that I could plug my external USB HDD directly into the Aries, using a tablet app to control the library, and then use the digital output of the Aries to feed the Vega directly.

Is this correct?

Thanks - Boomzilla

Hi Glenn,

The answer is “yes”, you can do as you say, but the computer is still necessary to “manage” the content.

Take a look at this short video for further clarification.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bO1RHX3LuQ

Also note the improved screen on the G1 and G2 series, that makes navigating content a little easier if you don’t want to use the LDS app for some strange reason.

But most do use the LDS app or similar (Roon) on their iPad (primarily) or iPhone to navigate the stored or streamed content.

The computer is basically used to add or remove said content and update or alter the metadata (artwork etc), once done though it can take a back seat.

I still consider myself very new to streaming so if I’ve missed something I’m sure it will get corrected by those with more experience, but in the mean time I hope the above helps.

PS. Forgot to say you won’t be disappointed with your selection, the Aries/Vega is a great sounding system, just google for reviews, I don’t believe there is a bad one out there and they easily stand comparison with more expensive equipment.

Then if I understand correctly, this is the setup I’d need?:

And if this is correct, then why do I need the Aries at all? Couldn’t I stream directly from the PC to the Vega? Also, couldn’t I also connect my data USB HDD directly to the Vega provided the Roon program was managing selections?

In short, I’m mystified as to what function the Aries actually serves. It seems that every bit of its potential functionality is already there with the PC. I’m interested in simplifying my system, not adding expensive, redundant, and seemingly useless additional parts.

I was strongly hoping that with the Aries/Vega combo:

  1. I’d be able to ditch Roon and the PC completely
  2. That the Aries OS would perform all the functions previously handled by Roon
  3. That the Vega with remote would eliminate the need for a preamplifier
  4. That my USB HDD with data would be connected directly to the Aries
  5. That the Aries iPad app would allow me to do what Roon currently does

But if I still need a PC and Roon in the setup, it would seem that the Aries is a total waste of money. Yes, I understand the marketing hoopla that a computer isn’t optimized for music, and the Aries is - but really!

You need the PC to copy files onto the hard drive that you connect to the Aries. Without the PC you won’t be able to copy files onto that drive as the Aries can’t do the file copies, it just plays the files.

Relax, be nice and don’t be cynical when it’s you who doesn’t understand the matter.
When using Arius G1/2 with external library on USB or NAS you do not need a computer and it’s all done via iPad with LDS.

You did not indicate if the combo are the original Aries/Vega or the G1 series. If it is the former you definitely need the Aries as the Vega has no network capability. You can connect connect a USB wire from your computer then you could use Roon but not the DLS app.

Hi Glenn,

I don’t won’t to step on the toes of others that have already answered some of your second post, but I note a few things that may still require clarity.

You initially mentioned content on external hard drive and if that’s all you wish to do then the PC will not be necessary to play that content.

The same can be said for Tidal and Qobuz.

But if you also want to employ Roon then (I believe) a PC or other equipment will be required, but I’m really outside my experience with Roon so it’s best others expand on that aspect.

Regarding the functionality of the Aries being the same as the PC, simplistically “yes”, but with reservations. If you watched the video one major aspect talked about is reducing “electrical noise” which PC’s leave something to be desired in that area. The Aries has been optimised on that front (as are other streamers) so consequently they can sound a lot better.

I have the Altair G1 that basically combines the Aries and Vega aspects into one box. It solely works over WiFi with content stored on ssd fitted inside (it could also be attached to the external USB port) and I navigate via LDS app on iPad Pad.

That’s it, I can listen to my music, radio streams and if I had the accounts for Tidal or Qobuz, those as well all from that simple setup.

The only time the iMac is used (as already explained) is to ‘manage” that content, for example add more music to the drive or edit it’s metadata.

Hope this gives a little more detail.

Thank you kindly to all of you - It’s clearer now.

I don’t need the PC except to copy new music to the library disc.
The library disc can remain connected directly to the Aries (except when adding files)
The Aries can connect directly via wireless to the LDS program on my iPad
So for playback, all I need is the iPad, LDS, the Aries, and the Vega

The HDD goes to the “USB” socket on the Aries
The DAC output on the Aries feeds the Vega
I’d assume that the Ethernet connection on the back of the Aries would need to be hooked up to the wireless router? (Or does the Aries serve as its own wireless hub?)

Does the Aries-Vega connection sound best with USB or with Coaxial interface?

Thanks!

Hi Pietro Cozzi Tinin - You state that “When using the Aries G1/2…you do not need a computer.” Does this mean that the original Aries Mini DOES require a computer?

It’s not necessary to have the Ethernet cable connected if you are using WiFi, the Aries will use that instead.

Ethernet is usually considered the faster for transfers, depending on your Routers wireless capabilities, but I believe Auralic consider wireless the best method as far as reducing electrical interference is concerned.

With respect to transferring content on to the hard drive, you can remove it and connect direct to computer, but it can also be done left connected to Aries. All you need to do is look for the shared folder in Finder on macOS or Explorer on Windows. It’s then a simple process of drag n’ drop.

The Aries Mini is a streamer with built in dac, in other words it combines the Aries and Vega aspects in one box, all be it at a far lower quality. But you operate it in exactly the same way as discussed above so the computer is only really necessary for file management.

This help article may explain further.

https://support.auralic.com/hc/en-us/articles/206143738-Copy-music-to-internal-storage

Note it’s talking about internal drives but it’s basically the same for those connected externally, the folder you see in Finder or Explore just has a different name.

I have no idea as I only have the G2 as reference which I use without any computer at all.
edit: I use the ethernet cable to acces my NAS as it sounds better than WiFi in my system.
Same quality let’s me use the AES/EBU (transport -> DAC) above all other connections.

@Boomzilla Can you please tell us which Aries / Vega combo you have. 1. Aries Femto 2. Aries mini 3. Aries G1 4. Aries G2 1. Vega 2. Vega G1 3. Vega G2

The Aries Mini does not need a computer either for normal playback use, only for copying files to an attached disk like the other Aries.

I’ll be looking at an original Aries Mini and the original Auralic Vega. I’ve already committed to the Vega, but could opt instead for a G1 or G2 Aries if there’s sufficient advantage in doing so.

Thank you. I have both of those. I also have the Aries Femto. Do you have a pre amp and amplifier?

I use the mini when I go on trips since it’s an all in one solution for music. Just add powered speakers. You certainly do not need a computer for this. If you are considering using Roon you will need a computer to run the software. A Nuc is the cheapest and very popular.

I do have pre and power amps. This is not to be a computer system, but a living room one. I’d be happy to become Roonless if the Aurilac software is equivalent.

I go back and forth with Roon and LDS. There is nothing like Roon but there is nothing wrong with LDS.

If I may be so blunt, you probably need to decide on what you are actually trying to achieve.

If it’s to get rid on the computer as much as possible from the playing aspect, you are not bothered about Roon and you are happy with the least upgrade in sound quality, then all you need is the Aries Mini plugged direct in to your Pre Amp.

If the about still hold true but you desire a better sounding setup then add the Vega to the Aries Mini.

Further up the performance chain would be the Aries (not the Mini) with the Vega.

All the above will give you the ability to play your own stored content, stream radio stations and stream various paid services all from within LDS. All other paid services like Spotify or Amazon can be played from the appropriate App via AirPlay at Cd quality.

But I f you also desire Roon in the equation then unfortunately that will require the PC or alternative equipment to be more active in the playing process.

It’s only my opinion but if you don’t narrow down your requirements you could be just going around in circles trying to decide on what equipment you really need, just my view though.

Hi SiHancox -

I DO want to get away from the computer and Roon. I don’t use Spotify, Amazon, or TIDAL.
I have already committed to the Vega. The remaining questions are mainly:

  1. Do I want the preamp downstream of the Vega? I’m assuming that the volume control on the Vega is digital? But since all inputs have already been overscanned, there may not be the typical loss of quality that happens with digital volume. The question then (assuming the variable volume from the Vega is high quality) is "how good are the Vega’s output buffer amps? Can I drive the power amps directly from the Vega, and will that sound as good as having a preamp in the system? I don’t need additional input switching… One other note that should be mentioned is that even if I don’t use a preamplifier, the Vega will not actually be “driving the power amplifiers directly.” There will be a modified Dahlquist DQ-LP1 electronic crossover between the Vega and the power amps. The low-pass will roll off at 18 dB / octave, but the high pass will be 6 dB / octave with a slngle capacitor in the signal path between the source and the power amp inputs.

  2. Ignoring the technical advantages for the moment, how much better (if any) do the Aries, the Aries G1, or the Aries G2 sound than the Aries Mini? I have an audio amigo who claims to have heard all four, and his opinion is that the Mini actually sounds better (and that is what he owns). Of course, that’s only one data point which is why I ask the question here as well. Has anyone on this community ever done such a side-by-side shoot out? Remember - I’m not interested in additional capabilities, wireless options, color displays, or bells and whistles - I’m ONLY interested in sound quality. Unless the newer Aries models offer significant and audible improvements, I don’t want to waste a penny on them.

Also, and not wishing to sound insulting, I’m not interested in the opinion of anyone who hasn’t actually heard the different Aries models side-by-side. Just because you THINK that the newer ones should sound better because they’re newer or cost more is bogus information. Please don’t take this wrong, but it seems that the majority of consumers (and online posters) don’t actually listen to their equipment. Just because newer models offer a broader array of features doesn’t mean that their sound quality is superior. And make no mistake about it - what I’m wanting to get to is better sound quality.

So in terms of narrowing my requirements, that is it - Sound quality uber alles!

Thanks!

Hi Mimowery -

The thing I dislike about Roon is that it does require a computer to run the Roon program. I’ve run Roon on a Mac, and got hung out to dry when Apple updated their OS and it took Roon most of a month to get their program working again. I’m currently running Roon on a PC, but the Windows 10 interface irks me. I could buy a NUC and run Roon on their proprietary Linux RAAT, but that seems a bunch of additional expense for no significant sound quality improvement.

I haven’t seen LDS yet. The only things I’ve read about it are that it will index quickly and that it is pretty stable. Both sound attractive to me.

I’m currently running Roon from the PC in the computer room (back of my house) with an Ethernet cable to my Oppo UDP-205 (front of my house in the living room). The controller is an iPad with Roon Remote on it. This works most of the time without a hitch, but occasionally (usually when I want it to work properly the most), the iPad and Roon program on the PC lose communication and then I have to reboot to get the system working again.

If I can ditch Roon and the PC, I can physically locate my USB data HDD in the living room, connected directly to the Aries, and use LDS on the iPad to directly control the selections.

But I also have questions about LDS:

Will LDS index daughter folders, or do all albums have to be in the root directory?
How does LDS access album art? Does it maintain its own database on the HDD, or does it need internet access to pull from online sources?
How does LDS deal with duplicate titles (it’s not unusual for me to have two or more versions of the same album)
How does LDS deal with high-resolution audio files?
Is there a limit to the number of albums that LDS can index?
Is there benefit to having the Aries on a UPS so that LDS need not reindex after every power failure?
Does LDS have any peculiarities that I need know of?

Thanks!