Auralic Aries G1.1 Music Library/Server Lab Report

Lab Report

As discussed in previous lab reports, advanced digital server solutions like Auralic's Aries G1.1 and the partnering G2.1 [HFN Feb '21] typically include a layer of proprietary data conditioning. Grimm Audio's MU1 [HFN Dec '20], the Innuos Statement [HFN Jan '20] and Melco N10 [HFN Jun '19] also include bespoke software. In Auralic's case, the 'conditioning' includes upsampling/downsampling to 2x or 4x the base 44.1kHz/48kHz sample rates in tandem with a choice of four digital filters.

Tested with a Mytek Brooklyn DAC [HFN Aug '17], the 'Precise' option is seen as a very long-tap, linear phase FIR filter that offers the flattest responses (–0.07dB/20kHz with this DAC) and the most complete stopband rejection (up to 130dB) at the expense of extended pre/post 'echoes' in the time domain [see black traces, Graph 1 below]. 'Dynamic' is a related linear phase filter, with fewer taps, offering a similar 130dB stopband rejection and extended response, with minor ±0.002dB ripples, and reduced pre/post echoes [red traces, Graph 1]. The 'Balance' filter option trades 70dB of stopband rejection for a slightly earlier in-band roll-off (–0.1dB/18kHz to –2.3dB/20kHz) and much reduced ringing and group delay in the time domain [blue traces, Graph 1]. The only minimum phase filter, 'Smooth', has no pre-event (acausal) echoes albeit traded for more significant post-event ripples combined with an almost identical HF roll-off/stopband rejection to the 'Balance' option [green traces, Graph 2].

Jitter, tested with three AES/USB DACs [see table, below], is unaffected by choice of digital filter or resampling rate and seems wholly defined by the intrinsic jitter of the (top-flight) DACs themselves. Although the Aries G1.1 lacks the galvanically-isolated USB output of the G2.1 there is no observable deterioration in distortion, S/N or jitter [see Graph 2, below]. PM


Treble (zoomed, 10kHz-20kHz) and impulse responses for the Brooklyn DAC via Aries G1.1 (Precise, black; Dynamic, red; Balance, blue; Smooth, green)


48kHz/24-bit jitter spectra from the Mytek Brooklyn DAC fed from Auralic Aries G1.1 streamer (via USB, red; balanced AES connection, black)

Digital inputs Wired/wireless Ethernet; USB-A
Digital outputs USB 2.0; Toslink; Coax; AES
Digital jitter (dCS Vivaldi One APEX) 7psec (AES) / 8psec (USB)
Digital jitter (SPL Diamond) 100psec (AES) / 120psec (USB)
Digital jitter (Mytek Brooklyn) 6psec (AES) / 7psec (USB)
Power consumption 12W
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 340x80x320mm / 7.3kg
Price £2699 (£3099 with 2TB storage)

Auralic (Beijing) Co., Ltd
Supplied by: Auralic Europe, The Netherlands
075901 06105