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A standalone music server is a device capable of storing and playing computer audio files and sending a bitstream to your DAC.

The S10 looks right at home in a half-million-dollar system. Two active-matrix organic light-emitting diode AMOLED screens on its front panel normally display two blue or white meters; in its black case my review sample was silver , the S10 looks a bit like a McIntosh component.

The S10 measures The S10 is basically a Linux computer with a 64GB solid-state drive, from which music files are read before being played, to minimize jitter. Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillators are used for their extreme precision, to further minimize jitter. All of these functions are also available on the remote iPad app. Unlike some other servers, which can use a variety of smart phones or tablets as remotes, the S10 works only with an iPad, which you provide -- none is included with the S But unless you want to use the iPad for other purposes I surely would , you need only a bare-bones model with Wi-Fi, not phone service, and not much memory.

Of course, if you already have an iPad, that will reduce the overall system cost. The manual is pretty decent, too -- it explains, clearly and simply, what you must do to get the iPad and S10 to shake hands, as well as how to use the Aurender app. It requires some practice.

No wall warts here -- hooray! The S10 uses both switch-mode and linear power supplies, as appropriate. The iPad connects wirelessly to the home router, and from there the router connects to the S10 via Ethernet, an increasingly popular arrangement. In addition to seeing service in TWBAS , my review sample had been used at a Consumer Electronics Show -- it was already well broken in and partially set up.

Installation in my home network was thus somewhat less of a hassle than other server installations have been, though there are always a few minor challenges. But once the S10 was installed, I found its operation straightforward and its response speedy. But as nice as a big screen is, you still need a good app to make a good remote control. The Aurender app was just terrific, with many more features than freebie open-source apps such as MPoD.

Sooloos, too, has recently released an iPad control app for its system. The operation was as easy as copying files from one directory to another on the computer -- a basic skill.

I suspect the few exceptions were due to my attempts to force an unnatural organizational scheme on the files. The standard iPad display includes thumbnails of the cover art. I experienced one rare glitch in my attempts to upload files. Finally, I tried the feature on the Aurender app that lets you scan the hard drive by folder. It was trivially easy; all I had to do was plug in the CD drive and insert a CD in the drawer; the S10 took care of the rest, ejecting the CD after a very speedy rip.

The S10 even got the cover art right. I still prefer using ripping software like dBpoweramp, which lets me rip uncompressed FLAC files, but lots of people would rather take the much easier way and let the S10 rip their CDs. I could hear a brief moan of disk activity as the S10 loaded a track onto the SSD. Although it has no fan, the S10 ran just slightly warm. The entire case is apparently used as a heatsink; the substantial heatsinks along the side actually ran cooler than the case.

Reviewing high-priced gear always scares me a little: Would I be able to tell the difference between the S10 and lesser servers? It sounded flaming gorgeous! Remember when digitally reproduced strings sounded like fingernails on a blackboard? The lack of smearing revealed a rhythmic tension and a forward momentum that have been a smidgen inaudible with other servers.

The S10 made this album far more enjoyable than before -- which to me is, in a nutshell, the whole reason for the existence of high-end audio. Leading-edge transients were clean and incisive, though without any of the overemphasis that sometimes sounds impressive on a first hearing.

The overall experience was a bit like listening to a new -- and better -- album. Highs and lows were well-defined and extended but oh-so-smooth. On the same album, J. The S10 depicted the chorus with considerable detail, letting me easily hear individual voices.

So maybe the question of whether or not hi-rez recordings sound better needs further exploration. The Auraliti, too, is a Linux computer under its skin, but it uses Music Player Daemon to play audio files. The Auraliti is a small, simple black box that takes up less than half a shelf on your rack. A wall wart provides electrical power an optional linear power supply is now available. In short, the Auraliti does nothing but play music files. Since the S10 made Seventeenth Century Music and Dance sound so good, I had to refresh my memory of how it sounded through my Auraliti.

It sounded just as I recalled: sweet but a bit homogenized, lacking in texture and detail; in a word, lifeless. With For the Angel, Israfel and the organ prelude, the Auraliti produced just as much frequency extension as the S Then again, the Auraliti exhibited a greater sense of depth than the S It was close, though. All in all, the Auraliti PK gave a good accounting of itself, with no obvious weaknesses.

But the Aurender S10 surpassed it in virtually all areas, making the Auraliti sound a little mechanical by comparison.

Should you rush out and buy an Aurender S10? But what most impressed me about the Aurender S10 was that it made recorded music sound more real and more involving -- and more beautiful. If digital sound reproduction has left you cold, you ought to give the Aurender S10 a listen. After hearing it, a good friend who has remained a staunch analog holdout observed that perhaps it was at last time to consider a digital system.

In my view, the Aurender S10 advances the state of the digital art. Vade Forrester vadef soundstagenetwork. Warranty: Two years parts and labor nontransferable. E-mail: sales aurender. Network Sites SoundStage! Network portal SoundStage! Access SoundStage! Australia SoundStage! Global SoundStage! Hi-Fi here SoundStage! Simplifi SoundStage! Solo SoundStage! Ultra SoundStage! Xperience Buying Guides Advertisers. UK SoundStage! See all of our videos in one spot.

Most-Read Reviews Last 5 Years. Most-Read Reviews Last Days. Most-Read Reviews Last 90 Days. Aurender S10 Music Server. Sound Reviewing high-priced gear always scares me a little: Would I be able to tell the difference between the S10 and lesser servers?

Bottom line Should you rush out and buy an Aurender S10?


S10 Review- A Valuable Music Server / Hifi Advice

When I first laid eyes on the Aurender at an audioshow a year or so ago, I was immediately drawn to it. There is no doubt: this is a serious product. Ben Hoedjes, the owner, was more than happy to lend it to me for review. The Aurender S10 is an integrated music server: it has a 2TB built in hard disk and as such it works without the addition of a NAS or computer acting as a server. Inside the Aurender S10 resembles the way that big Wadias are built, with three separate sections separated by thick aluminium walls. At its base is a computer motherboard, running custom Linux software and the board is housed in its own section at the bottom of the unit. Power for the motherboard comes from a switched unit which is tucked away in the basement too.


S10 Review- Music Playback and Storage Solution / AudioStream

This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below. Equally attractive is the frontal display providing essential information such as the current source and output levels with a choice of McIntosh blue or Luxman yellow digital VU meters. The third display mode shows text information about the current music selection and bit depth, sampling frequency and file format data. It also enables access to external hard disk or a network attached storage device. The way the Aurender works is efficient and simple.

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