Aries Streamer: Tips and Tricks


#1

I don’t think buyers will be disappointed.

The only wish I had was implementation of I2s but for this I will use a suitable converter (will be testet next week).

Just remember to buy a decent power cable (here is mine):

http://www.hifi-kabel.com/#!product/prd15/2746162121/telos-audio-design---black-reference

I am using the JCAT USB cable.


#2

My interest is limited to the PS Audio community members. I think it could be of mutual benefit to discuss pro’s & con’s between members and how to perfect the hook-up to the DS as the primary source. By doing this we can also provide support and recommendations until the PS Audio External Bridge hits the market.

This could also provide useful information to PS Audio in their development process (e.g. functional spec). If I am not much mistaken the target price point might be similar.

Just for the fun of it:

With the new direct attached music library I am currently setting up the Aries as a portable music source by using the Apple Airport Express (latest model) and my iDevice/how-is-ted-coding-the-fpgarol point (iPad Air2 128GB).

I am using this disc: USB HD

It is passively powered from Aries and works without a hitch.

My friends comes to the party with their own memory stick which can go straight into my Aries-connected USB hub. Aries locks on to the device that is first connected to the USB hub in order for the Aries built-in uPnP server to browse its contents (i.e. music library).


#3

YOUR NEW ARIES

**** You will need you own power cord and two AAA batteries for the remote,Not to mention USB A>B cables. . Also, download the Lightning control app for IPAD, Android will be available in Jan/2015.

I would also suggest installing Minim Server on your NAS and Computer as it is the simplest and in MHO it works the best with the Lightning app.

ARIES- QUICK START GUIDE

http://www.auralic.com/download/aries_quick_start.pdf

YOUR NEW ARIES

1/ open the box and check that all listed contents are included.
2/ Plug in the linear power supply and connect it to Aries and power it on with the remote. [ let it warm up and yes, SQ also improves with burn in 100 hours or so too.
3/Connect Aries to your LAN and internet [best to start with a wired connection and you can switch to wireless later if you prefer].

4/ AFTER reading the MANUAL, open the lightning app, on your IPAD. If it asks to do an update, say yes.
5/ At the bottom left you will see a gear, select it. Under “device” you should see Aries,select it and a configuration screen will appear.
6/ Change the NAME to ARIES, ship pass code for now, Select “open home DS, wired, skip dc delay and time, OUTPUT Chanel should be your source [not digital], If playing DSD select DSD over PCM, select software volume. NOTE: when playing DSD the software volume may not work yet so control vol by your DAC or pre-amp. Your Aries device info should show below including the latest firmware ver 1.1.0.
7/ Select MUSIC LIBRARY- all “available library players should be selectable. [ select Minim server [ or whatever you are using] DEPENDING on the size of your library it can take a long time to load. DO NOT disturb it, go have a coffee or a few coffees.
8/ Once the library and cover art is FULLY loaded, [it shows oat the very top of your screen “loading or refreshing etc”.
9/ You should now be ready to play music.
The top icon on the left should show your library. So should the folder option at the bottom.

*****One other tip… When setting up on Wifi the Aries must be on the same Wifi network as the iPad… so if you have a dual band router make sure both Aries and iPad are both on the same band i.e. both on 2.4ghz or 5ghz or you’ll have connection issues.

HERE is where I usually JUMP SHIP.
1/ Download the Kinsky [Linn] app and open it up.
2/ select HOME/ library and select your library/player. Select ROOMS and select Aries.
Quite quickly you should have a list of view categories on the left. Select “albums” and let them load with covers.

I go back and forth between the two apps since Lightning is still a work in progress but improving with every update. For now I let Lightning do my settings and run in the background and use Kinsky to play music.

This should get you started but if you have any questions, post them in the thread that ELK is setting up and others will chime in to help from their experience.

“Enjoy the Music”


#4
gordon said YOUR NEW ARIES

**** You will need you own power cord and two AAA batteries for the remote. Also, download the Lightning control app for IPAD, Android will be available in Jan/2015.


Not to mention USB A>B cables.

#5

And VERY important since this is not mentioned in any of the setup info… The Aries Must Be hardwired to your network at the time of setup… You can’t get it going out of the box on WiFi…

Once it’s on the network you can switch it over to Wifi, but for initial setup and initial software update it has to be a wired connection.

And I’ll add to Gordon’s thoughts… if you’re using a Nas, Minimserver is great, super stable and it just works… But it is a bit Techie to get setup up so read up on Minimserver on their user forums, Simon the developer is quite helpful if you have problems…so I’ll second him that one should spend the time getting it installed on the Nas and configured along with the iPad app beforehand… it’ll save one a lot of time when installing the Aries to have the supporting stuff working…

One other tip… When setting up on Wifi the Aries must be on the same Wifi network as the iPad… so if you have a dual band router make sure both Aries and iPad are both on the same band i.e. both on 2.4ghz or 5ghz or you’ll have connection issues.

And lastly if you are doing EOP ( Ethernet Over Power) as your hardwire connection be aware that at least my Aries did not like it, and I had to use an ethernet switch in order to get a reliable connection… ( spent a lot of time figuring that out)


#6
erikm said

And lastly if you are doing EOP ( Ethernet Over Power) as your hardwire connection be aware that at least my Aries did not like it, and I had to use an ethernet switch in order to get a reliable connection… ( spent a lot of time figuring that out)


Good tips from all.

If you have a managed switch you can turn off the PoE. The PoE also comes as two standards 802.3af (15W) and 802.3at (30W). If the PoE is using the spare leads it normally does not create a problem, but if it is superimposed on the 4 pins used for Ethernet layer 2, then it may pose a problem.

My experience is that the LDS to Aries works still if your iPad is on another SSID at least.


#7

Aries whitepaper recommended by Shilohdog.


#8
erikm said And VERY important since this is not mentioned in any of the setup info.. The Aries Must Be hardwired to your network at the time of setup.. You can't get it going out of the box on WiFi..

Once it’s on the network you can switch it over to Wifi, but for initial setup and initial software update it has to be a wired connection.

And I’ll add to Gordon’s thoughts… if you’re using a Nas, Minimserver is great, super stable and it just works… But it is a bit Techie to get setup up so read up on Minimserver on their user forums, Simon the developer is quite helpful if you have problems…so I’ll second him that one should spend the time getting it installed on the Nas and configured along with the iPad app beforehand… it’ll save one a lot of time when installing the Aries to have the supporting stuff working…

One other tip… When setting up on Wifi the Aries must be on the same Wifi network as the iPad… so if you have a dual band router make sure both Aries and iPad are both on the same band i.e. both on 2.4ghz or 5ghz or you’ll have connection issues.

And lastly if you are doing EOP ( Ethernet Over Power) as your hardwire connection be aware that at least my Aries did not like it, and I had to use an ethernet switch in order to get a reliable connection… ( spent a lot of time figuring that out)


Do you mean to install the Aires iPad app or a different one as advance work before the Aires arrives? Thank you.

#9

I think the app is called Lightning DS. If you search the app store for Aries you probably won’t find it.


#10
stax said

Do you mean to install the Aires iPad app or a different one as advance work before the Aires arrives? Thank you.


The Aries app from the Apple app store

#11

You need the LDS in order to configure the Aries.

Here are my settings. The most important one is the Output Setting if you are using USB.

IMG_0025.PNGIMG_0022.PNGIMG_0021.PNGIMG_0020.PNG


#12

Note that in Frodes pics “aries server” is for the USB direct input and NOT NAS or PC


#13

Yes, and the MinimServer[Musikkbibliotek] source is my SSD equipped NAS, connected to my router, streaming wirelessly on 5GHz to the Aries.

If you use the LDS you should use OpenHome DS operation mode in normal circumstances (when you use the Aries bridge).


#14

Later I might set up a guideline of how to set mac filtering in your router so only ‘approved’ devices are allowed on your Aries streaming network (if this has some interest). For those who are diagnosed with a highly advanced stage of paranoia even a hidden SSID could be evaluated ;)


#15

My Audiobyte Hydra-Z USB converter arrives tomorrow.

The point with this device is to feed it from the Aries USB, converting the stream to I2s and hook it up to the DS I2s input. The Hydra is powered via the Aries USB port.

My HDMI cable is Wireworld Platinum 2m.

The Hydra can support up to DSD512 natively on its I2s port, however the DS will convert this to DoP internally, nevertheless.

According to Ted there is a good chance that this might improve the SQ opposed to direct USB connection, however we will know this after it has settled in my system for a while. I will also look out for lock-on pops and latency issues.

My hope is that this solution will be a giant killer!

http://audiobyte.net/products/hydra-z


#16

An intriguing device. I look forward to your report.


#17
Frode said The Hydra can support up to DSD512 natively on its I2s port, however the DS will convert this to DoP internally, nevertheless.
I've seen a lot of posts which give the impression that DoP is somehow an inferior option compared to "native" DSD. Not sure if that's your intent, Frode, so forgive me if I'm inappropriately tarring you with that broad brush, but I want to put people's minds at rest about this.

DoP doesn’t harm your DSD, even though it has the dreaded “PCM” in its name. It’s not a conversion. It’s merely a smuggling operation to sneak “native” DSD data through systems which were originally designed with PCM in mind.

Smuggling DSD over PCM transport involves collecting 16 of the 1-bit DSD samples together and then disguising them as if they were merely the lower 16 bits of a 24-bit PCM word. The disguise is in the top 8 bits, and is carefully chosen to slip through PCM customs without causing any alarms to go off - but it is instantly recognisable to the DSD receiver who picks up the packages at the end of the chain. The disguise can be discarded and the 1-bit samples treated as the independent bitstream elements they always were.

The marshalling of “native” DSD over I2S into DoP disguise at the entry point of the DirectStream DAC’s FPGA is just a formality to simplify subsequent processing (since every other kind of input also “looks like” PCM). There’s no data loss, no sound quality alteration as a result of this implementation detail.


#18

I like your analogies. You are certainly correct that DoP is lossless and delivers the bitperfect DSD stream over links designed for PCM. However there is one detail: tho I don’t believe it’s a sound quality issue with the DS, some DACs sound different syncing to a DSD rate clock than they do syncing to a 176.4k or 352.8k clock, presumably the difference is how jitter affects their PLL(s). Also, in so far as people’s systems sound different depending on the load/job mix on their computers, wrapping DSD in DoP and using a different sample rate could significantly change the noise/jitter “signature” of the PC. How this affects the sound quality of their systems is anyone’s guess.


#19

Thanks Ted. I don’t dispute that DACs have varying degrees of sensitivity to electrical/electro-mechanical effects which may differ due to clock rates and processing patterns etc. So yes, DoP could in some cases sound “different” to the same DSD data delivered via a different interface or encoding mechanism. But people tend to assume that where such differences exist, “native” must necessarily sound better, and that DoP therefore does something to contaminate the quality of DSD – but the reality is that in a great DAC they should sound identical because they are the same information. In less-than-perfect DACs, YMMV.


#20

Frode

Is the I2s/will-the-ac-12-hdmi-cable-be-offered-again contact mapping as per the PS Audio standard?