The $7999 Aurender N10 music server now graces the 'lower middle' shelf our reference room's Ayre/Audio Research rack stack. Said shelf previously held Aurender's excellent N100 which has been moved to the smaller room.
Why the change? Well, two reasons:
1. We wanted the superior performance of the N10. Our big room has some big iron in it and so the small improvement from an N10 is worth it overall and frankly a more appropriate match. The N10 has superior power supplies, shielding, a larger SSD drive, better processor, and clock. The N10 can also convert DSD files on-the-fly to PCM for feeding our non-DSD DACS 176KHZ conversions.
2. The smaller $2995 Aurender N100/4TB has a single USB output or in the N100C, a USB and coaxial digital output. The N10 by contrast is a complete and total Swiss army knife: It has a USB output (going to our Ayre QX-5 DAC, an AES/EBU (going to our Audio Research Reference 9 DAC/CD, and the two coaxial outputs (going to our McIntosh D1100 reference DAC, and McIntosh D150 DAC). All of these outputs are going simultaneously. So we just have to turn up the volume to the Mac, Ayre or Audio Research system, and the same music is playing!
The Aurender N10 also does the 'first-unfold' of Tidal music MQA files, and so provides 48-96KHZ PCM data too all connected DACS for any 'Tidal Masters' album.
Here is how you integrate an N10 into your system: