Auralic Aries G1 setup with Mac Mini as Roon Core?

I am considering purchasing an Auralic Aries G1. I currently have a Mac Mini set up as the Roon Core, which is controlled by my iPad. The Mac Mini is then connected via USB to the Matrix, and then via HDMI to my PS Audio DAC. If I purchase the Aries G1, will I need to keep my Mac Mini as the Roon Core? If so, what would be the best way to set this up? Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

Yes, your Mac Mini would still be the Roon Core, and the Aries the endpoint. The Aries has an excellent wi-fi implementation which would allow you to have the Mac in a different room if you wish.

Mac (Roon core) -> wi-fi -> Aries G1-> usb -> Matrix -> i2s -> PS Audio DAC

if you’re unable to do wi-fi:

Mac (Roon core) -> ethernet cable -> Aries G1-> usb -> Matrix -> i2s -> PS Audio DAC

Yes, you need to keep a Roon Core. The Aries G1 is a very good streamer. But it does nothing more then passing Data from Roon, Tidal, Qobuz, local disc to you DAC, using S/PDIF (RCA or toslink), AES/EBU or USB. I don’t have a clue what your Matrix box is doing, but I guess you use your Matrix as streamer right now.

If you got a rock solid wifi, you can use wifi between Roon core and the Aries. Otherwise Ethernet is better.

Thanks for the responses, guys. A couple of additional clarifications and questions:

I currently have two separate 30 foot runs of CAT7 cable from my office to my media room, one connected to my Mac Mini (core/streamer) and another to the TV. Before running this cable, I tried wi-fi from my office and there were too many “drops” when streaming, so I figured that the best connection would be direct and I will probably be staying with that…

If I am understanding correctly, I would most likely need to move my Mac Mini to the office as the core, and then the Aries G1 would access the Mac Mini, my ripped flac files, Qobuz, etc. and stream them through the Aries G1 directly to my DAC via USB through the Matrix and then i2S to the DAC, correct?

The big question that I have is, if I still have the Mac Mini in the chain, will adding the Aries g1 provide a meaningful improvement in sound quality?

What is the purpose of the Matrix device?

Converts USB to run i2s (HDMI) to the PS Audio DAC

The only way to find out, is to test it. The Aries G1 is a very good device, but in your case it would only be a converter from Ethernet/WiFi to USB. In theory there is no improvement.

If you got the PS Audio DAC, do you have the option to insert a network card?

Yes, I had the Bridge II installed int the PS Audio DAC initially, but after connecting the Mac Mini with the Matrix, the sound quality was greatly improved, and not even close to the Bridge II - so I sold it.

As much as I like Roon, I’m just starting to wonder if I would be better off connecting the Aries G1 directly to my DAC (via the USB/HDMI through the Matrix) and running the Lighting DS app. I stream about 95% of the time through Qobuz, and really not through my flac library since most of that music is available on Qobuz. (I have read elsewhere here that some people think that the sound quality is better through the Lightning DS app than through Roon?) As long as the Lightning DS app easily accesses Qobuz and my playlists, perhaps that’s all I need.

I use my Aries G1 directly connected to the Antelope Audio DAC using S/PDIF RCA.

Roon Core is running in the basement as a virtual machine, connected via Ethernet. All my Roon endpoints connect wirelessly including the Aries G1. I do not upsample in Roon, but in the Aries G1 I use the upscaling function. In this case the smooth filter is applied too. The final sound is very transparent, clear, dynamic. If this applies to your enviornment, nobody can tell you. The Aries G1 is a very good device at all. The only way to find out, is to get one and to listen.

Great, thanks - I agree that the Aries G1 is a great device, looking at the Lumin U1 Mini, the Aurender N100H and the Wyred 4 Sound MS - but I think that the Aries G1 is the best fit for me. Thanks again for your help!

I have a similar set up.
I was running the Mac Mini (2018 w/SSD) wireless as a Roon core into my Chord Qutest DAC via USB. Wasn’t happy with the sound of CD rips (AIFF) or Qobuz. Just got the Auralic Aries G1 5 days ago and I can tell you that running the Auralic wireless, utilizing Lightning DS, into the Chord DAC via USB is a significant improvement in sound quality over Mac Mini. I connected my HDD with AIFF files to the rear of the Auralic and both the AIFF and Qobuz sound amazing.
I am in process of testing the Auralic now as a Roon endpoint, using the Mini as Roon core. Both devices on WiFi. Preliminary test, a brief listen in this configuration and I’m not impressed.
I’ll try the Mini on Ethernet next.

You can’t run Roon core on the mini. The mini is an end point. Oh a Mac mini, sorry I was thinking an Aries mini. Never mind.