From Rpi4 to Aries G1...is there real improvement?

Dear all,

I’m using a Raspberry pi4 as endpoint with the Chord Qutest with usb and I’m really pleased with the SQ, however I’m considering stepping up with an Aries G1 which, given the reviews found online, could offer a significant upgrade to the tiny Rpi4.

Did someone here have taken a similar path and can advise if there are big improvements or just a little bit?

I’ll play local files (some DSD) and Tidal.

Thank you :blush:

There will be no change in SQ.

Main difference with the Aries is you get Auralic’s Lightning OS. So if you are in the Apple iOS ecosystem, you can have it play from a variety of sources and not just Roon. If Roon covers your needs, then there is very little reason to switch. The Aries gets you a nice display to show album playing, though you can also do that by adding the RPi 7" display ro your RPi and using RoPieee as the OS.

(Note that I own a VEGA G2 for my main listening room and also use an RPi4+Touchscreen for the headphone rig in my home office.)

1 Like

Thank you very interesting.

I’m just wondering then when this 2000€+ euros of difference actually go if SQ is more or less the same.
I had similar opinions from a guy switching from a Naim streamer to Rpi and noticing very little differences even thought the Naim was priced like the Aries G1.

Because much of the audio world is marketed emotionally rather than on technicals.

The Aries makes sense to people that are not Roon users (as long as they are iOS users) as you can use their app to play a lot of different sources and a lot of people like their Lightning user interface. But if your primary use is for Roon, then what you are buying is a “turnkey” solution with nice machining and display, and a variety of inputs/outputs that you don’t get with an RPi (and even with a HAT, you can’t get ALL the I/O that the Aries has).

Expensive streamer-only devices are hard to justify. Streamer+DAC combos are an entirely different ball of wax, however…

3 Likes

I’ll put my focus on upgrading the DAC then :wink:

Thnx for your inputs

1 Like

Yes, there will be.

Upgrading my raspberry to the SoTM gave me a bump up, and adding a chain of ifi data cleaners after the SoTM relaxed the sound further.

Basically, your system will only be as good as the weakest link. So while I do agree that it’s logical to focus on the dac first, you should not neglect the endpoint either.

The changes to your endpoint/improvement of the digital signal can surprise you. I found it to be almost as large as when I upgraded from the built in dac of my Hegel, to the entry level chord qutest.

1 Like

I’m using Roon and both an Rpi4 and an Aurelic Aries G1. It depends on the quality of the audio chain if you can notify a difference. In my set i.e. Accuphase E-600 with Dac-50 and Harbeth SHL5plus using Roon the difference is remarkable. The Aries G1 and the Rpi4 are both connected via USB to the Dac-50 with an Audioquest Diamond USB cable. I executed blind testing and could easily tell when the Aries G1 was playing. In my setup the Aries G1 is sounding much better, better highs, far more controlled bass response and the overall sound is much more live compared to the Rpi4, less harsh as well. In do not use the Auralic Lightning app as I prefer Roon. The Rpi4 is now used in my second audio set.

4 Likes

yes that’s the path I’m focusing on now. The Quest is new and I don’t want to change it now so I was thinking to my endopoint and in particular to the Aries.

thnx

I must jump in here and say that there is definitely a possibility for an increase in perceived sound quality. Most of the time I’m in the “data” camp of things. No fancy Ethernet cables in my setup, just correctly made high quality data cables for example.

But streaming endpoints has far too many times proved to me that there is a possibly big difference in SQ. Probably very much depending on your system. I’ve demoed/owned Auralic, dCS, Sonore and Allo.

I recently bought and returned the highly praised Allo USBridge Signature (w. External Shanti psu), because it frankly didn’t do anything better than a MacBook in regards of SQ in my system. The difference between the Mac or Allo and my Aries G2 are on some tracks very noticeable and on other tracks less noticeable. But it’s definitely there. And it still surprises me.

That’s my 5 cents. Get a demo if you’re interested and try before you buy. Always the best advice! :+1:t3:

2 Likes

Thnx very useful, more or less what I was thinking regarding those kind of devices…I mean switching from a RPi4 to something a little bit better (Allo/LinkII/etc) doesn’t make sense to me.
In the end I’ll get the Aries G1 to partner with the Chord Qutest and I’ll be ok for some time.

I have the Link II but have not compared against Rpi4. I have compared against Nuc core and it’s a noticeable improvement. The Nuc sounds flatter with less depth. The Link II sounds more transparent and richer sounding. This is going into mscaler/Dave combo. Funny because you’d think with mscaler there shouldn’t be any differences.

1 Like

I don’t have an Mscaler so I cannot compare performances but I had a Bluesound and a Naim DAC previously and switched then to RPi4 with Chord Qutest…it’s night and day.

Now I’m planning to upgrade the endpoint but I cannot audition gear before buying that’s why I’m looking for advices.

I tried to connect my NUC directly to the NUC but the sound is crappy to me and a simple Raspberry is doing the work pretty well for the moment.

1 Like

Just wandering if your money would be better spent on mscaler than expensive streamer.

I was told in some other thread the Link II was too inexpensive for my setup. But I don’t see the need if all I wanted was a roon endpoint with no other features. Now Aries G1 could be shown big improvement in sound quality I’d be more interested.

That’s quite a price difference. I’m more in the ‘bits are bits’ camp, so I’d do a blind test (with the help of a friend / family member) before comitting to the investment :slight_smile:.

It will make a difference in SQ if you believe it will.

BTW - what speakers are you playing to?

2 Likes

Dali Opticon 6

1 Like

I am using the Allo Sig with linear power supply with ARC CD9 as DAC. I am thrilled with the sound quality. I tend to never leave well enough alone and hope to try the Aries G1 or similar upscale streamers.

That’s a surprising finding. I went from the Naim DAC to a Hugo TT and wouldn’t call that night and day though undoubtedly better. What fed the Naim DAC?

FWIW I went from Rpi into Naim DAC 1 to Hugo TT, then upgraded to ultraRendu and the to Aries G2. All gave improvements. Dabbled with Holo Audio Spring DAC and HQP. Then upgraded to M-scaler / TT2. Waited a year to be sure and sold on ultraRendu and Holo Audio DAC.

Hard to be sure but I’d say the acquisition of the Aries was the biggest improvement looking back.

I have found a vs b not to be as reliable as more long term living with tests, then putting back in the old bits again and listening for a few weeks. Not possible if you need to sell to buy, but if finances allow it’s the best way to avoid errors.

.sjb

1 Like

It was Naim Dac V1 to be precise.
Btw to my hears the new combo sounds lot better then the metioned one in the same system.

Bluesound is a good entry level streamer with lots of options but limited at the same time. For that price tag is perfectly ok, that’s why I was wondering that flr 4x the cost of the Aries improvement should be relevant.

Thank you

1 Like

Long story short: bought the Aries G1 and yes it does sound way better than the Rpi4.
Thank you for all the comments!

1 Like