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We Love to Listen

18th December 2014 -

Aurender W20 Reference Music Server on dem

- Author:

HIFI+ Review by Chris Thomas

7 November 2014

Conclusion

The Aurender does not have any sense of being musically mechanical either. Of all the streamers I have heard, there has so often been that feeling that the music was being squeezed out through a clocked buffer, and that the flow was somehow inhibited and rather unnatural. But, in my experience, the Aurender sets a new standard here, and I think this must bode really well for the future of file-storage as long as this degree of musical excellence is maintained. But, I was more than impressed with some of the standard resolution from old recordings that I last heard on vinyl back in the 80’s and in this way the W20 shares a certain new regenerative and sparkling focus with the Vivaldi. King Crimson’s Larks Tongues In Aspic [Discipline] was an album that I knew well when I used to worship at the alter of Robert Fripp and his excruciatingly physical ‘guitar mechanics’ approach. Yes, Robert could be extremely metronomic and had a way with repetitive phrasing through arpeggios that transfixed me back then, but he was also capable of the most beautifully lyrical moments. The Aurender just wrings every drop of music from this ripped disc, and I am amazed how fresh and colourful it sounds. In a sense, it brings everything the W20 absolutely excels at into sharp focus. Is it as good as the Vivaldi transport? Almost, but look toward low-level detail and the way in which the dCS can discriminate threads and instrumental mutterings for the answer to that one, especially at low frequencies where the Vivaldi is so very, very articulate. The Aurender W20 is a technologically superb piece of electronics and is quite easily the best of its kind that I have heard, although new models from many manufacturers are coming thick and fast now. Despite this, its real value to me lies in the way it plays music without so many of the irritating issues I have noted before. Aurender has clearly gone to great lengths to ensure that nothing gets in the way of its most important purpose. It fulfils the role of a single or second source brilliantly without actually playing second fiddle to anything. It is a truly exceptional product. Expensive but very highly recommended.

Soundstagenetwork Review by Peter Roth

With the Aurender W20, TVLogic has taken the heavy lifting out of computer audio. One needn’t worry about choices of software or hardware, configuration protocols, parasitic electrical noise, or ground-loop effects. Like the top-flight CD players of old, this edge-of-the-art platform is more high-end than the many-headed Hydras of most computer-audio systems. More important, the W20 pulls out all the stops and hits all the right notes of file management and playback. That said, the Aurender W20 is not for everyone. That honor -- for most everyone, at least -- may well go to Aurender’s X100L and X100S, which Jeff Fritz ran through their paces with wonderful results. However, for the well-heeled, obsessive-compulsive audiophile, and/or all who have invested in statement-level digital gear and strive to eliminate from their systems any compromises, the W20 should fit the bill. And if you’ve bought a dCS Vivaldi digital playback system, what’s stopping you? It seems to me that one without the other would be like buying a Ferrari 458 Italia without opting for the carbon-ceramic brakes.

Highly recommended.