Affordable WiFi streamer - simple but effective mods.

My goal was to find an affordable pre-owned WiFi streamer and optimize its performance. My digital chain includes a Fidelizer AirStream WiFi router. To do it justice, I needed a good WiFI streamer. Ideally, for less than $1K.

Mission Accomplished.   I modded this Auralic Aries.


- weight

- transparency

- separation

- tonality

- dynamics

- black background

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Note: This is not a wired vs wireless thread.


Here is what I did with the Auralic Aries.

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1. Replace the Intel 7260 HMW WiFi card with 8260 HMW WiFi card. The stock Intel 7260 HMW card has proven to be defective. This one is a drop-in replacement. It is 100% reliable.

2. Toss out the Aries stock umbilical cord to the LPS. Terrible SQ. Brittle & bright.

Any aftermarket umbilical cord by a reputable cable manufacturer will be much better. I DIY’d one out of 20awg pure OCC copper solid core. Results: like a component upgrade.

FYI:  The connector is 2.5mm, not the standard 2.1 mm.

3. Replace stock the LPS with an upgraded one. I purchased a 16vdc version of this one.

The primary benefit of the upgraded LPS is that it runs cool while the stock LPS runs hot. Also, the streamer itself seems to run cooler after many hours of use.

4. Add external antenna. I used these.

Recommended only for those who are comfortable with DIY.

This requires drilling holes in the Aries top. Yes, it will affect resale. But it considerably improves the SQ. The wire leads to the antenna are short but work fine if you’re careful. Longer leads would be easier. Remove the antenna from the metal mount. Toss out the 7260 card and the metal mount.

5. The angle, tilt and rotation of the antenna do matter.

In one configuration, when the two antenna were parallel, the Lightning DS software lost its handshake between the Aries and the iPad. In another configuration, the SQ became more dynamic but very grainy.

Find the best angle for the best SQ via patient experimenting.

6. The LPS is plugged into a power conditioner.

7. Use an upgraded power cord from the upgraded LPS to the power conditioner.

8. Enjoy the music.

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A Torx set is required to disassemble the Aries.

Well after readying your first post i had alread cracked my knuckes to post asking what you did. Clever to break it into 2 posts to pique interest.

All you did makes sense to me. I just upgrade the power supply to my DAC with Farad but it is quite a bit more expensive than what you chose. I’m impressed you did this all for $1k.

Well done,

PS I think the things you did are independent of wired vs wireless.  



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I agree that everything matters. Small additions can add to a better whole.

Recently additions in my system that have improved things: modded switch, TWL ethernet cables, LAN isolators, Akiko Audio Black Box, mods to my Dac. Together add to a good step-up in my system.

My wired network runs through my wireless modem, so my thinking is that a Fidelizer Airstream will add a little more. Its price is why I will wait till next year.

Have other things to address first.