Thanks to all that responded in my recent post regarding my digital front end!

Many of you suggested Aurender for a streamer. I have found a demo unit that will eat up the majority of my $5,000 budget not leaving me much money for a new DAC.

I thought it was the DAC that was the most important item in the digital chain.

Any thoughts on this? Thank you!




Nothing like trying and vetting devices like DDC in your system. But with N200, you may not hear any difference vs going direct. Just ask @soix what streamer being used before DDC.


I recently upgrade to an Aurender A15, which is basically an N200 with a DAC. I was going to get the N200, but stumbled upon the Aurender for $4900.00 which I thought was a good deal.  No regrets at all.

But with N200, you may not hear any difference vs going direct. Just ask @soix what streamer being used before DDC.

That’s why I asked which input is best on the Gustard because everything depends on that. If Gustard says their i2S input is superior then you’re probably looking at a nice improvement with a DDC and i2S versus going direct even if you’ve got the Aurender, but if USB is equally as good then absolutely going direct from Aurender, etc. may be perfectly fine.  I’m using an iFi Zen Stream, but in this case it really comes down to which input on the Gustard is superior, and I’m sure they can tell you that.  My point was that IF the i2S input is better on your DAC as it is on mine, then an extra $400 or so is like a DAC upgrade on the cheap that can work in concert with the better streamer.