Aurender n200, talk me out of signing on the dotted line

I’ve requested an invoice.  My current system has an Audio Mirror 4 with Tele E88cc, Pass int-25, Acoustic Zen Crescendo 2 speakers and a REL 12” sub.   The sound is to my taste in that it is organic, swings with the music and is not lean.  It’s a bit grainy and I attribute that to the Lumin u2 mini, internet radio and Spotify sources in who-knows-what amounts.  Enjoyable none-the-less as is, I am all in for the Aurender.  Talk me out of it.  Please!  


I'll let the n200 gather some hours.  Spdif is my connection of choice.  It does fun things with the music.  Usb is better at technical things.  Cables on the analog side are tried and true.  AZ Satori shotgun speaker and (please don't laugh) AQ Ruby from the DAC.  The Ruby tames hot digital like no other.  I'll find a quality alternate some day.  

@wlutke I have absolutely zero brightness in my system with N200 and I used it with 2 different DACs. Your Pass amp and the AZ speakers aren’t bright. The AZ Satori is a warm sounding cable. You have a revealing high resolution system.
So here’s my take on the hot top end that you have experienced now with two streamers…

1. Look into room acoustics - area rug between listener and speakers if you don’t have a carpet, first reflection points (side walls, ceiling if possible), speaker positioning and toe in

2. I would replace the AQ Ruby interconnects with AZ Matrix Ref MkII

3. Power cables, especially the one on your DAC - look into upgrading to a cable that works well with digital. Doesn’t have to be expensive. Again, AZ have El Nino power cord that works well with digital. The AZ Krakatoa should be good on the Pass amp (it’s a smooth sounding cable).

The higher the resolution the more critical things like room acoustics and cabling become. Tube rolling won’t help much if the room acoustics aren’t in order.

My vinyl is fine so maybe the cable or break in? 

A treated room can be useful, but given that you like your vinyl, something else might be at work.

Another issue with any of our suggestions is that we all have different taste, differing levels of hearing loss and so on.  So, one persons not bright might be another’s irritant.

You might check with @blisshifi (Juan) regarding USB vs SPDIF.  Juan sold me my Aurender and pretty much sorted my system, short of future upgrades.   I suspect that USB would be preferred.  If so, then you need to do cable rental, or purchase from a vendor with a good return policy.  If SPDIF same process.

Good power will improve both analog and digital.  Great room acoustics will improve everything.

It' a family room so acoustics and set up are what they are -suboptimal.  OK, dismal.  And that's that.  WAF 

I have cables, tubes and sources (as in recordings) to work with.  Some music works, some doesn't. High pitched electric guitar or female lead can be steely - maybe acoustics, maybe a hot recording.  No sibilance problems.    No instrument problems.  In fact, instrumentals are fantastic.  I have tinnitus and am getting on in years (70) so there's that too.  I suspect it's all of the above.  I'll take it from here, one small step at a time.  Thanks for all the help!

@wlutke sounds like you’re on the right track within the set boundaries. In your case I would highly recommend the AZ Matrix Ref II as a starting point. They’re smooth and natural sounding cables, slightly on a warm side. Should be a good match. Good luck!