Comparing Aurender N20 vs eversolo dmp A8

 I replaced eversolo dmp A8 with aurender N20 for digital streaming over qobuz. I compared them playing through native apps. Both feed into Holo may nos Dac over a USB curious cable. Ethernet cable connected over etherregen. Stock power cables feeding from a dedicated 20 amp circuit. Signal going through Luxman amp, 805D4. Luxman is doing pre-amp volume control. Both streamers are broken in.


Result - I am shocked to see that 1/6th price, eversolo is actually sounding better overall. N20 takes control with vocals, however the body of music/instruments is leaner. Not sure why I am seeing this disconnect between powerful vocals and lean acoustics. 


I got n20 used, and hence my assumption on it being broken in. Not sure if I am missing something here.. need help from fellow audiogoners..


The A8 is a fantastic piece of gear for the money.  I don't use it just as a streamer though I will if they ever get it Roon Ready.  But the DAC in the A8 has performed extremely well compared to other high end DACs I have compared it to.  I have you tried comparing it to the Holo May directly?

Agreed with pinwa. Not altogether surprised as the A8 is the flagship product using the top AKM chipset with a lot of quality components. The A8 is similar to another giant killer, the Wiim Pro and Plus combo when used as pure streamers to good DACs in a quality system. 

On your end a DAC vs DAC battle is warranted between the A8 and Holo May. 

Years ago I bought the Auralic Aries over the Aurender and Lumin streamers. The sound and the gui were much better with the Auralic. Plus Aurender units don’t have the i2s interface.

You are comparing apples to apples using the USB cable, which will use the clock inside the DAC for both applications.  To hear what the N20 is capable of you need to connect the DAC to the N20 via AES or SPDIF.  The N20 has superior clocks.  If just using USB you could get an N200 with similar results.

For starters Never use Anything with stock power cords, it totally degrades the potential of your electronics .if on a budget  buy the Pangea  AC power cord the awg14  sig MK -2 for just over $200 a Big upgrade give it 100 hours playing time .

These are keys ,brass connectors NG, these are gold over Copper sounds better ,and 3x better conductivity, also this uses Cardas top 6-9s pure Copper , a true bargain. That being said a good $1k cable Thst much better still.

the Eversolo 8: use the Slow roll off filter ,it’s by far the best wife owns one I set up the SS drive and Flac files. The directions horrible but I figured it out .for under $2k parts quality is a whos who of brand name parts , smps for digital and a LPS power supply for the critical analog output stage .AKM latest dac and receiver chipset, dual high precision clocks and a bunch of technologies at $2k a no brainer 

upgrade the power cord For Sure no stock power cords allowed in Audiophile Land.

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The Curious Ethernet cable not exactly musical the AQ Vodka is a very good under $500 cable  Go to Perrotta Audio consultants Anthony gives good deals 

please advise on digital connectors too count. Telegartner make the best Ethernet connectors ,and the AQ  Vodka has this , my wife has these in her system 

and don’t forget like most , in this day and age you should hav3 a modem router combo with a horrible $5/wall wart which destroys your streaming sound .

on Audiogon. Linear Tube Audio $700 LPS power supply width a excellent DC cable going to the router mine is 12v , the build quality is better then anything out there up to over $1k ,and most other companies charge $150 just for the Dc cable upgrade, and again buy at minimum a Pangea awg 14  sig mk2 power cord for it .

a decent line conditioner is a for sure also. If streaming the wall wart is Enemy #1 !!

@pinwa I prefer Holo May DaC many times over the Eversolo dac. I like it's streamer capabilities and app is just amazing... 

@romanesq I have used both DAC, and much prefer the Holo May sound. It is solid and analog. dmp A8 DAC sound thinner, and very digital with sparkles on high end which are like artifacts imo. 

Update - so I tried and cheap and new mogami AES cable and now the N20 is sounding amazing. It sounds more natural. Need to do more tests and I am still waiting for a used transparent cable arriving in a couple of days that will be my go-to. Thanks folks for their insights on this matter

@audioman58 thanks for the tip on power cable. I see AC9 and AC14 versions. I am guessing larger gauge is for amps etc and 14 gauge is for digital boxes ? 

@jimmy2615 yes that's the ultimate plan. Waiting on my cable, I thought will give USB a try. I was hoping to at least have a matched or better performance. In some cases N20 is better like soundstage and vocals. But it was not blowing away DMP which I was expecting. Perhaps upgraded power cable and some other tweaks will do the trick. 

I did try AES cable yesterday (it was new and cheap) and it sounded very good. So the magic is in that combo like you mentioned. 

With N20, as others stated, use AES or SPDIF out to take advantage of the N20 superior OCXO clock. Also, the previous owner of the N20 may have never even used USB out and it could benefit from few days of break in. But as others stated, the best performance will be using AES.

With N20 AES is the way to go, otherwise get N200 or stay with A8. The quality of AES cable also matters a lot as well as power cable. Try Audio Envy power cable if you’re on a budget. One of best value in cables across the board!

Lalitk beat me to it. Now that you've discovered the difference between  AES and USB with the N20, just wait until you hear what a difference a quality cable will make--with all due respect to the perfectly respectable Mogami cable, which did give you a good taste of what is possible. You are just scratching the surface of what your N20 can do until you get the cabling dialed in.

++1 Jimmy2615,

I would never use stock cables, as this is limiting both of the streamers. You don't need to break the bank, but something along the lines of Anti-Cables Level 3 ($300), or Zavfino Atlantic OFC ($188) or Zavfino Legion OFHC ($288) or Zavfino Fina OCC ($345)

Also as many have suggested that with USB you are using the internal "voltage controlled crystal oscillator - VCXO" of the DAC, and you'd want to take advantage of the "oven controlled crystal oscillator - OCXO) in the Aurender versus the Femto clock in the DMP-A8. I am not sure what sonic improvements this would make, but it is definitely worth an attempt.....I would try it

Thanks @saurabhgarg for sharing your findings with us. This is great to hear.

If you have a component using LPS, it sounds like a waste of money to add a costly power cable. 

As for the component improvement, it seems more the type of connection matters and can be superior depending on that individual product than throwing money at one type of connection. If one connection is superior to the USB connection on a product, that's the information to utilize. 

That's my two cents there. 

Romanesque you know little about digital . I owned a Audio store for years.

pits pretty simple ,digital travels from home to home Ungrounded, bringing in Noise,

that $5 wall wart that comes with the router is pure junk $2 worth of parts it just adds additional noise to the circuit. A Linear power supply stops that noise and distributes it much cleaner ,that is a fact ,it can be measured and well as easy to hear. Then get a Quality digital hub or ditch at minim7m the $600 LHY,SW-8

and both need a decent quality power cord ,why ? The the power cord is a filter it shields ,filters noise before going into electronics. If this were not so ,no one would 

be using a LPS power supply, or buying $1,000s of dollars in aftermarket power cords. You do as you please it’s your $$ ,I doubt 1,0000s of Audiophiles are wrong 99%  of Audiophiles use upgraded power cords ,depending too on their budget.

I go to many Audio gatherings per year and they all have similar items .

a top quality Ethernet hub can cost over $5k and night and day better sound Ansuz from Denmark. D2 my brother has with their Ethernet cables , line conditioner ,takes you to another league in streaming the. Only drawback is the $$ which is not cheap,

I also have the N20 which replaced an N200

I tried USB, and AES connections - and then it was recommended that using the Optical (toslink) connection may be optimal with a Chord DAVE DAC.  This provided a HUGE sonic benefit.  It’s much more transparent with much better high frequency accuracy and much more air to the sound.  

The cable is a ten dollar optical cable from Amazon.  This sounded significantly better than an a much more expensive AES cable that was tried, and  better than the USB cable.  
This leads me to believe that selecting the right connection type to your DAC maters quite a bit.  (Full disclosure:  I do believe in the benefits of better/more expensive cabling - in this case the optical cable happens to be cheap). 

IME everything in a digital source chain right up to the DAC is important, cables too. Also the differences between an N20 and A8 will become more appreciable the more high-end all the rest of the system components are.

That being said I think for most folks in most systems an A8 is all that is needed, a great product at an even better price.

I have a Lumin P1/L2 combo and the fiber optic connection has been a big sonic upgrade, so back to cabling, major sonic upgrades can be had without buying new components.

The DMP-A8 truly is amazing for the money. I preferred it's analog outputs to the Octo 8 Stereo DAC (Stereophile Class A) but I prefer the PS Audio Perfect Wave Direct Stream to either. It just sounds more dynamic and real. I use the I2S out from the A8 to the DAC.

I already stream from Roon through the DMP-A8 and it works just fine. I guess maybe what you get when it becomes "Roon Ready" is album art and track info on the front screen. Idk.

The only streamer I would possibly trade the A8 for would be the HifiRose RS130.


@lalitk is a great resource of all things audio, especially cabling. @blisshifi is another great resource.  My profile has my setup for power and AES between Holo May DAC KTE and the N20.  I preferred AES over USB.  I like my results, but I don’t have the expertise of those mentioned above.  I’m currently on battery through Shunyata conditioner and cables plus a bit of help from Synergistic Research.  I’ve spent much more on power than my streamer and DAC combined.


Thanks for the kind words. Clean power (along with room acoustics) should be foremost priority for assembling a good sounding system. Once you have addressed the power and room acoustics, rest of the system is pretty much a moving target…you can gradually add/upgrade rest of the components. 

@lalitk is a great resource of all things audio, especially cabling.

I second that! His advice is based on actual experience and a ton of research. 

N20 is designed to use top tier cables than you are using to get more out of it!

I guarantee you it will exceeded the ever solo if you start putting in some higher cables over the 3000-$5000 range for your power cable and your ethernet and usb that you are using. I recommend Shunyata omega usb or synergistic research srx usb.
power I recommend Shunyata Sigma NR or kubala sosna realization level or Synergistic research Galileo discovery or Voodoo air Phoenix.

Your cable budget for a streamer should be the highest in your system since that is your source.

The DMP-A8’s DAC is one of the fullest, least “thin” among delta sigma designs, especially in the upper bass and lower midrange. Though it’s not terribly surprising you’d find it lean relative to an R2R ladder DAC.