Streamer upgrade?

So after following these discussions for the last year or so about the importance (or lack of depending on ones stance) of the steamer itself for sound quality Ive decided to take the plunge. I had  previously been in the “ bits is bits “ camp , so I purchased a Pontus Two to use with my Aurender A100 which is they’re entry level offering with a built in Dac. Both of the local high end dealers tried to convince me that this would not amount  to much of an improvement in SQ, well…… they were right in my estimation. So I took another member’s recommendation to contact TMR about a trade in on an Aurender N200 and just as his experience was great so was mine ,they really made it too good to pass up. So if anyone is interested I will report my findings when my new unit arrives, it’ll be a straight change out same Dac,same Dh labs cable and same system ,it should be a really easy comparison, too bad I couldn’t keep the old unit to test them side by side but it’ll still be easy enough.I’ll post my findings.


..."the steamer itself for sound quality Ive decided to take the plunge. I had  previously been in the “ bits is bits “ camp..."..

I say dear lad, have you thought of taking a Schitt for a whirl?

It seems that you have made a wise trade up. Enjoy your new sound, but since you are coming from bits are bits perspective, I can tell you, from my own experience, that the high dollar investments into wall to component power, router to component Ethernet, streamer to DAC digital cable can cost many times what you have spent on your Aurender, but have an even greater positive improvement in the presentation. It is very hard to spend big money on cables that common sense tells me are snake oil improvements..bits are bits..last six foot of power..etc.., but some of the most experienced members on this forum convinced me to give it a go and it transformed my system as much as my Aurender N20 improved things.. I worked with a dealer that allowed sixty day money back on cables and boy that was an expensive, but worthwhile journey. Have fun with your trade up..  This is a never ending and very expensive hobby.  Luckily for me, I’ve run out of money, so I can just enjoy the music.

+1, @vonhelmholtz on using better cords and optimizing the Ethernet path. 


Congratulations! N200 with Pontus II would be a substantial upgrade over A100. Once you settle down with N200, tinker with network optimization to maximize your investment. 

Agreed and think you’re gonna be very happy with the N200 and Pontus ll.  Looking forward to your thoughts. 

Yes I realize Im in a cash spiral trying to get my digital to sound as good as my vinyl and that theres a ways to go still. Im already in on the interconnects and ac cables, I feel like these three pieces of the puzzle ,Streamer,Dac and cables will get me to the point where I can try the other tweaks. As far as the Dac choice goes I did all the due diligence on that as well, lots of good choices in that price brand Sorry its Chi Fi, but the  Denafrips  held its own in most of the comparisons at s considerable savings, probably enough to pay for another of the tweeks.what hobby is not expensive? None Ive ever had.


Denafrips DAC’s are a smart choice irrespective of its origin. They are well designed & implemented; if it weren’t for direct sell model, you would be paying twice as much. Just enjoy pursuit :-)

Congrats on the purchase. I look forward to your comments. I have owned an Aurender N100 for a number of years with a great DAC for my headphone system it put the sound in quite a new category. The N200 is known to be a significant upgrade. 

The only thing I’d add is that I now feed my Musician Pegasus DAC (very close relative to the Pontus ll) with a Denafrips Iris DDC to take advantage of the i2S connection and the improvement over USB was substantial — no contest, and this is using a cheap 6” HDMI cable from Monoprice that I’ll eventually upgrade to something from DH Labs, etc. Just something else to keep in mind for future upgrades because it’s a very meaningful, and relatively cheap, upgrade to look forward to.  FWIW. 

@soix Yes the Iris and i2s cable are one of the upgrades on my radar next. Ive been following these discussions carefully and trying to sift out the right answers for me. Another of the changes Im ready to make are some GIK treatments that Ive picked out, but GiK has been back ordered on the Mahogany finish I need to meet the WAF standard for quite a while now. Thanks for tour encouragement and advice.


Yes I realize Im in a cash spiral trying to get my digital to sound as good as my vinyl 

I had the same motivation and then I drastically upgraded my analog.  This made my task more challenging.  Now, they are both satisfying to my ears, but I can tell you for sure that there is at least one person on this thread whose system would have all of us reevaluating our systems.

High on my list is remote source switching. Other Chinese DACs do it. Not Denafrips. You can have them.


Talk about cash spiral.

I went from Mac Mini to Aurender N20 to Aurender N30SA!!

Same boat here, my Aurender N-100H is running just fine and has been trouble free since I have had it. Now that it's been discontinued not sure when to upgrade to the N-200. Aside from the high cost, the only thing that I am interested in is the SPDIF connection. Maybe, Aurender will offer the N-150 with the SPDIF option?