Auralic introduces G1

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Auralic introduces G1
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Auralic is replacing its Aries range of network streamers with the Aries G1 (£1,899). Like its predecessor this streams high-resolution digital music from local network locations, attached USB storage, internet streaming sources like TIDAL, Qobuz, and Spotify, and internet Radio — delivering all of it over Wi-Fi. Being based on the DNA of Auralic’s original Aries means that the new Aries G1 benefits from all the features and functionality of Lightning Streaming — the infrastructure that Auralic developed for its streaming products. On-device playlists, memory caching, gapless playback and bit-perfect multi-room functionality are all standard Lightning features. For user control, Auralic’s well-regarded Lightning DS iOS app serves as the system’s primary interface. The unit is compatible with AirPlay and SongCast, and can function as a RoonReady endpoint. Setup and configuration changes are easier than ever with a recently added, universally accessible web admin. 

This upgrade of the original Aries is based on tech borrowed from Auralic’s premium G2 line, and that means a serious boost in performance and functionality. The new version supports streaming resolutions up to DSD512 and PCM 32bit/384K over a home Wi-Fi network for example, and the processing heart of this year’s G1 is in fact the same as that in the top-of-the-line model Aries G2. That means the Tesla G2 platform with its processor that’s 50% faster than the older Aries had, supported by twice the system memory (2GB) and data storage (8GB), and a 1GB memory cache. 

The Aries G1 chassis inherited its design aesthetics from the G2’s Unity Chassis. The anodized black aluminum enclosure is updated with front panel buttons for easy navigation — or just use the Smart-IR function to assign control to any remote. That front panel borrows the G2’s 4-inch retina resolution display as well, and inside the G1 you’ll find dual linear power supplies just like in the G2, separating and isolating the processing circuit from the digital audio circuit for less noise and better sound. 

 

Auralic have also introduced a G1 version of the Vega G2 streaming DAC (above) that effectively replaces the Altair. Auralic has slipped its Tesla platform into the Vega G1 (£3,249) just as it did for the G2, giving it the power to connect to local network locations, lossless internet sources like TIDAL, Qobuz, and Spotify, and internet radio. High-resolution content from those sources is streamed right to the G1’s DAC circuit. The Tesla platform consists of a Quad-Core Cortex A9 chip with 1GB of DDR3 memory and 4GB of storage. 

Last year Auralic introduced an innovative DAC feature, wherein those resources of the Tesla platform allowed it to handle incoming data in such a way that the DAC didn’t need to lock on to the frequency of the source signal at all. It could actually operate independently of the source signal’s frequency, thus rendering signal and synching errors — and their resulting jitter — completely irrelevant. That independent, Jitter-Free Operation has also made its way into the G1. When it comes to signal conversion, Vega G1 turns to the same customized DAC chip that Auralic used in the G2 version, and the G2’s super speedy 72fs Femto clock is here too, taking care of clocking duties for impressively precise signal handling. On the analogue side, Aries G1 has a Class A output module and a set of filter modes.

As with the Aries G1 the Vega G1 is housed in black anodized aluminum with a silver rotary knob and a 4-inch retina resolution display. There are plenty of options on the back of the unit for hard connections from other digital source components if you need them: AES/EBU, coaxial, toslink, and USB HS are all available in addition to the Ethernet port for network streaming. 

Vega G1 supports both streaming and conversion of all of today’s highest-resolution digital music formats, up to DSD512 and PCM in 32bit/384K, and it stays up to date with OTA updates from Auralic. Lightning Streaming is the foundation for Vega G1’s streaming functionality, and as always that means on-device playlists, memory caching, gapless playback and bit-perfect multi-room features are part of the package. The Lightning DS control app for iOS supplies all playback and browsing features, and there’s a web admin for setup and configuration. Vega G1 also supports Spotify Connect and RoonReady features. 
Both models are due to be available in June 2018.