Visit any audio show and you will see lots of Aurender music servers in dozens of listening rooms. Before I got further into streaming, I honestly did not pay much attention. But at this show, Aurender brought out the A30 which is so compelling that I feel it was the best new product introduction in a huge show full of them.
This is the “Swiss Army knife” of computer audio. I have 5,000 discs and I am too lazy and too limited in bandwidth to have time to do my own DIY rips of the CDs I own. Finding the artwork can be tricky, especially on audiophile masterings. The metadata can be a huge pain. The A30 has a Teac-manufactured CD slot that rips the disc, finds the artwork, and stores the data on TB drives. Want the choice of WAV, AIFF or FLAC ripping? You got it. One touch ripping, metadata and cover art retrieval? Neat.
Want to stream music? The A30 does that.
Want to play MQA files? The A30 does that.
Want to listen on headphones? The A30 does that. XLR jack? check. 1/4″ jack? check. 4.4mm balanced headphone jack? check.
Want a high-resolution display that plays album art perfectly? The A30 does that.
Want lots of music storage? The A30 has 8TB.
Want a high-quality DAC? The A30 has a Dual-Mono DAC with Dual-Mono Linear Power Supplies. 768KHz/32bit Next-Generation Flagship AKM AK4497 DAC Chipset
Want native DSD? The A30 has you covered to 512.
Want an iPad-based app to control everything with super fast browsing of very large music collections? The A30 comes with the Conductor App. So far just for the Apple iPad but an Android version is coming soon.
So Aurender next does something really clever and adds in a very nice pair of Gamut RS3i speakers ($20,900) powered by the Gamut D200 amp ($13,900) so we can hear what this product sounds like. The A30 itself is $18,000.
Little two-way monitors. Pfft. I know these Gamuts. They can rock. Improbably, I ask for the bass-heavy track “Limbo” from Yello’s Toy album. Deep, full bass erupts. The vocals are clear and open sounding. This is really good. No doubt the D-to-A conversion is fine. I always like the latest AKM chips.
But what about soundstaging? Frank Sinatra’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” highlights a strong soundstage and Frank’s voice is spot-on. The A30 and Gamut system has wonderful synergy.
St. Vincent’s “Happy Birthday, Johnny” had oodles of resolution. The slide guitar and piano sounded very nice.
Shelby Lynne’s “Just a Little Lovin'” was amazing with lots of detail and dead silence between the notes. A very realistic portrayal.
A beautiful new sound came from new to me artist Philemon Chant, “J’arrive toujours un peu trop tard”. Wonderful soft singing with a distant trumpet off in the distance. Vocals and simple guitar in the foreground. Sublime.
We ended on Vanessa Fernandez’ cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”. Melodic guitar tones, soaring and clear vocals. I very nice rendition of this classic rock staple.
I don’t have the money right now for this product but I want one. Badly. It sounds really, really good and it does so much. One of the coolest products I have seen in a long, long time. Thank Aurender for building the ultimate music server. And great job on finding these high-quality Gamut monitors that really showed off what an excellent new product the A30 is. Spectacular!