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Time out of mind with AURALiC’s Leo GX, Aries G1 & Vega G1

  • Last year at Munich High-End, AURALiC’s Xuanqian Wang, armed with an extensive Powerpoint presentation, introduced us to the Aries G2 streamer and Vega G2 streaming DAC.

    This year Wang and his team were back in Germany, Powerpoint-free, with the more affordable G1 takes on Vega and Aries (as detailed here last week).

    At the MOC, I asked Wang to explain the differences between the G1 and G2 versions. His answers came back with a refreshing hit of honesty:

    Back in Aries/Vega G2 territory and the room’s main rig, Wang demonstrated another new product. The Leo GX Reference Master Clock clock bypasses the Vega G2’s internal clock to inject timing information directly into its ESS Sabre DAC chip. No PLLs!

    From the press release: Leo GX is, in fact, two clocks, each temperature-controlled for consistent performance and dedicated to establishing extremely precise working frequencies for 44.1K-based signals and 48K-based signals. The exact operating frequencies of these clocks are 90.3168MHz and 98.304MHz respectively”.

    Not the most exciting of products on paper but the in-room demo proved compelling. Wang played a piano piece (his favourite genre) via the Aries G2 and Vega G2 pairing before bringing the Leo GX into play on the Vega. In returning to the Leo-free take, the audible delta came into focus: without Leo intervention, the piano sounded glassier with diminished harmonic information.

    In a broader sense, A/B comparisons like this add considerable value to audio show demos, making more effective use of show time than simply sitting back and playing DJ as attendees drift in and out.

    Further information: AURALiC

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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