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Aurender’s AP20 is high-end Future-Fi feat. Purifi

  • Aurender has been teasing its AP20 at hifi shows for most of 2023 but it looks like this new product will finally hit retail reality in Q4. Separating the AP20 from past Aurender products is that this isn’t a streamer or streaming DAC but a fully-fledged streaming integrated amplifier (with optional server functionality).

    Taking care of digital sources arriving at the back panel via Ethernet, 2 x TOSLINK, BNC, coaxial or USB storage is an internal D/A converter built around a pair of AKM4497 chips and a temperature-stabilised OXCO.

    From the Aurender website: “AP20’s OCXO based precision clock generation system incorporates a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with sub 100fs jitter-reducing clock generator to precisely time digital audio data transmissions and minimize jitter to below negligible levels.” However, those looking to maximise the AP20’s sound quality might opt for the South Koren company’s outboard MC10 clock generator (€16,980).

    Also residing on the back panel are two empty HDD/SSD drive bays which effectively turn the AP20 into a music server with drive content navigable via the front panel display or associated smartphone/tablet app (that additionally integrates Tidal and Qobuz). The AP20 also supports Apple AirPlay and Spotify Connect.

    Think the AP20 is digital only? Think again.

    The big news for vinyl purists is that signals arriving at the A20’s analogue inputs (balanced or single-ended) are not digitised upon entry. They follow the same all-analogue journey as those already processed by the DAC: specifically, an analogue R2R stepped-attenuator volume control and dual mono amplification with each amplifier channel enjoying its own toroidal supply.

    In fact, a total of six discrete toroidal transformers power the CPU, left & right DAC boards, FPGA processor and amplifier modules. Those amp modules are Class D and come from Purifi: the Bruno Putzeys-designed Purifi 1ET400A that, implemented here, promise 350wpc into 4 Ohms or 200 WPC into 8 Ohms.

    A quarter-inch headphone socket and balanced XLR outputs – that effectively turn the AP20 into a pre-amplifier – round out the feature set.

    Price? €23,900. Your choice of black or silver.

    Further information: Aurender

    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.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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