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Old 05-29-2018, 04:33 PM
ctzzzz ctzzzz is online now
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Lightbulb N10 better cable: USB or coax

Hi there
New owner of a N10 here, wondering what do you guys use as digital cable to your DACs.
Do you prefer USB or SPDIF interface?
Of course using USB the DAC's clock takes control and on coax the N10's clock steps into action.
If you also can name your cable brand of choice, that would be very interesting.
I for myself compared an Ultra USB from Transparent vs a (borrowed, unknown brand) coaxial. The results are mixed on my side, to be honest, that's why I want some advise from your experience.
I use an Accuphase DC37, don't know which clock is more refined, Accu's vs N10's.
Cheers, thanks in advance.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:20 PM
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ctzzzz.......I have two digital cables connected between my Aurender N10 and the Esoteric K-01X DAC, a Wireworld Platinum USB cable and a Wireworld Platinum Starlight coaxial cable. In this manner I can switch between the digital outputs on the N10 at will to accommodate PCM and DSD source material. My preference is to use the digital coaxial output that takes full advantage of the Aurender N10's oven controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO), and its extremely accurate and stable 12.8MHz clock with an accuracy of 0.02 parts per million (ppm).

The Accuphase DC37 DAC uses two ESS ES9018 eight channel DAC's, one for each left and right channel, that incorporate a 27 MHz crystal oscillator on the DAC chips. I was unable to find any published information with respect to the accuracy of these onboard oscillators. In all cases the chip based clock times all digital inputs to the DC37 DAC.

I would suggest you use the highest quality digital cables you can afford. It has been my experience that the Wireworld Platinum level cables have outperformed all the other digital cables I have used previously. I also suggest you spend plenty of time listening to both the Aurender N10's coaxial output and USB output to determine for yourself which connection offers you the most satisfaction.

If you haven't already, you may enjoy reading my Aurender N10 Caching Music Server review
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Last edited by jdandy; 05-29-2018 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:26 PM
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Default N10 better cable: USB or coax

ctzzzz .. I too own the N10 and I have (3) digital connections between the N10 and my DAC, the McIntosh D1100, which also uses the Sabre ESS9018 chip. I use Wireworld like so many others here at AA, namely Platinum USB, Platinum AES/EBU, and Platinum coaxial. I cannot hear any significant difference between the three. I love tweeks and I just had to hear all 3 for myself. The clock in my dac must be on same level with the clock in the N10, at least in the context of my system (speakers, room, ears). When I take back possession of my Meridian 808 (on long term load), I will compare all 3 with that dac, results could be different. I must say I was surprised I don’t have a real preference for the aes/coaxial over the usb as I’ve always had a prejudice against usb based on the general feelings towards usb in hi-do circles. Having a WW Usb cable helps
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:51 PM
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ctzzzz, another N10 owner here with another opinion to add confusion. I prefer connecting my N10 to my Berkeley or my K-01x via a WW Platinum USB but also going through an iFi USB. For me it sounds better than via coax. You may wish to demo a few cables through the Cable Co. to decide for yourself what sounds better to you.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:42 AM
ctzzzz ctzzzz is online now
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Dan, @j3brow, Paul:
Thank you all for the answers.
I'm still in the burn in phase with my N10 (about 120-130hours).
I'll try to borrow the best cables available and indeed, listen for myself. I also have a friend that has an Intona USB isolator, probably I'll put this also in the mix.
My DAC does not have an AES input, but if there are other users who compared USB vs Coax on N10, their input is highly appreciated, for sure.

Last edited by ctzzzz; 05-30-2018 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:11 PM
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@ctzzz...I've got an N10 and have used coax, USB, and AES. My preference is for the coax, followed by the AES, and then the USB cables. But, they are very, very close and somewhat music dependent. Your ears will be the best judge on your system. My cables are Shunyata Sigma and Audience SX USB.
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:41 PM
ctzzzz ctzzzz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medwardo View Post
@ctzzz...I've got an N10 and have used coax, USB, and AES. My preference is for the coax, followed by the AES, and then the USB cables. But, they are very, very close and somewhat music dependent. Your ears will be the best judge on your system. My cables are Shunyata Sigma and Audience SX USB.
Thank you, Medwardo!
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:42 PM
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USB connected to my Esoteric K-01X sounds better than COAX in my rig.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:51 AM
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It also depends on the DAC that is being used, some DAC's prefer USB input while others prefer SPDIF.

As Dan mentioned the N10 should be best with the SPDIF output (special internal clock not used with USB)
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