The Munich High End is traditionally the place to announce new products, just what AURALiC is doing with its new G2.2 and G3.
AURALiC can’t wait to make its new goodies known to the world, and so announces them even before the High End Munich really kicks off on Thursday. Hoping that you’ll then come over to the manufacturer’ s booth and experience the new ARIES G2.2, VEGA G2.2, ARIES G3 and VEGA G3 with your own ears. All of these devices are going to be hand-built at the Oregon factory. Noting that AURALiC has completely redesigned the ARIES G2.2 and G3s. In fact – so says the manufacturer – more than 90% of the components have been replaced compared to their predecessors.
The manufacturer goes wild
We let the manufacturer talk about the many innovations and techniques used. Is by way of exception, but the extensive press release provided by AURALiC contains interesting technical stuff. Not our words and, of course, very AURALiC-postive, but well worth reading! Here we go:
All the latest products include AURALiC’s new Tesla G3 streaming platform, with a 64-bit architecture that offers eight times the computing power of the previous version. Memory capacity has also been increased to 4 GB and the system incorporates Direct Memory Access Technology (DMA). These improvements are designed so that all audio-related circuits connect directly to system memory, reducing latency and jitter by 90% compared to the predecessor.
An important step for the company is that the G2.2 and G3 products are designed in the U.S., and the ARIES G3 and VEGA G3 will be hand-built at AURALiC’s Oregon plant. AURALiC is pleased to announce a future partnership with Dirac to incorporate their advanced technology into the product line. This partnership will allow AURALiC to integrate Dirac’s advanced technology, which will help keep products at the forefront of innovation and deliver the highest sound quality.
AURALiC will showcase its new products and groundbreaking streaming technology from May 18-22 at the highly anticipated HighEnd audio show in Munich, in Atrium 4 – room 4.2G E211. The ARIES G2.2 and VEGA G2.2 are scheduled for delivery in July, while the G3 products are expected to be available for delivery in August.
ARIES G2.2 Wireless Streaming Transporter & ARIES G3 Wireless Streaming Processor
AURALiC has completely redesigned the ARIES G2.2 and G3 products, redesigning more than 90% of the components to deliver unparalleled performance. The USB DAC output now features second-generation galvanic isolation, which improves compatibility with a wide range of DACs and provides a more refined listening experience.
The new Purer-Power low noise power supply design has twice the capacity of previous G2.1 models and even lower noise levels, providing extremely stable and reliable power to the device. In addition, optional internal music storage is now based on NVMe SSD technology, offering read and write speeds up to 10 times faster than its predecessor.
The ARIES G2.2 and G3 also now support USB 3.0 for external music storage, further expanding its capabilities and making it easier than ever to stream high-quality audio files.
The ARIES G3 is much more than just a transport or bridge, as it offers a host of features that enhance your digital listening experience. It features multiple inputs and a powerful co-processor that allows the product to function as a preamplifier for digital connections, giving you comprehensive control over your audio system.
With its dual 60fs femtoc clock controlling the digital outputs, the ARIES G3 ensures that you experience the highest levels of precision and purity when listening to your music. It also uses AURALiC’s state-of-the-art FPGA-based Proteus X1 co-processing platform, which optimizes the digital audio signal, removes shrillness and enhances the listening experience.
This optimization gives music more tangibility, spaciousness and dynamics, creating a highly immersive and engaging listening experience. The ARIES G3 is the perfect extension of any high-end digital audio system, and its advanced features and exceptional performance make it a standout product in the market sector.
The ARIES G2.2 and ARIES G3 are now compatible with the LEO GX.1 reference clock, allowing users to achieve even greater precision and accuracy with their digital audio outputs. By connecting the devices to the LEO GX.1, they can take advantage of its advanced clock technology, resulting in more refined and nuanced playback.
This compatibility significantly enhances the already impressive performance of the ARIES G2.2 and ARIES G3, allowing users to experience their digital music collection with even greater purity and intensity. It proves how committed AURALiC is to innovation and delivering the best possible audio experience to its customers.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are €5,999 for the ARIES G2.2 and €10,899 for the ARIES G3.
VEGA G2.2 & G3 Streaming DAC
The VEGA G2.2 and G3 build on the already impressive foundation of their predecessor, the G2.1, while retaining key features such as AURALiC’s in-house developed Fusion DAC structure, Direct Data Recording (DDR), galvanic isolation, passive analog volume control and an analog preamp. The unique architecture of the VEGA G2.2 and G3 avoids the use of a PLL circuit because it cannot completely remove distortion and jitter in the original clock signal. Instead, the audio data is fed directly into the system memory of the Tesla G3 platform in binary format, completely bypassing the original clock signal. Thanks to these advanced technologies, the VEGA G2.2 and G3 are completely insensitive to input signal distortion and jitter and deliver the highest possible audio quality.
Both the VEGA G2.2 and G3 are now equipped with the advanced Tesla G3 platform, significantly increasing computing power and performance. In addition, the new dual 60fs femtoc clock drives the DAC and times the data output from the Tesla G3 to the DAC. The result is an unparalleled listening experience, with breathtaking detail, transparency and precision without distortion or jitter.
Building on the advanced features of the VEGA G2.2, the VEGA G3 takes the product line to a new level by incorporating a range of state-of-the-art technologies that exceed all expectations. With the groundbreaking Proteus X1 co-processing platform, the VEGA G3 sets a new standard for digital filtering and oversampling, providing an unparalleled listening experience. The platform is specifically optimized for processing music signals from streaming content, both through the built-in streamer and digital inputs. The algorithm within the VEGA G3’s Proteus X1 co-processor optimizes audio quality, significantly enhancing the listening experience for music that may not be available in the highest resolution. With the VEGA G3, music gains incredible depth, transparency and detail, taking the listening experience to a whole new level.
Compared to the G2.2, the VEGA G3 has an improved DAC design, reducing distortion and noise by 30% and increasing dynamic range by 50%. For those who prefer a more traditional approach, the VEGA G3 offers the option of operating in Pure DAC mode, with the internal streaming functions disabled.
The VEGA G2.2 and G3 represent a significant upgrade from already impressive standards, offering advanced features and exceptional performance that will satisfy even the most demanding listener.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are €7,799 for the VEGA G2.2 and €11,899 for the VEGA G3.
The Story Behind the Technology
AURALiC recently unveiled its newest products, the G2.2 and G3, at the HighEnd trade show in Munich. These new models are built on a new streaming platform that represents a major technological advance since the first generation of ARIES was introduced in 2014. This article provides an overview of the new technologies in these products.
Tesla G3 – A New Era for Wireless Streaming
Built on a 64-bit ARM architecture, this revolutionary streaming platform delivers eight times the computing power of its predecessor. Equipped with 4GB of DDR4 system memory, the Tesla G3 processor can easily handle even the most demanding tasks, making it a future-proof solution that will support the rapidly evolving digital audio landscape.
The Tesla G3 platform also uses Direct Memory Access (DMA) technology for its audio input and output channels, allowing all audio-related hardware and software to access system memory directly. This significantly reduces latency and jitter by 90% compared to Tesla G2, and gives us more flexibility to fine-tune the performance and sound quality of our products.
With these developments, Tesla G3 provides optimized operation and enhanced multitasking capabilities in all new G2.2 and G3 series products, giving our customers an unparalleled streaming experience.
ARIES G2.2 – Wireless Streaming Transporter
The ARIES G2.2 and G3 have received a completely new internal design, with 90% of the electronic components completely redesigned. These groundbreaking products – all housed in AURALiC’s elegant UnityChassis II enclosure – feature several new technologies designed to take their performance to the next level.
- New Galvanic USB Isolation
The introduction of galvanic isolation technology on the USB port in the ARIES G2 was a major breakthrough for digital audio systems. This technology successfully addressed the problem of separating the computer circuitry – which generates a lot of noise – and the sensitive audio circuitry, resulting in a huge improvement in the sound quality of USB audio systems.
Building on this success, AURALiC is proud to introduce the second generation Galvanic USB in the ARIES G2.2 and G3. This new isolation system has improved DAC compatibility and functions the same as a regular USB port with hot plug/unplug support. The signal quality and jitter performance of the 2nd generation Galvanic USB have been further improved, providing a noticeable improvement in sound quality.
In addition, users can now choose to enable or disable power to the DAC’s USB port via software, ensuring an even cleaner signal path.
- New Purer-Power Design
The ARIES G2.2 and G3 feature the Purer-Power low noise power supply that has twice the capacity of the previous version and produces even less noise. This greater capacity ensures a clean and stable power supply for the powerful processor platform and music storage capabilities.
All digital audio-related circuits, including the Galvanic USB, have their own power supply, achieving an extremely low noise level of only 0.8 microvolts – an 80% reduction over the G2.1 model. In addition, the computer circuits, which are less sensitive to noise, benefit from a low noise power supply that produces only 27 microvolts of noise, which is 50 times better than the G2.1. This advanced power supply design ensures that the digital audio circuits receive a clean and stable power supply, free of noise and interference, providing a superior audio experience for the listener.
- NVMe Internal Storage
With the new Tesla G3 processor platform, the ARIES G2.2 and G3 have upgraded their internal storage from a traditional SATA-based SSD or HDD to the most advanced NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSD storage method. This upgrade offers numerous benefits, including excellent data transfer rates and reliability, and ensures a hassle-free experience when storing and playing digital music.
Thanks to Direct Memory Access (DMA) technology, NVMe storage offers significantly faster transfer rates and lower latency than traditional storage methods, resulting in better performance and faster access to stored music. Compared to the G2.1 model, the ARIES G2.2 and G3 now offer ten times faster speed when transferring music via Ethernet to internal memory.
Both the ARIES G2.2 and G3 can be optionally equipped with factory-installed 4TB NVMe storage. However, customers can also request a larger storage capacity upon special request.
- External USB 3.0 Storage
With the addition of USB 3.0 ports for external storage, transfer speeds in the ARIES G2.2 and G3 have been significantly increased and high-resolution audio files can be handled effortlessly. The USB 3.0 port provides 1.5 amps of power, triple the power capacity of the G2.1. That extra power capacity also enables a wider range of external storage options, including larger-capacity drives, some of which require more power.
- Support for LEO GX.1
For the most discerning listeners, the ARIES G2.2 and ARIES G3 now offer the ability to connect to our LEO GX.1 Reference Master Clock via Lightning Link, for even greater precision and better sound quality from the digital outputs.
ARIES G3 – Wireless Streaming Processor
The ARIES G3 is more than a simple player or bridge, as it offers several inputs and a powerful co-processor that allows it to function as a preamplifier for digital connections. This makes the ARIES G3 the ideal focal point for your digital system. In addition to the improvements to the ARIES G2.2, the ARIES G3 features several other important upgrades:
- Proteus X1 Co-Processor
The Proteus X1 co-processor is built around a Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA chip with more than 200,000 logic blocks and 740 DSP slices. This chip uses the Tesla G3 system memory, providing powerful data processing capabilities. Through its advanced processing techniques, Proteus X1 enhances the listening experience. Lesser and older digital recordings can benefit from Proteus X1’s impressive processing power. The optimization process removes shrillness and can make listening to an inferior recording more enjoyable. As a result, music becomes more tactile and spacious and gains a wider dynamic range.
- Multiple Digital Inputs
The ARIES G3 offers an extensive number of digital inputs, including USB Audio, Coaxial (2), Toslink (2), AES/EBU and HDMI eARC (to be added via a future software update). Incoming signals from these inputs are recorded as binary data in the memory of the Tesla G3 platform, eliminating jitter. The data can then be processed and corrected based on user preferences with Proteus X1, then output either as processed or bit-perfect data with a set latency to the desired output channel.
- Dual 60fs Femtoklok
The ARIES G3 aims to be the best possible digital audio source, which is achieved through the use of two 60fs femtoklocks – one for 44.1x and one for 48x sampling frequencies. These audio-optimized clocks have extremely low close-in phase noise and can greatly improve sound quality, setting a new standard for signal timing. When you want ultimate performance, adding a LEO GX.1 provides a truly superior digital source experience.
VEGA G2.2 – Streaming DAC
The VEGA G2.2 streaming DAC is the latest evolution in high-end DAC performance and advanced analog circuitry. AURALiC is at the forefront of digital audio technology, constantly pushing boundaries with innovative new technologies.
- Fusion DAC
In the field of digital-to-analog converters (DACs) for audio, there are two primary designs: the discrete ladder DAC and the Delta-Sigma DAC. The popular discrete ladder DAC design allows designers to use different components for different parts of the circuit, offering more flexibility in tuning the sound signature. However, discrete ladder DACs can suffer from non-linearities due to precision differences in matching resistor values. Uneven temperature changes also play an important role in creating non-linearities in the system. This can lead to distortion and reduced performance in general.
Delta-Sigma DACs are known for their high precision and resolution, which is achieved through precise manufacturing processes. These DACs also offer high dynamic range and low noise and distortion levels, making them well suited for high-end audio applications. However, Delta-Sigma DACs are often integrated with complicated digital circuitry such as the Phase Lock Loop (PLL), a digital filter and oversampling circuits, which prevents designers from customizing them properly. This can make them less suitable for high-end applications where customization and flexibility are important.
AURALiC’s Fusion DAC design in the VEGA G2.2 and G3 products is a breakthrough technology that combines the best features of discrete ladder and Delta-Sigma DAC designs. This innovative approach uses a powerful off-the-shelf DAC chip as the basis for customization. Most functions of the DAC chips, such as the PLL, digital filter and oversampling circuits are skipped, and instead the reconstructed clock signal, digital filter and oversampling technologies of AURALiC itself are applied. This unique approach ensures that only the precise circuitry in a DAC chip is used for the final conversion stage from digital to analog, resulting in exceptional sound quality. This Fusion DAC design enables a unique level of customization and flexibility, allowing users to tune and optimize the DAC according to their individual preferences. All in all, AURALiC’s exclusive use of this unique, proprietary technology represents a significant advancement in DAC design, offering exceptional performance and unparalleled sound quality.
- Direct Data Recording
Both the VEGA G2.2 and VEGA G3 feature AURALiC’s proprietary Direct Data Recording (DDR) technology. Unlike traditional DACs that rely on a Phase Lock Loop (PLL) circuit to reconstruct the incoming clock signal, our DDR technology avoids the use of a PLL circuit because it cannot completely remove distortion and jitter in the original clock signal. Instead, we store the audio data directly in binary format in the system memory of the Tesla G3 platform, completely bypassing the original clock signal.
Then a series of advanced digital filters and oversampling algorithms process the audio data and optimize it for the best possible performance. To drive the DAC and time the data output from the Tesla G3 to the DAC chip, a dual 60fs femtoklok – one for 44.1x and one for 48x sampling frequencies – is used as the master clock, independent of the incoming audio signal.
Thanks to these advanced technologies, the VEGA G2.2 and G3 are insensitive to input signal distortion and jitter and deliver the highest possible sound quality. The result is an unparalleled listening experience, with breathtaking detail, transparency and precision without distortion or jitter.
- Passive Analog Volume Control
An analog volume control is generally considered the best way to achieve high-quality sound reproduction. While a digital volume control can accurately reduce the signal level, it cannot reduce the noise level of the output signal. As a result, the use of digital volume control – when the signal must be significantly attenuated – inevitably comes at the expense of the system’s dynamic range. Analog volume control, on the other hand, can reduce both signal level and noise floor while maintaining the dynamic range of the system.
The VEGA G2.2 and G3 feature true analog volume control based on a resistor ladder, which provides exceptional and noise-free control without introducing any distortion. This volume control contains eight bistable relays whose anchors remain in the last selected position, even when not driven, so that in the passive state they consume no power and produce no EMI noise. Once set, the mechanism remains electronically invisible, further enhancing the already excellent audio performance of the VEGA G2.2 and G3.
- Analog Preamplifier
The VEGA G2.2 and G3 maintain the successful analog preamplifier function of the original VEGA G2.1. In the new design, this feature has been improved, with the output level increased from 4.4 Vrms to 6 Vrms to meet the demands of even the most “hungry” power amplifiers. In addition, the ORFEO Class A output modules guarantee that the balanced output can drive loads significantly less than 600 ohms without significant performance degradation.
If desired, users can disable the preamplifier function via software, with the option to reduce the output level to 2Vrms so that external preamplifiers can be used. In addition, a convenient home theater bypass setting is available for the analog input channels.
- Galvanic Decoupling
Modern high-end DACs offer exceptional dynamic range that can reveal minute details in the original recording. However, achieving such dynamic range requires extremely clean clocks, power supplies and signal feed to the DAC. To keep noise out of the system, the VEGA G2.2 and G3 are equipped with high-speed galvanic isolators strategically placed between the Tesla G3 platform and the ultra-sensitive audio circuitry. These isolators provide physical separation and protect the DAC from interference while allowing data to pass through.
VEGA G3 – Streaming DAC
Meet the VEGA G3 streaming DAC, our latest innovation that offers an unparalleled musical experience. Building on the advanced features of the VEGA G2.2, the VEGA G3 integrates a series of state-of-the-art technologies that exceed all expectations. The VEGA G3 streaming DAC is not just another product, but a testament to our never-ending commitment to delivering the most fascinating and immersive musical experience imaginable.
- Proteus X1 Co-processor
The Proteus X1 co-processor is built around a Xilinx XC7A200T FPGA chip with more than 200,000 logic blocks and 740 DSP slices. This chip uses the Tesla G3 system memory, providing powerful data processing capabilities. Unlike in the ARIES G3, the Proteus in the VEGA G3 processes the signal exclusively with an advanced digital filter and oversampling so that all signals come in at the DAC’s optimal sampling frequency.
The algorithm in Proteus X1 of the VEGA G3 is specially optimized to process music signals from online sources, whether they come in through the built-in streamer or through the digital inputs. This optimization gives a significantly better listening experience with music that is not available in the highest resolution.
- Better DAC, higher performance
The VEGA G3 features the same Fusion DAC design as the VEGA 2.2, but with an important upgrade: an additional switching network at the output, giving the analog conversion even higher precision. This improvement results in 30% less distortion and noise, and 50% more dynamic range, making the VEGA G3 an exceptional choice even for the most demanding listeners seeking unparalleled sonic performance.
- Pure DAC mode
By disabling the device’s streaming capabilities, the Pure DAC mode in the VEGA G3 provides an optimized signal path. This feature is especially nice for users who prefer to stream their musical content in a different way. With Pure DAC mode, the VEGA G3 provides the cleanest possible signal path, resulting in a high-quality listening experience.