The Auralic room at AXPONA offered some familiar fare for attendees to sample from, but the attention-grabbing, click-baity news bit was tucked just around the corner in the entryway waiting for a little limelight.
In the world of digital audio, even great products get updated. And such a time has come for one of our favorite DACs from the last 5 years. The Vega digital processor from Auralic will get reincarnated this year with a brand new digital product (and a matching Aries streamer to boot).
While the 1st generation VEGA was a ESS SABRE 9018 based model, it sounded much more organic and fluid than more inexpensive versions of the same chipset. Details on the new silicone of choice are still vague but when pressed for more details designer Xuanqian Wang eluded that the new DAC isn’t Delta Sigma or fully multi-bit but rather something “totally different”. A full reveal of the new product will be announced in a few weeks at the Munich Show, the two units on display at AXPONA were for visual presentation only.
The aesthetic look for both the VEGA and the Aries 2.0 will share a similar theme, and be very close to what you see above. The new streamer will feature a stronger processor, 2 gigs of memory (up from 1) and enhanced power supply and isolation technology for USB. Robust USB implementation is a cornerstone for a solid digital product, as poor executions can blur imaging, raise the noise floor and overall just really jack things up, even with a good converter in the mix. After the official launch at Munich, expect shipping to to hit in September or October. Pricing for both units is still TBD.
Auralic has recently released a mix-and-match assortment of its core products, depending on the needs of the consumer. More power and plenty of space? Try the 400 Watt hybrid Merak Monos paired with the Taurus headphone amp as a pre. Less space and more digital? Check out the Altair. Its a little bit of the Merak and a whole lot of the Aries and Vega, all rolled into one box. The new digital flagships show a slight departure from all that, and not just in color and shape. But for now we will all just have till wait a few more weeks for all the saucy details.