Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sbooster for Auralic Aries: Yes.

Image credit to Positive FeedBack Online 

Replacing the external linear power supply on my AURALiC Aries was not exactly high on my list of priorities. The AURALiC LPS was no slouch in my mind, and I have been very happy with the sound of the Aries since it's inception. But could I do better?

Mark Gurvey of Source Systems had been encouraging me for quite some time to try the SBooster power suppy on my Aries, and  I finally caved in after hearing what it could do for a Lumin D1 Streamer/DAC.

Inside the AURLiC LPS. Nice. (Image Credit to PFO)
Mark sent me the SBooster BOTW P&P Eco 15v with the Ultra option. MSRP $550. The SBooster is physically larger than the AURALiC, and contains quite a bit more circuitry. A two stage mains filter, and a ground choke for noise reduction of the incoming AC before it reaches the large toroidal transformer.
SBooster even states that the power supplies are also very efficient. Consuming only a little more than a switch mode supply of the same voltage rating. Nice, but how does it sound?  We're getting there.
Inside the SBooster.

The Ultra option is a $100 add-on active filter that attaches to the end of the SBooster's DC cable. It further reduces noise and ripple to "negligable levels". You need to order the proper voltage Ultra for your SBooster, as they do have voltage rated versions.
I had the 15 volt version for the Aries. It attached firmly to the DC out cable on the SBooster, all that was left now was to select the proper sized termination to fit the Aries from several that were included in the packaging. 


Wow. What a difference! The Sbooster was fuller, richer, quieter, had better bass and just sounded more correct. I had always complained that Tidal streaming, even though it was lossless, still did not sound as good as the same 16/44 FLAC file streaming from my server. It was thinner, more bleached out sounding. With the SBooster powering my Aries I did not hear that "bleached out" quality as much. This made listening to Tidal immensely more enjoyable.

For the local files, including high resolution all the way up to DSD sounded significantly clearer, smoother richer and just way more involving.  Why did I wait so long to try this?

The SBooster really allows the Aries to reach a higher level of performance. EVERYTHING is better and more involving. That is saying something, because the Aries on it's own was a superb streamer. I agree completely with Dave Clark's thorough assessment of the Aries, and the LPS
"...No, the stock Aries with its power supply rocks, but for sure it can be elevated to compete with the way bigger, badder boys by spending more money on a better NAS and so on—tweak it. And certainly by adding the SBooster… yeah baby, now we are clearly hanging with the really, really cool people at school."
Bottom line: If you own an Aries, buy the Sbooster. 'nuff said..

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