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Arylic A50 Review (wireless amplifier)

_theLaughingman

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How did you ascertain that it actually "Sounds" horrible?

I saw no mention OF sound quality, in the review. Again, not having heard it myself, I would have no idea how it sounded honestly, but....

I'll attest that it's premature to assume it sounds bad based on the sinad rating, but to be honest i have dabbled with many different models of BT streamers such as Arylic A50 and most of them do not sound great if integrated with good quality speakers. They will do great for a portable desktop setup, but for audiophile hi-res streaming it would come up short like the rest of its brethren.
 

Killingbeans

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I may be in the minority, but it seems that as soon as mediocre measurements are found, there is no attempt to correlate them to actual sound many times..

I think Amir mentioned that he does that with speakers, but since upstream gear with good measurements are the norm rather than the exception, he won't spend more time than absolutely necessary on the stuff that doesn't cut the mustard.

Could we be (maybe) writing everything off too quickly based on never even having listened to it?

Definitely. I bet most of it sounds just fine, especially after you've allowed your ear/brain combo to "burn in" a little.

But a great ingenuity achievement it isn't.
 
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I may be in the minority, but it seems that as soon as mediocre measurements are found, there is no attempt to correlate them to actual sound many times..
Could we be (maybe) writing everything off too quickly based on never even having listened to it?

I may be in the minority, but I actually think this thing is pretty good. I've had one of these for a while and was kind of surprised when I read the review here.

What I like about this ASR community is that it is about science and not so much stereo fluff and imagination. I've read so much about what certain obscure tracks sound like on certain equipment over the years, with no concrete measurements, that the ASR community and the reviews here are really refreshing to me. There's entirely too much hogwash and pseduo-science in audio gear marketing and has been for decades.

Yet there are a number of pretty good reviews online for this Arylic (such as here and here and even this fan club here) and the "playlink" internals are the same streaming core of a number of products like the Andover Audio Songbird and the Naim Uniti streamers. Having been playing with one of these Arylics for a while, I think it is pretty good. By comparison, in my opinion, streaming the same tracks to the same speakers compares to using the Andover Audio Songbird connected to a Cambridge Audio CXA61 which is an integrated with a DAC implementation. I don't think of it as perfect neutral, but not super bright
 

Galgofa

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Just ordered Up2Stream Pro V3 and box for mod + optic out for amp and analog output (just in case), wandering is it the same in the matter of sound and components quality to compare with finished products ?

Awaited availability of Arylic S50 Pro+ with options of optics in/out but unfo it is disappeared from ali, will put together board and extensions with optic and dac with analog output, also it became double cheaper.
 
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Just ordered Up2Stream Pro V3 and box for mod + optic out for amp and analog output (just in case), wandering is it the same in the matter of sound and components quality to compare with finished products ?

Awaited availability of Arylic S50 Pro+ with options of optics in/out but unfo it is disappeared from ali, will put together board and extensions with optic and dac with analog output, also it became double cheaper.

I think this is the S50 Pro: s50 Pro Wireless Preamplifier
Ok, I see the up2stream boards like: all these here
I see Arylic makes some of them, I think you are right they probably use those boards inside their own finished products from what it looks like so should sound pretty much the same if they do use those boards and simply put them in a little chassis, but don't know for sure, power supply could make a difference too
 

notakosan

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As far as amps go, absolutely (those both also have Toslink and line-outs for subwoofers).
The Wi-Fi aspect is a decently big deal though. As an iPhone user, AirPlay support is very welcomed, I dislike connecting to Bluetooth (I always turn it off when not in use). This is also the cheapest product I know of where you can do multi-device streaming (I think their site says the app can connect up to 10 of these together).

There are a few products in this price range, such as this one:
https://www.parts-express.com/Dayto...eamer-with-IR-Remote-and-App-Control-300-5770

It's only a pre-amp, but that gives you flexibility in picking your own class D amp.
 

Big Kahuna

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I got the A50 at half price for Thanksgiving that was a good deal. It was for kids play room TV and music set up with a pair of old tower speakers (90db sensitivity). I previously used a pair of JBL LRS305 actives for this purpose but had to re-task them.

I tested the A50 a little and it sounded fine at low/medium volume. I was happy for a few days. Then I sat down for a longer session and cranked it up some. It started sounding stressed and a bit distorted. Just for comparison, I replaced it with a long mothballed Yamaha AVR which showed no stressed nor perceivable distortion at high volume. Was disappointed as the AVR sounded better, let alone the JBLs.

Now to put things in perspective, what I got for the money was a good value. For the game setup, it was fine. The Arylic's small size is perfect for the purposes. It is also feature rich, having AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, DLNA/UPNP. The streaming app also gives better user experience than Denon HEOS which is quite clunky. For whole-house audio for casual listening, this would be great.

I thought of keeping it just to use as a streamer. But then I have some extra Chromecast Audio laying around and the Yamaha idle. All functionalities are covered for free and sound better. Returned the A50 pretty quickly. I may eventually get another pair of JBLs or try out some Presonus Eris XT actives.

The A50 sounds great with my JBL 4312A speakers!
 

ripmixburn

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The new revision A50+ was just released and according to a sales rep on Facebook it adds subwoofer out, optical in, and usb in so it can work with ACP (tool to adjust EQ). They also said they addressed the performance issues mentioned in this review, but I guess we’ll have to see.
 

Temrotec

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Hi,
Arylic low budget products are not at all aimed at audiophiles who spend a lot of money on the electronic transmission chain in order to obtain true-to-life reproduction but the speakers surpass the distortion or coloration many times over. Untrained ears may be able to hear the latter but the difference between 0.01% and 0.001% THD+N (being 20 dB) of an amplifier seldom or never. It remains possible to discuss electronics and the measurement and control technology that goes with them, but acoustics of the room and speaker reproduction is the determining factor for the end result: enjoy and listen to music instead of looking at it (ease of use often predominates among music lovers in contrast to technophiles).
For the enthusiasts : Benchmark (not low budget) has a blog with explanation for the layman : https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/ap...preting-thd-measurements-think-db-not-percent

Greetings
 

Armindo

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I've recommend the preamp s50pro version of this as a budget one box solution a few times. And am still considering it for my own use. The amplifer version always seemed questionable. Glad I haven't been recommending it to people.
I have one s50 pro. I connected it to an old amp, beomaster 2000. The sound coming from the speakers is amazing. The connection is stable. Very easy set up. For this price I would recommend without any doubt.
 

caioferrari

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I bought a A50+ before I look for a measurement from ASR. I have to say that I got worried that I made a big mistake. This amp was perfect to me, It has a AirPlay, a sub out and a Optical Input but it mensures bad.

I received it today and it seems good. I got more highs and everything seems fine util I realized I got some fatigue. I've tried to reduce treble but it didn't work. The truth is: This amp sound harsh. Something like a 96 kpbs MP3 file. With Klipsch RB51II it's clear that it doesnt sound good.

The other thing I'd like to point is a noticiable lag at optical input. It's not recommended for TV.
I'm selling it and trying something better.
 
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caioferrari

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O just sold my A50+.

The refund would be too complicated because of taxes and stuff.

@amirm , I’d love to see your review before buying this piece of crap.
I’ve never seen an amp that sounds bad until now. I was skeptical that a amp could make such a difference, now I do believe.

What is the cause of that harshness? High harmonic distortion?
 

Mauro

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People seem to forget that the most common THD spec for amps is 1% (-40dB), which is what John Atkinson still uses to determine amp wattage. Next common is 0.1% (-60dB), which is about what this achieves. AVRs usually get a hair more brave and tout 0.08% (-62dB), of which I have no idea why they do this.

With the music sources and speakers typically used with this amp, I have no doubt the vast majority of customers of this product don’t hear any issues with respect to noise/distortion. I don’t like the speaker connection, but for <$200 to get AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, DLNA/UPNP, and use their app for (Amazon Music, Tidal, iHeartRadio, etc.), it seems like an awesome little package. Their app also seems to allow multi-device streaming. The 50W 4ohm rating however will mean home theater enthusiasts maybe shouldn’t consider it.

On another note, they have a preamp with (besides other things) AirPlay and optical out, does anyone know of other ~$200 options? I see purchase help requests decently often where they want this (setup where they want to keep their amp/DAC and just add AirPlay support).
And for 20$ you get a software license to implement dsp filters. Not bad!
Time to try to see if SINAD really matters. I bought one as an experiment!
 

bevok

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I only have an A50 (rather than the +) but I'm surprised to see the complaints of harshness. Is that Klipsch speaker what is called a very 'revealing' speaker or a bit accentuated in the highs? Also what kind of db levels do you listen at?
Not doubting your own experience but I wouldn't want anyone to think this is categorically a terrible device, at medium volumes (lets say up to 60-70db) it sounds fine for the price and functionally is really good. I bought it as a cheap transitional device until I could afford a 'decent' amp but haven't felt any urgency to replace it! Probably the most annoying thing for me is the weird volume transition, you can't really play it quietly. It suddenly jumps up at the low end of the scale then increases in a more linear fashion after that - annoying but not a show stopper (its not blaring just not really quiet at the bottom end of the scale).
 

gwing

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In defense of these amps (sort of) :)

I haven't listened to the a50 but I do have a few similar STA326 based amps which will all measure really badly similar to the a50 as the chip itself has the sort of distortion levels Amir measures. They do have some (a lot) of limitations but they also have something to offer in addition to just being a cheap and integrated solution.

First the limitations:
  • They will perform less well with an analogue input as with the direct digital chip they have to go through an aditional adc conversion. These are not the ideal choice if you have an analogue orientated system.
  • In some cases the supporting chips aren't good either. The Alientek D8 has good USB (xmos) and Coax inputs, my FXaudio amp has good coax but a poor USB implementation. Used with the right input and high res lossless music they can be surprisingly good.
  • They perform poorly with difficult speakers and complex crossovers with uneven impedance characteristics. They work best with reasonable efficiency well behaved speakers, ideally some large easy to drive floorstanders.
  • They don't have much absolute power.
  • You must route the audio through the 'Direct' mode. Any of the other modes (even the 'Flat' mode) which route through the EQ section of the amp just kill the magic that these amps can, under the right conditions, do.
Now the good:
  • They are really convenient. Tiny self contained package providing the complete amplification chain without needing a DAC or preamp.
  • They're cheap.
Now the surprising:

These amps do not really shine for layered complex or electronic music but, if you listen to a lot of live acoustical small scale music, you may find these amps a bit of a revelation and that they have (dipping into subjectives) a very open, detailed presentation giving a more realistic and rewarding performance than many much more expensive, larger and better measuring amplifiers. Providing you use them within their limitations i.e. not too loud, easy speakers to drive and a good quality digital source.

Now I duck for cover having dared to suggest that a really poor measuring amp can be quite spectacular in the right place :)
 

bevok

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The series including the A50 now have gapless playback (tested with Deezer). Aside from the measured amp performance functionality wise this puts it ahead of a lot of the big boys!! Looking at you MusicCast particularly (and Chromecast).
 
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