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Arylic S50 pro measurements and comparisons

dougi

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I bought one of these recently, hoping to simplify my Spotify Direct use as I was previously using my AVR and optical out of the TV extracted from HDMI, into my DPA-1 digital preamp.

I need to use digital out generally as it goes into my DPA-1 digital preamp to use the RoomPerfect room correction, then to RME ADI-2 final DAC.

The S50 PRO is the just superceded Arylic streamer, with two analog inputs. The new S50 pro+ has a digital input. Both seem to retail for US$200.

As no direct digital in, testing was limited to recorded REW tones etc played back via wifi (via Foobar2000 UPNP), usb stick and also bluetooth.

Analog or digital, depending on the test went to an RME ADI-2 PRO analog in or SPDIF in->main out->analog in loopback.

TLDR: it's not great, with poor THD and worse jitter. A sample rate converter or two helps to clean it up a bit but it is still worse than the AVR (Yamaha RX-A2A==RX-V6A). I was going to test the ADC as well but given the performance here there seems little point.

Specs only say THD is 0.03% which is indicative perhaps of things to come, but SNR noise 110dB odd.

For a -1dBFS tone via any WAV, FLAC or MP3 I got the same results. Wifi or a USB file also made no difference.

-1dBFS 48KHz, 24 bit USB FLAC FILE IN, ANALOG OUT (2VRMS measured at S50 for 0dBFS, rme set to 13dBu full scale so you expect -5.8dB for -1dBFS in): Not great.

s50_usb_flac_dac.jpg


For comparison, the AVR (Yamaha RX-A2A==RX-V6A pretty much) analog out for the same test was:
THD is the preouts saturating (see Amir's review of the V6A). Doesn't like the 9kohm load of the RME much either as results worse than Amir's (i've been through this in another thread). Much cleaner and less jitter though than the S50 PRO.

AVRanaintoRME.jpg



Lets see if digital out helps at all.

USB file, dig out to RME dig in, then analog loopback, with no resampling: can barely lock to it. Also, the S50 also appears to resample everything to 44.1kHz, the RME status reports.

s50_usb_dig_rme_noSRC.jpg


With the RME SRC set to 96kHz: Cleaned up but still poor.

s50_usb_dig_rme_src96.jpg


Compared to the AVR through the TV, optical to RME, with SRC (same without pretty much): Much nicer!

AVRoptRME_SRCto96kHz.jpg


So the S50 pro fails its use case as it is worse than the AVR that I was hoping it to better. Not that the AVR is fantastic.

Best results for the S50 were actually via bluetooth.

Kewlsoft android siggen app, -1dBFS bluetooth APTX-HD to the S50, digital out to RME: However, the S50 drops audio level in BT by 20dB!! Yes android was set to max volume.

S50 BT siggne_DPA1_RME.jpg


Compare this to LDAC bluetooth via my iFI Zen Blue bluetooth rx, again via my DPA1 and RME:

siggen zen blue dpa1 rme.jpg


I actually found a 1kHz test tone track on Spotify, so also used that to test Spotify direct and Spotify via bluetooth:

S50 1kHz tone via Spotify direct: (Note the AVR using Spotify direct has same tones)

S50 spotify direct_DPA1_RME.jpg


S50 Spotify tone via Bluetooth: Better than via Spotify Direct (also remember the low BT audio level with the S50):

S50 spotify BT__DPA1_RME.jpg


The Zen Blue Spotify via LDAC bluetooth still better THD but more jitter:
zen blue spotify.jpg



Conclusions. The S50 pro performance is less than my AVR for the same method. Even using a good bluetooth codec via my Zen Blue may give better results.

Looks like I should really have saved my money and put it towards a Matrix Audio Element I or the like.
 
OP
dougi

dougi

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Correction, I may not have set the volume correctly on the S50 when using Bluetooth. Forgot it remembers volume for each input method and hadn't used BT on it before testing.
 

dave.johnson.ottawa

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Mar 12, 2021
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I bought one of these recently, hoping to simplify my Spotify Direct use as I was previously using my AVR and optical out of the TV extracted from HDMI, into my DPA-1 digital preamp.

I need to use digital out generally as it goes into my DPA-1 digital preamp to use the RoomPerfect room correction, then to RME ADI-2 final DAC.

The S50 PRO is the just superceded Arylic streamer, with two analog inputs. The new S50 pro+ has a digital input. Both seem to retail for US$200.

As no direct digital in, testing was limited to recorded REW tones etc played back via wifi (via Foobar2000 UPNP), usb stick and also bluetooth.

Analog or digital, depending on the test went to an RME ADI-2 PRO analog in or SPDIF in->main out->analog in loopback.

TLDR: it's not great, with poor THD and worse jitter. A sample rate converter or two helps to clean it up a bit but it is still worse than the AVR (Yamaha RX-A2A==RX-V6A). I was going to test the ADC as well but given the performance here there seems little point.

Specs only say THD is 0.03% which is indicative perhaps of things to come, but SNR noise 110dB odd.

For a -1dBFS tone via any WAV, FLAC or MP3 I got the same results. Wifi or a USB file also made no difference.

-1dBFS 48KHz, 24 bit USB FLAC FILE IN, ANALOG OUT (2VRMS measured at S50 for 0dBFS, rme set to 13dBu full scale so you expect -5.8dB for -1dBFS in): Not great.

View attachment 115170

For comparison, the AVR (Yamaha RX-A2A==RX-V6A pretty much) analog out for the same test was:
THD is the preouts saturating (see Amir's review of the V6A). Doesn't like the 9kohm load of the RME much either as results worse than Amir's (i've been through this in another thread). Much cleaner and less jitter though than the S50 PRO.

View attachment 115171


Lets see if digital out helps at all.

USB file, dig out to RME dig in, then analog loopback, with no resampling: can barely lock to it. Also, the S50 also appears to resample everything to 44.1kHz, the RME status reports.

View attachment 115172

With the RME SRC set to 96kHz: Cleaned up but still poor.

View attachment 115173

Compared to the AVR through the TV, optical to RME, with SRC (same without pretty much): Much nicer!

View attachment 115174

So the S50 pro fails its use case as it is worse than the AVR that I was hoping it to better. Not that the AVR is fantastic.

Best results for the S50 were actually via bluetooth.

Kewlsoft android siggen app, -1dBFS bluetooth APTX-HD to the S50, digital out to RME: However, the S50 drops audio level in BT by 20dB!! Yes android was set to max volume.

View attachment 115177

Compare this to LDAC bluetooth via my iFI Zen Blue bluetooth rx, again via my DPA1 and RME:

View attachment 115178

I actually found a 1kHz test tone track on Spotify, so also used that to test Spotify direct and Spotify via bluetooth:

S50 1kHz tone via Spotify direct: (Note the AVR using Spotify direct has same tones)

View attachment 115180

S50 Spotify tone via Bluetooth: Better than via Spotify Direct (also remember the low BT audio level with the S50):

View attachment 115181

The Zen Blue Spotify via LDAC bluetooth still better THD but more jitter:
View attachment 115182



Conclusions. The S50 pro performance is less than my AVR for the same method. Even using a good bluetooth codec via my Zen Blue may give better results.

Looks like I should really have saved my money and put it towards a Matrix Audio Element I or the like.
I wonder if you'd offer your thoughts on how it compares technically to the Bluesound Node 2i?
 
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dougi

dougi

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I wonder if you'd offer your thoughts on how it compares technically to the Bluesound Node 2i?
I would say, going by Amir's measurements that the Bluenode's performance is a lot better. bluenode 2i review . Even Arylic only spec the S50 Pro for 0.03% THD.
 

Derek Hughes

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I bought one of these some time ago. I assumed, based on their advertising, that I could stream and play hirez up to 24/192. I tried it with 2 different DAC's which showed 16/44. I contacted them via Amazon and they eventually replied that it will decode up to 24/192 but will only put out 16/44. I've had the exact same problem with the Songbird Streamer from Andover. After several emails I got the same answer from them i.e. they compress (my word) any hirez stream to 16/44.
 
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dougi

dougi

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Yeah that was my disappointment with it too. They do mention it somewhere on the website I think but I didn't pick it up either until after I had bought it. Someone on the forum said that said it was due to the Linkplay module that it used.
 

Derek Hughes

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Yeah that was my disappointment with it too. They do mention it somewhere on the website I think but I didn't pick it up either until after I had bought it. Someone on the forum said that said it was due to the Linkplay module that it used.
The Linkplay module discussion about the Songbird also took place on the Qobuz Facebook thread where it was confirmed by several folks.
 

Lilloball#17

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Correction, I may not have set the volume correctly on the S50 when using Bluetooth. Forgot it remembers volume for each input method and hadn't used BT on it before testing.

Correct, set a different volume for each In-Source. I bought the first S50Pro (with AKM ADC) and use it for streaming Spotify via BT and to improve the music company of my cheap Auna CD-509 which must have a worse Dac than the S50 pro ES9023 ESS. I use as a source my smartphone Realme X2 Pro and the Poweramp equalizer and (if you want) the compressor coupled with Spotify via BT Aptx HD at 320 kHz. I have to say that the musical firm is good for me .. clear, detailed, with the correct soundstage and resolution .. Ahh. Ahh ... sure .. I am an Italian Hi-Fi Old 60 'lover and all this is coupled with my Old 18 ° yo stereo (Sic ..) .. Newly updated Pioneer Sa 6500 Mk.II amp with Japanese capacitor replaced, Pioneer PL112D turntable with Nagaoka MP110 stylus, Pioneer TX5500 receiver, Auna CD 509 CD player, Kef Q55 Mk.II floorstanding speakers with addition of TakeT Supertweeters ..... and the new S50 Pro Streamer. The "numbers" are obviously not on Arylic's side, but ... how about a comparison listening test with the same playlists for S50, AVR and Zen Blue? (It seems to me that S50 sounds better than Blunode ..) The ears sometimes give different results than just measurements. Thank you for your test and for this beautiful and very interesting site ..
By the way also the S50's Linkplay Wi-Fi module :-(
 
Last edited:

AdamG247

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Correct, It set different Volume for every In- Source..
I've bought the First S50Pro (With AKM ADC) and I use to stream Spotify via BT and to improve musical firm of my cheap Auna CD-509 which must have a worse Dac than the ESS ES9023 of S50 pro.
Using as Source my Smartphone Realme X2 Pro and the Poweramp Equalizer and (if You Want) Compressor coupled with Spotify via BT at 320.
I must say that the musical firm is good for me.. clear, detailed, with correct soundstage and resolution..
Ahh.
Ahh... of course.. I'm an Italian Old 60' Hi-Fi lover and all this is coupled with my Old 18° y.o. (Sic..) Stereo ..
Ampli Pioneer Sa 6500 Mk.II yust upgraded with Japanese Capacitor replacemet, Pioneer PL112D turntable with Nagaoka MP110 stylus, Pioneer TX5500 Receiver, Auna CD 509 CD player, Kef Q55 Mk.II floorstand speakers with addiction of TakeT Supertweeters.....and the new S50 Pro Streamer.
"Numbers" evidently aren't to Arylic's side, but ...what about a comparative listening test with the same playlists for S50 , AVR and Zen Blue.? (Seems to' me S50 sound Better than Blunode..)
Ears sometimes give different results than only measurements.
Thanks for your Test and for this beautiful and very interesting website..
( BTW also S50 've Linkplay Wi-Fi module :-( )
Welcome Aboard @Lilloball#17.
 
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