I tried out the Aurilac Vega 2.1 vs my exceedingly good 272/555dr combination as a possible cost effective replacement for the latter. The reasons being that there is no longer a local naim dealer to service it and also due to increasing glitches with the 272. Otherwise I would not have even considered changing to a different brand.
I find the Aurilac range very confusing. The Vega is primarily their best DAC with a streamer and a preamp. You can use a turntable with it as well as streaming. It has regular updates remotely and automatically. No remote control but my naim remote control has been configured easily to work with the Aurilac. Any remote control can be configured to work with it.
The Aurilac has been very stable in its connection to the internet. The 272 would periodically disappear from the naim app. Also the naim app would just suddenly stop working. I have to reboot it every hour or so of listening which I find annoying. I do most of my listening via Tidal and also UpNP via my uniticore. The Aurilac app in contrast is fast and stable. The main issue is that it’s interaction with the uniticore ripped cds is more clunky but after a while I figured it out satisfactorily.
The Vega was connected to the 250DR with an Epic Chord 2 RCA to 4pin DIN cable and a Chord Signature Super Array Ethernet cable.
Impressions of the Vega;
The music is very detailed. Instruments are all clearly delineated.
Sound stage is excellent.
Presentation is upfront and exciting.
Bass seems to be more visceral. Similar to having a more powerful amplifier.
Overall impressions are that is very musical and foot tapping.
It has a crisp sheen to the music, perhaps a greater treble emphasis than the naim combination.
Impressions of the 272/555dr with super lumina DIN to XLR:
Smooth refined treble
More organic and less sharply etched instruments, although still very good indeed.
Overall less bass attack than Vega. Not as exciting.
Refined and sumptuous music presentation with Good soundstage and lovely music flow.
Perhaps a slight veil of haze compared to the Vega which is very etched but musical at the same time
Overall both are great.
I think the Vega would be superior to the bare 272 but the 555dr changes the picture. Both the Vega and 272/555 are very musical. It think the Vega is better in detail as expected with a state of the art DAC but the naim combination is very musical, smooth and refined. The Vega is more cost effective and if I had a power amp only the Vega is the one I would buy.
Yes the Vega does work very well as a pre/Dac/Streamer and yes I agree when you add a PS to Naim you move to a different notch in sound and price.
When you say the Vega can act as a pre amp and if you had a power amp that is all you would need, are you saying that the Vega could be connected directly to say a Nap 250, without. Naim pre amp?
Correct. It seems to be a good preamp with a ladder resister volume control. It clicks loudly when volume altered. A far cry from the smooth action of the 272. I think if you had a turntable as well as streaming it can be a bit of a fiddle to switch between the inputs, however I stand to be corrected.
Having had a 272/555 DR and a Vega G2.1, I can only agree with your findings. I find the Naim system a more organic sound than the Auralic. Do not get me wrong, the Vega is very, very good. However, to my ears the Naim wins out and the Vega had to go. Hopefully, not much longer to the final solution
Agreed. Having spent so much on the magnificent 555DR, I would hate to trade it in at a loss on the Auralic. I just wish naim makes a 272 replacement and that it would be able to be powered by the 555. Even more hopefully that they will make a variant of it that has no self contained power supply so that sound quality is higher.
One of my favourite films is “4 days in May”, if you take my meaning
I have a vega G1 which will be moved into the study when the G.2.1 replaces it. I’d not thought of it as a pre, but that gives me an option for reducing the box count in the study. I guess I’d need to check the co ax output figures against the xlr input on the 250 ( and get a twin co ax to single xlr made up).
Yes, having the 555DR already makes the economics different.
Will keep an eye out for it.
Nice summary and quite closely similar to my impressions of the differences in comparing the Vega G2 to the NDX2
= Munich (May 19th-22nd)
But Naim are not listed as an exhibitor at Munich on this page:
Is there a UK show in May?
I think the human ear is excellent and hearing differences, and these can capture us - the ‘ooooh, I have never heard THAT before’ effect.
A couple of weekends ago I was listening to three phono stages, one extracted a brilliant amount of detail and with one album was superb. Another was less detailed and a tad warmer, but it had a wider ability to present the emotion of the singer and get the hairs on the back of your neck raised.
Ultimately I think the test is which setup gets you listening the most and works well with the broadest amount of music you like and listen to.
That is very true. I could live with either.I only did the comparison as the 272 seems to be having glitches. The excellent local naim dealer in my town no longer sells the brand so I tried their Aurilac to see if I could live with it. A fully functional 272 is a long term hold for me. Time will tell.
Interesting. I went the other way. Several years ago, I got fed up waiting for a 272 replacement which led to a shootout between Vega G2 and 272/XPS into 250DR/PMCs. For me, the Vega was slightly closer to my preferred musical tastes; I listen almost exclusively to acoustic music including a good deal of classical.
Part way through my series of auditions, active ATCs entered, indeed transformed, the picture and together with the Vega gave me just the sound I wanted. Perhaps this is because when the Vega is used as a preamp, the very good (IMO) Class A Orfeo preamp output modules are only operational on the XLR outputs, the RCAs use op-amps. Conveniently the ATC’s have balanced XLR inputs which could be one reason they work so well together.
If a 272 replacement does come along, I intend to let it have a shootout with the Vega. Interesting times ahead.
On another thread I posted about a friend who did a looooooong round buying new speakers and amp(s). The speakers chosen were the Avalon PM1s. The amp we both loved was the Luxman 590, this is a class A integrated. It was musically superb, but other amps were more detailed.
My friend then spent weeks trying to find something that gave power, detail AND the emotional connection, whilst not making large parts of the music he listens to less enjoyable.
He bought a pair of Brystons, which were, surprisingly to me, very good. But a week later he went and bought the Luxman. Currently he has both, I am going to be interested to see which gets the greater usage.
In a more Naim centric vein: I enjoyed CB and still have and use a 140 and 250; I found Olive more detailed, but less emotionally communicative, I appreciate others will disagree ; I really enjoy the new amps, more round earth perhaps, but give me some of the qualities that made me use EAR for twenty years, particularly with the SBLs.
I have listened to a couple of power amps that are cheaper than my 300DR and more resolving, but on extended listening weren’t for me as musically enthralling, but that may just be in my room & system & my taste.
I love bake offs and listening to other systems, but it is the long term ability to keep you listening to what you love that really counts for me. Listening for a couple of hours doesn’t tell you that.
I will be very interested in your long term choice.
It was not as simple a decision, as it sounds. I have to go back to when I had the passive ATC SCM40 mk2, ATC CDA2 pre and ATC P1 power amp. The inter connect and speaker cables were all Van den Hul. I would probably have never changed this system, even though the CDA2 was the weakest link. I was advised by members on here, to change it for a 272. However, the balance of the system was towards a excessive bass signature. I was always unhappy with this, yes your right out there, should have had a home demonstration. I believe now with hindsight, that excessive bass was now due to the Van den Hul cables. Anyway, the sold the lot.
Eventually ended up at 272, (had XPS DR), 555 DR, 300 DR and PMC Twenty5 26. However on the road to Damascus, I found I could not get the sound of the ATC 40’s out of my mind. I liked streaming music, but did not like Tidal. I managed by using Roon and a bit of fiddling to get Quboz - really happy with - to work. Yet having used and had a Uniti Nova and a Star, just wanted the simplicity of function and connection.
I had already decided the Naim box count was starting to get out of control. I had no desire to separate pre amp and streamer route.
Like you, got fed up of waiting for replacement 272 and decided to trade the lot in for - drum roll - Auralic Vega G2.1 and the active ATC SCM40A speakers - again, no home dem or even shop. I do know why, thar the active would sound different than the passive, in the same room - total delusion. However, they did, other people commented, hence my conclusion about Van den Hul cables. I have heard full ATC systems at HiFi shows, so a good idea how they should sound.
Anyway, I digress, the Vega and ATC are very, very good. They are almost a match made in heaven. In fact I was seriously contemplating buying the Auralic full stack - Vega, Aries, Sirius and Leo.
Something, just kept nagging away, as good as the Vega was, it lacked something compared to the 272/555. In nearly all aspects the Vega was superior, except for the way the sound was structured and the functionality of the unit compared to the Uniti range. Obviously two big points here, cost - 272 /555 nearly twice Vega price and, availability - no 272 replacement at the time. However through little Naim replies on this forum, a release sometime in the future - all in pre COVID and Ukraine world.
So, where does that leave me now - well the Vega had to go
As for what happened next, well all I can say presently, is to be continued……….
P.S. Sorry, for my long inane ramblings……back to the home now.