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Auralic Altair G1 Network Streaming Preamp Review & Comments

Cebolla

Member
Ed,

You briefly mentioned that Auralic Altair G1's support of TIDAL includes MQA. However, Auralic are notable early (2017) rejectors of MQA, with their CEO Xuanqian Wang stating, "I don’t believe the very High End will benefit from MQA as it only degrades sound quality, not improve it.”:
AURALiC firmware v5.0 adds web browser control, DSP engine | Darko.Audio (see feature point 4)

Any MQA decoding on the Altair G1 is likely to be the same as for all other Auralic streaming devices since Auralic firmware 5.0, ie, in-house, so is not the official licensed MQA decoding process supplied to manufacturers by MQA Ltd. For example, the Aries G1/G2:
AURALiC Support: Aries G1/G2 > Operation > The Streamer Menu (see point 7)
 
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AemiliusPius

Active Member
So it lacks Android support (which automatically rules out a huge number of potential users) and you still give it a 9 for features?!?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
So it lacks Android support (which automatically rules out a huge number of potential users) and you still give it a 9 for features?!?
Over the last few streaming reviews feedback on apps has been unequivocal; the app has to work. Auralic has done that absolutely. Feedback from dealers seems to be that most buyers either pick up an iPad (new or used) or go Roon. As noted, better one pretty much perfect app than two indifferent ones.

Noted the MQA- will confirm.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
So it lacks Android support (which automatically rules out a huge number of potential users) and you still give it a 9 for features?!?
Seems they are only going for 25% of the available market - very strange decision and agree limiting an app like that to just a small section of the market doesn't warrant a 9 for features. Even if the iOS app is stable, that should surely be a different rating - Usability/stability.

Mobile Operating System Market Share Worldwide - January 2020
Android74.3%
iOS24.76%
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
When dealing with the clientele for a £1,900 streamer (and, don't forget, this is the cheapest device that Auralic currently makes with this interface), the split is nothing like that. It's akin to saying that my mother is precluded from buying an Aries because she's an Android user and not because she's a seventy year old woman with zero interest in anything that doesn't have Roberts on the front of it.

As noted in the review copy, if you honestly can't bring yourself to use an iOS product, you have the option to pay for a Roon sub and use the Altair that way or take your chances elsewhere. I feel Auralic has made the right decision in focusing their attention on one platform and commercially, the decision doesn't seem to be hurting them.
 

RichardG

Active Member
I could / should be a prospective customer (£1900 for such a versatile streamer sounds reasonable to me - I'm considering Lumin at the moment), but lack of Android support means I'm not interested.

I have an iPhone for work and despise it. I could pick up an iPad but refuse to!
 

AemiliusPius

Active Member
When dealing with the clientele for a £1,900 streamer (and, don't forget, this is the cheapest device that Auralic currently makes with this interface), the split is nothing like that. It's akin to saying that my mother is precluded from buying an Aries because she's an Android user and not because she's a seventy year old woman with zero interest in anything that doesn't have Roberts on the front of it.

As noted in the review copy, if you honestly can't bring yourself to use an iOS product, you have the option to pay for a Roon sub and use the Altair that way or take your chances elsewhere. I feel Auralic has made the right decision in focusing their attention on one platform and commercially, the decision doesn't seem to be hurting them.
I have a high-end system based on an Accuphase amplifier, and I was recently looking for a streaming solution. Altair might have been a good one but I am a proud Android user and would hinestly never switch to an Apple product just to use Altair. Many people say that Roon is the best thing since sliced bread but I am not that convinced that it is worth the high investment. So yes, Altair lost a very probable customer, and many hifi enthusiasts think like this. The development of a decent Android version of the application would cost them approximately 50 000 GBP (and maybe even less as it already has an iOS version). If we assume that they have a margin of at least 1 000 GBP (which is very realistic having in mind the chip they use) this means that they need only 50 new Android customers to justify the cost. It is a question of math...
 

AemiliusPius

Active Member
I could / should be a prospective customer (£1900 for such a versatile streamer sounds reasonable to me - I'm considering Lumin at the moment), but lack of Android support means I'm not interested.

I have an iPhone for work and despise it. I could pick up an iPad but refuse to!
My points exactly - you posted your reply while I was typing my post.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
It is a question of math...
Almost everything in life is.

If we assume that they have a margin of at least 1 000 GBP (which is very realistic having in mind the chip they use) this means that they need only 50 new Android customers to justify the cost.
However this is not. It's absurdly wide of the mark.

Can I also say, as someone with examples of iOS and Android devices floating around the house and a happy acceptance of both of them, anyone saying they are 'proud' to use an operating system makes you sound like the sort of person I'd do anything not to be stuck in a lift with.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Auralic are by no means alone in favouring iOS over Android, despite the greater market share of the latter. I suspect the reasoning being two-fold. iOS is locked down much tighter than Android, so is probably easier to support. There is also a bizarre association with Apple being a premium (read overpriced) product that I guess other manufacturers love to be associated with.
 

RichardG

Active Member
Can I also say, as someone with examples of iOS and Android devices floating around the house and a happy acceptance of both of them, anyone saying they are 'proud' to use an operating system makes you sound like the sort of person I'd do anything not to be stuck in a lift with.
Classy...
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
When dealing with the clientele for a £1,900 streamer (and, don't forget, this is the cheapest device that Auralic currently makes with this interface), the split is nothing like that. It's akin to saying that my mother is precluded from buying an Aries because she's an Android user and not because she's a seventy year old woman with zero interest in anything that doesn't have Roberts on the front of it.

As noted in the review copy, if you honestly can't bring yourself to use an iOS product, you have the option to pay for a Roon sub and use the Altair that way or take your chances elsewhere. I feel Auralic has made the right decision in focusing their attention on one platform and commercially, the decision doesn't seem to be hurting them.
This device is a relatively technical device and the Apple fraternity tend to go that route because they want a 'premium' product that is non-technical so I would argue this is at odds with that assertion but if Auralic make it work for them then good luck.

An Android only house - that's because I work in IT and Apple products are a pain to support and only ever do 80% of what you need them to do. Don't get me started on the very real personal data protection issues associated with using Apple products.
 

Mallardo

Well-known Member
I only use Android devices and would probably be put off buying a product that effectively financially penalised me this. It is always going to be very controversial when brands throw their lot in with one operating system due to the highly loyal nature of some of the users.

However, I can't help thinking of Romesh Ranganathan when these Apple vs Android spats come up - "You've got a Samsung mate, your not living off the grid" :laugh:
 

jonasbaadsgaard

Novice Member
For that price I would take a look a the excellent new Lyngdorf digital amp and streamer all in one.. it has Roon, chromecast, Airplay and a lot of other suppport. And comes with microphone and Room perfect calibration. Looks like great value

 
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vkvedam

Active Member
In this price range we have a lot of options I believe, Naim and Linn offer amplification as well. Of course Linn's cheapest offering Majik DSM is a £600 dearer but you get amplification as well. Why have you left the Naim Uniti Atom out @Ed Selley, I remember you reviewing it :)
 

Pmconcierge

Standard Member
When dealing with the clientele for a £1,900 streamer (and, don't forget, this is the cheapest device that Auralic currently makes with this interface), the split is nothing like that. It's akin to saying that my mother is precluded from buying an Aries because she's an Android user and not because she's a seventy year old woman with zero interest in anything that doesn't have Roberts on the front of it.

As noted in the review copy, if you honestly can't bring yourself to use an iOS product, you have the option to pay for a Roon sub and use the Altair that way or take your chances elsewhere. I feel Auralic has made the right decision in focusing their attention on one platform and commercially, the decision doesn't seem to be hurting them.
Totally agree Ed. I have been working in 5 star hotels in London for 25 years and 90% of the guest use iPhones, MacBooks and I pads. Even if you don’t have one, £300 on an I pad on what is likely to be a £6k or so system is not much to add as a dedicated remote. As a marantz and Spotify connect user I can attest to the instability of their system. I don’t even bother to try and make it work just use the lower sound quality lg tv app. The app located the amp just 50% of the time!
 

Jefke13

Member
I use both and like both and i understand what Ed is trying to say... Two i-pads, one laptop, one chromebook and 2 android phones at my home. But i don't have to choose because i have Roon, best thing since sliced bread! If you buy a 2000 pound streamer, make sure it's Roon Ready! And people who buy 2000 pound streamers usually have Roon. The lightning app is fine, the BluOS is great, Roon is the best!
 

AemiliusPius

Active Member
Almost everything in life is.



However this is not. It's absurdly wide of the mark.

Can I also say, as someone with examples of iOS and Android devices floating around the house and a happy acceptance of both of them, anyone saying they are 'proud' to use an operating system makes you sound like the sort of person I'd do anything not to be stuck in a lift with.
AVFORUMS was always in the Top 10 of my preferred sites but comments like this from a reviewer on the site will make me rethink my choices. If I were an editor on the site I would definitely take notice of how its audience is treated. Also, it is just common courtesy to be civil with each other. Nothing of what I said was offensive to anybody. Who you are happy to be with in one elevator is your personal opinion and the website should not be a platform for its expression.
We all have our preferences. I like Android as I do not want to be a captive of the Apple ecosystem, you might like Apple. This does not make you or me better persons.
I do think that margins like this are very normal. Otherwise you would not observe the huge discounts in the hifi industry. But what do I know - I only teach Marketing in three universities. And yes, math makes the difference.
Finally, if you do not account for these "small" details like the lack of support of 75 % of devices and give a score of 9 for features, people will think that your review is biased and this will hurt the overall credibility of the site whose popularity is based exactly on this - perceived objectivity.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
AVFORUMS was always in the Top 10 of my preferred sites but comments like this from a reviewer on the site will make me rethink my choices. If I were an editor on the site I would definitely take notice of how its audience is treated. Also, it is just common courtesy to be civil with each other. Nothing of what I said was offensive to anybody. Who you are happy to be with in one elevator is your personal opinion and the website should not be a platform for its expression.
It's an operating system- lines of code and icons on a screen. To have sufficiently strong feelings about it that you are prepared to type- apparently seriously;

I am a proud Android user
Is weird. Really weird. Sorry but it is. I am both an Android and an iOS (and a Windows) user. The 'pride' I feel using any of them is zero. They're devices. I pick the one that works best at the time.

We all have our preferences. I like Android as I do not want to be a captive of the Apple ecosystem, you might like Apple. This does not make you or me better persons.
It certainly doesn't. I'm not the person proud of one though.

I do think that margins like this are very normal. Otherwise you would not observe the huge discounts in the hifi industry. But what do I know - I only teach Marketing in three universities. And yes, math makes the difference.
Let's break your original comment down;

If we assume that they have a margin of at least 1 000 GBP (which is very realistic having in mind the chip they use) this means that they need only 50 new Android customers to justify the cost. It is a question of math...
Firstly, who makes the £1,000? Auralic doesn't sell direct so if they make a grand, what's the dealer on? 75p and a packet of crisps with every third one sold? Even if your margin call was correct (and it isn't), it's split over two points not one so your calculation is wrong to start with. It also ignores the Android customers who'll go Roon (I personally know of two) so it's not an intractable and irreducible group. Your app development costing for an effective, routinely updated Android app is also wrong. If you wish to throw qualifications around, I don't teach marketing. I work as a consultant in this industry and have done for twenty years. I'm not 'assuming' anything in what I've typed here, I know it.

To put it another way. Why don't you find me an Altair G1 with an epic discount?

Finally, if you do not account for these "small" details like the lack of support of 75 % of devices and give a score of 9 for features, people will think that your review is biased and this will hurt the overall credibility of the site whose popularity is based exactly on this - perceived objectivity.
I don't pull the numbers out of my arse. The product has a class leading specification, superb sonic performance and it's beautifully built. It doesn't lack support for 75% of the population either (even if we ignore that number being willfully specious). If you absolutely cannot face using a slightly different OS, it has Roon compatibility and can be run on third party apps.
 

AemiliusPius

Active Member
It's an operating system- lines of code and icons on a screen. To have sufficiently strong feelings about it that you are prepared to type- apparently seriously;



Is weird. Really weird. Sorry but it is. I am both an Android and an iOS (and a Windows) user. The 'pride' I feel using any of them is zero. They're devices. I pick the one that works best at the time.



It certainly doesn't. I'm not the person proud of one though.



Let's break your original comment down;



Firstly, who makes the £1,000? Auralic doesn't sell direct so if they make a grand, what's the dealer on? 75p and a packet of crisps with every third one sold? Even if your margin call was correct (and it isn't), it's split over two points not one so your calculation is wrong to start with. It also ignores the Android customers who'll go Roon (I personally know of two) so it's not an intractable and irreducible group. Your app development costing for an effective, routinely updated Android app is also wrong. If you wish to throw qualifications around, I don't teach marketing. I work as a consultant in this industry and have done for twenty years. I'm not 'assuming' anything in what I've typed here, I know it.

To put it another way. Why don't you find me an Altair G1 with an epic discount?



I don't pull the numbers out of my arse. The product has a class leading specification, superb sonic performance and it's beautifully built. It doesn't lack support for 75% of the population either (even if we ignore that number being willfully specious). If you absolutely cannot face using a slightly different OS, it has Roon compatibility and can be run on third party apps.
Do you think that your language is appropriate for the website? If you cannot tolerate somebody having different opinions than yours, find another job. Otherwise just apologize and let's move on.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Do you think that your language is appropriate for the website? If you cannot tolerate somebody having different opinions than yours, find another job. Otherwise just apologize and let's move on.
Apologies work both ways. You've waded into this with some comments on how this industry is costed that are entirely wide of the mark. You've then decided to get a sly dig at my integrity in too. I'm not feeling especially conciliatory.
 

AemiliusPius

Active Member
No worries - I will try to inform whoever is in charge about your behaviour. Let them decide who offended whom and whether what you say is enticing to website visitors to express freely their opinion.
 

AemiliusPius

Active Member

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