W20SE Special Edition!
Since its launch in 2013, the Aurender W20 has occupied the enviable position of “the music server others are judged against”. Revised and refined in 2019, the new W20SE (Special Edition) raises the bar again in both user experience and absolute audio performance.
Full Range of Digital Audio Outputs and Ports for Network Connectivity
Designed to be matched with the highest performing digital-to-analog converters, the Aurender W20SE is equipped with various SPDIF outputs (Dual AES/EBU, Coaxial BNC and Optical) and one dedicated USB Audio Class 2.0 output. For network connectivity and file transfers, the W20SE comes with one a Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 2.0 data ports.
MQA Core Decoder Installed
Aurender’s MQA Core Decoder upgrade enables MQA Core or first unfold allowing playback of MQA files at up to 88.2kHz or 96kHz. This is beneficial if using a non-MQA DAC as Core Decoding will deliver some of the MQA benefit from MQA encoded content. Additionally, MQA Core Decoder will work with DACs that perform MQA rendering which is the second stage of MQA decoding. Together, they provides full MQA decoding.
External Word Clock Support
W20SE can accept word clocks with the following frequencies: Master clock: 10MHz, 12.8MHz, Word clock: 44.1KHz and 48KHz in multiples from 1 to 512. W20SE supports both word clock (dCS, DACs or similar) or Master Clock (MSB DACs or similar) inputs.
Dual-Wire Mode AES/EBU
Dual-wire AES/EBU mode is sometimes used in reference digital-to-analog converters to double the level of resolution possible on an AES/EBU digital interconnect. When the AES/EBU output is used in dual-mode, the left and right channel information transmitted at 192kHz sample rate to make a 24-Bit, 384Hz stereo transmission. Since the maximum frequency is halved, transmission line requirement becomes less critical.
Separate LiFePO4 (LFP) Battery Power Supply for the Audio Circuitry
Two banks of LiFePO4 batteries alternately power audio components and perform recharging. This technique completely isolates the audio components from ground noise and also reduces jitter and the distortion often incurred in the conversion of AC to DC.
Internal UPS Protects W20SE Under an Abrupt Power Outage Condition
An additional bank of LiFePO4 batteries act as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and protect the system in case any sudden power outages. The UPS will always allow the W20SE to safely shut down.
Oven-Controlled Crystal Oscillator (OCXO) for Long-Term Jitter Reduction
OCXOs are among the most accurate and stable clocks available today. OCXOs are many orders of magnitude more accurate and stable than the ordinary and commonly used crystal oscillators found in computers. With OCXO clocks, a very stable high-grade crystal oscillator is employed and is enclosed in a compartment that’s kept at a constant temperature to prevent jitter created by temperature fluctuations.
Precision DSD-to-PCM Conversion by FPGA
Many DACs support DSD decoding only on their USB inputs but not on SPDIF or AES/EBU. That’s why the Aurender W20SE features an extremely high-quality DSD-to-PCM conversion performed by FPGA. Regardless of how fast the CPU is, performing DSD to PCM conversion by software results in poor sound quality because it requires thousands of filter calculations in parallel. The W20SE accomplishes the DSD to PCM conversion precisely using thousands of tap filters inside the FPGA delivering superior audio performance.
FPGA-Based All Digital Phase-Locked Loop System
An All-Digital Phase-Locked Loop system (ADPLL) incorporating Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) along with OCXO clocks precisely times digital audio data transmission and minimizes jitter to below negligible levels.
4TB Solid-State Drive Storage with 1TB Solid-State Cache Drive for Playback
An internal drive providing 4TB of SSD content storage and a 1TB SSD caching drive are housed in a vault of machined aluminum which protects the audio circuitry from the effects of EMI interference. Caching using the 1TB SSD is done files and for streaming content. This increases stability and improves sound quality of files and when using streaming services such as Qobuz or Tidal.
2X Isolated LAN Port
LAN Port is doubly isolated – this 2X isolated LAN port isolates the W20SE from any noise introduced by the routers LAN connection.
USB HDD and NAS (Network-Attached Storage) Support
Best practice is storing music on W20SE’s internal SSDs. However, Aurender’s platform is capable of selecting and playing content stored from a NAS or an external USB hard drive using Folder/File browsing. Content on the USB HDD or NAS drive can be conveniently copied to the internal storage of W20SE using the Aurender Conductor App. Or, you can use a Mac/PC to transfer content over the network if you wish.
W20SE Hardware Guide