Aries Cerat DAC Review: Helene

Danielaruso

New Member
Mar 11, 2024
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Hi all,

In an effort to be helpful, wanted to pass along. I bought blind (did ton of user research) the Aries Cerat Helene with the Innuous Pulsar. I am running through YG Carmel 2 (3's on the way) with all audionet gear; max amps, pre-g2 etc, kubala sosna cables except for a clarus crimson pc into the streamer.

I am a vinyl collector and i am completely awe struck. I am playing songs that i know fluently and this dac / streamer combo is better than vinyl in certain nuances and different in others. The dac with usb is simply magical. The soundstage is enormous, hologrpahic imaging, the voices basically hit you in the face with surround. It is so remarkable i cannot stop streaming. I had a aurilac g2 and obviously this is apples and orangres. I know am testing USB cables

nordost blue heaven = baseline
clarus crimson
pink faun
wireworld platinum

i will report back what is best to me. In any event, I was researching the playback mpd 6, and msb discrete. I have been told they are all excellent from users and dealers alike that sell them all and i am so thrilled. The feedback ewas that the aries cerate is really musical and not clinical in any regard. would encourage you to check out this brand.

The Innuous pulsar is so easy and the sense app is awesome and i prefer it to roon.
 
If this combination sounds better than your vinyl equipment, then that's great for a start. That doesn't surprise me. Aries Cerat is very, very good and always inspires me.

Last summer I had the opportunity to listen to a Kassandra Signature with an Antipodes Oladra in my system and compare it with my analog signal path. This is a Verdier with Acoustical Systems Axiom and Palladian on an AriesCerat Talos Reference. A Talos Signature was also available.

The rest of the system consisted of AriesCerat Ageto + Ianus Essentia and custom made speakers.

Vinyl sounds at least as good to me, if not better than digital. - And everything is as you describe: beautiful timbres, a big stage and very real and authentic.

What do I want to say? Well, your next construction site should be the analog section of your system ....
 
If this combination sounds better than your vinyl equipment, then that's great for a start. That doesn't surprise me. Aries Cerat is very, very good and always inspires me.

Last summer I had the opportunity to listen to a Kassandra Signature with an Antipodes Oladra in my system and compare it with my analog signal path. This is a Verdier with Acoustical Systems Axiom and Palladian on an AriesCerat Talos Reference. A Talos Signature was also available.

The rest of the system consisted of AriesCerat Ageto + Ianus Essentia and custom made speakers.

Vinyl sounds at least as good to me, if not better than digital. - And everything is as you describe: beautiful timbres, a big stage and very real and authentic.

What do I want to say? Well, your next construction site should be the analog section of your system ....
 
Thanks for note. I have two thoughts

1. I run audionet Pam g2 with Epx power supply. Wonder what a JMF phono or Aries Cerat Talos would do to my analog.

2. I am curious about the incremental gains on streamers beyond $10k. Statement v oladra and that v pink faun. With tech changing so fast hard to think about $30k into a streamer
 
Ergo the answer is … Aries Cerat Talos .
What I wonder is should I trade my digital and current phono and get the talos and concentrate on exceptional vinyl and just have a $5k dac solution and just have it as background music - that’s what I cannot decide
 
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I am a vinyl collector and i am completely awe struck. I am playing songs that i know fluently and this dac / streamer combo is better than vinyl in certain nuances and different in others. The dac with usb is simply magical. The soundstage is enormous, hologrpahic imaging, the voices basically hit you in the face with surround. It is so remarkable i cannot stop streaming.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing your opinion!
Non-USB connections are also worth trying as they can provide a different sound signature.
Please share photos so we can join in admiring your new system!
 
Wonder what a JMF phono or Aries Cerat Talos would do to my analog.
Talos Reference plays on a par with the JMF Phono (and is a few k€/$ cheaper). Talos plays with more grip and body, JMF a little tighter and slightly more neutral.

If you want roughly the sound that Helene delivers, Talos should be a better fit - but in the end it depends on the rest of your phono chain.
 
What I wonder is should I trade my digital and current phono and get the talos and concentrate on exceptional vinyl and just have a $5k dac solution and just have it as background music - that’s what I cannot decide
5k Dac and exceptional vinyl is a brilliant decision.
 
Wil
Talos Reference plays on a par with the JMF Phono (and is a few k€/$ cheaper). Talos plays with more grip and body, JMF a little tighter and slightly more neutral.

If you want roughly the sound that Helene delivers, Talos should be a better fit - but in the end it depends on the rest of your phono chain.
Will the Talos transform the entire analog sound ? Ie is it game changer to Pam g2 with Epx ?
 
Wil

Will the Talos transform the entire analog sound ? Ie is it game changer to Pam g2 with Epx ?
It is difficult to advise you , not knowing of your circumstances , and for my part my preference would be to strive to own both the Helene and a Talos Reference , however if that is not feasible then simplify your dilemma by asking yourself ‘What Is My Primary Method Of Music Replay’
 
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It is difficult to advise you , not knowing of your circumstances , and for my part my preference would be to strive to own both the Helene and a Talos Reference , however if that is not feasible then simplify your dilemma by asking yourself ‘What Is My Primary Method Of Music Replay’
I am going to keep digital as I love it. For classical and jazz I am focused on vinyl. I am reviewing new YG Carmel 3 as I currently have 2.

I need to let those settle in and then in August I am going to think about my amps; I am really thinking that Aries cerat might be exactly the sound I love. I like huge sound stage and holographic but I also like separation and organization without a mess. Mot
Love clinical precision and sharp edges
 
Hi all,

In an effort to be helpful, wanted to pass along. I bought blind (did ton of user research) the Aries Cerat Helene with the Innuous Pulsar. I am running through YG Carmel 2 (3's on the way) with all audionet gear; max amps, pre-g2 etc, kubala sosna cables except for a clarus crimson pc into the streamer.

I am a vinyl collector and i am completely awe struck. I am playing songs that i know fluently and this dac / streamer combo is better than vinyl in certain nuances and different in others. The dac with usb is simply magical. The soundstage is enormous, hologrpahic imaging, the voices basically hit you in the face with surround. It is so remarkable i cannot stop streaming. I had a aurilac g2 and obviously this is apples and orangres. I know am testing USB cables

nordost blue heaven = baseline
clarus crimson
pink faun
wireworld platinum

i will report back what is best to me. In any event, I was researching the playback mpd 6, and msb discrete. I have been told they are all excellent from users and dealers alike that sell them all and i am so thrilled. The feedback ewas that the aries cerate is really musical and not clinical in any regard. would encourage you to check out this brand.

The Innuous pulsar is so easy and the sense app is awesome and i prefer it to roon.


I used to own some of the DACs you mentioned...In particular the MSB Discrete I had for a long time, about 3 or 4 years and loved it until I did a tour with vinyl and ultimately came back to Digital. Its a great DAC alot better than a background music type dac for sure. I also had the Helene and it was just not good in my system. I tried to like that DAC made adjustments and used different configurations. Threw a massive sound stage, definitely had some positive attributes in that regard, but the mid range was lacking IMO, which is not a trait of my system at all. I definitely sit in a minority camp due to all the positive feedback on that DAC which I do not understand, although I've spoken to a few users with similar experiences to mine. It's definitely not a warm dac THAT I can attest to unequivocally, it's very neutral to my ear. I can only chock it up to system synergy and maybe AC gear likes other AC gear, so going from Audionet, which can be a little dry, I am sure you will hear a difference with all AC gear. To each their own, but the ear is the deciding factor, I just use reviews and opinion to baseline, end of the day listening is all that matters. If it sounds good you run with it, if not, find the exit.

In the end it worked out and I got the Totaldac Triunity which is on another level, as it should be for the difference in price. Best DAC I've heard and I have heard alot of DACs. With the exception of the PBD dacs.
 
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Seems to be a good system in pure class A


Yeah that amp is sublime, only about 8 months old but I've so many of their pieces I know it's not the amp. System is different now with the Pulsar and DAC but all things equal I think it's just my brain and ear. Helene had a colder sound than I prefer. I don't like warm poo to be clear, but warm side of neutral with killer dynamics is my sound.
 
It is about system synergy, we know that, cables also make huge diffrence, just little something will change the whole system to worse. In other systems Helene will sound warm, in some sytems neutral, you know what I mean. Also everybody has different taste what is neutral and what is warm. ;) I personaly do not like cold sound and I love Helene. I am very sensitive on cold sound actualy. You maybe even more sensitive and need realy warm sound. "Music is the best"
 

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