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Ayon S-10 II

01.05.2020 // Roland Dietl

Ayon S 10 – didn’t we talk about it already? Right – and at that time this equipment had thrilled me completely, but meanwhile that was already three years ago. A good reason to check out the technical and tonal evolution in the brand-new version S 10 II.

The Ayon S 10 II – an elegant appearance
The Ayon S 10 II – an elegant appearance

At the first glance – it seems – nothing has changed. There still is the excellently manufactured housing all-in-black made of pieces of brushed aluminum with the characteristically rounded edges. I would have been very much astonished if Ayon had changed something here, as this design meanwhile has become the distinctive recognition feature of the Ayon devices. On the front the big incredibly sharp QVGA-5-inch-TTF-display indicating the different menus of the networkplayer stands out providing a good legibility also from a greater distance. A second smaller display right aside shows among others volume, input, and balance. We do not find any other operating elements than a stand-by-button and an USB-socket on the front, what certainly contributes to the elegant appearance of the Ayon S 10 II. In best Ayon tradition the power switch is located a little hidden underside of the device close to the front left foot. The only remarkable difference to the previous model is a practical stand-by LED.

The big excellently legible display
The big excellently legible display

Also, on the backside practically everything remained unaffected. From left to right we find the analogue outputs in both single ended (RCA) and balance (XLR) version, of which – attention! – a parallel operation of both outputs is not envisaged. Two additional single ended RCA-inputs make the S 10 II a fully-fledged pre-amp. As inputs in the digital section we see a coaxial cinch S/PDIF, an optical Toslink and an USB-pc “B”-type. Additionally, the S 10 II offers – as on the front – an USB-input type “A” for the direct connection of USB-storage devices, such as sticks or hard disk drives. Furthermore, the S 10 II offers a coaxial digital output (S/PDIF). And there is an additional USB “B“ type input labelled „USB-SSD“. We will get back to this immediately. A RJ45-ethernet-connection and two wi-fi-antenna-connections complete the offer. After a look in the interior of the device and a long conversation with Gerhard Hirt, the owner and head of Ayon, it became clear to me that the S 10 II technically has been redesigned to a large extent. Almost all areas, beginning with the power supply to the digital section up to the analogue output section have been subjected to a fundamental redesign.

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