Mola Mola Tambaqui Roon vs Separate Streamers

I'm currently using my Mola Mola Tambaqui with Roon streaming Tidal.

Has anyone added a separate streamer such as the Auralic Aries G2/2.1 or the Lumin U1?  If so, was differences did you hear with the streamer addition?  Is it worthwhile?  

I'd love to hear feedback from other Tambaqui owners.



Hello,  I have enjoyed my Tambaqui for about a year now, streaming directly via ethernet with Tidal, Qobuz and local files on a USB  RAID drive attached to my nucleus + in another room.  I have added several small front end upgrades;  I added a better switch (Silent Angel Bonn 8) in front of my Nucleus. I added a HDplex Linear Power supply for the Nucleus and the switch. I upgraded my short ethernet cables to Supra Cat 8.  I also added an EtherRegen directly in front of my Nucleus.  I feel all these things added, especially the EtherRegen.

Then about a month ago I added an Auralic Aries G2.1 streamer in front of my Tambaqui.  It was a major improvement.  More organic, richer and lifelike.  I looked at  but did not audition other more expensive streamers, such as Grimm.  One thing I noticed  that the more expensive streamers have is a very fancy power supply.  

I have now ordered a Sean Jacobs power supply to mod the Aries G2.1  I have heard that this is again a very significant improvement.  

BTW, the Tambaqui is amazing, and easily the best DAC I have heard.  My DAC path was Bluesound Node > PSAudio Direct Stream > Auralic Vega G2 > (demoed Chord Dave) > Tambaqui.  No contest each time.

And, Qobuz sounds better.  I have both subscriptions, and the only reason I keep Tidal is because some things are not on Qobuz.  Every Time I listen to a new album, ROON defaults to a Tidal version, and I have to search Versions and switch it to Qobuz.  Given the same resolution, Qobuz always sounds better to me.   Also, (Yes I understand Tambaqui does not do last unfold of MQA) MQA on my system does not sound as good as even a lower resolution version on Qobuz.


Hope all that helps!   Ken

Short answer is yes. Once you hear it, it’s hard to unhear it. This is not unique to the Tambaqui, any internal renderer will be surpassed by a quality separate renderer. Highly recommend the Grimm (home demoed that combo). More life and engagement factor. Have not heard the Auralic. The internal Roon renderer is nice though — can’t tell you whether the upgrade is worth the cost for you, you just need to try it yourself.


I ended up buying the Grimm.

How is the Grimm?  Can you discuss ease of set up, does it need messed with each time? do you use usb to DAC?  Tambaqui?  Do you use Grimm software to play music or is Roon Core on Grimm or elsewhere?    Thanks

Hi Ken, 

Thanks for your reply.

I added the Silent Angel Bonn 8 and the HDplex Linear power supply as well.  Instead of the EtherRegen, I opted for the Gigafoil.  I upgraded all the DC power cords for the Nucleaus, Silent Angel, Gigafoil, and my router with Audio Sensibility cables.  Like everything in this hobby, each upgrade makes a small improvement.  

I'm considering the Lumin U1 or Auralic Aries G2/2.1 as my next upgrade.  I've read up on the Grimm, but I'm not sure I can justify the cost.  How are you connecting the G2.1 to the Tambaqui?  


@fastfreight the Grimm took me 2 minutes to set up. In many ways it simplified my set up, since it’s a server as well as streamer/renderer - in Roon terms, it’s both the core and the endpoint. The Grimm guys are working on their own software so for now it’s Roon only (a plus in my book). It also let me sell my Gigafoil and fancy Ethernet cables — they no longer made a material difference to me. Great clock so don’t even need to think about a reclocker. Only use AES into your DAC, don’t bother with the Grimm USB.

As far as how it is — for me personally, it puts a big smile on my face. I’ll leave it at that. Something you need to listen to, to appreciate.

Sorry If this takes the thread slightly off topic (OP seems more interested in Auralic)…but I have heard the Grimm and Tambaqui together, it’s a well tested combination in part because the Tambaqui designer used to work at Grimm (but didn’t design the MU1 as far as I know).

I started using an Aries G2 4 years ago, and upgraded to a G2.1, which does sound better than the G2.  My system includes a Nucleus => switch => G2.1 => Tambaqui (which I’ve had for 3 years).  The Aries makes a big difference versus connecting a DAC directly to the Nucleus via USB or to the switch via ethernet.  The Aries adds a lot of detail to the music, you notice the improvements immediately.  With this set up every small change makes a noticeable difference; from power cables for the Tambaqui and Aries, to adding an external linear power supply for the Nucleus and switch, to DC and ethernet cables, to the type of network switch.  My most recent upgrade was to add a Sean Jacobs ARC6 DC4 linear power supply replacing the power supply in the Aries.  I was able to A/B the modded Aries with a stock version and the improvement in detail and 3 dimensionality of the music was for me well worth the considerable investment.

Hi Tony,  I went all in with Realization power cord and USB to my Tambaqui.

All my other cables are Elation.  I did initially hook up the Aries G2.1 with stock power cord and a cheap usb just to hear the improvement with the nicer cables.  And I did!.  Now I am waiting on the Sean Jacobs power supply as discussed by David above.  I have also ordered a custom umbilical for the power supply from Kubala Sosna.  Ken

Kubala Sosna Realization and Elation cables really do make a very easy to hear difference.  I use them throughout my system.  Some of these cables are made to order, we’re fortunate that K-S will do this.  

@metaldetektor So the Grimm would get rid of my Nucleus since it's the core as well?  If so, how are the Roon updates....seamless?  That's one thing I really like about the Nucleus....set it and forget it!  I was watching the Hans Youtube review and it looks impressive!  I would need to purchase the AES connector as well.  Which dealer did you purchase from?  It wouldn't hurt to enquire.  There are no dealers here in Canada it appears.

@davidyny @fastfreight  How does the Sean Jacobs connect up to the Aries G2.1?  I did a Google search and I see an internal power supply upgrade (hoer-wege) upgrade but couldn't find out how the Sean Jacobs would be wired in.  The Sean Jacobs is around $7400US?   Yes, power cords and cables all make a difference!  I have experience with the Kubala Sosna Emotion XLR and Emotion power cords.  They're excellent, but I find them to be a touch warm.  I'm guessing the Elation and Realization lineups are more extended and neutral.  I've been very happy with my High Fidelity Cables (out of business now, unfortunately).  I've tried even compared my entry level Reveal lineup to the Nordost Valhalla, and they were a better match in my system.....Everything in this hobby makes a diffference!

Yes, the Grimm updates are super simple and because they run FPGA, the updates are actually very meaningful. The most recent update took the Grimm to an even more remarkable level. So when you buy it, you’re buying into a company that’s committed to continually improving the product — they’re working on their own software (a Roon alternative) and a DAC as well, which would make it a true one box digital front end.

Yes, it’s both a Roon core and endpoint. Just add DAC.

You need to use as AES cable into the DAC. DH labs makes good inexpensive ones, black cat makes great but more expensive ones.

I believe there are four US dealers last i checked, any should be helpful if there’s nobody in Canada. There’s Doug White in Philly who is an industry legend and super nice guy, there’s Kyomi in Chicago run by a concert pianist and music professor, and there’s Analog Audio which is run by another special dealer. I don’t know anything about the SF dealer. In other words, it says something when some of the best (best in the sense Of experience/knowledge and also customer service) dealers around are carrying this product.


To upgrade the power supply in the Aries, you can replace the power supply circuit board with the Hoer-wege circuit board, or the Sean Jacobs external power supply requires that you remove the power inlet and connect with 2 custom DC cables (the power supply requires 3 different rails, voltages) terminated with plastic Molex connectors.  Sean Jacobs will supply these cables.

But I’ve been using Kubala Sosna in the analog portion of my system for many years; upgrading from Emotion to Elation and now Realization.  Their cables share a common design philosophy and sound.  They are to my ears very neutral regarding frequency response.  But each generation significantly lowers the noise floor allowing much more musical information to be heard.  I started experimenting with their digital and DC cables about 4 years ago and have been similarly pleased with the results.  


The Grimm and the Tambaqui are a special combination if you can make sense of the cost of the Grimm. Something about that AES output from the Grimm that the Mola just loves leaving it to DAC only duties. Metaldektor said it correctly, at this level of playback it's about subtlety that mostly is noticed when it is removed. That is the Grimm, you'll want it back in if forced to take it out. Rest of system needs to be dialed in to justify even the Tambaqui. The Grimm / Mola is all anyone would ever need for redbook...... 


Hello, I am very keen on the Grimm / Mola combo, but for now have opted to upgrade my Auralic Aries G2.1 with the Sean Jacobs Power supply.  As davidyny states, it is a custom 3 rail power supply.  I have ordered custom K-S Realization umbilicals that replaces the IEC port and plug directly into the Auralic.   Maybe David and I should speak as I am having growing pains getting it all hooked up.

I have temporarily taken the Auralic streamer out of the loop and gone back to ethernet into my tambaqui.  Talk about going backwards and noticing things as Metaldektor and Calgarian said!  The Tambaqui without the Aries is still great, but not near the life and visceral experience as with the streamer!  

if you are looking at the grimm you should also consider the 432Evo Master


a reviewer in the netherlands listened to the master with The mola MOLA DAC and was thrilled with the combo

the reviewer was also keen with the multitude of filters and the analog like presentation of the Master:

With the last generation of the 432 EVO Master, Frederic Van den Poel has delivered his best music server to date. Both chassis look excellent and even though the web interface (mainly used for the filter settings and switching between Roon and Logitech) have some resemblance with the well known Vortexbox interface, everything else is so very different that it cannot be compared. This is a totally different machine, which is obvious from the enormous amount of custom features and their sonic impact. Because no other Vortexbox based solution from the recent past comes close to the performance of this high-end machine.

Even though the price is downright hefty, and a small minus is the fact that it only support USB connections towards a DAC, what we have here is a very special music server which within it’s price class, is among the best challengers today. Even though a top class CD transport still sounds substantially different in it’s own way and still is hard to beat on it’s own strong aspects, there is indeed a far-reaching analog sound. This makes the rendering smooth, airy, spacious and naturally realistic and moreover, also has exactly that right outlined and catchy character that is so typical of a good analog source. Nice work Frederic!


Dave and Troy

Audio intellect NJ

US importer 432Evo music servers

jjss49, Thanks for those links.  

I am aware of the options and pros / cons of wifi vs wired.  Wifi has always been spotty in my house, but better now.  I have an Eero mesh system with three wired points.  I might try wifi to compare.  Currently my ethernet is wired through both an Ether Regen and a Network Acoustics Muon filter,

So here is a question:  A main advantage of wifi is by avoiding possible noise that ethernet cables can aquire.  To get wifi downstairs in my audio roo0m, I need th run a ling cable down there for a wifi extender, or a mesh wifi satellite.  Isn't the ethernet wire to the wifi station just a likely to acquire noise as the wire to my streamer?

FWIW, a long while back when I changed from a small USB hard disk for my files to a NAS I had to decide whether to rely on wi-fi or drill a hole for ethernet.  So I bought a cheap 50 foot ethernet cable on ebay and tried it against the wi-fi.  The cable clearly outperformed the wi-fi.  So I bit the bullet, drilled the hole and have ben satisfied with a relatively short cable ever since.  As usual, YMMV.

i tried an auralic streamer fairly early in my streaming journey, iirc, they prefer wifi for noise reduction purposes, but of course this assumes that the signal is strong and stable (which for many it is decidedly NOT)... back then i had not run the hardwire lan into the listening room and the auralic worked very well for me over my wifi

I had the Tambaqui for a short while and compared its internal streaming with my reference Aurender N30SA server/streamer. The N30SA is night and day better than the built-in unit of the Aurender in terms of organic presentation, body, timing, and resolution. And this is also through the use of an AES cable, meaning the clocking used was that of the Aurender, which is simply exceptional. 

@fastfreight Did you get your Sean Jacobs?  Did you hear an obvious improvement?  I'm curious to hear your findings....

Yes!  Immediate noticeable improvement.  Blacker, more lifelike, Richer, fuller.


I just acquired this the duo of a Grimm MU1 and Tambaqui. The MU1 is ‘burning in and the MMT is on its way. Will make that have a proper break in as well. Quite excited for this.


I was going to “just” use my Lumin X1 into the Tambaqui but MU1/Tambaqui duo design philosophies were intriguing not to ignore should the opportunity present itself.

Hi @dayglow sounds awesome!  Let us know.  I have had my eye on the Grimm as well for my MMT!  Will you use USB?

@low325 @fastfreight Congrats. You'll want to use the AES output or, on the newer units, the spdif output should also carry the Grimm's reclocked signal. Do not bother with the USB output (no benefit there).


thanks! The plan is to use the AES. But been reading positive findings with really high end AES cables. Will be using something on the lower end price wise and maybe move up. (This never ends !!/$&@#).  My unit has a SPDIF out too. 

@low325 How is your Grimm MU1 and Tambaqui working out?  Did you keep your Lumin X1 to compare?  I'm curious to hear your findings! 


I am late to this thread but here goes. I just acquired the Mola Mola Tambaqui amd all I can say is OMG. I had been using the PS Audio DSD. After 8 years was ready for a change. 

3 months ago a friend suggested I consider a Small Green Computer to replace my Mac Mini as my music server. It comes with the Roon core installed. I more than love it. Super fast, zero latency and built like a tank. And I’m using the Sonore Rendu SE as my streamer and in my view, tough to be their fiber optic approach to music. So I’m using my Sonore to stream to the Tambaqui and it’s MAGIC. At “only” 5k for the Sonore SE and  the STi5 I have for about $1200  we are looking at $6200, about half as much as the Grimm. Now, all that said, I’m sure the Grimm is fantastic. But given it’s twice the price as my combined two units, is it twice as good for twice the price?  I sincerely doubt it very much.  

Guys, what do you think - mola mola tambaqui with auralic aries g1 with hoer wege power supply is it better than only mola mola with ethernet?

Helllo,  @rolandas_stripeikis,  I have the Tambaqui and it is amazing.  But put it with a quality streamer and it is even better.  I have the Auralic Aries G2.1 and it improved everything.  Then, like you are thinking, I added an better power supply.  I went all in with a custom Sean Jacobs PS and it improved things yet again.  It should at its cost!  If you look at the Innuos Statement, that is what they have done, adding an upgraded power supply.  I now have my eye on the Grimm MU1 to use as a my streamer.  Contact me if you want to further discuss.  Ken

@krell_fan1 I have been singing the praises of the Sonore Optic streaming stuff for a while. I had 3 OpticRendu's but sold 2 recently. Reason being is that I got the Lumin X1 DAC which also has fibre streaming, along with 2 output streaming. 

I did a comparison of the fibre stream of the X1 vs the opticalRendu and I preferred the Sonore a bit more. The sound was a bit more refined with the oR while the X1 was aggressive and fast. Both have their merits and place. However, when you consider the price delta between the 2 units, the oR is a great buy.

I’m well beyond satisfied that my Optical Rendu SE provides the very best streamer my budget can support. Further, I’m excited to get my Tier 1 Rendu upgraded soon to the Tier 2 which will feature their Turbo power supply and improved damping which Sonore states is next level. AND….within a few weeks I’m told Sonore will release their newest firmware which the owner claims is “glorious.”  So I’ll be sending my unit back once they’ve got the firmware sorted out. Better to do it all at once. 

the optical rendu is legit (excellent at doing what they say it does)... as is the swenson uptone ether-regen (and the network acoustics passive stuff)... allows users to achieve a superb level of cleanliness and clarity in the digital feed into a streamer or dac for a (fairly) modest cost ... etherregen has an added benefit of allowing an outboard 10mhz clock to further solidify the signal

some upper tier integrated streamer/dac makers build in some of these capabilities into their units these days, making the abovementioned pieces potentially duplicative... but i have felt on the integrated units it is somewhat hard to tell what is doing what as you can only hear the end result processed through the combination of built in ’stages’

@fastfreight Hello. I had auralic aries g1 with hoer wege power supply upgrade, i liked it very much, but sold and bought new mola mola tambaqui. but now I have possibility to take back same auralic aries g1, i have idea to connect it with mola mola tambaqui, more option with auralic, but is it worth extra money for sound improvement? you have aries g 2.1, yes? it is much better than aries g1.. so its not the same to compare.. what do you think, is it worth to connect aries g1 with tambaqui?

Hi @rolandas_stripeikis,  I have not compared Aries G1 series with Aries G2.  I know there is lots of trickle down tech in Auralic, but just assume the G2.1 is better, and that is what I have been told.

Someone once said this to me (paraphrased):   "You have a Lamborghini of a DAC and without a separate good streamer you are feeding it regular gas".

I think the Aries G1 would improve things, but I also think Tambaqui is so good it should have the Aries G2.1.  Like me, I think several people are upgrading again to the Grimm MU1 to pair with the Tambaqui. That is why you see the Aries G2.1 available.  I will likely list mine as well after the Grimm comes.

I also have a Playback Desing Plink fibre streamer. Getting a Playback Designs DAC in the next few months. The fibre cables in this streamer are different from what is used in the Sonore and Lumin X1 gear. I believe it is considered industrial grade fibre.

The PLink should be rather good.

BTW - when I was considering the Tambaqui about 4 years ago. the distributer at GTT Audio told me the Aries streamer is a better streamer than the Network streamer in the Tambaqui. He also said when he demos the unit he uses the Aries streamer.


Yes he uses the Aries G2.1   I understand he now has both the Grimm MU1 and the Aries G2.1 in his showroom.


In a month or so, we will know what the Grimm MU2 sounds like in one box, and whether it'll beat Aries 2.2 + LPS + Tambaqui.. which totally comes to around a similar cost if not more. 

We just had a client compare the Grimm mu1 to our Aeon $7800 vs 12800 grimm with 2tb ssd

Client preferred the Aeon over the grimm

if you are looking for a Roon core and endpoint and 100 percent upgradable construction our 432Evo servers are very hard to beat


To date beat aurender n10 and 12

Beat grimm 

Matched Innous statement with upgraded psu

to date the only server we lost out to was 25k vs ours at 7800

we offer  the highest performing servers on the market for this reason we offer a 2 week in home trial for 100% cash back on a return 


Dave and Troy



Has anyone encountered slightly brighter sound from Tambaqui, specially on rock music..

I recently upgraded from Holo audio May to Tambaqui DAC feeding into Luxman 509z and BW805D4 speakers+Rels. 

I didn't face this with Holo May DAC which was more warm I guess. I see that most of the well recorded pieces are very nice, however anything not recorded well and specially rock music is fatiguing to listen to. 

Anyone faced similar issues ?? 


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I have the Mola Mola Makua with installed DAC (Tambaqui).  My opinion in my system is the DAC presentation does not have a bright nor aggressive top end.  I have found that cabling, including power cords, IC's, and ethernet cables do have some influence on my sound presentation of my Makua.   Though I have not listened to a stand alone Tambaqui in my system instead of my Makua, I have read postings from others that a fine preamp, such as the Makua, has been beneficial over Tambaqui stand alone direct to amp(s).   I have an Antipodes K50 G4 and listen to streaming from it via Roon, Roon with Squeeze Player, and Squeeze for both server and player as well as Roon Ready via ethernet on the Makua DAC.  I also vary using USB and AES/EBU from my K50.   All provide different presentations.  I could live with only one choice, but enjoy all of my alternatives.   

yet another reminder that one person's 'aggressive top end' is another person's 'it's just right' 

which is why one must at some point stop reading others' comments and make the effort to try a target component in ones' own system at length

room, setup, ancillaries, not to mention how each person hears the music determines the outcome and happiness