Ayre AX-5 Integrated Amplifier

Any comments on the New Ayre AX-5 Integrated Amplifier? I know its list price is $10,000. Does anyone have any impressions on this unit that was recently released?
Is that price finalized?

I heard it at RMAF in the Ayre room driving Vivid G3s. Definitely, one of my top rooms. I thought my AX-7 would be my amp for life but I'm trying to figure out how I can afford an AX-5!
My retailer confirmed the $10,000 list price. I hope to listen to it in mid January but I do not expect to sell my Luxman 590ax integrated amp.
I heard it today for the first time driving DeVore Fidelity Silverbacks and 3XL's. A very impressive integrated.
Incorporates the KX-r volume control.
I'm pretty sure ill be hearing the AX5 on Monday. It's going to have to really be something special for the price of admission. There's no shortage of amazing integrateds in that price range. The AX7e barely made my drivers jiggle in my Harbeth C7ES3's so Ill be curious if this unit will do anything for me.
Ayre stuff is top drawer sound...Customer service is also
I own it and I told Ayre its underpriced because the sound stage and transparency are beyond the listener's expectations. Of course it helps if you have the C-5XEmp, Heimdal RCA Interconnects, and Thiel CS-3.7s to deliver what's really laid down on the CD.
It sounds great straight out of the box with few hours of play.
Ayre recommends 100-500 hours of break-in time.
I use it with DCS Debussy connected via Audioquest Sky XLR.
My sources are Mac-mini,satellite and bluray player from Pioneer.
Has anyone compared the AX-5 to the K-5xeMP + V-5xe combo ?
Yes, I owned the combo and traded it for the AX-5 and cash. The jump in transparency was shocking. I was always led to believe separates were better. The ax-5 disproves that theory. Can't wait for Stereophile's conclusion.
Here is the story about AX-5.
I had it and I liked it(please see my comment)above.
My wife came back from vacation and she asked me "what is wrong with the sound".
To her it sounded to harsh when comparing to my previous combo I.e.
Ayre V5-XE with DCS Debussy directly to amplifier.
I told my wife that any audio equipment needs break time.
The sound however has not changed and we have decided that it was not worth it to spend additional 10k to upgrade.
I had already a buyer for V5 and I cancelled sale and instead put AX-5 for sale at discount(my loss).
I was told by Ayre not to sell at this low price and if I ever wanted to buy this unit I need to sign an agreement that I would not sell the unit within 1 year.
To make long story short I do not like this at all!
I auditioned the AX-5 for a week and it opened up and improved by the day. The sound after a week was as good as I have ever heard any amplifier (separate or integrated). I thought it was better than the MXR/KXR combination or the MSB monoblocks when paired with my dCS and Vivids. I am fairly confident you have not given it a fair trial. It is a very quiet amplifier, with exceptional retrievment of micro and macro dynamics, superb soundstage and full bodied sound. Agree that company should not influence our decisions to sell their products. We pay enough and can choose to do whatever we like with our product.
I was told by Ayre not to sell at this low price and if I ever wanted to buy this unit I need to sign an agreement that I would not sell the unit within 1 year.

Unless you are an Ayre dealer/distributor, I find their demands amazingly silly. Did the manufacturer make these demands or some crazy dealer?
Pawel8: Ayre equipment takes a long time to break in. I know you put the Ayre AX-5 up for sale but I suggest you give it more time to break in before you sell it.
"I was told by Ayre not to sell at this low price and if I ever wanted to buy this unit I need to sign an agreement that I would not sell the unit within 1 year."

Hmmm . . . me thinks there's more (or less?) to this story than you're telling.
A long long time to break in.
Thank you for your comments.
Possibly I did not give the AX5 enough break in time.
I bought many Ayre products and for most part I was very satisfied:
Ayre QB9,V5XE(still have it) DX5 and finally Ax5(about 24k$total).
DX5 was very good with 2 channel audio but the blu-ray picture was average.
Both qb9 and dx5 have only USB input.
@ rufi I have nothing to hide.
For now I am using DCS Debussy as a preamplifier and DAC.
I heard AX-5 last week. I was very impressed. It was interesting because we listened to the amp after listening to expensive tubed gear for over an hour. I normally prefer tubes and they did sound very good but this Ayre amplifier really ticked the right boxes for me. I ended up ordering a VX-5 to go into my system. I only hope it sounds as good as the AX-5.
Here is the update:
It turned out that the unit I was buying was defective:it would not switch power between 4 and 8 ohm.
It came back fixed with the crossover installed and sounds much better at dealer place.It runs very hot.
This particular unit needs crossover which I do not have.
It was an interesting experience and it proofed that sometimes you have to trust your wife.
Next week I am going to try VX-5 and hopefully buy it!
Dbarger:do you have the amp yet and if yes could you please and share your impressions?
It is arriving Tuesday. I will give it some time and comment after that.
Looking forward to your comments and review.
Notes it's a nice piece but it should cost no more than $5k.
it should cost no more than $5k.
Silly to think about how much it should cost. Raw materials are one thing but when you consider the production facility and labor and marketing... trickle down technology and intellectual property rights? Plus Bolder ain't cheap and lift tickets keep going up. What are you comparing it to?

The Ayre gear I've owned over the years has been great. I sold off my AX7E because it was kind of thin with my Totem Forests and Verity Tamino speakers of a few years ago. I look forward to hearing the new more powerful and advanced integrated with my Verity Parsifal Encores. Like above though, I can't imagine selling the Luxman. Or the Parsifals.
I thought the AX-5 sounded thin with Harbeth C7es-3's. obviously not as thin as the AX7 but still too thin. The price is way too high. You could buy a Pass, Hegel, etc and save a bunch of money.
I heard an AX-5 again last week, this time in a system with the new DX-5 DSD. I listened to a couple of tracks off a *CD* of John Lennon's "Double Fantasy". WOW! That might have been the best system I've ever heard. The soundstage was cavernous, tons of air, crisp and well-defined bass. Incredible transparency and clarity. Just super engaging and musical. I haven't heard an MX-R/KX-R for a couple of years now but I'm thinking the AX-5 is better!

The only downside was that it runs hot. I couldn't keep my hand on the chassis vents for more a than a few seconds. Well, that and that I can't afford one yet . . .
Thank you for your comments regarding the new ax-5!
Unfortunately, my local ayre dealer does not have a demo to listen to.

In my emails with Ayre, they mention that there are three service updates available for earlier production units including an improved heatsink. surprise !

What speakers were they using? I am hoping, and they say, that the ax5 has enough current to drive my new MG 1.7s.

Happy listening,
Hey, KenKlein, are you by any chance the dude from CenTex who builds hardwood furniture and the occasional boat?
Great amp! During the last three years I have been listening to my Leema Tucana II, which is considered by many as sort of a benchmark IA in its price class (about 4.600 EUR). My speakers are Elac FS 609 X-Pi and sources are a top-spec LP-12 (Keel, Radikal/Dynamik PSU and Ekos SE) and Olive 4HD via Naim DAC with XPS-2 PSU.
I have had an early production AX-5 playing in this set at home for a full month. It blows away the Leema in almost every respect, which it ought to considering the price difference.. Main strengths are: low and high level dynamics seem really infinite, transparency, staging, extremely detailed but most of all: hugely natural, full bodied and flowing sound! Great bass range too. Needs loads of burn-in time; and this goes for each separate input, because each one has its own FET input stage. All in all: I love it!
Most people who hear the Ayre AX-5 are going to be blown away unless their system is flawed to begin with. It's an amazing piece of gear and as I said to Mike Ayre, for what it is capable of delivering in listening enjoyment, Ayre has underpriced it.
Most people who hear the Ayre AX-5 are going to be blown away unless their system is flawed to begin with. It's an amazing piece of gear and as I said to Mike Ayre, for what it is capable of delivering in listening enjoyment, Ayre has underpriced it. I've had mine for several months and it just keeps getting better.
I just picked up an AX-5 to replace my AX-7e. I have to say the difference between the two is shocking. I did not expect such a dramatic and noticeable difference. The sound is so much better, it's almost like I'm listening to different speakers... much bigger and fuller soundstage, deeper low end and the vocals are more present and clear.

The Ax7e sounds downright thin in comparison. I was planning on doing an A/B test when I received the new integrated but frankly, they sound so different - I decided there was no point. My better half agreed.

I'll admit that I'm partial to the Ayre sound. Even so, the Ax-5 exceeded my expectations. I'm very happy with the purchase and would highly recommend you listen to this integrated. It's special.
I am looking at the AX-5 and the Rowland top integrated. Anyone compare the two?
The Ayre will give you the best of tube and SS. Just read the positive comments above. If your speaker can get better it will. I've heard so many products this year as I'm redoing my system. I left the tube world for good and bought the Ayre AX7e and even though folks feel it's thin, It really isn't. Only in comparison with the 10k AX5e ;).... I like Rowland stuff too, don't get me wrong. I just think the Ayre gets it right. I have heard the 5 at Audio Connection as Jonny has them on a few different speakers. I heard them on the Vandy 5s. I admit I liked the Ayre separates much better, but it wasn't so much better than I couldn't be very very happy with the 5 and save a ton of money, cables and pieces of gear. Yes, this can run anything within reason and just sound right.
What does it mean have a "tube" sound or a "solid state" sound?
Hi Bob, AX-5 and Rowland Continuum S2 are both fine integrated amps. I heard them both at RMAF. Based on my listening experience, depending on your sonic goals, and your musical preferences, you are likely to develop a strong preference for one over the other.... What music do you enjoy most, and what sound parameters are you looking to optimize? What is the rest of your system?

Regards, Guido

I currently have a killer all tube amp & preamp. I am always looking for ways to simplify my system while maintaining its sonic purity. I listen mostly to classical and jazz at moderate listening levels. My speakers are Intuitive Designs Summits and they come alive with quality power.
I wish I had the cake for the Ax-5 but I don't find it any better than the Hegel H200 except for build quality. Seriously.
Don,, what else was in the system? I've heard the brand new H200 vs the AX-5 and it wasn't even close to any of us in the room. Even the guy who had the Hegel was bummed that he just got it (yes it was broken in). He brought it in to audition new speakers at a different dealer. It's funny how many 'other' products I've been able to hear while at a dealer that doesn't even sell said product, lol.

the Ayre just had much more space around the instruments. The bass seemed to go even lower and tighter/more accurate. It just seemed to everything a bit better. We listened to it on the larger Dynaudio (forget the model, but it retails for over 15k), the Paradigm signature 8, Wilson Sasha (both made the Sasha's much more enjoyable than any other time I've heard it) and some floorstanding Revels (again, didn't catch the model). I've also heard the 5 sound awesome on some Proac D2's at Audio Connection as John had it in the front of the store at the time. Again, just my ears, but side by side the Ayre was just more musical for me. I did love the Hegel though. Isn't the Ayre much more money?
If it can make the Sasha sound good it must be amazing. I'll be on the hunt.
Yea, I've never liked Wilsons. Say too bright and no coherence. I'm just not into them either, but plenty seem to be. It reminds me of the Klipshorn in the 70's. Everyone thought they were the best you could possibly have. Like the Wilsons, they were dynamic and loud.
Heading down to Audio Connection in NJ tomorrow. Can't wait to see John and his staff. Time to try out the AX5 with Vandy's. My Treo's are in and I am PUMPED to get them. Also going to buy AQ Castle Rocks for them as John loves them together and that's what I auditioned them with months ago. Hope I can do an A/B with the AX7e which is what I now have. If John sees this, I'm sure he can share his thoughts as he hears them on Vandys, Maggies, Proac and BMW's along with others that his customers have.
Is the Ayre AX-5 able to drive the Magico Mini II?
Yes, teh AX5 is high current and is over 100 watts into 8 and keeps doubling until 2ohms. It can drive nearly anything. I've heard it drive Vandy 5's perfectly. It's also one of those that sound louder than it is. I've head it in a large room and never stressed even at loud levels. Magico is much more efficient than the large VAndy's. I bet it would be magic.
Ctsooner, I realize it's been a year. there was also an Esoteric CDP in the mix. I do now however find the Hegel no better than the AX5, but no worse for sur e
Don, that's cool. For me the Hegel stuff can be a bit bright and forward compared to Sim, Ayre, Pass and a few others. The Hegel can do a lot of great things though. I have hear the 300 on Magico's and although not my cup of tea, they did a lot of really nice things.
I now have the AX7e for sale as I just got the AX5/20 and even the first time we turned it on, it was surreal. This new amp is the game changer. I think if folks go listen to it and can afford it, they will probably want one.
Hegel and Ayre are both no feedback designs, yes?
Ayer is. I don't know about Hegel
The price for the AX-5 Twenty has been increased to $12,950. There is a review of the AX-5 Twenty in the August 2015 issue of Stereophile Magazine.
Need to get that copy I guess. Yes that's the list price. Best integrated I've ever heard by far. Great value in my mind. :)