100 hours and never turn off a digtal source. Must be powered up all the time. If you turn it off it needs at least 50 hours to sound its best again.
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Talk to Charles Hansen or Steve at Ayre. My CX-7 (now upgraded to "evolution") and AX-7e needed at least 100 to 200 hours to sound their best, although the CX-7 bettered anything I had heard in its price range right out of the box.
I'd also talk to Ayre about interconnects and power cords. The TG Audio SLVR power cord and Cardas balanced interconnects had a profound impact on my CX-7's performance.
Good luck...I've read wonderful reviews of the C-5xe but haven't had the opportunity to audition. We no longer have an authorized Ayre dealer in Dallas, which is a downright shame.
Thanks for the replies. Looks as though I'll need to play it nonstop for a week or so.
Mcrheist - will be using Acoustic Zen balanced ICs and either TG Audio or Empirical Audio power cords. Next time you're in the Houston area and if you would like a listen, let me know and we'll set something up. I'm actually in Magnolia.
I feel compelled to start by saying that I was really, really impressed with my C-5XE right out of the box. I did initially notice a little bit of an asymmetrical frequency response -- certain mids and lows popped out just a little bit too much at times but not too big of a deal.
Well here I sit, about 100 hours into breakin. Never turned it off, and left a variety of CD and SACD running continuously. I have to say that this thing transformed over the last 100 hours. It is hard to put my finger on it but it is smoother than before and the music is just more credible and believable. Frequency response issues are no more, and even my junky poorly-mastered CDs sound good. And SACD - holy %$#&. I have never heard a greater seperation in fidelity between redbook and SACD before.
Bottom line - you will not be displeased out of the box, but about 100 hours into it you will be thrilled.
The Ayre C5xe keeps getting better. You are in for a treat! I find that hi-res DVD-A 176 or 192 khz are some of the best reproduced music I have heard. The classic records HDAD series and the Neil Young or Steely Dan DVD-A's at the highest rez are fantastic. I have had my unit for about 4 months and use it balanced with the AX7e. Enjoy your new player. I think the Absolute Sound called it an optical turntable. I have to agree.
And "sound good out of the box" it did! It's fascinating...I could hear the changes - and some definitely not for the better - as time elapsed. At about 10 hours, for example, things were definitely harsher than they should be, but all of that disappeared overnight (I've been running it 24/7). The unit now has about 130 hours on it and sounds wonderful. We held a most interesting 'shootout' at my home on Saturday. I'll be posting the results shortly. Hint: the C-5xe came in 2nd place by unanimous vote.