Ayre C7xe integrated vs AR VSi55 with Proac D25 sp

I have the Ayre now but want a little more tube sound. I'm using Kimber monocle XL for speaker cables. Does anyone have experience with this combination or an alternative integrated in the price range?

Thanks Jim Ashbook

Hi Jim,

I' not sure what the prices are of the two units you have identified, but I would be very surprised if you liked anything better than this:


I have been using a Gamut 200 MKII for some time, and don't think you can do much better.

Good luck in your search,

Are you using the Ayre in balanced mode?
Does your CD/SACD input come from an XLR player?
The word on the street (wots?) is that this integrated
only shines as part of a balanced system.
I'm using the ayre in the balanced mode with a CD with balanced outputs.
I'm using the same amp in balanced mode with Neutral Reference interconnects and the sound is phenomenal -- really world class, in my opinion.

Maybe try Cardas? There are other amps that have a warmer sound, but I can't think of another that has the same level of presence. If presence and dimensionality is what you mean by a tube sound then it doesn't get much better than the Ayre with solid state.
I'm using Cardas golden presence as an interconnect after trying kimber select and harmonix gs 101s. I had an all vac tube arrangement before the ayre and while I did gain presence and dimensionality with the ayre I miss the ahhh feeling the vac often provided. I'm not sure what that is but I just added a Cayin tube set headphone amp to go with my akg 701 headphones and found the ahh factor in spades. I don't how to translate that into an audio term but I guess i would call it musicallity. Thanks for your post. Jim
I don't know if the AR will give much "type-like" sound. Of the units I have heard from AR, in my opinion they actually sound less like tubes. That's just my impression and some may very well consider this as a glaring stereotype. If you're looking for tube warmth and musicality I would look at Cary, Conrad Johnson, and dare I say McIntosh... If you really want to go with AR, I would look at their integrated that came before the Vi-55, I think it was called the CA-50? From what I understand that particular model was more tube-like. Also, in solid state, take a look at plinius...