Has anyone listened to the new Ayre player? How would you compare it to others in the $3000 range?
I went in to listen to it and, yes, it did sound great. As to other CD players in that price range, I can't say. But, I did have my ears opened when the CD7 was put up against a Basis 2001 turntable, with Rega 300 arm, Grado cartridge.

I have been purely digital in my audiophile life. When I heard the sound of analog I had to question where my money is going to go for my next upgrade. I was considering the Ayre, the Gamut, and the Copland Cd players. Now, I have had my belief uprooted and thrown to the ground. This was even with having a couple of people in the room, one who has a recording company and just bought an SACD editing console, and the other being a principal from a high-end equipment company. They were listening to some of the product that was on SACD, and I was enthralled. It reaaranged my thoughts to give SACD a consideration. When these gentlemen were through was when the revalation of vinyl was given. The sales person just wanted to give me a handle on what analog was all about since I got to hear the CD player and SACD systems.

Sorry, about rambling on here. I just ask other people who post to answer your question and not get off your subject.
I have listened and auditioned the new Ayre player carefully. I also listened to the new $3600 Wadia 301, the $4250 Naim, the Sim Moon Eclipse, and the new Resolution Audio Opus 21. The Ayre CX-7 came in second. I think it is a great player for the money. For my ears, I liked the absolute crystal clarity of the Resolution audio piece. Head to head it beat out every other player with its presence and immediacy. Even my poorly recorded discs sounded better and less 'digital'. The longer I have the Opus 21, the more I like it. The Ayre is less resolving, but it is smooth and clear. The Opus 21 can be run direct to the amp with its volume control and that is what I ended up doing in the end.

See my review.