Ayre Codex

Did someone have experienced with the Ayre Codex used as a DAC.
I like the QB9 dsd sound, but i used toslink connexion so a Codex could be good for me.
Yes. I bought one from Audio Connection in Verona, NJ and love it. A QB-9 might beat it, or it might not. There were things I liked about one over the other and vice versa. A W4S DAC2 DSDse can't hold a candle to it on high resolution files. The Codex is amazing.
I have a Rega DAC and looking to upgrade in the near future.  I was considering Ayre QB-9 DSD, then I heard about Codex.  Should I save the money and just go with Codex?  If the sound quality is about the same, then I will go with Codex.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I have both Ayre units - QB9 DSD & Codex.
I find myself preferring the Codex.

rather long FB exchange w Charlie..i asked when R series DAC ?
 His reply was improvements to Codex will yield a killer 5 series DAC...inferred that it might already be better than Q series..
my read of it anyway..

I found the codex compelling.  It is more listenable then the QB 9, even lthough it's a little less analytical. It also has an optical in, which makes it more versatile. And when another compelling around machine appears in the upgrade cycle this will make a killer headphone amp and DAC for the office. 
Can’t wait to see what they come up with for a 5-series DAC. I tried the Codex as a DAC in my system (Vandersteen 3A Signature, Ayre AX-5 Twenty) and it sounded warmer than the Ayre C-5xeMP I normally use. However, it seemed like the soundstage wasn’t as wide or deep. As a headphone amp + DAC I feel it’s definitely top-shelf.
Hi all,

Can anyone with a Codex help me with a question?

When using as a preamp, does USB HID volume control work i.e. can you control the volume of the Codex itself from computer software such as iTunes, Audirvana, etc via USB? Especially anyone running OSX?

I did a listening session at my favorite dealer few weeks ago, the result is clear : the QB9 dsd sound MUCH better than the Codex. 

Hi, Marcge:

Was the Codex broken-in?  To me, Codex sounded a lot better than it was after about 200 hours of break-in.  Also, was the comparison done on exactly the same system setup?  Thanks.


Yes the Codex was burn, and yes the A/B Test was done on exactly the same setup (Aurender, Macintosh, Sonus Faber / Olympica III) with the same song. 

The Codex is good, but compare to the QB9-DSD it's clear that the Codex is not in the same league.

Not my experience whatsoever.

I own both.


Jim Smith
Guys can codex successfully drive hifiman he1000 headphones? I was leaning towards qb9dsd plus headamp gsx mk2
For my home theater system, my TiVO cable box is connected to my LP OLED 4K HDR TV that uses a toslink connection to my DAC that connects to my Ayre AX-7e integrated amp.

I wish I could use an Ayre DAC but the Ayre QX-5 DAC is too expensive for this application. The Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC has great sound but ONLY has an USB input and no toslink (optical) inputs.  Are there any options to convert optical to UBS for inputting to the Ayre QB-9 DAC?  My guess is probably not.

As stated above, the Ayre Codex DAC ($1,795) is designed as a DAC / head amp for standing on a desk and not a cabinet (my use).  My retailer really likes the Ayre Codex DAC (used as a DAC) so I should probably give it an audition in my system. The Codex has received outstanding reviews.

Any additional comments on the Ayre Codex DAC or other possible DAC's I should look at?   
Mytek Brooklyn is just under $2k, and the Schiits are all very good.
I like the Codex a lot. I think its performance is just a hair behind the QB-9 DSD / C-5xeMP (I have both) but others have come to the opposite conclusion. One thing to keep in mind is that the Codex gets pretty hot when left on for a few hours, so I wouldn’t put it in a completely enclosed space without some ventilation.

There is a converter for all sorts of digital inputs to USB made by Mutec, called the MC-1.2. It’s a little pricey at $450 new.
How hot was the Codex get?   Is the Codex okay to be placed in a cabinet with the front door closed and the back open?

It does get hot.  For your application, I would only ask Ayre.
I agree - you should ask Ayre for the real answer. My guess is that it'll be ok since there’s a way for the heat to escape. I’d be concerned if it were going into a rack with all sides closed off and no fan to draw out the hot air.
Someone told me the Ayre Codex DAC get very hot when used with a headphone but just warm when used only as a DAC.   Is this true?  

As was suggested above, I plan on calling Ayre today and will post their response.  Thanks.
Ayre reports "the heat from the Codex is perfectly normal.  The heat comes from the Diamond output stage and pure analog power supply which are used in the Codex".  

Ayre says “this creates more heat, but it is a big part of the reason it sounds so good”.   There are no problems storing the Codex in my cabinet and I plan on listening to an Ayre Codex shortly.
I like the Ayre Codex DAC for its technology features of zero-feedback, improved power supplies, fully-complementary analog circuitry and fully-balanced analog circuitry. Every review I have read has praised the Codex DAC for its sound quality.  I am concerned that a lower cost DAC will not give me the sound quality I am looking for.   

In addition, I like the synergy between the Codex DAC and my Ayre AX-7e amplifier. Unfortunately, I have been very busy and am unable to visit my local retailer for a listen.  I still do not understand how this small 3 pound DAC can be so good.

Any comments on the Ayre Codex DAC operation and sound quality are appreciated. Thanks.
A couple months ago I was looking for a new CD player. My price point was $2,000. Walked out of hifi shop with the Codex. Am using my Arcam CD player as a transport.

Anyway, the Codex is great! Soundstage is excellent, the unit doesn't sound digital/analytical. The sound is warm, without too much bottom end and the highs are not harsh or tinny. I am also using it with an Auralic mini with upgraded power unit and everything I am streaming sounds large. 

For the price I think you get great value.
I heard the Ayre Codex DAC today with the Ayre AX-7e integrated amplifier. My first impression was that it sounded terrific. I continued to listen to a wide variety of music and liked the Codex DAC very much. I took a break and listened again. I still cannot believe how this small box sounds can sound so good. I ordered the Ayre Codex DAC and delivery is expected in about 2 weeks (sooner I hope).

When I first saw the Codex DAC, I did not recognize the DAC since it was on its side using three AYRE Myrtle Wood Blocks ($15 for 3 blocks) to allow the cooling on its side to be okay. They also suggested the $300 Synergistic Research metal circle type blocks for the same purpose. The Codex DAC gets warm (but not hot) and the Myrtle blocks ensure the air circulates around the unit for cooling. Yes, we tried it with and without the wooden blocks. We also tested it standing up and on its side. In my opinion, the Code DAC laying on its side using the Myrtle wooden blocks sounded the best. The Synergistic Research blocks also sounded very good. I am holding off on these blocks until later.

The setup controls are very easy to use. I was able to change from USB to Optical input and change outputs from DAC to pre-amp operation very easily.

I received my Ayre Codex DAC today and changed the input source to USB and the output device to Pre-amp (goes direct to my power amplifiers).  The unit was then installed in my main audio system and my first impression is out of the box, it sounds very good.  As I noted above, I purchased 3 Ayre Myrtle wooden blocks ($15) and placed the Codex on its side (yes, it looks better in this position). It was interesting to see that the writing on the back of the DAC corresponds to the unit being on its side.  The unit is very small but I had no problems connecting any of my cables.  

As an experiment, the Codex DAC will stay in my main audio system for a while and will then be moved to my two channel home theatre system (original plan).  As another experiment, I will move my Prism Sound Callia DAC to the main audio system to see how it sounds compared to my Bricasti M1 SE DAC.    Today, I received instructions from Prism Sound to update the firmware on the Callia so that it will work okay with my Aurender N10.  

The Ayre Codex DAC is an amazing small 3 pound box that sounds very good.  I am anxious to break it in for improved sound.  Based on results so far, the Ayre Codex DAC is recommended.