Ayre CX7e or Resolution Audio Opus 21 OR?

Hi folks. I'm on the hunt for a new CD player. I've narrowed the field but am open to suggestions. I'd appreciate thoughts on the Ayre CX7e and Resolution Audio Opus 21. Anyone compare these units? Can owners of either share their experiences? Also, how does the CX7 compare to the "e" version--is it worth the extra money or should I look for a used CX7? Finally, anyone had their Opus 21 upgraded by Great Northern? If so, what improvements have you experienced and was it worth the money?

Thanks. Rest of the system is ARC 150.2 and SP16 with Daedalus DA-1 and Audience cables.
I have the CX-7e. I would describe it as a well-balanced player. Strong bass, yet extended highs, and very dynamic. It does a good job with instumental timbre and presents a deep soundstage. See if you can find a dealer that will let you take one home for the weekend. That did the trick for me.

I have not heard the Opus, so I can't help you with the comparison you're looking for.
I'm your man.....I auditioned the first Ayre CX-7 series player and I've owned the stock Opus and the newer CX-7/e version. I'm now using the GNSC modified Opus, which is much better than the CX-7e or stock Opus as the dimensionality is much improved and the bass is wicked tight and solid. When I first heard it in my space, I was floored by the difference...the resonation of piano keys in the room was amazing, and the bass incredible.

The original Ayre player seemed to me to suffer from some timing issues. When I listened, the music seemed to be a step or two slower than it should have been. I compared it to the Cary 306-200, which seemed to get timing just right. This is corrected and then some in the "e" version player.

I think you'd be hard pressed to identifiy which one is better--both the CX-7e and Opus are very good. I'd specualte that the Ayre maybe a bit more lively and dimensional in comparison, the Opus a bit more subtle and subdued (IMHO). If you do enough digging, these players have been compared quite a bit before. I would think it might come down to your needs. The Opus has a digital input, the Ayre doesn't. The Opus isn't as good looking as the Ayre, but comes in a much smaller package and is less obvious on a rack.

Hope this helps....
The cx-7 has more extended highs and is more detailed than the opus 21.Both are very dynamic however at times i believe the cx-7 has a more tuneful bass.Both are superb players.Your system (synergy)and personal preference will be the deciding factor as usual.
the ayre and resolution audio players are a bit dry sounding. the lower mids are not textured. there is a slight emphasis upon uuper midrange/lower treble.

both are fatiguing after while unless you the very best recordings.
Can someone comment on what improvements were made in the "e" version?
Dodgealum - I would call ayre and speak with Michael.A most helpful and friendly person who will gladly answer any questions you may have...
>>both are fatiguing after while unless you the very best recordings<<

Some contributors' posts are equally fatiguing.
I owned both- and both were quite good. I preferred the Opus 21 for the most part.

Hate to throw this in, but the Exemplar 2900 was much better than either in my opinion, in fact it's still the best digital I've heard or owned.

Have fun!

I'm using the Ayre C-5xe. It is an excellent and reliable player (though it is a universal format player instead of just a CD player). I think any players in similar price ranges aren't goint to be substantially different sounding as some people are suggesting, as long as they are designed to protect the delicate electronics from EMFs and use quality DACs, OpAmps, Clocks, etc. I think either player will be a great choice, but I would personally go with Ayre because I've spent time dealing with the employees there because I have bought more than one piece of Ayre equipment for my setup (C-5xe U2 player, K-1xe Preamp and MX-R monoblocks). They're available to answer questions, are extremely helpful and care deeply about customer satisfaction and their product quality. They helped me numerous times with questions I had about their equipment and how best to set them up, recently with questions of how to apply the unity gain so i can use my surround system and my Ayre K-1xe preamp together.

I would call Ayre as someone else suggested and ask what improvements were made to the "e" version. That is the easiest way to be certain you are getting the truth, and you will get to see how nice they are to deal with...

Since they are in the same price range, you should check out the Meridians also (G08 or G06) if you can. I ended up choosing the C-5xe over the G08 because it played all formats in stereo and the rest of my gear was going to be Ayre, so I would benefit from using the same gear in balanced mode all the way through to my speakers. Both Ayre and Meridian are excellent players IMO. Unfortunately I've never tried out the audio Resolution Opus, but i have heard great things about it also.
I havent compared them, nevertheless, I am very happy with my Opus currently.
Would anyone suggest I stay away from the Ayre because my preamp only accommodates single ended RCA's? I'm hearing the Ayre is designed to sound best in balanced mode. Also, how about the Naim CD5x or CDX2? Are they on par with the Ayre or the Opus?

Thanks to all for the help.
I read in one of the reviews that the CD player does have single end RCA's