I'd like to try my Ayre KX-5xeMP preamp with an Ayre V-3 amp to drive a pair of KEF LS50s augmented by a pair of KEF KC62 subs. Source would be Roon provided via ultraRendu with LPS 1.2 and Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC. If anyone knows of an Ayre V-3 for sale I'm a buyer.
If you want to stay with Ayre, sensible given your other gear. I would reach to their newer products. The V-5 is a clear step up from the V-3. The K5xe is a great pre but, mated to a V-3, it might not be any better than the AX7e integrated which you might find for not much more than a V-3. The V-3 is fine in its own right but is bettered by the later models.
BTW, I highly recommend upgrading your QB-9 to the Twenty version.
I was looking for components for a secondary setup. My primary setup is comprised of Ayre QX-5 Twenty serving as a Roon endpoint via Ethernet, DX-5 DSD disc player, and P-5xe phonostage. A KX-5 Twenty preamp and VX-5 Twenty amp drive a pair of KEF Reference 1s augmented by a pair of Velodyne HGS-15s with SMS-1 bass management.
Absent a V-3, I think I’ll use Parasound for the secondary setup: JC 1 monoblocks, JC 2 preamp, and JC 3 phonostage. That stuff has been sitting in boxes in the garage waiting for me to list it for sale. The setup will use the ultraRendu with LPS 1.2 and QB-9 DAC for Roon. I’ll talk with Ayre about upgrading the DAC.
Oh, wow, might as well just use all that John Curl designed gear! Charles Hansen used to publicly acknowledge Curl’s influence on his circuit design, they were quite friendly on some of the forums. Could be interesting to compare the K5-xe and JC-2.
In a previous setup I used three JC 1s to drive KEF Reference 107/2s and a 204/2C. I really liked the sound. Now the 204/2C and a JC 1 sit between KEF Reference 1s driven by an Ayre VX-5 Twenty. The trio integrates seamlessly. A Bryston SP3 processor receives HDMI from the DX-5 DSD and sends balanced analog to the KX-5 Twenty by-pass
In my secondary setup I’m using an Oppo 205 as a Roon endpoint with a NAD M22, a very tidy setup. But I preferred the sound of the ultraRendu with QB-9 DSD DAC and Ayre AX7e integrated until a channel of the AX7e went out. Also the AX7e has no output for subs. Thus my trashing around for an alternate setup. I think the JC stuff might be that setup.
My Roon endpoint is an Ayre QX-5 Twenty that receives Ethernet and sends balanced analog to the KX-5 Twenty preamp. It is stereo only.
Before the QX-5, an iMac sent USB to the DX-5 DSD for Roon. Now the DX-5 DSD is used only for discs. Stereo can be balanced analog to the KX-5 or HDMI to a Bryston SP3; multichannel is HDMI to the SP3 that forwards balanced front LR to the KX-5 by-pass, balanced center to the JC 1, and balanced surround to a pair of NAD C-268s. Video is sent directly via HDMI from the DX-5 DSD to the projector, because the DX-5 has an excellent video processor.
@dbphd I'm still loosely keeping an preamp to possibly mate to my JC5 amp , The KX 5 has always been on my wish list but would better synergy come from the JC2 ? I'll be integrating this into an existing home theater setup.
jafant, Thanks for the tip about the V-3. Might buy it for reserve, but I’ve decided to try a pair of JC 1 monoblocks, JC 2 preamp, and JC 3 phonostage I have in boxes sitting in the garage waiting for me to list them for sale. 400 watts @ 8Ω might seem to be overkill for KEF LS50s, but that’s what I’ve got on hand. I’ll use the ultraRendu with LPS 1.2 and Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC for Roon and a Technics SL 1200 Mk 2 for vinyl. If I "sell" the JC stuff to myself it saves the hassle of listing and shipping, and I’m likely to send up with a pretty good sounding setup.
I will echo the recommendation to upgrade your QB-9 to Twenty status. I had mine done over a year ago and it's a significant upgrade. I feed mine with a Lumin source and also have JC1 amps in the chain. It all works extremely well together.