I have never heard the two products side by side, but i'm familiar with each individually. Having said that, and this is based on what i heard from an all Linn system using their very finest ($$$$$) components, i think that the Ayre's would be a BIG step up in terms of musicality. That is just my personal opinion though, so you and / or others may not agree. Sean
I have heard them both just not at the same time to do a fair AB comparison. However I can say that the Ayre caught me with much more impact than I ever remember getting out of the Linn. The local dealer sells both and it would be interesting to do AB comp. But I really feel safe in saying the Ayre would be better in every dimension. I just think the Ayre has a better grip on sound definition. I did sell and Ikemi to get a C5XE and have never looked back. Charles Hansen has a great knack for extracting the best and most natural accurate sound. Again just my opinion.
Ayre -- no debate as far as I'm concerned.
They are both good in their own regards, it just depends on what you're looking for. The one thing I hate about the Linn's is the fact that they are using Class D digital switching power supplys. If you start rocking out for an hour or so at a pretty good volume level you will notice the fans in the amps start humming. They are loud and annoying. Otherwise very good. Now the new MX-R's I haven't had a whole lot of time to listen to. However, they took me by surprise. I too personally own Sophia's but I didn't care for the LInn Klimax's in my system. I opted to get the Classe' Delta Cam400's. Those amps drive the Sophia's considerable better than the Linn's and with much more authority I might add.
Hi Matt, I didn't know the Linn's have dedicated fans for the switching power supply. I've always thought this kind of power supply is not generating much heat. The Classé's you've mentioned are far less powerful than the Linn's, but you think they have more authority. Could this be due to the fact that the Classé's have more dynamic limitation than the Linn + the fact that the Linn is much "faster" sounding? It is somewhat contradictory, but psycho-acoustically a less dynamic (and slower) amp can sound more "authoritative" than the less dynamically restricted and faster amp.
While it is somewhat outside of the scope of this thread, that's a good aural observation Dazzdax. Many people mistake apparent volume for SPL. In many cases, the apparent volume is actually a byproduct of distortion and the listening levels are not nearly as loud as they think. Systems that have extremely wide dynamic range without compression ( BOTH amps AND speakers ) can play VERY loudly without sounding strained. On such systems, one can very easily be listening at levels WAY beyond what they think to be "normal" with very little to no ear fatigue involved. Sean
Thanks Sean. Sometimes a smaller amp with less Watt's and one that is more dynamically restricted can show more PRaT than a low distortion muscle amp. Also psycho-acoustical phenomenon.
So in certain way PRaT is a byproduct of distortion and dynamic constriction.
I am using the MX-R monoblocks with Maxx 2 speakers. My only personal experience with Linn was my previous system of Linn 5140 speakers with Linn bi amps. No comparison. The Ayre wins hands down. More palpable sound. You can differentiate between different bass drums, different notes and variations in Holly Coles voice from track to track. My authorized dealer was using the Linn Klimax mono with his Maxx 2's and he replaced them with the ayre MXR monoblocks.
I guess it's a NO-CONTEST. I ordered the Ayre Monoblocks! Can't wait!!!
I have the mono blocks and Wilson Sophia 2s...a wonderful combination...previously I had listened to Linn...not in the same league....
I love the MX-Rs and I and my audiophile friends cannot believe changing amps from the Linns to the Ayres made such a wonderful transformation. The total Ayre system is marvelous. The Ayre MX-Rs best the Linn Klimax Solo 500s in every respect. Rhythm and pacing are stunning. Dynamics, imaging, and realistic reproduction of instruments and singers is astonishing. I can't imagine you would ever regret the switch, or stop to look back if you try them. In my system they make a whole new world of difference. Worth every penny if you can afford to make the move.
I hade the chance to listen to both gear in a very short period of time ( 2 hours) and I obviously didn't heard the same thing than you, fellows. I was with two of my friends, who happen to be sound engeneers as well, and we all prefer the Linn Klimax upon the Ayre. Don't misunderstand me: the Ayre mono blocks where great to listen to, but I don't agree with Paul music. The Linn Solos are better when it comes to pace, rythme and even real dynamics.They sound very real when compared to the original master we hade for the test. The Ayre made a lot of music for shure, with a beautifull stage and wonderfull balance from top to bottom, but the Linn sound so delicat and fluid all the way and deliver a deep end nothing less than fantastic !
The bass were amazing with the solo, more controle, more realistic and so deep with all the speakers we use for the test that I'm considering bying one paire for me. I already own a Twin Klimax Chakra and I'm in love with this thing but the solos are in an other league of there own... By the way, you're wrong Matt b. The Klimax don't use a special fan for there switching power supply and it's not a classe D SPS power supply... Linn spend many years on there own type of supply and the fan is just for the amp cooling as the PS doesn't come very hot. Anyway, you'll have to pusch it realy hard to make it start to ventilate...
I just got a pair of Ayres yesterday and could not be happier with them in my system. When you spend this kind of money, there are a lot of great choices. So it still comes down to personal preference and system matching. Opinions and reviews won't matter once a new piece of gear is in your system. And second guessing yourself can make you nutz.....Steve
This is very interresting reading to me since my balancing on buying eather the solos or other small monoblok amplifires.
What speakers did you use for testing and what frontend did you use ?
perhaps the MX-Rs were yet to be broken in. I hear that while they can sound great out of the box... they will sound like nothing special until they are broken in well... then they really shine
One thing that is more important then enything else with thise two typs of amps is what kind of speakers will the be driven,
I had a chance to hear the linn klimax chakra twin the other day
and we tried it with 3 different kinds of speakers and the end result was that the linn dos not suit speakers that are clinical dry or brigt sounding very well .
However with a pair of sonus faber concerto it was heaven.