Ayre QX-5 - maximize use and wiring question.

I am currently doing an in house demo of Aurender N10 and Ayre QX-5 twenty. I'm really pleased with the music produced, as is the wife and family.

I use the RCA out on the Ayre to a Marantz AV7704. I'm using the 7.1 input on the Marantz to avoid it's DAC and just pass through the music to my Sigma 2Amps onward to B&W 803D3s.

My question is, what other uses are there for the QX-5?

I have no Vinyl or CDs - having converted to completely digital years ago. My Apple TV 4K only has HDMI so can't really see a way to get the DAC in the Ayre to decode music from the Apple TV - Hence the Aurender.

Fios TV, it does have optical out, I could use the Ayre to decode the music channels? But for TV movies it would be useless since it can't decode surround sound?

Steaming services work through the Aurender and Ayre.

I'm thrilled with the music produced with the Aurender and Ayre combo. I'm just seeing if there are uses that I'm missing.

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You actually CAN use it for television, but you only get 2 channels out. Have to make sure the source is set up correctly though. It won't understand Dolby Digital at all, but that's often configurable.

I'd consider what a really good integrated could do instead though. I have a Luxman, which lets me drive the amp externally, so I'm thinking of getting an Anthem AVR to drive the surround and center, and handle all my TV audio decoding.
Using the analog balanced (XLR) output from the QX-5 to the AV 7704 would seem a better choice for audio quality.  I take balanced audio from my QX-5/20 to a KX-5/20 preamp and VX-5/20 amp.  Roon running on a Mac mini is the source via ethernet. 
Hopefully your TV has optical, then go into your TV settings usually under speakers and choose optical, then change output on your QX 5 to optical., the QX 5 has 3 optical in.

Thats how my tv is hooked up to my QX 5, make sure the QX 5 is turned off when attaching the optical cable. XLR output on the QX 5 will yield better sonic.
NOTE-1:   Your Marantz AV7704 supports 8 HDMI inputs.  Can you output the Apple TV HDMI signal direct to your Marantz AV7704?   This unit has many input options that might solve your problem.  Please review......  

NOTE-2:  As posted above, I also take the optical output from my LG OLED TV to my DAC and then to my DAC.   Unfortunately, as the OP posted, your Apple TV 4K only has HDM meaning  you cannot get the Apple TV's audio signal to the Ayre QX-5 to decode music from the Apple TV.

I have never used an HDMI to Optical converter and do not know if this might help you.  In any case, the Comprehensive 4K HDMI Audio Extractor allows you to de-embed audio signals from up to Ultra HD 4K HDMI video sources and output them via digital optical or analog stereo L/R audio outputs.  The unit "Supported audio formats include LPCM 2-channel, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, and DTS-HD Master Audio".  Please see this link:


Assuming the above works, you could output the audio from your Apple TV to your Ayre QX-5 DAC for 2-channel stereo only (you need to adjust the TV settings to support this).   I also recommend you "use the analog balanced (XLR) output from the Ayre QX-5 to the AV 7704 since it would be a better choice for audio quality.   My DAC is connected using its balanced XLR outputs to my Integrated Amplifier.

I am hoping someone else can confirm the above will work and maybe post some additional suggestions.  

I also have an Aurender N10 Music Server and use BOTH its USB and AES/EBU outputs to my DAC.   IMHO, most music sounds better using the N10 AES/EBU connection to my DAC.   
I’ve tried the optical out from both the cable (Fios) and TV and the Ayre was able to see the signal from the TV, not the cable box, but for some reason it wouldn’t pass it along to the Marantz pre-amp. It could be a setting in the TV (PCM or compression related) I’ll have to play with it again later this week.

Since I use the Marantz AV7704 to manage my HDMI inputs to the TV and Projector - Apple TV, Fios, Blu-Ray, 4K Blu-Ray. It took a while to finally get it configured to pass through the HDMI picture and except a different audio source not from the HDMI input. Not super hard but definitely not user friendly. I’m considering abandoning the whole concept of running TV audio through the Ayre QX-5.

In regards to using XLR to the Marantz I would prefer to do that but the Marantz AV 7704 doesn’t have XLR inputs so it’s RCA only. I guess I need to look for a new Pre-Amp?

I like the sound the Ayre QX-5 DAC produces. Any recommendations for a Pre-Amp that can do HDMI switching (4K), has two HDMI outs (TV & Projector), and has a DAC the caliber of the Ayre for stereo, which I’m currently using with an Aurender N10?

This info is from the Marantz web site:

"Latest HDMI Connectivity; HDCP 2.2 Compatible:  With 8 HDMI inputs, including one conveniently located on the front panel for quick connection of video sources, and triple HDMI outputs, the AV7704 has an advanced video section supporting the latest HDMI specification, including 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, BT.2020 and HDR (High Dynamic Range) pass-through support on every input. Dolby Vision compatibility, as well as HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), new HDR format for broadcasting, pass-through capability are newly supported.

It also features HDCP 2.2 compatibility, for 4K Ultra HD copy-protected content, on all HDMI inputs making it ready for the next generation of Blu-ray disc players, set-top boxes and 4K Ultra HD streams and downloads. The video processor can also upscale SD and HD video content to full 4K Ultra HD, breathing new life into your favorite legacy sources.

Three HDMI outputs are provided - two for the main zone, so you can run a TV and projector in parallel, and one for a second zone".