I heard the comparison demo of the filters at CES and was impressed with the new one. FWIW.
i upgraded mine and noise i used to hear on some SACDs (in back ground during quiet classical music) is gone. a year ago charles hansen and i e-mailed each other back and forth many times as i was shocked that there would be this much noise on certain cds. there was some denial on their part in regards to this noise (the dealer heard it). customer service is a bit slow at Ayre, but they do come through in the end. can't beat this machine at even 10k. it's amazingly good for the redbook and hi rez formats digital world. compared to my 30k analog rig, it does well, and it's beauty and costs very little. i do like the upgrade. backgrounds disappear even more, music seems to slow down ( always a good sign in my ear to brain connection and processing centers). the flow seems more natural (hate to say analog, but u get my drift). that Ayre would do this for 200 plus shipping is a gift. they may be slow to answer the phone (they were for me), but they are a small company. but geez, see what they gave us. i have never hung on to one cd player longer than this. i may have had my differences with charles hansen, but it's all good with the C5XE. they could easily have built and sold us a new player rather than upgrade the C5xe. kudos ayre
Thanks for your post. The upgrade sounds as though it is a significant improvement in your system. I listened to an upgraded C-5 at my dealer's store and was impressed with the lowering of the noise floor and improved musicality. Mine's shipping to Ayre next week for the upgrade.
The C-5 is a fraction of the cost of my analog rig and while it's not as good (analog's richer and more dynamic), it's very good for the price.
re. Ayre: typical response from Ayre re. the cost for upgrades. I have found their service to be nothing short of exemplary. However the cost they charge for upgrades says something about their company and is someting I wish more companies would adopt. Other hi-end companies (Pass, CJ, etc.) provide excellent service but Ayre seems to go one step further in terms of doing everything possible to keep the costs of upgrades to minimum (and no, I am not a dealer).
Just got my C-5xe back from Ayre with the MP upgrade installed. I ran it in for 24 hours, then had a listen.
The improvement in low level resolution and imaging was immediate and dramatic. Ditto for tonal textures. Separate musical instrumental lines were more clearly delineated and followed. Overall, presentation was more relaxed and the music seemed to flow more like the real thing.
I got my upgraded C-5xe back about two weeks ago and agree with the comments above. Cipherjuris nailed it regarding the improvements, especially regarding imaging and delineation of distinct instrumental lines. I really had no great expectations but was pleasantly surprised by the level of improvement. Recommendation to C-5xe owners: get in line, you will not be disappointed.