When I have Ayre gear it is nice but very solid state sounding - a little dry. I own a Modwright 5400es cd player and it is the only cd player I have heard that sounds almost as good and organic as vinyl. I haven't heard their amps or preamps but my vote would be for Modwrigt.
When I have HEARD Ayre gear it is nice but very solid state sounding - a little dry. I own a Modwright 5400es cd player and it is the only cd player I have heard that sounds almost as good and organic as vinyl. I haven't heard their amps or preamps but my vote would be for Modwright. No offense to Ayre fans or owners.
..and I vote for Ayre... not because I own them personlly, but because they are very musical, and their service department is absolutely top notch.
Stringreen, you own the speakers I would like to have - Vandersteen 5A. Those are some of the most musical speakers around at any price.
I have a LS100 (use Black Treasure CV181s and NOS Philips rectifier) and the KWA100 SE - very musical pieces to my ears (need to give them the 400-500 hours break in recommended by Dan) Haven't heard Ayre equipment
I agree Podeschi...that's why I got them. In truth however, I don't think many people have ever heard them properly set up. Richard Vandersteen and I spent lots of time (phonecalls...thank you Richard) adjusting the speakers to sound the best for my room. I suspect very few Vandersteen dealers will do an appropriate job. Audio Connection in New Jersey with John Rutan at its helm is exceptionally good, however, when I moved to Arizona, the local guy did a very poor job...that was when Richard himself came to the rescue. I thought my system was sweet, but then just recently I replaced the Superplatter on my Superscout Rim Drive with a Classic platter, and the difference was drop dead better. The sweetness, the 3 dimensionality, the reality of the sound is incredable. Regarding Ayre.. just as Vandersteen is personally interested in his product and customers, Ayre is exactly the same way. I've had updates and minor issues done on my stuff, and always was treated with great respect and professionalism from Ayre....and VPI as well. During my years as an audiophile and buying this stuff, I haven't always been treated this way. Companies go out of business, some just ignore you, etc. Thats why I would only buy from reputable, strong companies that can and will protect my investment.
I've had both brands in my system. Overall impression: both excellent. Ayre more truth to delicate microdeta, maybe a tad bit more spatially resolving, but the MW had more oomph, more meaty, stronger footing. I found that MW amp should definitely be paired with MW pre for optimal effect. No wrong answer, just personal choice.
Thanks for reply Stringreen. Vandersteen to my ears captures the emotion of the music - hard not to tap your foot when listening to a pair. Not sure what it is about them that are special (timing, frequency range, staging) but they are special. If I didn't have Maggies the 5As would be on my short list for sure - and I think Richard Vandersteen is one of the good guys who doesn't charge exorbitant amounts. He pushes the sonic edge of the envelop without punishing consumers with crazy luxury prices. I appreciate the comments about customer service and glad to hear Ayre is great at it. I've experienced the same with Dan Wright at Modwright - in fact his whole crew especially his Ops manager is awesome. Other brands with exceptional service/consumer orientation: Keith Herron at Herron Audio (I could write a book on how patiently he has helped me), Kevin Hayes at VAC (just ordered new VAC amp based not least among other things VACs service/reliability), John at Audience (hero status in my book...will share his passion and knowledge freely), and Peter at Symposium. We are lucky in the US to have designer/manufacturers who care about the audiophile consumer versus just turning a quick buck.
I have not heard modwrighr but can say I do own ayre C5xeMP and Ayre K5xe. The ayre staff has been top notch throughout the buying process. The ayre is very detailed but not analytical. The instruments are also very focused with a wide stage. I fully disagree with Pod, one of the main things ayre is know for is it's lack of digital sound. I would highly recommend the Ayre system.
Also, both companies offer top notch customer service. You can't go wrong in that department with either.
I heard the Ayre at a dealer where I bought my Maggies...it might have been the source or room or cables (nordost), but the sound was etchy and flat. People who have heard the same Maggies in my setup versus the same dealer reach the same conclusions...I assumed the major difference was the Ayre stereo amp they were using.
Pod, that's odd as I have them paired with maggies but not those cables and have no "flatness".
Cables must have not been a good match...don't get me wrong...the sound wasn't bad (I ended up buying the speakers!)...just not as organic sounding as they are in my system....
Could have also been the room as I have been to many dealers where they positioned maggies horribly
I found myself in your position a few years ago, fed up with valves and the heat they produce, so I moved over to the ayre cd, pre and power and have been very happy with them. I was worried because I loved the valve sound and was reluctant to change. The ayre system has been a success in that I think I'm listening to more music than ever before. Which is after all what it's all about!
The XP-10 arrived and now paired with Ayre V-5xe for demo. Bottom end more authoritative, firm and full with XLR compared to SE through Kimber Hero. Ultra quiet combination, fast w/o etching, transparent 3D soundstage, satisfying top to bottom tonal balance. My Harbeth C7ES3's through LFD Hybrid Speaker Cables have never sounded so good. Will let this all settle in over the next and see where this goes.