the vandys with the ayre
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I am playing my Vandersteen 5A's with everything Ayre. I found that Audioquest Sky is second of all the many cables I've tried. Anti-Cables are first. I'm not kidding. Also, I've tried lots of power cords, but the ones I got from VHAudio that I made myself are oh so synergistic with Ayre. Oyaide P-046, C-046 with Accrolink P4030. You will swoon.
Don't forget that Ayre makes its own Signature line of interconnects and speaker cables. While they are built by Cardas (to Ayre's specifications), it is my understanding from talking to Charlie Hansen that other than borrowing the golden ratio stranding, they are distinctly different from what Cardas makes. Since I love Ayre gear, and since the team at the factory uses the Ayre wires, that's what I went with and have been very happy. However, I do know many Ayre and Vandersteen users who are proponents of what the Audioquest Sky does (or doesn't do) in their systems.
As to Ayre v. Boulder, I may be biased (owning the Ayre KXR - MXR combo), but I've always felt the Ayre to be more natural sounding, with Boulder being more hi-fi (although very, very good hi fi). Boulder was one of the first brands to really think about (and implement) their chassis as tools for controlling resonance. With its R class products, Ayre has stepped up to create equally solid, anti-resonant components, all of which greatly assists with the goal of recreating music.
Hope this helps. - Pete -
Not in my system they don't..that is, the Ayre interconnects and speaker cables are very, very close cousins to Cardas Neutral Ref. They are certainly NOT the cables of choice in my system...an all Ayre, Vandersteen 5A system. Almost any other cable is better. Yes...Sky is the second best interconnect for me...Anti-Cables are the cat's pajamas.
I'm wondering just how you settled on Ayre & Boulder??? I've heard Boulder a few times now & could not care less for its sonics. Of course, my personal opinion & choice. Different from yours.
However, I did like the Ayre gear w/ the Vandy 5A. But I wonder if this is the only combination?? (I'm thinking that I do not want to get stuck in a Spectral-Avalon tight-lock scenario).
Looked @ your system. You are certainly not wanting for financial resources!! :-) Thus, did you ever consider Gryphon (from Denmark)? I've heard several components of their system - Adagio CDP, Sonata Allegro Pre & Antillean Sig stereo amp. I honestly believe that Gryphon sonics will be superior to atleast Boulder & perhaps even Ayre. The Gryphon gear is expensive but it is worth every penny IMHO. For a man of means like yourself it should be more attainable. Just my 2 cents worth.
Jeff Fritz of UltraAudio posted a superb review of Gryphon gear in 2004. It's in the SoundStage.com archives.
See if you can arrange an audition.
don´t know the vandys but my current set up Boulder 1060 + 1021 + Avalon Indra sounded better than the MR-X or Pass X 350.5 paired either with my 1021 or the borrowed 781i from Wadia going into the Indras. So to me Boulder is the clear choice over Ayre although I´m a BIG Ayre fan (used to have AX-7e + CX-7e, C-5xe with K-1xe and V-5xe later V-1xe). Boulder makes the most neutral and most revealing/ transparent electronics I´ve ever heard. But I strongly believe that KR-X + MR-X driving the right speakers is on par with my Boulder set-up.