Apparently Ayre must have been stuck in a closet somewhere. Didn't any Agoners wander into Hansen's hooch? Not a good sign.
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I went in there & listened but wasn't impressed with the Wilson Watt 7's. Last years room w/Avalon Eidolon Diamonds was better sounding. I also heard the player in the Joseph Audio room with the new RM55 & it sounded very good powered by Ayre gear. I also heard the integrated in the Ginko room with the prototype Tubulous spkrs & was impressed.
I do not understand Ayre's marketing philosophy. Their web site does not have their new universal player advertised, dealers are basically clueless, they blew a great opportunity at CES to reveal their new player and people did not even notice their presents.
A dealer let me demo the CX-7 in my own system for 10 days and I really liked their cdp. The dealer encouraged me to wait until the new player was out. He said from what he was told redbook was greatly improved over the CX-7. So I figured I would wait. This was three months ago and I have moved on and purchased another universal player.
Now I would still like to audition this universal player in my system to see if it betters the player I purchased. The one that was best in my system would be the one I would keep.
I spoke with "Steve" one of the Ayre PR folks about two weeks ago about the Cx-7 I had on order. He told me a little about the new uniuversal player: It's gonna retail for $6000, and of course will be much better redbook than the Cx-7. They have 75 built and are awaiting delivery of additional parts. I can't remeber if these are spare parts or they ran out of building supplies. Anyway, he said they'll be shipping any day now.
I auditioned the C5xe in my system when it first became available and I was mightily impressed as well. Listened to both CD and SACD and really enjoyed both formats. CD playback provided a wide soundstage with clear highs and a well-defined bass. I almost bought the Ayre but then a week with the AA Capitole II changed everything. But for $3K+ less than the AA the Ayre is a real bargain (if one can consider $6K a bargain). Hansen has a real winner in this cdp.