To these ears, the Ayre is quite wonderful. Just as an aside...did you know you can't blutooth flac files...just doesn't have the bandwidth.
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I tried both The Ayre DX5 and the Ayre CD5mp in a show room and at home . They were both great . On the audio side , the DX had a bit more drive but didn't seem as smooth as the CD5 , the CD5 also exposed more air around the instruments . I bought the CD5 nearly a year ago and can't say enough about it , half the price too . Later added an upscale DAC .
Hello Bullot . The DAC I chose after much research and many auditions was the Audio Research DAC8 . It adds a bit of warmth and roundness that the CD5 , KX-R preamp , Levinson power amp combination missed . The improvements are small , yet seem important when we listen . Some of my analog loving friends feel it removes the digital edge that they seem to hear . I was using a Levinson #360s DAC , but it added to much warmth and just messed with the original signal a bit to much . Now I'm demoing some different digital links between the transport and DAC , the Madrigal I'm using is good but some of the links I've tried show marked improvements , haven't found just the right one yet .
Thanks Tim! I was on the digital trip a few years ago. Had the Levinson 37 and 360s as well.......tried too many digital ic's between them to remember, including the Madrigal.......which is a great cable for the money. Then there was power cords to each one, gets expensive! So I decided to go the one box route! I am starting to think that in the higher end of high end digital it's all pretty close, just different flavours. With respect to digital ic's, I had and liked the Stealth Varadig Sextet....a friend of mine tried it on my recommendation and ended up with the MIT Max, saying the Stealth was not even close!
Alfa , I have not had very good luck with optical cables , they sound a whisker thin and sterile for my taste's . I've preferred the XLR type cable's in my music makers last few incarnations . The XLR cable made it feel like something had been removed between the musicians and me . So far we've tried the Audio Quest - Raven , Shunyada's -Anaconda and a new one from Cardas , can't remember the model .
Of the three we tried all were an improvement over the Madrigal link that I have always liked . Talk about passive tone controls .
Just yesterday I was able to finally audition one of these. I compared it to the Audio Research CD8. Bottom line was, I liked the Ayre very much, very nice sound. I liked it better than the AR on CD's. Comparing both to my modded Faroudja, I liked my Faroudja. My player does not have anywhere near the flexibility of the Ayre, but, I did not want to drop $10K for a couple of extra formats, at this time!
Where does that leave the Ayre! Well for me, my modded Faroudja beats my old Levinson 37 and 360s combo, and my previous Emm Labs CDSA SE. I would put the Ayre ahead of that bunch as well.
My DX-5 is the best source I have ever owned. It particularly shines with hi rez blue ray concert dvds. The video is another step better than my oppbd83SE. The audio is light years better. I have yet to hear thru usb at home but at my dealer, amazing sound. I have it running thru a REF5 and Ayre V5xe and 1.7s Maggies, Audience cables thruout, overall a great sound. However, this is the 2nd unit, the first one failed within 30 days and this unit failed within 30 days, ayre replaced the transport, and so far working perfectly. My 10k purchase was tarnished by this unreliability I never experienced before in high end audio but the sound is the best source I have ever owned, so I will keep it for now.and keep my fingers crossed .
Thanks Kenklein for the info........very nice musical system you have! The maggies still hold for me, my most memorable audio experience! It was a Pink Floyd song....."taking away the moments that make up a dull day"........forget the name! There is one part at the beginning that sounds like it's jumping out of the right speaker.......no speaker does that sound like the Maggie!! Thanks again for the feedback.