If I like sound of Ayre Integrated I would Like...


I am trying to get ideas of what Ingrted Amps I might need to look at before buying.

Please fill in the blanks.
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a tube integrated.
Shameless plug, VAC Avatar SE.
Yep, tubes. I recently had the pleasure of having an Ayre V5XE in my system for about a week. What a great amp! No hard edges or harsh clipping or anything at all to make me think of an SS amp (in the bad sense - there are certainly other good SS amps). The presentation was oh so natural and clean, yet very resolving and balanced. I would agree with Pubul57 - if you like the Ayre, and you are not, for some odd reason, going to actually get the Ayre, then I'd be looking at tubes. You will be hard pressed to find an integrated SS amp that sounds like that IMO.
Strange, I never heard tube amplifier with clear open treble or tight controlled bass.
I liked Ayre for the fact that it has open dynamic sound ,fuller spectrum than most of the amps I have heard (YBA, MF, Krell, Plinius, Unison.....etc)
As a matter of fact I am not into tubes. I consider tube equipment a nostalgic novelty and nothing more.

P.S. I am really looking for only SS equipment and I do want it to have flat extended response.
You said [I consider tube equipment a nostalgic novelty and nothing more]. Might be time to open your mind and ears for your wrong about tubes. If you said tube amps cost to much or retubings a pain. Or tube amps of hi-power and great quality are expensive then your right. I you said I just don't like tubes fine but they are not a nostalgic novelty. They offer performance as good as SS. As far as SS integrated s the YBAs are very good, easy to listen to. The new MF A1 is detailed images very well but only 37 watts. Sure tubes are not for everyone. But they can produce wonderful fidelity.
>>Shameless plug, VAC Avatar SE.<<

Totally agree.

Shameless.
You may want to have a look at a well broken in Jeff Rowland (JRDG) Continuum 500. Rather than a classic SS using discrete components, it is a class D design using ICEpower ASP1000 modules, a Power Factor Correction / rectifier front end that feeds 385V DC to the input transformer for minimizing line noise and charge ripples. Continuum 500 includes a linestage card equivalent to the JRDG Capri linestage. DCSTEP has posted a review of it on Agon and discusses it at length on his home thread. G.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vdone&1198908516&read&keyw&zzcontinuum%20500
Well, if you are only interested in SS, I would consider the new Pass Integrated, not sure you would like it better than the Ayre, but I consider both Ayre and Pass to be at the pinnacle of SS design. You comments on tubes makes me wonder what tubes amps you heard and with what speakers, it doesn't sound like my experience with tubes at all, but that is another debate and if you want SS Pass is certainly a worthy alternative.
If you like the Ayre, why don't you just get that?

Dismissing tubes to a "nostalgic novelty" reflects a very narrow viewpoint and someone who either has precious little experience with modern tube amps, or has not discovered the wonders of Q-tips :-)

Strange, I never heard tube amplifier with clear open treble or tight controlled bass.

Which tube amps have you listened to? My friend's VTL 450's in the context of his system most certainly fit that description. The SET amps I prefer may lack in the ultimate low end control, but they certainly have upper extension and no SS, including the Ayre, could touch them for soundstaging and sheer palpability of performers in a 3-dimensional space behind the speakers ("natural presence" in spades). The Ayre did excel in other areas, certainly bass control being one, but I'm willing to sacrifice some of that for the strengths I prefer. It's all a trade-off and IMO there is no one perfect solution that does everything just "right". You just need to find what works for you. I do respect that it sounds like you know what you want, but don't understand what it is that you are looking for beyond that; Perhaps if you were to define what it is that the Ayre did not have that you are after, others may be able to be more specific? As I said, I haven't heard an SS amp I liked as much as the Ayre I auditioned, but then I don't get out much....too busy waxing nostalgic on the sounds of tubes.
I have to disagree with Jax2...I have an Ayre v1xe connected to a K1xe, and the soundstage is as wide as depicted on the recording. If it's a nightclub jazz recording..no, but listening to Das Lied von der Erde by Tilson Thomas et al, you are transported to the event including the air of the hall. There are tubed units that induce "air" into a recording...not needed or wanted.
The tube/SS argument might go on forever (it will) - maybe we should just stick with the OPs original intention, but I still think that the reason the Ayre sounds good to me is that it has some tube qualities - oops, didn't mean to to that. Yeah, go with the Ayre if you like it, or try the Pass.
Tube SS argument will go on as long as Last fo dynosaurus still alive. By dynasoaurses I meant some Chinese/Russian factories that still make tubes on equipment they pu togetaher in 50s for defence purposes, as well as all those dudes that used to follow Greatfull Dead around.
Seriously, why do I see so many requests for :Recommend me a warm sounding.....recommend me a smooth sounding....etc.
Tubes vs. Transistors argument has very little to do with techonology or measurements. It is all about pleasant distortion that Tubes produce, hence "warm sound".
Well I am not loking for soft sound or warm sound or whatever you call that tube-distortion that you beaming through set of Sonus Faber speakers.
Don't mean to sound harsh, but hey, some old dudes love to drive classic sports cars, not becasue they offer better performance but just casue they look nice, I get it.
I have to disagree with Jax2...I have an Ayre v1xe connected to a K1xe, and the soundstage is as wide as depicted on the recording.

You haven't heard my amps :-) so how would you know? Sorry, I should have limited my comment to those amps I've had experience with. I have not heard your system so obviously could not compare it, though it seems that I did in my sweeping statement. Apologies there...I lost my head! I would add that the V5Xe presented one of the largest, deepest stages I've heard via an SS amp and I was very impressed with that. It did not surpass my SET amps in that regard though.

Dkzzzz - seems to me like you're just trolling for an argument at this point. Your statements have become somewhat inflammatory. You still have not clarified what more you want than what the Ayre had to offer, and why you don't just buy that?

Tubes vs. Transistors argument has very little to do with techonology or measurements.

I'd submit to you that technology and measurements are only a small part of the equation that may account for how human beings perceive, experience and enjoy music and the reproduction thereof. It is entirely subjective, regardless.

Seriously, why do I see so many requests for :Recommend me a warm sounding.....recommend me a smooth sounding....etc.

And what you are asking us here is "recommend me another amp that sounds like an Ayre" .... what exactly is the difference in that? You've just changed "warm" or "tubey" to "Ayre-like"!

You've made a query here and you seem to be responding defensively to suggestions. I think we get it - you are looking for a solid state amp that sounds like an Ayre. You've made it crystal clear what you are NOT looking for (warm, tubey, pleasant distortion, and anything that implements tubes in any way shape or form). So what exactly ARE you looking for that the Ayre does not offer?
I agree.
Dkzzz is just looking for an argument.
Why don't you just buy an Ayre and put this thread to rest.
>>So what exactly ARE you looking for that the Ayre does not offer?<<

A $499 pricetag.

Gold plated knobs.

Remote control (full function- garage door and car starter)

Delivered.

With a 30 year warranty.
I think Bill's figured out what he's looking for...Tom Waits even wrote a song about it.
I am looking for options within the Ayer sound signature. Price option as well as design options.
1. I hate the look of Ayer. It is probably the most hedious modern SS amp.
2. I don't want to pay Ayer price tag it is 60% bloated, imo.

Thus I am wondering what else is out there that has Ayer decent sound but might offer better aesthtics as well as better price. Thank you very much to one member who suggested PASS ,I will look into that.
The rest of you guys are just trolling on my thread and lip-flopping about some tubes.
I don't need lectures on tubes or anything else you care to talk about.
I am open to suggestion of SS integrated with open treble and flat response.
your current amp is just fine....oh yeah, what is it?
Hey ...wait a minute...I resemble that remark...'' one of those old dudes who used to follow the Grateful Dead around ''...make a note I have taken offense .....I was one of those DUDES
Pass Labs INT-150 is $6500 (you could almost buy two Ayre AX-7's for that), and looks not unlike the Ayre in that it is a billet box with fins and blue LCD readout. I've not heard it. I have heard a few of his X series and would not have associated that sound with the Ayre amp I heard. Pass occurred to me as a bit cleaner and crisper for lack of a better descriptor. Ayre sounded a bit more relaxed and natural and reminded me of tubes in the way it softened what might otherwise occur as hard edges. I don't know if their integrated is fitted to that mold (based on the X series), but I'd guess it was, as opposed to his First Watt stuff, which I've also heard in passing and reminded me more of what I heard from the Ayre, though they are not the same beast. You may also consider buying used, which typically is about 40-50% off list depending upon the product and its condition. Man, for me it's all about the music and how the gear presents it. If you don't like the look of it you could always put it behind a cabinet door so you don't have to look at it.

Jaybo - you're hilarious!

I have a great sounding SS rig, but I can't help but wonder what the heck goes on in those little red glowing tubes in my secondary rig (Cayin A-50T). The sound is pretty sweet (into just B & W 685's). My next upgrade in my big rig was going to be the Ayre MX-R monoblocks but due to my little Cayin, I just may go with the Shindo (tubs). I know they're ineffecient, the heat issues, supposedly not the slam of SS but I am so taken back with this little Cayin, I now think I know what the big deal is about with tubes. I'd love to see a state of the art tube rig in my main room. I know I will need new speakers as well but what the heck.
DKZZZZ , How can you state that you like the sound of the Ayre and then say its price is bloated by 60%.
On what basis can you say that.If you found something that is the Ayre equal and can also save 60% then buy it.I am not an Ayre fan. I just dont enjoy posts that make unwarranted statements
Everything in audio world is overpriced. Ignorance of general audiophile is the sole reason we have 3000 different amps 300 different manufacturers who are trying to sell their "tuned-by-ear" or as I call it broken equipment at rediculous prices. That is why the prices are such. The same story is with speakers. Absolute majority of speakers are just awful and overpriced drek.
But that is why we have experts who advise bumpkins on which broken amp to match with which poorly-designed speaker to get shitty sound.
But I digress.
This starting to remind of some very bad, and very long threads.
Dkzzz,
Just out of curiosity, are you trying to be a new "Romy the Cat". Your level of obnoxiousness is right up there with Romy. Except Romy is quite knowledgeable and intelligent.
But I digress.

That, sir, is an understatement.

This starting to remind of some very bad, and very long threads.

Yes, I can think of a few other threads that if combined with what this one is well on its way to becoming, may combust and take out a suburb in Michigan. Fortunately many of those have been removed with extreme prejudice by Audiogon under great pressure from Homeland Securtiy. We ought to see if we could harness the power of a thread like this and heat a few thousand homes.
I almost didn't catch your last sentence, Romy is both knowledgeable and can be entertaining.
I miss Romy around here. Luckily I can get my fill over on his site.
If I understand the "argument," there are so many brands and so many models competing in the marketplace that the result is excessively high prices. Wouldn't it be nice if the market had only one beneficent monopolist who would deliver the Ayre sound at 40% of the price Ayre charges?
Dkzzzz, the Jeff Rowland Design Group Continuum 500 meets all your criteria.

Dave
>>If I understand the "argument," there are so many brands and so many models competing in the marketplace that the result is excessively high prices.<<

You got it.

What we really need here is another monopoly like AT&T had on telephone service years ago.

One integrated amplifier for everbody and every application. That would bring the prices down.

Ah, the good old days.
Dkzzz You seem to have such all encompassing experience. Why would one with such knowledge need help in selecting a mid priced integrated?
>>the Jeff Rowland Design Group Continuum 500 meets all your criteria<<

Nope.

At $8800 it's about $8000 too bloated. We need to be at a much lower price level without any lip flopping.

Oh, and it can't be a hedious design either.
Thank you Dave I am looking into JR. It bites at the price point ,but I might score some on Ebay.
Audiofeil, price can't be helped, unless you belong to Our Holy Church Of Wishful Thinking, but if you are experiencing unsightly flopping of lower lip, that mildly upsetting problem can be easily corrected by simple surgical restiching procedure on the detached phrenulum.
Wow, our audio dealer friend Mr. Feil has really gone over the edge. In the interest of fairness, everyone should go to his site and check out his wares. Maybe that'll stop his trembling lip.

So, check out Bill's offerings then check out Rowland for yourself. Reach your own conclusions.

Dave
"At $8800 it's about $8000 too bloated. We need to be at a much lower price level without any lip flopping."
by Audiofeil

You sound like a bitter salesman. Toughen up it will only get worse.

I can get Jeff Rowland Concerta 250 on ebay for 4000-25% that would be about only $700.00 overpriced.
Dave,
My post was a joke. Or at least that was the intention. Sorry it was taken otherwise.

Lighten up my cheerleading friend.

Bill
I can get Jeff Rowland Concerta 250 on ebay for 4000-25% that would be about only $700.00 overpriced.

Go for it dude. Give the Pimp your money and put this thread out of its misery. If you're going to drop over 4 large on a Concerta I'm not sure why you'd be hesitant to go for the Ayre at $2900 retail, and much less used. Oh yeah, it's hedious...and bloated! Better to look good than to sound like you prefer it. You could always listen with a paper bag over your head with two ear-holes cut out. You could first turn the bag inside out and tape a picture of the Rowland amp inside it and then you could look at that while you listen to the Ayre. I suggest implementing The Perch™ for enhanced enjoyment. That, and make sure to have Geoff Kait give you a phone call to get that new amp really living up to its potential. You can listen to some Grateful Dead and do some twirling on that The Perch™ - Hell, I'll give you the "savvy buyer" discount on a The Perch™ so you can tell everyone you didn't pay the bloated price that I usually charge folks. Dude, you'll be cooking with gas, laughing at those old geezers listening to their novelty tinker-toy tube amps, while you've got it all...at a very nice price....why I can just picture it now.
Uhhggg.
Wow, our audio dealer friend Mr. Feil has really gone over the edge. In the interest of fairness, everyone should go to his site and check out his wares. Maybe that'll stop his trembling lip.

I think Bill was being humorous, and I'm not sure what your point is anyway. Looks like he sells some nice stuff...Sorry, I'm missing your point. Exactly what are you trying to imply by this? I think this thread lost any sense of serious consideration long ago when Dkzzzz became so acerbic. I don't think folks are going to reference this thread for some solid information on buying and I doubt Bill was looking at it as an opportunity to peddle his wares. It would surprise me if Audiogon leaves it up very long, and Mea Culpa, god help me!
DK4z, what's a Concerta?
DK4z, what's a Concerta?


I think he meant this Continuum being sold by the PimpMeister his bad self.
Jax2, Bill indeed did email me that his attempt at humor failed.

My point is, as always, know when a dealer is onthread and decide for yourself by audition whenever possible, after narrowing your choice as much as reasonable here and with other resources.

Dave
Dave - My point was that I did not have any sense at all that Bill was pushing his wares. I didn't think in the context of this particular thread, and the content of his posts, that a disclaimer was necessary. Beyond that, and in general, I'd agree with you that a dealer should post a disclaimer when making specific recommendations (Bill made none, unless I missed something). I take it for granted that most folks might know Bill is a dealer, but certainly that may not be the case.

PS I think most folks here have some sort of 'agenda', whether conscious or subconscious. It's part of being human - wanting to make all the stuff actually mean something, and creating some kind of attachment to that meaning. I do it myself. I can't help it, but I am very aware of it most of the time. I don't think that changes anything at all. So whether your agenda is selling your widgets, or making yourself feel important and self righteous (DkZX4) or entertaining (yes, I see myself in that mirror), there's always some agenda or other behind what you read here. Should we all have to post disclaimers at every turn? I know, this is a rather extreme viewpoint. Like our sunshiney pal who started this thread, I digress!
Jax2 it was really funny about the paper bag and all, I enjoyed it.
But don't get all serious to psychoanalyze the InterwebZ it makes cats yawn.

Why no one recommended Integrated McIntoshes? Don't they have open treble and good flat output?
I see a bunch of them here at under 2K. How would McIntosh Ingrtd compare to Ayre, sound-wise?
Glad to see you have a sense of humor!

I've got a photo of Natalie Portman inside my paper bag.

Jax2, perhaps you've never had Bill follow you around and bash your recommendations. I have. Perhaps that explains my lack of recognition of his attempt at humor.

A dealer doesn't have to recommend his own components to support his business if he's negative about the alternatives.

IMHO, dealers and manufacturers need to be very careful what they say on these forums. Perhaps that's unfortunate for those like Bill that just want to participate, but I think that they are held to a higher standard than us enthusiasts, whether they like it or not.

Dave
perhaps you've never had Bill follow you around and bash your recommendations. I have. Perhaps that explains my lack of recognition of his attempt at humor.

Yes, that would explain it. If I thought that were happening to me I might contact the person outside of the context of the thread and see if I could resolve it. As it is, it appears you are just doing to him what you don't like it is that you think he's doing to you. ...as you would have others do unto you, and all that.

IMHO, dealers and manufacturers need to be very careful what they say on these forums. Perhaps that's unfortunate for those like Bill that just want to participate, but I think that they are held to a higher standard than us enthusiasts, whether they like it or not.

I agree, in part. If I were a dealer I would be very careful about the image I put forth as it is very easy to misinterpret with only words on a screen to go by. As far as holding them to a higher standard, well, they're only human, and really, we are not in court here, lives are not at stake or anything. These are electronic boxes we're discussing. Not that far removed from a toaster or a waffle iron. It never ceases to amaze me how much of our egos we attach to this stuff (I'm not excluding myself from that statement). Anyway, sorry to hear that you've been feeling that way about Bill and hope you two can resolve it. Hey, I think I heard a few cats yawning there!
I believe in saying what I believe in the thread. Some people like to take it outside, but I would generally disagree. Bill misjudged, but his own admission, so I'm comfortable with his position in this thread. What happens between me and him in other threads is up to him.

Dave