Start with your speakers choice, then your amplifier, then your preamplifier. I've had two of the amps you mentions, the V-5XE and the JC-1. My opinion of the JC-1 differs from many - I found it to be fairly low resolution, somewhat dull to listen to. The Ayre I enjoyed immensely - great resolution and dimensionality, but just slightly on the bass shy side. If I had to choose again, I would choose the Ayre. I tried these amps with a variety of speakers, but neither of the two you mention aboe.
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