I have not directly compared the two DACs but as a past Codex owner it is important in my experience to be able to run it with balanced cables and this is supported by Ayre. Enjoyed the unit a lot with listening to classical (balanced into a VAC preamp > Ayre VX5/20 > Spendor D9). I only sold it to move up to an Ayre QX5 DAC.
Makes sense to me. I'm using balanced cables with the Gumby, so I would continue that.
The Ayre has the edge, IMHO.
And, yes, I owned both.
PM rvpiano, he had the Gumby and my Ayre Codex to audition. I believe he feels the same.
Aim higher ... Amber / Orchid ... for moderate range-maybe more in line for ARC (refined) theme ...
So the Ayre Codex is about $1800? It's a dac, pre and a headphone amp?
So that means the budget to build it is divided among the 3 functions while the Gungnir just has the one function. Comparisons like this tend to come down to personal preference, and most responses will just be of that nature.
If the OP can demo the unit along side the Gungnir, that would be the best.
Lots of helpful info! Thanks. Especially, thanks gdnrbob and rvpiano. I bought a used Codex, and it's on its way. Unfortunately, my power amp died a week or so ago, so I'll have to make comparisons with my D-130. I don't know if it's the recordings I'm playing, but the system just doesn't sound as great with the D-130 in place of the SD135. I will muddle on... :-)
Congrats on the Codex.
Are the amps you are referring to AR?
Checked fuses? Looked inside for a blown Cap?
Yes, both AR amps. The SD135 is the one that failed, and the symptoms are exactly the same as before, when the ThermalTrak transistors were the issue. My other thread has more detail. I haven't unscrewed the 18 screws to remove the top, but I did peer inside through the grill, using a flashlight. The big caps look okay. Obviously something is wrong, but I would have to know where to look, and even then might not see anything. Last time, I did remove the top, but I never had a visual indication of anything wrong.
I finally opened the SD135. I can't see anything out of order. The failure mode was exactly the same as the previous time with the ThermalTrak transistors. Wish ARC was willing to do anything for me on this. The good news is that I have found compatible replacement parts and a tech willing to install them.
I like the Ayre Codex! I'm still not sure what I'm hearing when I switch from it to the Schiit Gumby. My first impression is that when I switch to the Gumby, the sound is slightly less articulate and shifted to a "thicker" center in the image.
Hello, having purchased two iterations of the Schiit Gumby, I think that you CAN do better and what you’re getting with the Gumby is the Mike Moffat filter which sounds great and is what makes the DAC so special sounding. In order to actually do better, you need to spend around 2x the price, though.
nice you are getting a codex to try... people can spew all they want about which is better, bottom line you need to find out for yourself in your system, as both sound good, just different presentation
that been said, a few points to you
- you need a good optical connection in (unless you are running usb) for the codex - get a real glass cable, makes a difference
- use the codex balanced outs... it sounds substantially better thru its xlr outs compared to the rca outs
- best to run in dac mode (disable the internal volume control)
bottom line, for me, i had a gumby and sold it, kept the codex... but that is in my system, to my ears - codex provided a more saturated, rich sound, which i value
also the goofy internal relay clicking between tracks that the gumby does bothered me
have fun, good luck
My first impression is that when I switch to the Gumby, the sound is slightly less articulate and shifted to a "thicker" center in the image
Yup, that is what you should be hearing. As you go further up the DAC line, you not only hear more definition, but also a greater sense of 'timing'-Things seem to sound more alive. At least that is what I have found since moving from the Codex to the QB-9 Twenty.@jjss49
I would add- get a good power cord.
John Rutan (audioconnection) sold me on the Audioquest Thunder. It really helped. PM me if you want to try one.