Ayre DX-5 bluray player - Page 37 - AVS Forum
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post #1081 of 1443 Old 01-30-2013, 03:48 AM
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I contacted Philipp Krauspenhaar and asked him to place an order for the upgrade. Looking forward now!
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post #1082 of 1443 Old 01-31-2013, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rtrautner View Post

Mr. Hansen,
To answer your question, I am using the Classe SSP-800 processor. I am considering creating 2-channel within my MCh system, which I had done previously with a Musical Fidelity piece, but that upgrade is taking a back seat to the Aurender for now. Certainly the K-5xe MP would be at the top of my list when the time comes to do so again. The main selling point of the Aurender for me is the interface, which will make dealing with the whole computer thing so much more seamless and pleasurable, particularly for my family, who glaze over when I describe how to boot up iTunes through Amarra and the like.

Rick

Hello Rick,

I haven't played around with a music server in a long time. We were actually planning to build one about five years ago. Then we realized that the basic concept was a disaster without the use of a Wi-Fi remote control. A "music server" is basically an iPod attached to a computer and disguised to make it simple to operate. But here is the problem -- the iPod user interface is brilliant from 12 inches away. More than that and it's a disaster. I had an Olive music server (Fidelio in Germany) and it had a two-line, low contrast menu screen that could only be seen directly on axis. So to use the thing you had to stand directly in front of it. The fact that it had a remote control didn't matter.

The only ways around it are to turn your flatscreen TV into a display -- but then you can't watch TV while someone else listens to music, or to use an iDevice (or other smart phone) as a remote control with two way communication so that what you hold in your hand 12" from your face duplicates the functions of the iPod. But I am not a fan of Wi-Fi. It generally degrades the sound of hi-fi systems and the long-term health effects are still unknown. Wi-Fi operates at the exact same frequency as a microwave oven, so using it turns your house into a low-level microwave oven that is on 24/7. I don't want to take the chance that in 15 years, they'll say "Oops! Sorry about that!" like they did with cigarettes, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and Vioxx...

The reason why there is so much to be gained by using a two-channel preamp with a processor passthrough mode for two-channel music is the volume control. The SSP-800 uses the CIrrus Logic CS3310. It's an easy way to get the job done, but puts a definite limitation on the sonic performance. But don't take my word (or anybody else's) -- try it for yourself and see. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks, only what you think. It's your house, your system, and your money.

iTunes keeps sounding better and better and so does each release of OS-X. I'm sure your kids already use iTunes to load their iPods. And I can just about guarantee that your wife doesn't care if Amarra is running or not. Just some things to think about....

Best,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1083 of 1443 Old 02-22-2013, 11:20 AM
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Will the unit continue to be based on the Oppo 83?
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post #1084 of 1443 Old 02-22-2013, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by robertawillisjr View Post

Will the unit continue to be based on the Oppo 83?

Hello,

At Ayre we like to design and build products that have a long lifespan. We do not believe in introducing a "new" version of a a product every year or two, with the old model becoming "obsolete junk". If we were to change the basic platform, there would be no reasonable way for the owner of the original model to upgrade to the current model. When we launched the DX-5, we knew 3D was coming. We also knew that despite the (quite obvious) fact that it would never become important that there would be people who would not purchase the DX-5 without that feature. The choices we had were to wait for 3D to be released or buy a "lifetime supply" of the Oppo players.

Oppo misled us somewhat, telling us that 3D was a further way away than it actually was, so we purchased a large quantity of BDP-83 players. Then two months after we introduced the DX-5, they brought out their next generation player, with 3D capabilities. I wasn't too concerned as I prefer the DVDO scaling chip used in the BDP-83. The Marvell part used in the new player is a descendent of the Genesis scaling chip. Those of you with long memories will remember this as the chip with the "macro blocking" problem, whereas I knew that the DVDO chip was an outstanding performer. Oppo chose the Marvell part as it had some features that allowed poor source material (eg, internet streamed video) to look better, but I was more concerned with the PQ from first-rate sources such as BD and DVD. But I also knew that lacking the 3D capability would cost us sales. But that is all just part of business.

At some point in the next year or two we will run out of the basic Oppo platform. I doubt that we will offer a direct replacement for the DX-5, as the trend is toward downloaded internet sources and away from physical discs. I have some ideas about what we will do, but haven't put too much thought into it, as it is still a long way away. However, I am sure that what ever we come up with will be a ground-breaking and innovative product, as that is what we do. In the meantime, we are getting closer to releasing the new version of the DX-5, called the DX-5-DSD. The first new units will ship next week and the first upgrades (and upgrade kits for overseas owners) will be offered in about four weeks. The changes are all to the audio side of the player and will only benefit the two-channel analog audio outputs. If you are not using the analog audio outputs, there is no reason to upgrade your DX-5. The changes include:

1) Changing the DAC chip from the Burr-Brown DSD1792A to the ES9016S.

2) Replacing the audio master clocks with low-phase-noise modules running at twice the frequency of the previous ones, which allow the ESS DAC chip to perform at a higher level.

3) Changes to the analog audio circuitry and its power supply that improve the audio performance.

4) Addition of an AC line powered supply for the USB circuitry. This provides for uniformly superior performance, regardless of the quality of the USB Vbus power supplied by the computer.

5) The ability of the USB Audio input to accept and decode native DSD files from computer sources.

I think that's about it. If you are using the analog audio outputs, the improvement in performance is dramatic. I honestly felt there wasn't all that much room for improvement over the existing product, and was shocked at how much better it sounds now. I am not kidding when I say that in my opinion it sounds roughly twice as good as it did previously. Once you hear it, it is very obvious and you will not be able to go back. The US retail price for new units will increase by $1000, from $9,950 to $10,950. Units purchased in the last 90 to 180 days (we haven't decided yet) will be updated (in the US) for the price difference between the old and new versions ($1000). Older units will be updated for $1250 (in the US). There is a LOT of labor involved in the update, and we are offering the lower price for recent purchasers simply as a courtesy. The prices and policies in other countries are set by the importer in that country. The entire unit needs to be disassembled to gain access to the USB Audio input PCB and there is a lot of labor involved, so the prices could vary considerably. However, updated units will perform 100% identically to new units. I can promise you that this upgrade will make ten times more difference than spending the same amount of money on a power cord or interconnects or anything else you can do to your system for the same cost.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1085 of 1443 Old 02-22-2013, 07:17 PM
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Thank you.
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post #1086 of 1443 Old 02-22-2013, 10:11 PM
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Hello Robert,

No problem at all. I used to live in Hampton and Newport News when I was a teenager. My first job was doing stereo repair at Stereo Design at the mall at Mercury Blvd. and I-64. I'm sure they are long out of business and the mall long gone. Later I worked at Dixie Hi-Fi a bit further west on Mercury Blvd., which was later to become Circuit City. My last stereo job there was at Sound Approach, a stereo shop in a mall further north -- I can't remember the name of the exit from I-64. Unfortunately the founder, Ray Holm (who was my mentor, and could fix anything in two minutes flat) died of cancer at a young age, leaving behind a lovely wife Pat and a young daughter. That was about 1979. Pat sold the business, and I think it is still there in some form or another. After that I worked at Wyle Labs, which was a sub-contractor for NASA Langley doing various acoustic measurements, mostly using FM tape recorders that had a frequency response flat down to DC -- very handy for capturing the *extreme* low-frequency energy of things like rocket engines! We measured the durability of one of the first pieces of equipment to go up in the very first (non-military -- most people don't know that the Air Force had a parallel Space Shuttle program for launching military missions!) Space Shuttle mission. Basically it was a large aluminum tray with a dozen or so compartments. Each compartment would hold a different experiment that was meant to test the durability (or whatever else) of the object in the environment of outer space. They launched it in the first mission and then retrieved it from orbit a year or so later.

Cheers,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1087 of 1443 Old 02-23-2013, 07:43 AM
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Hello Charles,

will the updated units again require the same extensive break-in time as new units do?
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post #1088 of 1443 Old 02-23-2013, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Hello Robert,

No problem at all. I used to live in Hampton and Newport News when I was a teenager. My first job was doing stereo repair at Stereo Design at the mall at Mercury Blvd. and I-64. I'm sure they are long out of business and the mall long gone. Later I worked at Dixie Hi-Fi a bit further west on Mercury Blvd., which was later to become Circuit City. My last stereo job there was at Sound Approach, a stereo shop in a mall further north -- I can't remember the name of the exit from I-64. Unfortunately the founder, Ray Holm (who was my mentor, and could fix anything in two minutes flat) died of cancer at a young age, leaving behind a lovely wife Pat and a young daughter. That was about 1979. Pat sold the business, and I think it is still there in some form or another. After that I worked at Wyle Labs, which was a sub-contractor for NASA Langley doing various acoustic measurements, mostly using FM tape recorders that had a frequency response flat down to DC -- very handy for capturing the *extreme* low-frequency energy of things like rocket engines! We measured the durability of one of the first pieces of equipment to go up in the very first (non-military -- most people don't know that the Air Force had a parallel Space Shuttle program for launching military missions!) Space Shuttle mission. Basically it was a large aluminum tray with a dozen or so compartments. Each compartment would hold a different experiment that was meant to test the durability (or whatever else) of the object in the environment of outer space. They launched it in the first mission and then retrieved it from orbit a year or so later.

Cheers,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

We probably passed one another. I knew Carl at Stereo Design until his death a few years ago and bought lots of equipment from him. I also visited Sound Approach and Dixie (briefly). Small world. I was very close to buying your latest K5 preamp this past October but found that my hearing in the left ear is down about 1db in the critical frequencies so I needed something with a balance control. I bought the Pass XP 10 (I wanted the XP 20) and it is working well for me. It sounds different than your products but quite good.
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post #1089 of 1443 Old 02-24-2013, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by IngoT View Post

Hello Charles,

will the updated units again require the same extensive break-in time as new units do?

Hello Ingo,

Unfortunately, they will require a fair amount of break-in time to sound their best. Rather than scrap the entire audio PCB just to replace the DAC chip, we remove the old chip and replace it with a special board-to-board connector. (We also change the values of about 25 other parts on the audio PCB, as well as install the new clock modules.) A small daughterboard changes the pin connections and adds a new voltage regulator and other components required for the few DAC chip. Then rather than run the analog signal through this connector, we connect that critical signal with with short runs of twisted pairs of Cardas wire.

Both the new PCB and the new wire will require break-in again. But the sound is so much better that even fresh out of the box it will sound better than a fully broken in version of the original unit. It just keeps getting better from there! Put a music disc on repeat, even with the rest of the system off, and then play track 1 of the IBE disc once per day to help speed up the break in also. (For some reason, playing this on "Repeat" does not sound as good as playing some "normal music".... I have no explanation -- sorry!

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayree Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1090 of 1443 Old 02-25-2013, 09:00 AM
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Hi Charles,

thanks for your explanations. Can't wait to hear the upgrade. Just another question I forgot: will the output voltage of SACD playback remain half as high as from PCM sources or will it now equal PCM?

Thanks and best

Ingo
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post #1091 of 1443 Old 02-25-2013, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by IngoT View Post

\Just another question I forgot: will the output voltage of SACD playback remain half as high as from PCM sources or will it now equal PCM?

Hello Ingo,

I'm sorry to say that I really don't know for sure.... The datasheet for the new DAC chip only specifies one output voltage, so I suspect it is the same for PCM and DSD. We have built two working prototypes that we took to the recent CES and they are back at the shop now. We don't have a large collection of SACDs but we do have a few, including the Sony test SACD. I am working from home most of this week and we are extremely busy with our new products, but I will see if I can have some one measure it quickly to provide a definitive answer for you in the next day or two.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1092 of 1443 Old 03-02-2013, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by IngoT View Post

Just another question I forgot: will the output voltage of SACD playback remain half as high as from PCM sources or will it now equal PCM?
Ingo
Dear Ingo,

We finally had a chance to measure the new DAC chip today. Witth the ESS Sabre chip the 0 dBFS output is identical for both PCM and DSD sources. So the upgraded version will no longer require volume adjustments when changing formats. Plus the USB Audio input from a computer will be able to play downloaded DSD files with no problems (assuming that your music player software supports that format). For Windows, we recommend J.RIver Media Center,and for Mac there is also a beta version of J.River Music Center now shipping.. Definitely a step up for the SACD collector and/or DSD fan.

Best regards,
Charlies Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1093 of 1443 Old 03-02-2013, 02:41 AM
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Dear Charles,

fine, thank you for your help. I assume that the DX-5 will use the DoP protocol for the USB input of DSD files. This is also supported by Pure Music, which I use together with iTunes 10.7 to playback files from the RAM of my MacBook.

Best regards

Ingo
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post #1094 of 1443 Old 03-02-2013, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by IngoT View Post

I assume that the DX-5 will use the DoP protocol for the USB input of DSD files. This is also supported by Pure Music, which I use together with iTunes 10.7 to playback files from the RAM of my MacBook.

Dear Ingo,

Yes, it will be compliant with the DSD over PCM protocol (DoP). Gordon Rankin and I first thought abut doing this four or five years ago. We were on a panel at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fair regarding the future of digital audio. Sitting next to me was Gus Skinas, formerly working for Sony as the liaison between Sony and the recording studios to have them make SACDs. Sony owned all of the required equipment, including the converters and the "Sonoma" workstation that would perform the editing of DSD files (in PCM format, ironically enough -- except for a handful of discs transferred from analog master tapes, there is no such thing as a "pure" DSD album). When Sony pulled out of the DSD market, they gave all of the rights for the Sonoma to Gus.

Gus leaned over to me before the panel started and asked if I had heard about "DSD disc". I told him no, and he said it was a new standard for DSD, pretty much exactly like SACD, but without the content protection mechanism of "Pit Width Modulation". I got kind of excited and I told Gordon about it and said, "If we had a unencrypted source, it would be trivial to put the DSD into packets and send it across the USB connection. At that time, there was only one software player that would play DSD files. It was made by Korg for use with their DSD-capable hardware. We talked about the possibility of getting Korg to make their program compatible with USB, but the real show stopper was the lack of content. We would have had to have made a way to rip SACD's to your computer, which is technically trivial, but due to the DMCA, technically illegal in the US. So we dropped the idea completely.

A few years later dCS announced the exact same idea, but now there were three or four small record labels releasing DSD download files. Several small software companies started making compatible players (J.River, Pure Music, Audirvana). and Mytek was the first company to release a DAC with the DoP feature. Fortunately, a group of hardware and software companies formed a committee to create an open standard. The original proposal by dCS had several minor flaws in it, but with the full committee working on it, they perfected it very quickly. Most of the work was done by Andreas Koch, formerly of EMM Labs and designer of much of Sony's original DSD hardware, and now owner of Playback Design. Gordon helped him a lot because of his experience with computers. The current standard works well for playback (DACs) and Andreas is finishing up Rev 2 of the standard, which will include the standard for ADC's.

It's all interesting, and nice to be able to play back DSD files. But what we did for our A/D converter was figure out why DSD sounded good. Then we applied that to PCM to achieve the best of both worlds. Operating at he quad sample rate, it is completely transparent (http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-acoustics-qa-9-usb-ad-converter) -- even more "analog" sounding than DSD, with no out-of-band noise, yet it is trivial to edit and master the files, which are in standard PCM format. It also has DSD outputs at single, dual, and even quad (!) data rates, but the quad rate PCM sounds better.

Best,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1095 of 1443 Old 03-03-2013, 09:12 AM
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Hello Charles,

I have been intrigued about your AQ-9 ADC and just reread the Stereophile review. I hope you don't mind if we go off topic for a couple posts but I have some questions:

1) JA said he used a maximum level of –3dBFS. Since the unit has an adjustable volume control why wouldn't he go to slightly before clipping to get a bit more resolution, eg, -1dBFS?

2) You have said how important the volume control in a system is, which I totally agree with. Would the AQ-9 benefit from a "better" volume control at what would seem to be a very critical stage?

3) What would be the difficulties of designing an AQ-9 "Mark II" that could accept the LP signal directly from the cartridge? Could you then also increase the low level of the LP to line level and then feed the line level to a DAC?

4) Since you now have the LP signal in the digital domain wouldn't this be a great time to apply the RIAA curve? It would seem you could do it more accurately than any analog phono stage plus you could supply a number of different curves.

Thanks.
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post #1096 of 1443 Old 03-03-2013, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GGA View Post

1) JA said he used a maximum level of –3dBFS. Since the unit has an adjustable volume control why wouldn't he go to slightly before clipping to get a bit more resolution, eg, -1dBFS?

It is the same as analog tape. The higher level will give higher S/N ratio, but also higher distortion. Both the analog circuitry and the A//D converter chip have increased distortion at high levels. And if you go over 0 dBFS, you have to start the entire recording over again. This is bad enough when "ripping" an LP, but it is a disaster in a live recording situation. When you are using a 16-bit converter, it becomes much more important to keep the levels as high as possible. But with a 24 bit converter, it really doesn't matter much.
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2) You have said how important the volume control in a system is, which I totally agree with. Would the AQ-9 benefit from a "better" volume control at what would seem to be a very critical stage?

We already use the best volume control available in the QA-9. It is a Shallco rotary switch with discrete metal film resistors, operating in the analog domain.
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3) What would be the difficulties of designing an AQ-9 "Mark II" that could accept the LP signal directly from the cartridge? Could you then also increase the low level of the LP to line level and then feed the line level to a DAC?

I don't see any reason to do so. Anybody that has a record collection already has a phono preamplifier. Why create a second one? It would increase the cost significantly and very, very few people would need it.
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4) Since you now have the LP signal in the digital domain wouldn't this be a great time to apply the RIAA curve? It would seem you could do it more accurately than any analog phono stage plus you could supply a number of different curves.

That is the ONLY advantage to applying the equalization in the digital domain -- it is easier to apply different equalization curves. In the analog domain, one must use extremely tight tolerance resistors and capacitors. If you you are just doing one set of curves (eg, RIAA) there is not much advantage to doing it digitally. But if you want to have fifty different curves, it would be better to do it digitally. In the analog domain, you would need fifty sets of extremely close-tolerance resistors and capacitors. Furthermore one needs a way to switch them in and out of the circuit. A moving coil phono cartridge puts out a signal in the sub-millivolt range. Relays and/or switches seriously degrade the quality of these signals.

There is currently a fad for applying different EQ curves to stereo LP's, but Michael Fremer of Stereophile magazine has directly interviewed the recording engineers doing the work at the time and they all clearly state that this practice is completely wrong-headed and misguided. The only records that actually need different EQ curves are mono LPs from before 1955 and virtually all 78 rpm records. But that is such a small audience that it would most likely be a money losing proposition to build a product directed at a sub-niche (mono enthusiasts) of a sub-niche (record enthusiasts) or a sub-niche (high-end audio enthusiasts) of a niche (music enthusiasts). It would sell in such small quantities that to pay for the development work, it would have to sell for 10x the price of the existing combination of the P-5xe phono stage and the QA-9.

We are actually getting far more interest in the QA-9 from the professional community of recording engineers than the audiophile community of analog enthusiasts who want to digitize their LP collection.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1097 of 1443 Old 03-06-2013, 02:19 PM
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Recognized that SKYFALL caused minor problems with the disc menu. Movie however works, but when checking for firmware upgrades I saw that the Firmware AYDX5-59-0117 is no longer online. Instead the older version AYDX5-55-0226 can be downloaded. Mistake?
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post #1098 of 1443 Old 03-06-2013, 04:34 PM
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Hello Ingo,

Yes, we recently did some minor work on the website and some of the "wires" have been crossed. We should have everything straightened out by tomorrow, but if you need the firmware right away you can get the zip version at:

http://www.ayre.com/Download/AYDX5-59-0117.zip

Or if you need the ISO version to burn a CD-ROM, you can get it at:

http://www.ayre.com/Download/AYDX5-59-0117.iso

Sorry for the mixup.

Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1099 of 1443 Old 03-06-2013, 09:26 PM
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Thanks, Charles.
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post #1100 of 1443 Old 03-24-2013, 11:08 AM
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Hello Charles,
Just got my new DX-5.
Please allow a few questions:
-What are the most common files accepted by the DAC through USB? I tried some flac hi-rez files, they don't play.
-I do not get a violet status LED indicating ARC. What could be the reason for that?
-With some, but not all, dts-HD tracks or MLP tracks of DVD-A, there are audible clicks at playback. Reproducible with the affected discs. The clicks are not present when playing compressed audio from the same disc. Any idea?
-Playback of dts-CDs as 5.1 is possible through AES output, but not through HDMI Audio out, here I get a 2.0 downmix only.

The unit is great, but I'm confused a bit on the issues.
Thanks for any comments

Werner
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post #1101 of 1443 Old 03-24-2013, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wernerleitmann View Post

Hello Charles,
Just got my new DX-5.
Please allow a few questions:
-What are the most common files accepted by the DAC through USB? I tried some flac hi-rez files, they don't play.
-I do not get a violet status LED indicating ARC. What could be the reason for that?
-With some, but not all, dts-HD tracks or MLP tracks of DVD-A, there are audible clicks at playback. Reproducible with the affected discs. The clicks are not present when playing compressed audio from the same disc. Any idea?
-Playback of dts-CDs as 5.1 is possible through AES output, but not through HDMI Audio out, here I get a 2.0 downmix only.

The unit is great, but I'm confused a bit on the issues.
Thanks for any comments

Werner

Hello Werner,

Thanks for the questions. The DX-5 is very complex -- hence the owner's manual of over 100 pages. We split it up so that most of the things that most people need is covered in the first three chapters (after the introduction). But you may have to dig deeper in some instances.

First of all, is the machine new or used? And what is the serial number on the rear of the unit?

Secondly, there are three USB ports on the unit. The main one that you want to use is the one on the rear labeled "USB Audio Input". You should connect this to your computer and play back your music files using your favorite music player software. For the Mac the best three are iTunes, Audirvana, and Decibel. For the PC, the best two are J.River and Foobar. There is an entire section on the Ayre website devoted to setting up your computer:

http://www.ayre.com/usb.htm

Read the overview first. Then go to "Digital to Analog" at the menu along the top. Then read that overview. Next, select "Apple" or "Windows" at the top. Reading this section will tell you how to set up the computer. (You will have to choose your operating system version for Windows.) Then click on "Playback" and it will give the setup instructions for the more popular playback software programs.

The reason that you can't get the ARC light to illuminate is that even though it has been part of the HDMI spec ever since version 1.3a (three or four years ago), all of the people that make SSP's are too lazy and/or dumb to make a processor that supports it. Maybe someday.... We have an open offer to help any SSP manufacturer out with this (as the HDMI standard is very vague on this point) but no takers to date. Sorry.

Regarding clicks on some discs, do you have the latest firmware installed? Instructions for verifying the current firmware version is given on page 88 of the manual. The manual is also online at:

http://www.ayre.com/manuals/Ayre_DX5_Manual.pdf

Firmware downloads and instructions are at:

http://www.ayre.com/dx5_firmware.htm

DTS Surround-Sound CD's are rare beasts indeed. I think we have one somewhere for testing. I have a very vague memory about some issue with these, but I cannot remember what it is. Assuming that you have the current firmware, please read the section on "LFE Mixdown" on pages 47 and 48 of the owner's manual. It is possible that someone has set the unit for 2 channel mixdown. You can reset this by pressing "Setup -0 - 0 - 0 - 0" on the remote.

Eventually, you will want to take the time to read the entire manual. It's especially helpful when you are having a hard time falling asleep...smile.gif But seriously, there are so many functions available that it is especially important if your purchased the machine used. In that case you may want to do a complete reset, which is a two-step procedure. The first part resets everything to the default Oppo settings, then there is another process that resets from the default Oppo settings to the default Ayre settings, which are somewhat different. If you install the latest firmware and perform the two-part reset, you can just get started just by reading the first three chapters.

Please don't hesitate to post here again. I currently don't have a DX-5 at home and some of the owners may be able to answer your questions better than I will. I am going to purchase one in the next month or two and trim my system back to a DX-5 + AX-5 -- just two boxes to do everything. Also if you contact customer support at:

http://www.ayre.com/contact.htm

Michael has a DX-5 at home and can probably answer your questions very quickly.
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post #1102 of 1443 Old 03-24-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wernerleitmann View Post

Hello Charles,
Just got my new DX-5.
Please allow a few questions:
-What are the most common files accepted by the DAC through USB? I tried some flac hi-rez files, they don't play.
-I do not get a violet status LED indicating ARC. What could be the reason for that?
-With some, but not all, dts-HD tracks or MLP tracks of DVD-A, there are audible clicks at playback. Reproducible with the affected discs. The clicks are not present when playing compressed audio from the same disc. Any idea?
-Playback of dts-CDs as 5.1 is possible through AES output, but not through HDMI Audio out, here I get a 2.0 downmix only.

The unit is great, but I'm confused a bit on the issues.
Thanks for any comments

Werner

Arrgh! I HATE Windows 8! It automatically reboots with no choices to delay it. I just spent twenty minutes typing an answer and now it is gone

EDIT: I just realized that I must have successfully posted the above post before the forced reboot. So this post is essentially a duplicate of the original version just above this one. Sorry...

First of all, is your unit used or new? What is the serial number on the rear panel of the unit?

There are three USB inputs. The one you want to use is on the rear panel, labeled "USB Audio Input". You will want to connect your computer to this. The setup instructions are on the Ayre website at:

http://www.ayre.com/usb.htm

Read this overview, the press the menu "Digital-to-Analog" at the top and read that overview. Then select if you have a Apple or a Windows machine. That page will tell you how to configure your computer. If you press the "Playback" button it will tell you how to configure the music player software. For Apple we recommend iTunes. Advanced users may also like Decibel or Audirvana. For Windows users we recommend J.River or Foobar. J.River just released a version that is written for Apple computers that is also very, very good.

The DX-5 is very complex. That is why the manual is over 100 pages long! Most of the information you need is in the first three chapters (after the introduction). But it sounds to me as if you may have a used or demo player and you will have to dig deeper in the manual.

On page 88 it tells how to check the firmware revision. If you need to update the firmware, go to:

http://www.ayre.com/dx5_firmware.htm

This may solve the clicking problem with some discs. You will not be able to get the violet LED to light up because all of the SSP manufacturers are too lazy to incorporate Audio Rate Control. We have an open offer to provide free assistance to any company that wants to support it, but so far no takers....

For the DTS Surround Sound CD's, check the "LFE Mixdown" section on pages 47-8. You may need to reset the player using "Setup 0 - 0 - 0 - 0".

Eventually, you will probably want to read the entire manual.

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1103 of 1443 Old 03-25-2013, 12:42 AM
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Charles,

I got the DX-5 all new, it was ordered in January 2013 and -delayed due to CES- delivered just a week ago.
I can provide the serial number if needed, but the unit is installed in a rack, so I'd disconnect the unit only if the info is essential for you.

The clicks, by the way, sound like playing a slightly scratched vinyl. A very strange phenomenon (but I can't live with that!). The firmware version is, of course, the ...0117, which is from March 2013 (so no updates from there? - unusual for Oppo based unit).

For the ARC, I'd like to know what you think might be the effect if it would work properly. The SSP is a Bryston SP-3 with HDMI 1.4 compatibility. I wonder if an "audiophile" unit like this should not support such audio-related specs.

Downmix is set as required to 7.1. Does it make a difference if set to 5.1? - I use a 5.1 system w/o surround backs.

And for the USB, please allow a very basic question: The DX-5 is not able to play flacs directly from USB device? My very cheap LG-BP420, which is used for 3D Bluray, does it without problems (and even 5.1 24/96 flacs!). And yes, I read the entire manual, to me it looked like the DX-5 should be able to play from USB directly?


Thanks
Werner
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post #1104 of 1443 Old 03-25-2013, 04:38 AM
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Werner,

did you use a USB drive and put it into the USB A port on the front or did you connect a computer to the USB B port on the rear? I think anybody who wants to play files instead of physical discs should do this with a computer. In my experience, playback of a ripped CD from the RAM of my MacBookPro via iTunes/Pure Music, either as uncompressed AIFF or lossless compressed ALAC is significantly superior compared to the playback of the same CD from the DX-5's own transport. Maybe Charles can comment on this observation, but I believe that a "ready-to-use" file in the computer's RAM is better to handle than a CD, which needs to be error-corrected on the fly during playback with all resulting obstacles. The Mac does not support FLAC natively but freeware like MAX or XLD can easily convert between different file formats. Rumors are spreading around the web that lossless compresssed formats like FLAC or ALAC sound inferior to uncompressed AIFF, something I cannot confirm from my experience, but I recommend the use of a music-dedicated computer anyway, free from all unneccessary software and processes. From this point of view, playback of FLACs by a cheap BD player appears only the second best solution, especially when you listen to highres formats (e.g. 24/96 or 24/192). Honestly I never tested file playback of the DX-5 through its USB A front port, as I then have do deal with the reduced Oppo Menu to navigate through the files, which need a separate monitor switched on.
I have only one single DVD-A (THE BAND - THE LAST WALTZ) which plays fine on my DX-5.

By the way, Charles,

any news on the overseas availability of the DX-5 DSD upgrade kit?

Best

Ingo
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post #1105 of 1443 Old 03-25-2013, 05:39 AM
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Hi Ingo,

I tried both, an USB stick to the front USB A in (the USB is detected, also the file directory name, but no playlist can be seen, it appears "sorry, no songs"), and also the computer connected to USB B, playing files just for test using the VLC player in a Windows PC (I do not use Mac). Both ways, no sound through DX-5.

Best
Werner
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post #1106 of 1443 Old 03-25-2013, 06:21 AM
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Uups, I share Charles' thoughts on windows in post 1102....As a Mac only user, I have no idea nor have I ever read on how to set up a windows computer for USB audio playback through an external DAC (like the DX-5). From your name I assume you can read german, so I recommend the magazine "EINSNULL". I think in their current issue, they have an article describing the basic set up for all operating systems for USB playback.

Good luck

Ingo

P.S. Do you have the "DX-5 DSD" already or still the "DX-5"?
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post #1107 of 1443 Old 03-25-2013, 11:41 AM
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@Ingo & Charles,
I've heard here the first time of an upgraded version DX-5 DSD. Since I ordered my unit late in January this year, I'm NOT very happy to have the "old" DX-5 delivered. To be honest, I'd have easily accepted a few days delay to get the updated version, rather to be forced to spend additional money for the upgrade, and also the need to send the unit to the distributor for the upgrade.
So I was not lucky here.
Btw, does the upgrade also affect sound quality of physical media CD, DVD etc, or just music played through USB audio input?

Best
Werner
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post #1108 of 1443 Old 03-25-2013, 11:57 AM
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The upgrade was described already by Charles, look at post 1084.
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post #1109 of 1443 Old 03-30-2013, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wernerleitmann View Post

@Ingo & Charles,
I've heard here the first time of an upgraded version DX-5 DSD. Since I ordered my unit late in January this year, I'm NOT very happy to have the "old" DX-5 delivered. To be honest, I'd have easily accepted a few days delay to get the updated version, rather to be forced to spend additional money for the upgrade, and also the need to send the unit to the distributor for the upgrade.
So I was not lucky here.
Btw, does the upgrade also affect sound quality of physical media CD, DVD etc, or just music played through USB audio input?

Best
Werner

Hello Werner,

Sorry about the mix-up on the new versus the new versions of the DX-5.. We just showed a prototype of the new version of the player at the recent CES and have only started shipping them in the last week or so, and they are slowly trickling out.. As you can read from the post that Ingo linked, the changes ONLY affect the analog audio outputs. The only feature added is that the USB Audio input will play downloaded DSD files. The only performance improvements are to the analog audio outputs, but from any source -- either a "silver disc" or via a computer connected to the analog audio outputs. THERE IS NO REASON TO UPGRADE IF YOU ARE ONLY USING THE HDMI AUDIO OUTPUTS.

In addition, the price increase in the US for the new units is right at 10%. As a special customer courtesy, In the US we are offering customers who have purchased the unit within the last 90 days of release to have the unit upgraded for the difference in price between the old and new units. Older units will cost a bit more for the update simply due to the amount of labor involved. Each foreign distributor sets their own policies and prices, so you would need to contact (presumably) Sun Audio to see how much they will charge. If you will not be using the two channel analog outputs, you are better off with the older version as it will save you 10% (at least in the US).

There is absolutely no difference in performance between upgraded units and "new" units. The reason is that we ALWAYS design ALL of our upgrades to be retro-fittable to existing units. In the case of the DX-5, we already have enough PCB's to build players from all of the remaining Oppo mechanisms that we purchased at the end of life from Oppo. So every "new" unit will also be made with PCB's that are upgraded from the original version. When the work is done by an overseas distributor, we send them three new PCB's. Two are replacements that are exchanged, and the third is an entirely new PCB to supply power for the USB circuitry from the AC mains instead of using the +5 volt supply from the USB line. This will ensure the best USB Audio performance regardless of the quality of the power supply in the computer. Sun Audio has superb technicians, and they are fully capable of replacing the original PCBs with the upgraded PCBs so that there will be absolutely no difference whether they perform the update or we perform it at the factory.

Currently we are totally swamped by orders for our new products, the AX-5 and the VX-5. We are in the process of hiring additional assembly workers so that we can get caught up on the backlog of updates. The DX-5 is troublesome because so much labor is involved. Just on the audio PCB, we have to replace over 25 resistors and 16 transistors. Then we make a two new daughterboard assemblies, one for the DAC chip and the other for the new clocks. That is just the start. What will cause an even bigger backlog is when we release the upgrade for the QB-9, as we have literally sold around 100x as many QB-9's as DX-5's! That is why we started with the DX-5. I fully expect that the upgrade times for the QB-9 could stretch out to six months or more... Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1110 of 1443 Old 03-30-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wernerleitmann View Post

-What are the most common files accepted by the DAC through USB? I tried some flac hi-rez files, they don't play
The unit is great, but I'm confused a bit on the issues.

Dear Werner,

I was in such a hurry trying to re-type my original replay that was lost when Win 8 automatically rebooted that I don't think that I answered all of your questions. Please accept my apologies. Regarding the USB "A" (rectangular, as found on a computer) ports found on the front and rear of the unit, they have relatively limited playback capabilities:

The Ayre DX-5 Blu-ray Disc Player is equipped with two "A" USB ports, one on
the front panel and the other on the back. You may use either to plug in a USB
drive stored with digital music, movie and photo files.
The USB ports are rated to provide a maximum of 5V, 500mA power to the
USB drive. It is sufficient for all USB thumb drives and flash memory card
readers, but may not be sufficient for USB hard disks. It is strongly recommended
that you use a USB hard disk with an external power supply.
NOTE

This unit supports “USB Mass Storage Class Bulk-Only Transport” devices only. Most
USB thumbs drives, portable hard disk drives and card readers conform to this device
class. Other USB devices such as MP3 players, digital cameras, and mobile phones
may not be compatible.

Supported USB drives must be formatted with the FAT (File Allocation Table) or FAT32
file system. Drives formatted with NTFS, HFS+, or exFAT file systems are not supported.

In some cases, an incompatible USB device may cause the player to stop responding. If
this occurs simply turn off the power, remove the USB device, and turn the player back
on.

The player accesses the USB drive in read-only mode. In order to minimize the risk of
data corruption, it is recommended that you only unplug the USB device when playback
is completely stopped.

Please let me know if this information solves the troubles you have been having playing back directly from a memory stick. It is normally recommended to connect the computer to the "B" type input on the rear labeled "USB Audio Input" when playing audio files. Then your computer will have much greater flexibility in reading various data formats. Even then you may need to use powered hard drives (or a powered USB hub, although can sometime cause other problems with the "feedback pipeline" that keeps the computer audio data synchronized with the master audio clock built into the DX-5 (and QB-9).

The front and rear USB "A" ports are most useful for showing photos or videos from your digital camera on a big-screen display to a group of people. But you have to be careful with the formatting restrictions to make sure that everything is compatible.

EDIT: The main firmware used in the Ayre DX-5 is virtually the same as the firmware in the Oppo BDP-83. The only difference in the firmware is simply the "splash" screen at start-up and the screen-saver display. Both of these will display the Ayre logo rather than the Oppo logo. However we have changed our manual in many ways from the Oppo manual:

1) Reorganized it into an order that we felt was more logical.

2) Added a glossary of terms and included new drawings of unit and many of the screenshots.

3) Changed sections that were affected by the hardware changes we made. For example we removed the component video output completely, as it was not possible to upgrade its performance in a cost-effective manner to make it worthy of the Ayre name. Also, we added the USB Audio Only Input, as well as a dedicated HDMI Audio-Only output. When the USB Audio input is used, it "takes control" of the entire machine and displays information about the incoming USB audio data on the front-panel display. Another example is that the default settings after the "Reset" procedure must be changed to take into account the fact that the Ayre has only two analog output channels. This requires different settings in the Setup menu that are detailed in the Ayre DX-5 manual.

Nevertheless, in some situation you may find it helpful to refer to the original Oppo manual. In the case of playback through the front and rear USB "A" ports, there is more information that can be found starting on page 40 of the Oppo owner's manual. The latest version of this can be downloaded at:

http://download.oppodigital.com/BDP83/BDP-83_English_Manual.pdf

Please see if there is any additional information in this manual that may be helpful to you also.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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