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post #1351 of 1442 Old 12-08-2013, 03:57 PM
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Hello Bob,

Thanks for your interest in Ayre products. I am sure that you will enjoy the VX-5 for many years to come. I am not sure what post you are referring to, so it is hard for me to answer any specific questions. To the best of my knowledge there have been no unusual reports of problems with DC offset in any of our products. So I can speak generally about DC offset and if your questions are not answered, please feel free to be more specific.

In the old days, when everything was tubed, it was pretty difficult to make a DC-coupled amplifier. I had an old DuMont oscilloscope when I first started out as a service tech. It came with the service manual (so I had the schematic diagram) and was from the late 1950's and was pure tubes. This is a different situation than an audio amplifier, but I was actually able to use it as an audio amplifier of sorts. Please allow me to explain. The input stage had either 12AX7's or 6DJ8's (I don't recall any more) with the grid referenced to ground with a 1 Mohm resistor, which is what gave it a high input impedance. The plates of the first stage had about +100 VDC on them, which were direct-coupled to the next stage. In a high gain tube like this, the cathode will be within a few volts of the grid, so the second stage was basically referenced to +100 VDC (requiring a floating heater supply biased up to +100 VDC) and then its plates were up around 200 VDC. I can't remember any more whether there were three or four gain stages, but by the end of the signal chain, there was about +400 VDC at the output of the amplifiers.

Normally this would be a pretty big problem. You certainly couldn't hook this up to an ordinary speaker or anything. But the amps in an oscilloscope are connected to the deflection plates of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT or display). The job of the deflection plates is exactly what it sounds like -- plates to deflect something. In this case the "something" is a beam of electrons generated by an "electron gun", which not only generates free electrons, but focuses them into a small beam (circa 1 mm) and then the beam uses a positively charged screen grid to accelerate the electron beam to the front of the display. When the beam strikes special chemicals called "phosphors", they cause the phosphors to glow. And then there are two sets of deflection plates, one pair mounted horizontally to "steer" the beam to the right and left (to represent time) and one pair mounted vertically to move the beam up and down to form a representation of the input voltage (signal).

In this case, the fact that the deflection plates had +400 VDC on them was exactly what was required, as by adjusting the relative voltage on the pair of deflection plates, the beam would be "steered" on its way to the screen coated with phosphors. Now it turns out that this same trick can be used to drive electrostatic speakers, and for some reason there was an access plate on the rear of the 'scope that allowed one to connect a signal directly to the deflection plates. Instead I used it to take the output of these DC coupled tube amplifiers and connect them to a pair of electrostatic tweeter panels I had bought from RTR, the OEM supplier for JansZen, Infinity, and several other electrostatic speaker companies.

After reveling in some of the most glorious sound I had ever heard for about an hour, I disassembled the entire contraptions because having +400 VDC on wires running around my room was not the safest way to enjoy music... But it was something of a target to shoot for -- all tube, each stage with its own (tube) regulated power supply, all DC coupled, so no coloration caused by capacitors, and fully balanced from input to output.

All of the products that we have built pretty much follow the same recipe, with one exception. We use transistors instead of tubes. And transistors are available in two (opposite) polarities. This is true for both normal bipolar junction transistors (BJT's) and also field-effect transistors (FET's). The wonderful thing about having opposite polarity gain devices available is that it becomes possible to make a DC amplifier and not end up with hundreds of volts at the output of the circuit! You see, if the first stage is made with N-channel (or NPN BJT's) the output voltage will (typically) be several tens of volts more positive than the input. But then if the next stage is of the opposite polarity (P-channel, or PNP BJT's) then its output voltage will be more negative than the input signal. So if the circuit is carefully designed, the output signal can be at the same 0 VDC reference as the input signal, without the need for any coupling capacitors.

Virtually all companies use capacitors in one way or another to ensure that there is virtually no DC at the output. The problem with that is that there is no such thing as a perfect capacitor, and putting one in the amp (whether it is in the signal path, the feedback path, or in an amplified feedback path -- called a "servo loop" by clever marketing wags) will degrade the sound of the the circuit. So all Ayre products (with two exceptions) are true DC amplifiers, with no coupling caps, no feedback caps, and no "servo loops" (amplified feedback paths). The exceptions are our phono stages, as when you need 80+ dB of gain, there is pretty much no way to make it DC coupled without causing some problems. The other is our AX-7 integrated amplifier which uses a zero-feedback integrated circuit in the input. If all sources were balanced we could direct couple everything. But with single-ended sources the unequal impedance on each phase combines with the input bias current of the BJT's in the input stage to require coupling caps at the input of the amplifier. Our more expensive products use discrete circuits that employ FET inputs, which essentially have zero input bias current and don't suffer from this problem.

Designing and building an amplifier this way (as a true DC amp) is not trivial. It's like the old saying goes, "If it were easy, everybody would be doing it."

This is getting pretty long and my hands are getting numb from typing in my wheelchair, so I will take a break here and pick up this topic again soon.

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1352 of 1442 Old 12-08-2013, 05:46 PM
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Hello Bob,

Thanks for your interest in Ayre products. I am sure that you will enjoy the VX-5 for many years to come. I am not sure what post you are referring to, so it is hard for me to answer any specific questions. To the best of my knowledge there have been no unusual reports of problems with DC offset in any of our products. So I can speak generally about DC offset and if your questions are not answered, please feel free to be more specific.

In the old days, when everything was tubed, it was pretty difficult to make a DC-coupled amplifier. I had an old DuMont oscilloscope when I first started out as a service tech. It came with the service manual (so I had the schematic diagram) and was from the late 1950's and was pure tubes. This is a different situation than an audio amplifier, but I was actually able to use it as an audio amplifier of sorts. Please allow me to explain. The input stage had either 12AX7's or 6DJ8's (I don't recall any more) with the grid referenced to ground with a 1 Mohm resistor, which is what gave it a high input impedance. The plates of the first stage had about +100 VDC on them, which were direct-coupled to the next stage. In a high gain tube like this, the cathode will be within a few volts of the grid, so the second stage was basically referenced to +100 VDC (requiring a floating heater supply biased up to +100 VDC) and then its plates were up around 200 VDC. I can't remember any more whether there were three or four gain stages, but by the end of the signal chain, there was about +400 VDC at the output of the amplifiers.

Normally this would be a pretty big problem. You certainly couldn't hook this up to an ordinary speaker or anything. But the amps in an oscilloscope are connected to the deflection plates of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT or display). The job of the deflection plates is exactly what it sounds like -- plates to deflect something. In this case the "something" is a beam of electrons generated by an "electron gun", which not only generates free electrons, but focuses them into a small beam (circa 1 mm) and then the beam uses a positively charged screen grid to accelerate the electron beam to the front of the display. When the beam strikes special chemicals called "phosphors", they cause the phosphors to glow. And then there are two sets of deflection plates, one pair mounted horizontally to "steer" the beam to the right and left (to represent time) and one pair mounted vertically to move the beam up and down to form a representation of the input voltage (signal).

In this case, the fact that the deflection plates had +400 VDC on them was exactly what was required, as by adjusting the relative voltage on the pair of deflection plates, the beam would be "steered" on its way to the screen coated with phosphors. Now it turns out that this same trick can be used to drive electrostatic speakers, and for some reason there was an access plate on the rear of the 'scope that allowed one to connect a signal directly to the deflection plates. Instead I used it to take the output of these DC coupled tube amplifiers and connect them to a pair of electrostatic tweeter panels I had bought from RTR, the OEM supplier for JansZen, Infinity, and several other electrostatic speaker companies.

After reveling in some of the most glorious sound I had ever heard for about an hour, I disassembled the entire contraptions because having +400 VDC on wires running around my room was not the safest way to enjoy music... But it was something of a target to shoot for -- all tube, each stage with its own (tube) regulated power supply, all DC coupled, so no coloration caused by capacitors, and fully balanced from input to output.

All of the products that we have built pretty much follow the same recipe, with one exception. We use transistors instead of tubes. And transistors are available in two (opposite) polarities. This is true for both normal bipolar junction transistors (BJT's) and also field-effect transistors (FET's). The wonderful thing about having opposite polarity gain devices available is that it becomes possible to make a DC amplifier and not end up with hundreds of volts at the output of the circuit! You see, if the first stage is made with N-channel (or NPN BJT's) the output voltage will (typically) be several tens of volts more positive than the input. But then if the next stage is of the opposite polarity (P-channel, or PNP BJT's) then its output voltage will be more negative than the input signal. So if the circuit is carefully designed, the output signal can be at the same 0 VDC reference as the input signal, without the need for any coupling capacitors.

Virtually all companies use capacitors in one way or another to ensure that there is virtually no DC at the output. The problem with that is that there is no such thing as a perfect capacitor, and putting one in the amp (whether it is in the signal path, the feedback path, or in an amplified feedback path -- called a "servo loop" by clever marketing wags) will degrade the sound of the the circuit. So all Ayre products (with two exceptions) are true DC amplifiers, with no coupling caps, no feedback caps, and no "servo loops" (amplified feedback paths). The exceptions are our phono stages, as when you need 80+ dB of gain, there is pretty much no way to make it DC coupled without causing some problems. The other is our AX-7 integrated amplifier which uses a zero-feedback integrated circuit in the input. If all sources were balanced we could direct couple everything. But with single-ended sources the unequal impedance on each phase combines with the input bias current of the BJT's in the input stage to require coupling caps at the input of the amplifier. Our more expensive products use discrete circuits that employ FET inputs, which essentially have zero input bias current and don't suffer from this problem.

Designing and building an amplifier this way (as a true DC amp) is not trivial. It's like the old saying goes, "If it were easy, everybody would be doing it."

This is getting pretty long and my hands are getting numb from typing in my wheelchair, so I will take a break here and pick up this topic again soon.

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

Hi Charles,

I really appreciate your most helpful reply.

By coincidence, and not long after I ordered the VX-5 from my dealer, I found the following information on a thread which includes the issue of the DC offset on a VX-5 which was measured, and I quote, "about 40mV for both channels. After running it for 3 hours, the left channel DC had dropped to 19mV, but the right channel rises to 140mV, when acceptable value is less than - 50mV."

I will link you to the thread. In doing so, I hope that I am not violating any AVS Forum rules. Anyway, here is the thread for the specifics:

http://www.psaudio.com/forum/#/discussion/5813/power-amp-shorts-its-inputs-in-standby-...

I did a home audition of a demo VX-5 before buying one and was most impressed. Once again, thank you so very much for the detailed explanation.

Bob
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post #1353 of 1442 Old 12-08-2013, 11:13 PM
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Hello Bob,

Thanks for the extra information. I don't have a lot of time to go into great detail tonight, but most of the information in that thread is accurate. The question is how to interpret it....

First of all it is true that there are a lot of ways to skin a cat, and none of them are perfect (especially if you didn't want a dead cat on your hands). In our earliest amps, the V-1 and V-3, we put them into "standby" mode by removing the power from the output stage and left the input stage always powered. The idea was to minimize both the warm-up time and the power consumption. The problem with that is that it is expensive to do it remotely, as it requires a massive (expensive) relay to switch that much current. Not a problem for the V-3, which had no remote and also not so much for the V-1 as it was a relatively expensive product to begin with.

When we made the V-5 people wanted more and more remote features. We found that we could use a small (inexpensive) relay to remove the bias from the output stage, which had the same effect of reducing the power consumption. The problem was that if the input signal was too large, the signal itself would "turn on" the output stage, and a highly distorted signal would come through the speakers. A lot of companies put a relay in series with the speaker output, but this really messes up the sound quality, so that was out of the question. The easiest thing to do was just to mute the signal from the preamp. 99% of the time this doesn't cause any problem, but in strange situations (such as in that thread where the guy was trying to run two amps from one preamp) it can do some odd things. So a couple of our amp designs put a 1000 ohm resistor in front of the relay. Then when it was put into "standby", it wouldn't put a dead short across the output of the preamp. (Which, to the best of my knowledge we have never received a complaint for that. We just changed it on general principals whereby it could conceivably cause a problem in some strange situation, and it looks like it finally did -- after over 12 years on the market.)

In the AX-5 we spent a lot of time finding an input selector switch (FET) that was as close to transparent as possible. This gave us six inputs for the integrated amp. Then for the VX-5 we used the same idea but scaled it back to two inputs for the power amp input. The preamp is connected to one input and the other input is connected to ground. So when you mute the VX-5, the preamp has no load whatsoever and the inputs of the amp are grounded. That is a nice solution that solves a lot of problems and isn't too expensive. We also use a relay to remove the bias from the output stage so that the power consumption drops to about 1/3 of the normal. This is the kind of thing that I mean when I say that we've come up with some new tricks. We are always working to improve our products and figure out ways to make them better, whether it is in terms of sound quality, reliability, usability, or just plain elegant engineering.

Regarding the post where the fellow measured a DC offset of 40 mV, with one channel dropping to 19 mV and the other channel rising to 140 mV, he doesn't explain how he measured this. Was it differentially (between the outputs?) or relative to ground (common mode)? He then goes on to say that it should be no more than 50 mV. Well, I would agree exactly with what our support person Michael said. When we send them out, we set the DC offset and bias current, run it through a complete set of tests on the Audio Precision, then burn it in for at least 24 hours, reset the bias and offset, and do a second check on the Audio Precision.

We like to set the DC offset as close to zero as possible, but vibration in shipping, changes in line voltage, ambient temperature, and so forth can cause that to shift. 140 mV is more than I like to see, but it doesn't cause any problems. The only drivers in a pair of dynamic speakers that aren't capacitor coupled by the crossover are the woofers. Assuming a nominal 8 ohm speaker, the DC resistance of the voice coil is about 6 ohms. The formula for power is P = I^2R. So in the case the woofer are seeing 0.14 x 0.14 x 6 = 0.115 watts. There is no way that this will damage any normal loudspeaker. All of our amps since the second model made in 1999 have had a DC protection circuit. If the DC at any output terminal ever exceeds 2 volts DC, the amp will shut down. 2 VDC into 6 ohms is equal to 0.67 watts. Again, even the most fragile tweeter in the world can handle that much DC, let alone a decent woofer.

So there is certainly no question of equipment damage. I have never heard any sound quality degradation that I would attribute to a small DC offset. The engineer in me would like for there to be less than that. My comfort limit is more like 200 mV, but there is no hard and fast rule as far as what is acceptable. We are always looking for ways to improve our equipment and we have done a lot of things recently that help us understand how to minimize the DC offset. Most companies would either just throw in a coupling cap or a servo and call it good. I find these solutions degrade the sound. So what we generally do is look for ways to improve our products and after a period of time of between one and ten years take all of the accumulated knowledge and offer an upgrade.

For example right now we are working on upgrades for the R series products. These are massive changes, where the entire audio PCB with all of the audio circuitry (including the power supply regulators) have been redesigned. We have never done an upgrade this extensive before. They will also be expensive, but they will be worth it. In the US, used R series products typically sell for about 2/3 of the list price. We are pulling out all of the stops on the R series upgrades and going for the gold. We've finished the KX-R Twenty (named for our twenty year anniversary) and its price will increase by nearly 50%. It is still a bargain because it moves the level of its performance into uncharted territory. And you don't have to get it. If you are happy with it's sound, just enjoy it. If you want to upgrade your system, we offer the most cost-effective way to do so. With any other brand you would be lucky to sell your old product for half the price of when it was new. Then you would have to go out and buy a brand new replacement model whose price undoubtedly will have increased between 20% and 50%.

In the past we have been able to find very cost-effective ways to improve the performance of our products, with most of the upgrades only costing 10% to 15% of the new price. It didn't work out that way for the R series this time, but I think that when people hear the level of improvement, they will be more than pleased despite the relatively high cost. I need to get some sleep to be ready for tomorrow, but please feel free to ask more questions if there are things that I missed.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1354 of 1442 Old 12-09-2013, 07:17 AM
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Hello Bob,

Thanks for the extra information. I don't have a lot of time to go into great detail tonight, but most of the information in that thread is accurate. The question is how to interpret it....

Regarding the post where the fellow measured a DC offset of 40 mV, with one channel dropping to 19 mV and the other channel rising to 140 mV, he doesn't explain how he measured this. Was it differentially (between the outputs?) or relative to ground (common mode)? He then goes on to say that it should be no more than 50 mV. Well, I would agree exactly with what our support person Michael said. When we send them out, we set the DC offset and bias current, run it through a complete set of tests on the Audio Precision, then burn it in for at least 24 hours, reset the bias and offset, and do a second check on the Audio Precision.

We like to set the DC offset as close to zero as possible, but vibration in shipping, changes in line voltage, ambient temperature, and so forth can cause that to shift. 140 mV is more than I like to see, but it doesn't cause any problems. The only drivers in a pair of dynamic speakers that aren't capacitor coupled by the crossover are the woofers. Assuming a nominal 8 ohm speaker, the DC resistance of the voice coil is about 6 ohms. The formula for power is P = I^2R. So in the case the woofer are seeing 0.14 x 0.14 x 6 = 0.115 watts. There is no way that this will damage any normal loudspeaker. All of our amps since the second model made in 1999 have had a DC protection circuit. If the DC at any output terminal ever exceeds 2 volts DC, the amp will shut down. 2 VDC into 6 ohms is equal to 0.67 watts. Again, even the most fragile tweeter in the world can handle that much DC, let alone a decent woofer.

So there is certainly no question of equipment damage. I have never heard any sound quality degradation that I would attribute to a small DC offset. The engineer in me would like for there to be less than that. My comfort limit is more like 200 mV, but there is no hard and fast rule as far as what is acceptable. We are always looking for ways to improve our equipment and we have done a lot of things recently that help us understand how to minimize the DC offset. Most companies would either just throw in a coupling cap or a servo and call it good. I find these solutions degrade the sound. So what we generally do is look for ways to improve our products and after a period of time of between one and ten years take all of the accumulated knowledge and offer an upgrade.


In the past we have been able to find very cost-effective ways to improve the performance of our products, with most of the upgrades only costing 10% to 15% of the new price.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

Hi Charles,

Once again, thank you for the your detailed explanation above. Since I do frequent that other forum and had just bought a new Ayre product, I'm sure that you can understand my concern.

Right, what methods did that gentleman on the other thread use to measure the DC offset? Sometimes there is too much information on the internet that might not be true, but taken as such or of significant consequence, that is why I asked you about it here.

I like Ayre's philosophy of usually only providing upgrades when necessary and usually at a modest price such the MP filter unlike many other companies that are constantly coming out with expensive new models almost every year.

I really do appreciate your diligence in helping your customers. I look forward to receiving my new VX-5 soon and expect not to have any problems with it. That is why I moved away from tube amps (-:

Lastly, it was not my intention to derail this thread "off topic" as I know that it is the DX-5 thread. I apologize to the moderators if I did, but I knew that I could get an answer from my concerns here.

Once again, a big thank you Charles!

Best Regards,

Bob
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post #1355 of 1442 Old 12-09-2013, 11:23 PM
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Dear Charles,

 

In your post #1237 you wrote: "We are starting with the most difficult one first, to get it out of the way -- the MX-R's". But instead you seem to have started with KX-R. What happened and when do you think MX-R upgrades will become available?

 

Thanks!

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Hello Sword,

Sorry, I've been super busy and missed a few posts. No, the cables shouldn't have anything to do with it. As far as adjusting the DC offset of the KX-R, it is fairly tricky. We have a special bottom plate with 4 small holes drilled in it so that we can get it up to temperature and then adjust the offset with the cover plate in place. But soon we will be offering very expensive upgrades for the R series products to celebrate our 20th anniversary. The KX-R Twenty will be the first one, and the entire audio circuit (including the regulators for the power supply) will be replaced. The parts that remain the same are the chassis, the transformer, the volume control, connectors, and display. The price increase is right at 50% and current units will be upgradeable for the price difference between the old and new models. If you bought the unit from an authorized dealer (new or used), you will also receive a five year extension on the warranty (from the date of the upgrade). If you bought it used from a private party or non-Ayre dealer, the warranty extension will be shorter, probably one or two years (we haven't decided yet).

The crazy thing is that it was just like the DX-5. I was very happy with it and felt it was perhaps the best product that we had ever designed. But the new version stomps the old version into the ground. I'm going to have to say it again. The KX-R Twenty sounds twice as good as the original. I had no idea that it was possible. I was completely happy with the original version. But if you have a KX-R, get it updated and it will knock your socks off. The reason I went off on this tangent is that all of our products except for phono stages and the AX-7 integrated amplifier are true DC amplifiers. There are no servos or coupling caps or anything. So it gets tricky to keep them stable over temperature and time. But we've discovered some new tricks there as well. So if you have some DC offset problems with your KX-R and you feel like killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer, just get the upgrade. We will be shipping them before the end of the year.

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

I plan on getting the upgrade on the KXR and the MXRs. There was never any doubt about that. I look forward to it as I did with the DX-5. By the way, should I purchase another drive to go in my DX-5 for security purposes for future problems? I would hate for the unit to default and there not be parts that are available. I love every Ayre video player I have bought since the D1x. If anyone has a high end video system and doesn't have an Ayre DX-5 then they are kidding themselves thinking they have the best player. I hope you continue making video as time goes by because nothing has come close to your video products IMHO. That is why you have a customer for life. I really never see myself having any other products besides Ayre unless some major technological breakthrough occurs that takes the entire electronics industry by storm, but for some reason I don't see that happening without your involvement in it.

Anyway, I am going to continue playing with options to isolate the tripping problem. Also, out of curiosity, have you heard the Argento Flow Master Reference cables with your products? If so, I was wondering your thoughts on it.

Sword
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post #1357 of 1442 Old 12-11-2013, 04:00 PM
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I plan on getting the upgrade on the KXR and the MXRs. There was never any doubt about that. I look forward to it as I did with the DX-5. By the way, should I purchase another drive to go in my DX-5 for security purposes for future problems? I would hate for the unit to default and there not be parts that are available. I love every Ayre video player I have bought since the D1x. If anyone has a high end video system and doesn't have an Ayre DX-5 then they are kidding themselves thinking they have the best player. I hope you continue making video as time goes by because nothing has come close to your video products IMHO. That is why you have a customer for life. I really never see myself having any other products besides Ayre unless some major technological breakthrough occurs that takes the entire electronics industry by storm, but for some reason I don't see that happening without your involvement in it.

Anyway, I am going to continue playing with options to isolate the tripping problem. Also, out of curiosity, have you heard the Argento Flow Master Reference cables with your products? If so, I was wondering your thoughts on it.

Hello Sword
The KX-R Twenty is a bigger improvement than the DX-5-DSD. You will not believe what you hear. It is all complete and the boards are being assembled. We will probably start with some upgrades early on from the US. I would rather find some weird bug we missed and have to get it back from the US than have to get it back from 10,000 miles away. We hope to have the MX-R upgrade complete by CES and be shipping that by the end of January. They are expensive!!!! We are looking at around a 50% price increase and the difference between the old and new models for the upgrade.

We replace the entire audio PCB including the power supply regulators. The only thing we save are the case, display, knobs, transformer, volume control, and input selector. We are changing to the Diamond buffer output stage on the KX-R. We have a completely new power supply regulator we call Ayre-Lok. It will leave you with your jaw hanging open when you hear it. Right new we are listening to the DX-5-DSD, KX-R Twenty and a VX-5 in the sound room and it is amazing. I can't wait to hear the MX-R Twenty in that system....

I would do everything I could do buy a spare drive from Oppo. Just tell them you have a $10,000 Ayre with the Oppo drive and it's give you six great years of service and you want at least another ten. You can probably talk them into it. Just be polite and patient. We will probably always make a video transport because we know how to make them better than anybody else, but it's better to spend a couple of hundred now than $5000 in ten years.

Best,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1358 of 1442 Old 12-12-2013, 05:05 AM
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Dear Charles,

 

I'm assuming that with KX-R upgrade out of the way, you are now working on MX-R upgrade. I want to replace stock PCB rail fuses in my MX-R with Hi-Fi Tuning Supremes. However, it is also VERY LIKELY that I will be buying MX-R upgrade when it becomes available. Hence my question: are you going to keep rail fuses in the new upgraded version of the MX-R? If so, will they be exactly the same size and values: 250mA and 10A both fast blow? I would hate to spend $240+shipping on those fuses now only to discover in a few months that I can't use them any more.

 

Thanks a lot!

The Ukrainian

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post #1359 of 1442 Old 12-12-2013, 11:45 AM
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I'm assuming that with KX-R upgrade out of the way, you are now working on MX-R upgrade. I want to replace stock PCB rail fuses in my MX-R with Hi-Fi Tuning Supremes. However, it is also VERY LIKELY that I will be buying MX-R upgrade when it becomes available. Hence my question: are you going to keep rail fuses in the new upgraded version of the MX-R? If so, will they be exactly the same size and values: 250mA and 10A both fast blow? I would hate to spend $240+shipping on those fuses now only to discover in a few months that I can't use them any more.

Hello Ukrainian,

Ten amps is a pretty standard value that I use for speaker output fuses. It is the equivalent of 800 watts into 8 ohms. If you use a 4 ohm speaker, you may want to go to 15 amps, which is 900 watts.

The input rails are NOT available in 160 mA, only 250 mA. I would say a 50% chance that they will stay the same. You may want to wait on those.

Thanks,
Charlie
Ayre
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post #1360 of 1442 Old 12-15-2013, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Tommy@ 
How is the stereo down mix on the DX5 when watching multi-channel movie/concert?

On my OPPO and Marantz, when I do stereo down mix via the XLR output, the dialogue is faint compared to the music and action. It happens to almost all blu-ray discs. Avatar is the exception.

Is the DX5 any different?

Hello Tommy,

In general, I prefer to use the main forum except in special cases, because if one person has a question there are probably another 100 people around the world with the exact same question. Typing takes a while, so I like to have all of that work reach as many people as possible rather than just one.

If you go to the Ayre website, you can download the manuals for all of our equipment. The DX-5 manual is at: http://www.ayre.com/manuals/Ayre_DX5DSD_Manual.pdf

One of the things that happened between the time that the prototype of the DX-5 was shown at a show in the Far East and we began production was that people informed us that there were a fair number of discs that improperly used the LFE channel and put ALL of the bass from ALL of the channels in to the LFE channel. So we added a feature (described on page 47 of the manual) to address this issue. This could be another issue where the other forum participants could help out. It sounds to me like the Marantz and Oppo are not including the center channel into the stereo mixdown.

However, I suspect that the improper settings were applied to your previous players. In the case of the DX-5, the proper settings are not the default settings! Instead, please refer to page 86, where the proper levels and distances for each channel is spelled out in detail so that the the correct balance for two-channel playback is observed. All players are set using these levels before they leave the factory and they should remain there unless something unusual happens, such as losing power when making adjustments. Also note that if by accident you "Reset Factory Defaults" that you will also need to spend a few minutes changing the setting back to their proper levels as outlined in the manual.

Hope this helps,
Charlie Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

PS -- We are down to the last two or three units, so if you want one, please call the facory and keep your fingers crossed! Good Luck!
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post #1361 of 1442 Old 12-16-2013, 09:14 AM
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Hi Charles,

Audiac in Netherlands tell me there are still no DX-5 update kits available here.
Do you have an estimation when ugrade kits will be send to Audiac?

Regards,

Olaf
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post #1362 of 1442 Old 12-17-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Hello Tommy,

In general, I prefer to use the main forum except in special cases, because if one person has a question there are probably another 100 people around the world with the exact same question. Typing takes a while, so I like to have all of that work reach as many people as possible rather than just one.

If you go to the Ayre website, you can download the manuals for all of our equipment. The DX-5 manual is at: http://www.ayre.com/manuals/Ayre_DX5DSD_Manual.pdf

One of the things that happened between the time that the prototype of the DX-5 was shown at a show in the Far East and we began production was that people informed us that there were a fair number of discs that improperly used the LFE channel and put ALL of the bass from ALL of the channels in to the LFE channel. So we added a feature (described on page 47 of the manual) to address this issue. This could be another issue where the other forum participants could help out. It sounds to me like the Marantz and Oppo are not including the center channel into the stereo mixdown.

However, I suspect that the improper settings were applied to your previous players. In the case of the DX-5, the proper settings are not the default settings! Instead, please refer to page 86, where the proper levels and distances for each channel is spelled out in detail so that the the correct balance for two-channel playback is observed. All players are set using these levels before they leave the factory and they should remain there unless something unusual happens, such as losing power when making adjustments. Also note that if by accident you "Reset Factory Defaults" that you will also need to spend a few minutes changing the setting back to their proper levels as outlined in the manual.

Hope this helps,
Charlie Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

PS -- We are down to the last two or three units, so if you want one, please call the facory and keep your fingers crossed! Good Luck!

Charles, thanks for the reply. Page 86 seems to talk about speaker configuration for HDMI out, not for stereo XLR out I'm using.

I played around with the settings + asked OPPO tech, neither was able to resolve my issue with the faint dialogue when using stereo XLR down mix.
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post #1363 of 1442 Old 12-17-2013, 09:42 PM
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The best place to start is always with your dealer. Most of them will have a DX-5 on display. Then you can compare your unit against theirs and see if it is something that affects all units or just yours.

Best regards
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1364 of 1442 Old 12-17-2013, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

The best place to start is always with your dealer. Most of them will have a DX-5 on display. Then you can compare your unit against theirs and see if it is something that affects all units or just yours.

Best regards
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

There is no dealer in my region. The closest one require a ferry trip.
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post #1365 of 1442 Old 12-19-2013, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post


Hello Ukrainian,

Ten amps is a pretty standard value that I use for speaker output fuses. It is the equivalent of 800 watts into 8 ohms. If you use a 4 ohm speaker, you may want to go to 15 amps, which is 900 watts.

The input rails are NOT available in 160 mA, only 250 mA. I would say a 50% chance that they will stay the same. You may want to wait on those.

Thanks,
Charlie
Ayre


Dear Charles, with your kind permission, I'd like to check with you again some time in January. Hopefully by then you will have completed work on MX-R-20 and have the final data on the internal fuses used inside the MX-R-20. May I do that, please?

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post #1366 of 1442 Old 12-21-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Hello Sword
The KX-R Twenty is a bigger improvement than the DX-5-DSD. You will not believe what you hear. It is all complete and the boards are being assembled. We will probably start with some upgrades early on from the US. I would rather find some weird bug we missed and have to get it back from the US than have to get it back from 10,000 miles away. We hope to have the MX-R upgrade complete by CES and be shipping that by the end of January. They are expensive!!!! We are looking at around a 50% price increase and the difference between the old and new models for the upgrade.

We replace the entire audio PCB including the power supply regulators. The only thing we save are the case, display, knobs, transformer, volume control, and input selector. We are changing to the Diamond buffer output stage on the KX-R. We have a completely new power supply regulator we call Ayre-Lok. It will leave you with your jaw hanging open when you hear it. Right new we are listening to the DX-5-DSD, KX-R Twenty and a VX-5 in the sound room and it is amazing. I can't wait to hear the MX-R Twenty in that system....

I would do everything I could do buy a spare drive from Oppo. Just tell them you have a $10,000 Ayre with the Oppo drive and it's give you six great years of service and you want at least another ten. You can probably talk them into it. Just be polite and patient. We will probably always make a video transport because we know how to make them better than anybody else, but it's better to spend a couple of hundred now than $5000 in ten years.

Best,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

Charles,

When will the upgrade start being done on the KX-R? I want to get in on that for sure. At this point in my audiophile career, I think I am going to be an Ayre Lifer. Your no BS attitude is enough to sell me, but what I hear and see from your products impress me more than words. The whole Absolute Sound call out also won me over. The fact the DX-5 is not listed in their magazine is one of the injustices in the world and deceives many. Sure there might be something better out there, but out of everything that I have heard, nothing comes close to Ayre for the value of a dollar. Throw in the longevity of their products from original release, very little compares. I actually left this hobby for almost 5-6 years because of the constant new models from companies. When I came back into it, I called several people I know in the industry and told them I wanted to buy a system that would satisfy me for 10 years. The Ayre name came up many times so I went ahead and took the plunge and went with an all Ayre system. Originally I was only going to buy the DX-5 because I previously had a D1x, but opportunity arose so I bought all 3 pieces at once and have never looked back. Then I purchased speakers that continually surprise me and I don't think any of it would have been possible without the Ayre. I am loyal to a fault, and so at this point, Ayre will be my company. I sound like a fanatical fan, I do realize but I just wish people could experience things before they comment. Buying this gear has brought me so much closer to the music and I am enjoying it so much that all of the outside noise is just that; noise. I look forward to every CD or Blu Ray to discover something new.

Anyway, if you could let me know the ETA of the amps and the KXR updates that would be great and thank you for enduring despite all of your trials. I know providing joy to people through your electronics might be a small concilation but it is one I appreciate more than I can express. I know that there is not one right answer to all of this hobby, but it seems that there truly are only a handful of companies that consistently are considered great sounding by a vast majority and within those companies I have become dogmatic towards Ayre. I guess I am just excited that my love for this stuff was re-ignited by your gear.

Sword
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post #1367 of 1442 Old 12-28-2013, 10:50 PM
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One of my MXRs are starting to go Hot during playback of movies or music. I take this as a sign to go ahead and get the upgrade while it is being repaired. The timing is more than funny. I look forward to it.
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post #1368 of 1442 Old 01-20-2014, 11:03 PM
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Any idea how long will I have to be without my gear for the upgrade?
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post #1369 of 1442 Old 01-21-2014, 11:42 AM
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Hello Sword,

For US customers, the best thing to do is call Michael at 303-442-7300 x223. He will set up a schedule where we should be able to turn it around within a week after we receive it, but you will need to make an appointment. The same is true for international customers, although if the time zone is awkward, there is an e-mail contact form at:

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

It is going fairly slowly at this point as it takes a full day to do the DX-5 update. But we will likely hire someone soon to help things run more smoothly and cut down on the backlog times.

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1370 of 1442 Old 01-24-2014, 11:11 PM
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I noticed the dx5 is not on your website anymore. Does this mean they are gone now?
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post #1371 of 1442 Old 01-25-2014, 04:16 PM
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Yep, they are sold out and whatever parts they have left are for servicing existing units.
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post #1372 of 1442 Old 01-25-2014, 08:25 PM
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Ayre Update: Oddly enough, both the C-5xeMP and the DX-5 DSD sold out within a few days of each other. Don't worry though. We have good plans on two fronts. for current owners of either product, we have a great backlog of spare parts to carry out repairs for what we project will be at least a decade. This means that the only disc player currently available is the CX-7xeMP CD-only player, and the current Teac drive mechanism (which is the best one ever used in that model) is still in production and readily available.

Then for people that missed out on the original multi-format players, we will introduce new DAC's and separate transports by the end of the summer. So don't despair. as we will continue to design and manufacture the best multi-format and video players available. Thanks for your interest. Don't go away from this forum as we will still be here to answer questions regarding the DX-5 DSD and the upgrade program.

More good news! On Monday a new technician will start whose only job will be to handle the updates for the KX-R Twenty and MX-R Twenty. These rebuilds are quite expensive -- $9000 each for the KX-R and more than that for a pair of MX-R's. These are to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ayre, and true to form, they are nearly a full year late, as we incorporated in May of 1993, which is about when we started working on them. The KX-R Twenty started shipping last week and I expect the MX-R Twenties to ship in about eight weeks. These are not the traditional Ayre upgrades where we find a new way to do something better. They are actually completely new models. About the only thing re-used are the chassis and power transformers! We rebuild the volume controls, install a new controller to reduce the motor noise to less than half the previous level, the audio circuitry and power supply regulators are completely new designs. Make no mistake -- these are completely new designs in the same beautiful casework. Even the logic transmitters fpr the AyreLink control system can run four times faster.

Our goal is to have a 72 hour turnaround time on these units. This will free up more people to work on the DSD updates for the QB-9 and DX-5. Plus when this person does not have any pending R series orders, they will be available to help catch up on the DSD upgrades. It will take several weeks to feel the effects of hiring this person, as they will need to be trained to work on each of these units. But things are getting better, so don't lose patience yet! smile.gif

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1373 of 1442 Old 01-25-2014, 09:59 PM
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I would never loose patience. I look forward to my upgrades. My only question is, will the new transport and dac combo be better than the dx5 dsd version or will it equal it? In other words is it going to be a 5 or R version?
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post #1374 of 1442 Old 01-26-2014, 07:48 PM
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The current plan is to build a 5 series version first. Then maybe in 2015 follow up with an R series version.

Thanks for your interest in Ayre products!

Cheers,
Charlie Hansen
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post #1375 of 1442 Old 02-02-2014, 07:32 AM
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Dear Charles,

a friend brought a Blu-ray disc, Pink - The truth about love tour. Not really my stuff,but we wanted to watch and hear it through my setup.

It's not possible with the DX-5 because audio playback (not video) is interrupted every few seconds. No matter what audio tracks are playing, PCM stereo, DD 5.1 or Dolby True HD, played through Audio-only HDMI output.
I changed to my 80 $ Samsung BD player, as expected, the disc plays without any problems.

My complaint is not about a particular disc, but I do fear that more and more newly released BDs will not play correctly in the DX-5, since no updates are offered, what seems to be a requirement for BD players.

Just wanted to let you know, maybe you have an idea?

Best regards
Werner
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post #1376 of 1442 Old 02-02-2014, 09:28 AM
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Dear Werner,

Not at this time. Please allow us some time to perform some investigations. Do you have a label (brand marking) and catalog number? I will see if we can purchase it from Amazon.De. for testing. Please be patient as it can take some time just to procure the disc.

Thanks,
Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.'
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post #1377 of 1442 Old 02-02-2014, 10:09 AM
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Dear Werner,

I just ordered the version from Amazon.com. It seems to be identical to the one offered at Amazon.de, even the ASIN is the same. The only difference is about 30 minutes in runtime, but I believe thiis one includes the bonus features in the runtime. I will let you know what we uncover. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, get a toothpick and try switching the DIP switches on the rear panel, specifically Rsrv C to Rsrv D (or vice versa) This changes the settings of the HDCP as some switchers use non-standard protocols.If this is in the wrong position, it can cause symptoms as you have described.

Charles Hansen
Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
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post #1378 of 1442 Old 02-03-2014, 01:34 AM
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Dear Charles,

many thanks, changing the Rev C/D setting made this disc play correctly.
The manual does not say anything about this specific switch.
I guess, if any problems with specific discs occur, i can try this first.
For the disc described, problem is resolved!

Thanks again

Werner
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post #1379 of 1442 Old 02-08-2014, 11:44 AM
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Esteemed forum participants,

While I recognize the impending DX-5 upgrade will not affect HDMI performance, nevertheless it has occasioned my reconsidering the HDMI cabling I employ. I use both the video and audio HDMI outs from the DX-5, the former for DVD/BD and the latter for multichannel SACD. Both cables run into my Classe SSP-800 AV Processor, Classe CA-5200 amp and B&W 802 Diamond speakers with prior generation B&W center, sub and surrounds.

My question: What would be the optimal HDMI cables to use for these applications and components?

Thanks,
Rick
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post #1380 of 1442 Old 02-08-2014, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrautner View Post

Esteemed forum participants,

While I recognize the impending DX-5 upgrade will not affect HDMI performance, nevertheless it has occasioned my reconsidering the HDMI cabling I employ. I use both the video and audio HDMI outs from the DX-5, the former for DVD/BD and the latter for multichannel SACD. Both cables run into my Classe SSP-800 AV Processor, Classe CA-5200 amp and B&W 802 Diamond speakers with prior generation B&W center, sub and surrounds.

My question: What would be the optimal HDMI cables to use for these applications and components?

Thanks,
Rick

I like Wireworld for digital cables. I used their Platinum Starlight for video before a change in my setup required a very long run that optical HDMI was better suited for. The Wireworld is what I chose for USB audio as well, after it compared favourably to the others I tried. I also use their USB 3.0 cable to connect my external drive to my music server. I don't do HDMI audio, but based on their USB cable audio performance I don't think you could go wrong with something from their line up.

Auraliti PK90-USB > Ayre DX-5 > Ayre KX-R > Ayre MX-R > YG Kipod II Signature Passive
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