Ayre DX-5 bluray player - Page 9 - AVS Forum
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post #241 of 1442 Old 01-11-2010, 09:31 PM
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The Oppo thread is nowhere near as much "fun".

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post #242 of 1442 Old 01-11-2010, 10:27 PM
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Not trying to ruffle feathers. I don't argue because I enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing. I brought up those points because I simply can't understand the point of view that a volume chip 'severely impacts sound'. As I said, I can accept that it impacts sound. Just not severely - not by my definition of the word. No offense intended.

I will bail out to keep the thread on topic.

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post #243 of 1442 Old 01-11-2010, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I thought IM resulted from slew rate distortion, not crossover distortion. But crossover distortion is obviously not a good thing. I thought the feedback being used by the op amp, though it reduces open loop gain, would help reduce crossover distortion.

That is a widely held view Michael [and I should have taken it into consideration].This link tends to separate the slew rate speed from tid and is interesting reading

http://www.angelfire.com/ab3/mjramp/golopid5.html

This next link doesnt mind global feedback in the least and para 5.1 is salient

http://sound.westhost.com/articles/d...ion+fb.htm#a51

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The solution is simple enough - make sure the amp is as linear as possible before feedback is added

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post #244 of 1442 Old 01-11-2010, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post


I simply can't understand the point of view that a volume chip 'severely impacts sound'. As I said, I can accept that it impacts sound. Just not severely - not by my definition of the word. No offense intended.

I will bail out to keep the thread on topic.

What can I say? Have you heard the KX-R preamp from Ayre?

If you don't hear the difference its volume implementation made, then you are either deaf or have some other agenda.

Belinda was mine 'til the time that I found her.......
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post #245 of 1442 Old 01-11-2010, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post


But to say that a power amp has an op-amp front end and costs $40,000 gives me pause. That's one reason that Levinson shut down for a year or two -- they were using basically the same op-amp-based circuits that $600 Adcom preamps used. People got tired of paying a lot of money for not so much engineering....

Now, now. Let's be fair.

Before the Ayre KX-R and Simaudio P8, there was the Mark Levinson No. 32. And at the sub $10k range, the Mark Levinson No. 326s lingers on (at least until Ayre comes out with a product in this price range to obsolete the 326s).

More currently, the latest Mark Levinson No. 532 stereo amp is a sophisticated beast that gives the MX-R monoblocks a run for the money.

I wouldn't called these ML products 'sub engineered' by any stretch.

Having said, the MX-R/KX-R combo, is the SOTA in hi end audio at this very moment.

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post #246 of 1442 Old 01-12-2010, 07:48 AM
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Now, now. Let's be fair.

I try to be. You judge and let me know if you think that I am.

There was one product that Levinson came out with that was far ahead of its time. That was the 30/31 CD Transport + D/A Converter. Every magazine agreed for at least five years that this was the best sounding digital product ever.

It was kind of a watershed for digital design also, because it shattered the Wadia/Theta myth. Before the Levinson combo, everyone thought that you had to have a special custom digital filter implemented with DSP to be state-of-the-art. But the Levinson had a bog-standard NPC digital filter.

At any rate, that was the product that cemented Levinson's reputation. Most of the subsequent product were simply dragged along the coattails of the 30/31.

The power amps were reasonably good. All discrete designs, with no op-amps. But they hit their zenith with the No.20, which was the 100 wpc pure class A amp. The problem was that it made their product line schizophrenic, as the No.23 was below the No.20, yet it had twice the power.

So they tried to rectify the situation with the No.33 reference amps that were 300 wpc. They couldn't use pure class A -- each amp would dissipate 1200 watts at idle! Talk about room heaters! So they invented the phrase "Adaptive Bias". But they didn't invent the circuit. That was stolen from a 1982 AES paper by (please don't let the milk come out of your nose) -- Sansui!

After that it was mostly a downhill ride. Their No.38 preamps were the worst. They used an "MDAC" (Multiplying D/A Converter) as the volume control. This required a voltage-to-current converter in front of it and a current-to-voltage converter after it. It sounded much worse than a preamp should have at that price point. There were a slew of mediocre products that followed.

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Originally Posted by silvertone View Post

Before the Ayre KX-R and Simaudio P8, there was the Mark Levinson No. 32. And at the sub $10k range, the Mark Levinson No. 326s lingers on (at least until Ayre comes out with a product in this price range to obsolete the 326s).

The No.32 was pretty good, but drastically overpriced. It had a much better volume control based on FET switches and discrete metal film resistors -- the same solution we introduced in our K-5 preamp five years earlier at 1/5 the cost.

I will put up our current K-5xe MP against any Levinson preamp made at any price. And it still retails for only $3500.

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More currently, the latest Mark Levinson No. 532 stereo amp is a sophisticated beast that gives the MX-R monoblocks a run for the money.

I haven't heard them, but their power amps were always their best products (at least for the last 20 years or so). I'm glad that they can still build a good amp. I would be more skeptical of their giant ($50,000???) switching "tower of power" amps. I prefer a conventional approach.

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I wouldn't called these ML products 'sub engineered' by any stretch.

I still think that the No.38 preamp is the best-looking preamp ever made. They introduced the idea of "linking" the components together to act as a complete system. They had a full product lineup of matching components. They had (and never will again) the best dealer lineup in the world.

The never had good sound for the money. In fact only some of their products even had very good sound.

You decide if that is "optimal engineering".

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Having said, the MX-R/KX-R combo, is the SOTA in hi end audio at this very moment.

Thank you for the kind words. The MX-R's have been out for almost three years now. I'm glad that you still consider them to be SOTA. We aim to release products that are at least five years ahead of our competitors. Then when we figure out how to improve them, we generally introduce retrofittable upgrades instead of replacing them with new models.

We try to treat our customers the way that we would like to be treated.
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post #247 of 1442 Old 01-12-2010, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by thehun View Post

The Oppo thread is nowhere near as much "fun".

This has been a pretty fun thread! Even MichaelJHuman hasn't been overbearing in his skepticism. (I still think he should just listen to a few products instead of thinking about how they sound.)
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post #248 of 1442 Old 01-12-2010, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

But to say that a power amp has an op-amp front end and costs $40,000 gives me pause.

Charles,

I had a big discussion with Roger about op-amps and audio in the Classe thread, relaying your opinion about op-amps based volume control. I did not like the Classe sound, and theorized that one of the reasons could be the use of a cheap op-amp based control volume.

Roger saw a picture of some circuits showing an IC in one of the Soulution modules, and concluded that they are using op-amps in the signal path.

I mailed Soulution about that, and their answer was:

Quote:


The gain stage uses video transistors which are linearised by special op-amps. The design runs at extremely high speed of max 200MHz. It has nothing in common with often used gain stages based on op-amps. You are of course right such a design would never be able to reproduce a sound that is that neutral and natural.

Roger just did not acknowledged this answer, and continues to pretend that Soulution uses op-amps in the signal path, while Soulution clearly stated the opposite.

By the way, I did listen to Soulution amps, and they are the best amps I ever heard. I agree that you cannot trust Absolute Sound, but for once, they are right.

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post #249 of 1442 Old 01-12-2010, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by silvertone View Post

What can I say? Have you heard the KX-R preamp from Ayre?

If you don't hear the difference its volume implementation made, then you are either deaf or have some other agenda.

A highly offensive post At least I keep mine civil...out (again)

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #250 of 1442 Old 01-12-2010, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by robena View Post

I had a big discussion with Roger about op-amps and audio in the Classe thread, relaying your opinion about op-amps based volume control.

Quote:


Roger saw a picture of some circuits showing an IC in one of the Soulution modules, and concluded that they are using op-amps in the signal path.

Roger saw the Soulutions brochure that states:

>>Immediately following the input connector, the music signal is buffered in the soulution 710 and therefore is transmitted with low impedance to the entrance of

the following error amplifier. An extremely fast operational amplifier, whose negative feedback detects deviations quickly and precisely (thanks to high processing speed), provides a corrected, but still unamplified incoming signal.<< Their diagram shows the opamp error amp in the signal path.


The 8-pin dip devices are plainly visible in their picture of the error amp board. The discrete voltage amp is behind.


Quote:


I mailed Soulution about that... Roger just did not acknowledged this answer, and continues to pretend that Soulution uses op-amps in the signal path, while Soulution clearly stated the opposite.

I totally accepted their explanation. It states they use an opamp. They say nothing about it being outside the signal path, but say and show that is in fact in the signal path. How much plainer can it be?
LL
LL
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post #251 of 1442 Old 01-13-2010, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by robena View Post

I had a big discussion with Roger about op-amps and audio in the Classe thread, relaying your opinion about op-amps based volume control. I did not like the Classe sound, and theorized that one of the reasons could be the use of a cheap op-amp based control volume.

For both true balanced circuitry and also for multi-channel (eg, home theater) applications, it is critically important that the volume control for each phase (or channel) track each other precisely. The best way to do this is with stepped attenuators, using solid-silver contact switches and metal film resistors.

The problem is that it is absurdly expensive, and extremely difficult to combine with a remote control. We have done this with our K-1xe and KX-R preamps, and they have won numerous awards. But it is completly impractical to apply this approach to a surround-sound processor.

The next step down on the performance ladder is to replace the solid-silver mechanical switches with FET-based switches. This is done in our K-5xe MP preamp, the Levinson No.32 and No.326 preamps, and the Theta Casablanca SSP. I don't believe that even the Levinson No. 40 used this approach.

To the best of my knowledge, all other SSP's use an IC-based volume control. The first to become available was the Crystal (now Cirrus) CS3310. It had many limitations and was later joined by some pin-compatible parts from Burr-Brown (now Texas Instruments). The TI parts are better than the original Crystal parts, but still sharply hamper the performance available from the units that use these parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robena View Post

Roger saw a picture of some circuits showing an IC in one of the Soulution modules, and concluded that they are using op-amps in the signal path.

I mailed Soulution about that, and their answer was:

"The gain stage uses video transistors which are linearised by special op-amps. The design runs at extremely high speed of max 200MHz. It has nothing in common with often used gain stages based on op-amps. You are of course right such a design would never be able to reproduce a sound that is that neutral and natural. "

Roger just did not acknowledged this answer, and continues to pretend that Soulution uses op-amps in the signal path, while Soulution clearly stated the opposite.

I don't have time to study this issue at the present time. I took a quick glance at the document that Roger referred to:

http://www.soulution-audio.com/downl...tion%20_e_.pdf

And also the Soulution website. It is clear that they use massive amounts of feedback -- that is the only way to achieve the ultra-low distortion and ultra-low output impedance that they do. Their approach seems very similar to Halcro in many ways.

I cannot say from my cursory investigation whether the op-amp is "in the signal path" or not. But whether it is or not, it is clear that their approach is very much like the approach used by op-amp designers.

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By the way, I did listen to Soulution amps, and they are the best amps I ever heard. I agree that you cannot trust Absolute Sound, but for once, they are right.

Like everything else, listening is the true test. I would like to listen to them for myself as I have no reason to doubt your assessment. Yet, when I look at them I see dozens of ways to improve their performance. A few examples:

- Relays in the signal path cause audible degradation. We have never used a relay in the signal path of any of our products. While we may someday, it certainly won't be in a $50,000 "statement" product.

- Ordinary FR-4 PCB material is audibly inferior to higher-performance materials. Our expensive products have always used higher-performance materials, and now we have found an affordable product that allows us to use an excellent sounding PCB material even in our entry-level products.

- Gold-plated connectors for daughter-boards that have a nickel underplate. When we need to connect two boards with an analog signal, we always use a soldered joint.

So if they sound wonderful as they are, I can only imagine how good they could sound if they were constructed with all attention to details paid.
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post #252 of 1442 Old 01-13-2010, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

And also the Soulution website. It is clear that they use massive amounts of feedback

Yes, they do. In their interview in TAS, they explain that they use feedback at locations where propagation delay is extremely short, which allows it to work without detrimental effects.

It sounds simple said like that, but it took them years to achieve this goal (so they say).

So, there are 2 schools of thought for feedback: avoid it (like you do), or do it properly with very fast circuits.

The second approach is used by Goldmund too, and Goldmund was my favorite brand for years, so it's effective (for my taste in audio). But of course, as you said, there are many other factors.

Quote:


that is the only way to achieve the ultra-low distortion and ultra-low output impedance that they do. Their approach seems very similar to Halcro in many ways.

The Halcros are very seductive on first approach. I bought 2 pairs of DM68 a few year ago after a quick listen at home to bi-amp my main F/L speakers.

But after a week, I could not stand them anymore. The DM68 has a subtil but distinctive harshness that got very tiring to hear.

That's what make audio gear truly high end or not, whether or not you get tired of listening it after a while. I'm glad to say that your products are in the rare non-tiring category.

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post #253 of 1442 Old 01-13-2010, 07:43 PM
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Then there are people like Douglas Self who don't seem to feel feedback is threatening.

Hard to know whom to believe when so many well regarded engineers don't seem to agree.

Makes me want to go back to school, get my EE, and join the AES so I can read every paper and understand every argument better.

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post #254 of 1442 Old 01-14-2010, 07:37 AM
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Charles, why was the DX-5 developed inside the old C-5 chassis? I was really hoping to see your new universal player match up with the eloquent MX-R and KX-R chassis (both of which I own).
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post #255 of 1442 Old 01-15-2010, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by robena View Post

That's what make audio gear truly high end or not, whether or not you get tired of listening it after a while. I'm glad to say that your products are in the rare non-tiring category.

I agree 100% and thank you for your kind words.

One of the key misconceptions in the entire industry, from manufacturers to dealers to customers, is that high resolution equipment will make mediocre source material sound worse. They claim that their equipment "exposes the warts" in the source.

This is wrong.

A truly excellent system will make any recording sound engaging. This is not done by hiding problems or "romanticizing" the sound. It is simply making sure that difficult source material doesn't elicit poor behavior from the circuit (in the case of electronics) or the drivers (in the case of loudspeakers).
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post #256 of 1442 Old 01-15-2010, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Then there are people like Douglas Self who don't seem to feel feedback is threatening.

Yup. Feedback has been taught in engineering schools for decades. But when Harold Black invented it in 1927, he couldn't get it patented for nine years because the patent office thought that it couldn't work.

It's fine for meters and measurements. It's not so good for listening.

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Hard to know whom to believe when so many well regarded engineers don't seem to agree.

It's really very simple -- just listen to the equipment in a system you are familiar with (ideally your own), using music that you are familiar with.

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Makes me want to go back to school, get my EE, and join the AES so I can read every paper and understand every argument better.

Understanding the arguments doesn't change how the equipment sounds.

Nobody has any idea how gravity works, but every time you drop something it will certainly fall...
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post #257 of 1442 Old 01-15-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by uppacreek View Post

Charles, why was the DX-5 developed inside the old C-5 chassis? I was really hoping to see your new universal player match up with the eloquent MX-R and KX-R chassis (both of which I own).

Putting it in that chassis (actually it wouldn't fit) would have boosted the price to close to $15,000. At that point, people would demand a metal loading tray. That would add another thousand dollars or two. At that price, we would need to throw all of our super-duper parts and technology at it.

At the end of it all, it would have been a $20,000 player. That's not what we wanted to build right now.

EDIT: Later this year we may start to work on an R-series D/A converter. But I'm not sure if we will make a disc player transport to match it or not. The only transport mechanism that would match the ethos of the R-series would be the Esoteric. But they don't play Blu-Ray discs. The only other choice I can think of is to use the laser from the Oppo and build our own loading mechanism. I wouldn't rule that out, but I wouldn't look forward to it either...
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post #258 of 1442 Old 01-15-2010, 10:45 PM
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Putting it in that chassis (actually it wouldn't fit) would have boosted the price to close to $15,000. At that point, people would demand a metal loading tray. That would add another thousand dollars or two. At that price, we would need to throw all of our super-duper parts and technology at it.

At the end of it all, it would have been a $20,000 player. That's not what we wanted to build right now.

EDIT: Later this year we may start to work on an R-series D/A converter. But I'm not sure if we will make a disc player transport to match it or not. The only transport mechanism that would match the ethos of the R-series would be the Esoteric. But they don't play Blu-Ray discs. The only other choice I can think of is to use the laser from the Oppo and build our own loading mechanism. I wouldn't rule that out, but I wouldn't look forward to it either...

Ok thanks. Just to let you know, if you did build an R-series player/transport and if it hit the $20k range, I'd buy it. The only reason I may not buy the DX-5 is because I already have a C-5xeMP and Oppo BDP. Two channel audio is way more important to me than video. I'll audition the DX-5, but unless it substantially improves audio quality I may wait for your next offering and hope for an R-series player.
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post #259 of 1442 Old 01-16-2010, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by uppacreek View Post

Ok thanks. Just to let you know, if you did build an R-series player/transport and if it hit the $20k range, I'd buy it. The only reason I may not buy the DX-5 is because I already have a C-5xeMP and Oppo BDP. Two channel audio is way more important to me than video. I'll audition the DX-5, but unless it substantially improves audio quality I may wait for your next offering and hope for an R-series player.

The DX-5 might beat the C-5xe MP by a tad, but it would be close. They are both 5 series products and utilize similar technologies and materials. However the DX-5 does benefit from an additional four years of design experience, so there are bound to be some improvements.

The real reason to buy a DX-5 would be for the added capabilities -- video and a USB audio connection to your PC for use as a music server.

You already have the video in the form of the Oppo. The video on the DX-5 will be noticeably (but not tremendously) superior to the video on the Oppo. So unless you are a die-hard videophile, or unless you want to get into computer audio, or unless you just want to clear some space off of your shelf, you will probably be happy with your current setup.

But the best to way to find out (as always!) is to borrow a unit from your dealer and put it in your system and see what you think. I would be willing to bet that if you bought the DX-5 now and we came out with an R series DAC (and possibly a transport) next year that your dealer would give you a good trade-in.
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post #260 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 03:55 AM
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Charles,

A bit off topic here but always wondered......

For sound quality - what would your top 3 RBCDs and top 3 SACDs be???
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post #261 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 11:34 AM
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For sound quality - what would your top 3 RBCDs and top 3 SACDs be???

Yikes! Tough question...

I just like to listen to music. If the sound isn't good, I work on the stereo system until it is good. With our current lineup and some decent speakers and properly set up, just about anything is going to sound pretty darned good.

If your system isn't doing that, spend $50 on the book "Get Better Sound" by Jim Smith:

www.getbettersound.com

Don't underestimate set-up. This includes cabling, equipment supports, AC power orientation, and even odd tweaks like our "Irrational But Efficacious" CD, as well as the standard things like speaker placement and room acoustics. I would say that set-up determines 50% of the performance of your system.

Think about Formula One racing. Do you think that Ferrari would win the World Constructor's Championship if they took the exact same care to each course? Of course not! They have a guy whose job it is to select the gear ratios for each course, another guy who selects the tire compound for the course, the temperature, the weather, and the driver's style, another guy who tunes the engine for that course, another guy who adjusts the suspension for that course, another guy who adjust the aerodynamics for that course, and on and on.

Each of these guys is not only an expert at what he does, but he has records going back for 40 years or more telling what they used at that course in years past; what worked and what didn't. The driver works closely with each of these guys, giving them feedback on what needs work and what is working.

Audio is the same. You need to spend some time getting the details right. When everything is dialed in with a good system, every single disc you own will sound enjoyable and engaging.

~~~~~~~~~~

But that's not what you asked....

I only have a handful of SACD's so my opinions would be very limited there.

For CD, there are hundreds of discs that I love that also have excellent sonics. On any given day you would probably get three different answers, depending on what popped into my head.

One that almost frightening in its verisimilitude (it's an acquired taste) is the out-of-print gamelan recording that is on HP's "super-disc" listing. (I forget the name of it.) I played in a gamelan for a few years, so I am more comfortable with that style of music than most Westerners.

Another one that is hard to find in the US but probably fairly common in Singapore is the Hong Kong-made disc "White Snow in Early Spring".

Both of these discs are fairly spectacular in nature. It is easy to make an impressive recording with percussion instruments because most speakers smear the transients of drums in the same way that the drums themselves do, thereby hiding their shortcomings. It is more difficult to fool the ear with something it is familiar with.

Some musicians and music lovers become very familiar with certain instruments. But everyone is familiar with the sound of the human voice. So I would have to include a well recorded folk album -- just vocals and guitar, sung in a natural style (unlike the specialized vocal style of, say, opera). So one of Joni Mitchell's earlier albums, Suzanne Vega's debut, or David Wilcox's new disc "Open Hand" (recorded basically live in the studio to 2" analog tape and mixed down to 1/2" half-track!) are all fun ones.
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post #262 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 12:03 PM
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But I had not read anything about feedback causing issues. Most amps use SOME feedback.

That's correct. It's the details that separate a good design from a bad design, much along the lines of Roger's grape and wine analogy. You can have two designers start with the same raw materials and end up with entirely different results.

For feedback specifically (and audio engineering in general), many people run into trouble when they violate the assumptions behind a design. For example, in a negative feedback amp, you are trading bandwidth and gain of the amplification device (op-amp, transistor, tube) for lower distortion. The device may have well over a megahertz of bandwidth and tons of gain when run open-loop, or without feedback, but may not have great distortion specs. When run with feedback, it may have less than 100 kHz of bandwidth, and much less gain, but also less distortion.

The assumptions being made in the design is that it has to correct for errors that occur lower than 100 kHz, that its power supplies will be relatively benign for over a megahertz, and that it is in a board layout that supports proper grounding and power supply bypass for 1+ MHz operation. This is because the device is still a 1+ MHz device, and that bandwidth is used for error correction. If you violate any of these things, your feedback loop will not work as well as intended. So if you see anyone using a high-speed video opamp, for example, in an audio design, the PCB and its power supplies had better darn well be designed for supporting high-speed video opamps running at 10s of MHz.

Also, technically speaking, there's really only non-linear distortion. Almost every other type of distortion that is spec'ed like IM or THD+N are different aspects of the same thing. If you have THD+N, you will have IM, and vice-versa.

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That's one reason that Levinson shut down for a year or two -- they were using basically the same op-amp-based circuits that $600 Adcom preamps used. People got tired of paying a lot of money for not so much engineering.

I think the shutdown had more to do with the administrative mess of Harman shutting down the Levinson facility and merging it with their other brands than people not wanting to pay $40K for an op-amp-based design.

--Andre
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post #263 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 12:29 PM
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Thanks Charles for your reply.....

There are a number of superbly sounding SACD's out there......!
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post #264 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 01:13 PM
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Been waiting for you guys to come out w/a DAC (non USB) so I hope that happens. Even moreso now after getting a sense of your views and philosophies (about audio and otherwise) from this thread.
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post #265 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 02:45 PM
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Great thread!

I have a question for Charles. I made the switch to PC audio a few years ago and haven't looked back. One thing I have learned is that a DAC with volume control can make a pretty good pre-amp, especially if you don't have any analog sources.

Would Ayre ever consider making a pre-amp with an integrated DAC, or a DAC with a volume control that could be connected directly to an amp? Or maybe an integrated with a DAC?

In any case it looks like I will try out the QB-9, which appears to be the best value in PC audio right now.
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post #266 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 02:59 PM
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The DX-5 might beat the C-5xe MP by a tad, but it would be close. They are both 5 series products and utilize similar technologies and materials. However the DX-5 does benefit from an additional four years of design experience, so there are bound to be some improvements.

The real reason to buy a DX-5 would be for the added capabilities -- video and a USB audio connection to your PC for use as a music server.

You already have the video in the form of the Oppo. The video on the DX-5 will be noticeably (but not tremendously) superior to the video on the Oppo. So unless you are a die-hard videophile, or unless you want to get into computer audio, or unless you just want to clear some space off of your shelf, you will probably be happy with your current setup.

But the best to way to find out (as always!) is to borrow a unit from your dealer and put it in your system and see what you think. I would be willing to bet that if you bought the DX-5 now and we came out with an R series DAC (and possibly a transport) next year that your dealer would give you a good trade-in.

I'll have the opportunity to attend the Ayre computer-based audio demo which will be presented by Steve Silberman in the SF Bay Area next week where he will be demonstrating both the DX-5 and QB-9. I have separate audio and video systems in different rooms. I am more of an audiophile than a videophile and have much more money invested in my 2 channel music-only system so the DX-5 would probably be overkill in my HT rig even though I own a 60" Pioneer Plasma 151 Kuro Elite which has been ISF calibrated.

I presently own the C-5xeMP which provides tremendous sound in my 2 channel audio rig. However I have been contemplating whether or not it would be advantageous to get into computer-based audio at this time with the QB-9 DAC. I do not want to compromise on convenience over sound one bit. I would certainly consider the DX-5 BD player if I had a single music and video rig in one room but would be impractical to shuttle the DX-5 back and forth in and out of the video room when I want to listen to music in my audio system. However I wonder if I could get as good of sound from my 2 channel rig by replacing the C-5xeMP player with the QB-9 DAC in a Mac based computer setup? I've read that there are additional variables to getting the best sound including running the Amarra software rather than i-tunes? Another variable is that I own about 130 SACDs. Although not a big issue for me, I understand the QB-9 cannot decode the DSD layer of these recordings?
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post #267 of 1442 Old 01-17-2010, 04:41 PM
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I will put up our current K-5xe MP against any Levinson preamp made at any price. And it still retails for only $3500.

As a brief aside:

It's too bad Ayre doesn't offer something with the inputs of the KX-R with the design philosophy of the K-5xe.

One of the problems with many high-end but sub-crown jewel preamps IMHO is a drastic lack of switching capability. Boulder is another one with this issue where they seem to assume that under five figures, four inputs is enough.

I currently own a No. 380S and all eight inputs are in use, and I have additional switchers hanging off some of those inputs as well, and I by no means have an "extravagant" system, merely a normal integrated two-channel/surround audio/video system.

Hmmm, at $3500 each, perhaps multiple cascaded K-5xes is the answer.

To keep the thread on-topic, here's the photo of the DX-5 from Stereophile's web site, and a link to their coverage:



CES 2010 Show Report: Ayre DX-5 Universal Player
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post #268 of 1442 Old 01-18-2010, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

I think the shutdown had more to do with the administrative mess of Harman shutting down the Levinson facility and merging it with their other brands than people not wanting to pay $40K for an op-amp-based design.

Yes, but you have to peel another layer off of the onion. Why did they want to merge the two facilities? At the time, Lexicon was making money. Levinson was not (except for the OEM car audio for Lexus or whoever it was). So they figured they could merge the two.

But that's what happens when you are a publicly-held company -- the quarterly earnings must rise 10% each time or the stock price drops. So then the accountants start making all the decisions. They thought that they could move Levinson production to Boston without missing a beat. Wrong...
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post #269 of 1442 Old 01-18-2010, 12:28 AM
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Been waiting for you guys to come out w/a DAC (non USB) so I hope that happens.

Eventually we will, but I don't know exactly when.
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post #270 of 1442 Old 01-18-2010, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gregeas View Post

Would Ayre ever consider making a pre-amp with an integrated DAC, or a DAC with a volume control that could be connected directly to an amp? Or maybe an integrated with a DAC?

I'm not sure. Anything is possible. But we are kind of slow, as all of our products bring a lot of new technology with them. We can only make one or two or three products a year, and we have to try and decide which ones are at the top of the priority list. Those are all good possibilities for cool products, though!
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