Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: gaithersburg, md
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Ayre Acoustic K-5xe + A21 + UD7007...
just in case anyone is interested....
I went to the hi fi dealer in my area to check out some preamps he had on display today with the intention of coming home with (if not empty handed) a P5 or P7 as he had some decent stock of Parasound preamps. He offered to play the p5 for me as it was on display but he kept nudging me towards an Ayre Acoustics K-5xe that he also had hooked up to some speakers I did not recognize.
Long story short after some discussion he was able to convince me (suppose it wasn't too hard) to take home the display model of the Ayre and give it a listen along with some Transparent XLR Interconnects for what I thought to be a reasonable discount. Typically I am used to a higher percentage coming off the retail price of a new unit then he was offering but given I was a bit out of my element and this dealer was recommended to me very highly by a couple different unbiased sources I took him for his word and brought home the Ayre + insanely expensive cables.
We agreed it would be considered a "home trial" as I wasn't too eager to hear a preamp being demoed to me even though he had it paired with the same amp I was going to pair it with at home (A21), because the speakers he had in the store were not only higher end then my Cm10s but for the most part just of a different breed/manufacturing process. this (among other factors) made me hesitant to be swayed in any direction by a in store demo and convinced I needed to hear whatever I was leaning towards in my own room to really know if it was what i was seeking.
I used the balanced out connections from my marantz UD7007 connected it to a balanced input on the Ayre and then balanced again into my A21. Only change I had to make on my existing components was swapping out cables, taking my SR7009 receiver out of the mix by unplugging the RCAs and flipping the switch on the A21 to balanced.
for the 2 channel rig I was still using the $14.95 cables I recently purchased to link up the CM10s and the same Dire Straits CD I had been playing earlier with the SR7009 (greatest hits including tracks like brothers in arms, on every street, etc.)
I never expected such a dramatic improvement in what I heard coming from this setup. Without further listening and trying some different connections I cannot say for sure if this was due to the balanced cables, the blu ray/preamp/power amp balanced connection (even though I do not think this is a pure balanced differential setup from source to speaker but i could be wrong) or the Ayre preamp/A21 combo but I was blown away...I have never heard anything like this before and that includes some 650K speakers on a boulder amp in a dedicated room from another shop the other day that was his main floor draw.
I will have to report back (if anyone cares to hear) once I get another day or two of listening in and try out the processor pass through of the Ayre.
but seriously, wow
My Current 5.2 Setup - for now....
B&W CM10s (FLR), CMC2, CM5 x2 (SLR)
Dual SVS SB2000s
Rack and Display:
Marantz SR7009, Marantz UD7007, T-PC50st60[/COLOR]