some preliminary audio reports:
Ayre makes a big deal about the audio dacs and how physically close they are to the (whatever) to minimize jitter, among other things (they are optically isolated as well), so the first thing i wanted to check is the analog out vs the digital out/lex dacs.
set up as follows:
#1: analog to lex analog in (2ch), using granite audio silver 470/rca cables
#2a: dig xlr out to lex xlr in (2ch), using orchid xlr cable
i could a/b by choosing lex inputs. comparative findings: not a lot of difference; this is comparing the ayre dacs,close coupled, to the lex dacs. i'm going to need some forum clues as to what to listen for, but to my ear, there were not significant differences.
#2b: ayre dig xlr to sigtech to lex, again orchid xlr and orchid/rca digital cables
the main event was #1 vs #2b. the presumption being that the superior ayre minimally connected analog would outperform the ayre digital/sigtech/lex dacs with more connections.
i preferred #2b, probably because the room correction of the sigtech is that good. the imaging was more precise, with more front to back resolution and the bass was tighter and more refined. voicing seemed more in the chest, throat and mouth and less in just the mouth; the sound was more creamy. i looked at material with kick drums, string bass, plucked bass, electric bass, piano, male and female vocal, geetar and preferred the #2b. the sigtech mainly gets rid of room resonances below 300hz,(so bass tightened up considerably) and reflections (better imaging and note definition). the advantages were an improvement over the analog ayre's high quality. says a lot for the sigtech, and the lex.
unfortunately, you can only use the sig effectively with a digital signal, so its is mututally exclusive with the ayre analog.
notes: audio levels were set to match (a must);
material: holly cole/don't smoke; van morrison/back on top; joe beard/for real; cat stevens/tea for the tillerman; bonnie rait/glow.
equip: lex MC-12b, BAT vp6200, wilson watt puppies, rel stadium sub, granite cables, equitech balanced power conditioner
any comments or testing suggestion in this context welcome, especially about isolating jitter effects.
next to try out the ayre vs the pmdt.