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Ayre USB DAC

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Ayre's QB-9 USB DAC Revealed

Fellow members,

The below was taken from Stereophile's website reporting of CES. This device looks very interesting. Props to Ayre for licensing a proven technology and mating it with there own DAC design.

"Saturday morning Ayre held a press conference at the top of the Venetian to reveal their latest products, which include a new USB DAC, the QB-9.

Another tweaky USB DAC you say? Yes, but this one takes serious technical aim at the jitter problem inherent in most of these products. Ayre is licensing Wavelength Audio's new asynchronous USB approach called "Streamlength" which essentially clocks the stream from the DAC instead of waiting for the computer to parse out the data. The result is a tighter jitter spec and all the sonic benefits that implies. The QB-9 also includes an implementation of the company's new MP filter that minimizes ringing.

Though CES rooms are not a great way to judge these kinds of things, the demo ran iTunes via a Mac Mini through the QB-9 directly into the KX-R preamp and held its own against the other disc transports in the rack. Retail will be less than $2,500 and the product should hit the streets by March."
LL
post #2 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by auee View Post
Though CES rooms are not a great way to judge these kinds of things, the demo ran iTunes via a Mac Mini through the QB-9 directly into the KX-R preamp and held its own against the other disc transports in the rack. Retail will be less than $2,500 and the product should hit the streets by March."
as in $2,499?
post #3 of 78
maybe $2,496 !
post #4 of 78
Looks sweet!
Can't wait to see/read more about this one...
post #5 of 78
Really interested to hear more about this one too.
post #6 of 78
Just read this and this new asynchronous technology. Sounds as it should be miles above all other DAC's currently in existence.

Is there any skeptics that know this technology who think this won't reduce jitter like they say it will? Or that it'll introduce other problems?
post #7 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojamijams View Post
Just read this and this new asynchronous technology. Sounds as it should be miles above all other DAC's currently in existence.

Is there any skeptics that know this technology who think this won't reduce jitter like they say it will? Or that it'll introduce other problems?

There's 1 problem I am sure of: Cashflow problem!!
At $2499 and at times like this? It seems that there are companies which are
assuming all Head fiers have such a large bunch cash. No doubt its a new technology but to pay that amount would probably be able to feed a family of 4 for months...
I have nothing against Ayre and of course no one is forcing me to buy but charging an arm and leg for the newest items seems to be the trend??

post #8 of 78
Why did you assume it's marketed toward Head-fiers ??
post #9 of 78
Looks like it's getting close to release. There's a shot of the redesigned case at AV Watch:



There's some info in Japanese too:
ƒAƒNƒVƒXA•ÄAyre‚Ì24bit/96kHz‘ΉžUSB DACuQB-9v -AV Watch
whatsnew_Ayre_QB-9

Really looking forward to the first reviews of this one.
post #10 of 78
It's available now. If anyone is interested, I got a price quoted to me today: CAD$3100. Black is CAD$300 extra. Not bad if this is really the ultimate computer dac. Would be nice if it supported 24/192 though.
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mik View Post
It's available now. If anyone is interested, I got a price quoted to me today: CAD$3100. Black is CAD$300 extra. Not bad if this is really the ultimate computer dac. Would be nice if it supported 24/192 though.
That's a lot of money for async USB receiver, which from what I've got so far is a major selling point. Chord DAC64, Northstar, Electrocompaniet are all half of that price on used market. How good is the portion after the receiver, is it really up to at least mentioned three?
post #12 of 78
It can't be the ultimate computer dac if it can't do 24/192. The future in high res downloads is 24/192. I'm not saying I can hear the difference between a 24/96 adn 24/192, but at that price I would should like to try to hear a difference!
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
That's a lot of money for async USB receiver, which from what I've got so far is a major selling point. Chord DAC64, Northstar, Electrocompaniet are all half of that price on used market. How good is the portion after the receiver, is it really up to at least mentioned three?
Async USB is intuitively very appealing to me. None of the dacs you mentioned offer that unfortunately. At Audio Asylum, I asked Charles Hansen from Ayre about the differences between the QB-9 and Ayre's C-5xeMP disc player and this was his reply:

"The QB-9 has a fully discrete analog stage, as does the C-5xe MP. They both have identical minimum-phase digital filters, switchable on the rear panel. The PCB material is better performance than the CX-7e MP, but I'm not really sure how it compares with the board material in the C-5xe MP. It should be close, but we haven't done a careful listening evaluation to be sure. The capacitors are a mix -- some are the polystyrenes we use in the C-5xe MP and others are the polypropylenes we use in the CX-7e MP. There is only one stage of voltage regulation, the same as the CX-7e MP.

All three sound pretty darned amazing. The new QB-9 is better in some ways than the C-5xe, but not quite overall. But it is less than half the price (assuming you have a computer already)."

And this is what I was told by the Canadian dealer I contacted:

"Fully Balanced.
Zero negative loop feedback.
one hundred percent discrete analog circuit.
Equi-lock circuit derived from the MX-R and KX-R.
Asynchronous USB digital interface.
Ayre's exclusive MP digital filtering system.
fully regulated analog power supply."

The C-5xe has gotten a lot of praise from various people. If the QB-9 can deliver the same performance from the convenience of a computer, that's why I'm interested in it. I wish there was an easy way to audition these things. Anyone here had a chance to listen to one yet?
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
It can't be the ultimate computer dac if it can't do 24/192. The future in high res downloads is 24/192. I'm not saying I can hear the difference between a 24/96 adn 24/192, but at that price I would should like to try to hear a difference!
I wouldn't be surprised if Ayre offers a cheap upgrade to 24/192 at some point in the future, since they like to let their customers ship gear back to the factory to be upgraded when new features are added. I agree it should have 24/192 for that price though, or at least a free upgrade when it's available.
post #15 of 78
Yep a free upgrade would be sweet! Hoping to read more about this DAC and the tech behind it in the future. I like trickle down effects!
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