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Some Impressions of Ayre QB-9 - Page 2

post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tosehee View Post
Everyone has different opinions, and definitely different hearing capability.

With that said, I ABx Ref1 with Logitech Transport with no upgrade at all. and I found the difference to be 'minimal' at best.

The source was network streamed for Logitech Transporter and I used the m2Tech hiface as well as using Transporter as a Source (which should have a very good jitter performance).

In the end, the difference is pretty much 'none' to MY ears. If I were to buy a new DAC, I don't mind buying Transporter nor Ref1.

What I am getting at is, the jitter performance is pretty much non-issue with reclocking dsp-1 inside the Ref1. It's mostly the power supply and the CHIP used inside the DAC.

If you can hear the jitter difference between 90ps and 200 ps, it's totally different ballgame, I suppose.
After living with my transporter for god knows how long, I came to the conclusion, as many would agree, that the DAC in TP is not that good. CAL Alpha with some NOS 12AX7 and Electrocompainent ECD-1 both bested TP by not a small margin, in the area of bass, treble extension, presence, and body. And there are DACs significantly better than either of the DACs that bested TP.
post #17 of 37
I ordered this two weeks ago after a home audition. I found out it made Stereophile product of the year after I ordered.

I heard it with a Transparent Audio USB cable ($100) and a Transparent Audio Power Link power cord. Jaw dropping good. I have another system here with dCS gear and this thing is good. Very, very musical. It didn't sound like just another redbook dac--it was very smooth, it didn't have that digital assault on the ears. Someone else used the term "liquid and air"--that is exactly how I would describe it as well. It was holographic and I heard stuff in some recording that I swear I never heard on the dCS system (that system has a huge Levinson amp and B&W N802 speakers).

Since I placed my order I upgraded my Windows 7 64 bit laptop to 4 gigs of ram. Full review to follow.
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks BlackstoneJD! Eagerly waiting for your full review! Better some comparison with other DAC or cd players.

Did you buy your transparent USB cable from online? I'm also looking forward to this cable. I heard very good words about it.
post #19 of 37
I just got off the phone w/Audio Consultants in Evanston, IL which is about 1/2 hour from here and they are going to have a 2 hour presentation on USB DAC's tonight focusing on the Ayre. That's the good news.............bad news is there's no more room and its booked. Darn! I just found out you can now run a 50' Transparent Audio USB. I'll have to stop by another time and check it out. I am definitely getting one of these unless the audition stinks.

Keith
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icenine2 View Post
I just got off the phone w/Audio Consultants in Evanston, IL which is about 1/2 hour from here and they are going to have a 2 hour presentation on USB DAC's tonight focusing on the Ayre. That's the good news.............bad news is there's no more room and its booked. Darn! I just found out you can now run a 50' Transparent Audio USB. I'll have to stop by another time and check it out. I am definitely getting one of these unless the audition stinks.

Keith
Yeah Scott is giving the presentation, he know quite a bit about it. Actually, that is where I am getting my QB-9. They loaned me the QB and the Transparent cable. I've been working with them for many years. I only buy from them.
post #21 of 37
Ok so I have his unit now. Total crap stock printer USB 2.0 cable, foobar with windows 7 and asio for all plug in and the performance is incredible. Running sweep tones and pink noise through it while I am at work. More to follow. Love it so far.
post #22 of 37
How did you get asio to run with Foobar on a 64bit W7?
post #23 of 37
I just followed the Vista instructions on the Ayre website. I think it is working because it sounds good, and the system volume control now has no impact.
post #24 of 37
Ayre's made their own Asio-drivers? Kool. I have to get foobar working. The problem isn't with the DACs I'm sure, but foobar itself. It won't accept Asio drivers no matter what kind of .dll files you put in the components-folder..

Have to search more. But W7 does sound pretty good itself. My sound card is on bit perfect -mode and the system sound setting is at the native 16/44.1 cd-quality setting. As soon as I found that I've experienced no real issues with sound quality. Though my current desktop DAC for the moment is only a Zero... Nothing fancy. Been drooling over the Ayre though.
post #25 of 37
Second serious listening session with the Ayre. My Pro-Ject Headbox SEII and Sennheiser HD-600 can't keep up with the Ayre, but my Threshold T2-->Bryston 3BST-->B&W N804 setup sounds incredible. This is the best stand alone DAC I've heard outside of a dCS. I ran pink noise and a gliding tone track through this thing for 24 hours and it already sounds liquid smooth. Really black between the notes and transparent sounding. Very laid back and sophisticated, not harsh or forward.

I am mostly testing it with jazz at this point, LOUD.

You can't use iTunes with this unless you can get WASAPI working--FOOBAR with AISO is the only good sounding solution I've come up with on Windows 7.

Problems I've encountered:

With 64 bit windows 7, no WASAPI or AISO support from Apple and therefore, no playing of AIFF files in Jriver (because it uses quicktime). Foobar is the only option for 64 bit. I am on the release candidate so when i buy windows 7 for my laptop, I'll probably go 32 bit.
post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi BlackstoneJD, what do you mean by asio under win7? Are you using asio4all since Ayre has no asio driver for qb9? Yet I was told that asio4all is not "real" asio but just a software wrapper. I can adjust volume through windows mixer using asio, so I just give it up. I can use ks under win7 and I think it's better than asio4all. Maybe it's just all placebo
post #27 of 37
How do you use KS under windows 7? I use ASIO4All and Foobar2000. Also, I started using WASAPI with Foobar2000, and that also sounds good.
post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
You need to download the ks plugin for foobar:
Download foo out ks 1.2.2 - Allows bit-exact playback bypassing Windows kernel mixer - Softpedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackstoneJD View Post
How do you use KS under windows 7? I use ASIO4All and Foobar2000. Also, I started using WASAPI with Foobar2000, and that also sounds good.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackstoneJD View Post
Second serious listening session with the Ayre. .... With 64 bit windows 7, no WASAPI or AISO support from Apple and therefore, no playing of AIFF files in Jriver (because it uses quicktime).
J. River Media Center 14 added native AIFF support about a month ago.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post
After living with my transporter for god knows how long, I came to the conclusion, as many would agree, that the DAC in TP is not that good. CAL Alpha with some NOS 12AX7 and Electrocompainent ECD-1 both bested TP by not a small margin, in the area of bass, treble extension, presence, and body. And there are DACs significantly better than either of the DACs that bested TP.

I had a similar experience with the Transporter, so last January I sent mine to Dan Wright to get it modified. The internal DAC is top-drawer, but the analog stage is the weak area. Modwright's revisions focus on power supply and analog stage enhancements. Since the mods, I find my listening sessions go much longer, and my digital sources are competitive with my analog turntable set-up. As a headphone source, it is really quite lovely, and ethernet avoids the jitter issues with SP/DIF and USB connections. Highly recommended! And, of course, it opens the door to tube rolling if you are so-inclined.

Just my $.02
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