Originally Posted by burnspbesq
Bought it today (from Sunny's in Covina, CA) after a 40-minute listening session. Ran it with an amp and headphones I know extremely well - the amp section of my RSA Predator and Senn HD800s.
You can definitely hear the advantages of asynchronous USB. What I expected to hear as a result of the near-elimination of jitter was clarity, crispness, and tightness - and I got them, in spades.
Example: If you're familiar with "Butch and Butch," from Oliver Nelson's "Blues and the Abstract Truth," you know that little high-hat cymbal strike about five seconds in. It's a very distinctive sound, as Haynes strikes the high-hat and pedals it closed at the same time. The Ayre rendered it PERFECTLY.
Another example: Edgar Meyer's bass solo on "From Ankara to Izmir," from the "Skip Hop and Wobble" LP he did with Jerry Douglas and Russ Barenberg. He covers virtually the entire range of the bass in about a minute - at least three octaves, all the way down to the open fourth string, which is 41 Hz. Tightly controlled, woody, resonant - exactly what you would hear live.
Resolution of inner detail? Oh, yes. I thought my Benchmark was good at that, but the Ayre unraveled the three acoustic guitars at the beginning of Cara Dillon's "Hill of Thieves" much better.
Ambience and air? Captured beautifully. I listened to Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's recording of Debussy's "Clair de Lune," and the only adjective that describes it is "right." It sounded like a piano, not a recording of a piano.
And it can blast, too. Whether it's rock or big orchestras, it's up to the task. The hi-res (88.2/24) file of the San Francisco Symphony's recording of Mahler's First was just stunning.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Now I need a new headphone amp. Any QB-9 owners have any suggestions?