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Blackstone 06-18-2016 07:22 PM


gtl 06-19-2016 09:29 AM

Thank for your impressions!

I was wondering if a QX-5 twenty paired with a VX-5 twenty with digital volume control would sound as good as a QX-5 twenty paired with an AX-5 twenty. I could save $3k there and get a more powerful amp to boot.

Did Alex mention anything special about the digital volume control?


Blackstone 06-19-2016 12:33 PM


gtl 06-19-2016 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by Blackstone (Post 786727)
Yes I did pick his brain on exactly this subject. The digital volume control on the QX-5 Twenty is very good. It is a 32 bit system so you retain 24 bits of resolution even when the volume control is set all the way down. I used the DAC both ways and it sounded fantastic both ways. We set the AX-5 Twenty up high and use the DAC's volume control and it was terrific. There was not a clear advantage either way.

However, I asked Alex if he thought the unit would mate better with an AX-5 Twenty or VX-5 Twenty. He said he would still tend to steer people toward an AX-5 Twenty just based on his personal experience and because the volume control in that unit is so good. However, your mileage may vary. Apparently both Ayre and ESS are in agreement regarding the benefits and limitations of analog and digital volume control, respectively. The AX-5's volume control is exceptionally good analog volume control, and the QX-5 is exceptionally good digital volume control, it seems.

Again, I did hear the DAC in both modes, and I did not feel like using the volume control gave up anything at all. It was very musical sounding.

Also obviously when I used the headphones I was using digital volume control and there was no analog volume control in the loop at all. Again, more musical than my Bryston headphone amp and better volume control than JRIVER's 64 bit system, was my first impression.

If I were in the market for an amp with this DAC, I would probably want to test both the AX-5 Twenty and the VX-5 Twenty seriously. You would definitely want to audition both. I think that is going to be a very system dependent decision that the end user will have to make. I could see VX-5 twenty making more sense with some speakers, the AX-5 Twenty more sense with others. The only thing I am sure of is that the volume control on the QX is GOOD and you can run it straight into an amp. You'd need to audition both amps to pick one. Nobody knows for sure.

If the digital volume control is as good as what you are saying, saving money by going with a VX-5 seems mighty tempting. Or even going for a even cheaper Pass Labs XA30.8.

One more thing, any idea on how heavy the QX-5 weighs? Seems like a hefty beast from your pictures.


Blackstone 06-19-2016 01:22 PM

No clue how much it weighs! Looked pretty substantially built to me!

Coppy 06-19-2016 04:31 PM

This is probably not a fair question, but did you have an opportunity to compare the Ayre DAC SQ to that nice DCS equipment next to it?

Blackstone 06-19-2016 05:30 PM


ctsooner 06-21-2016 08:55 AM

I looks like Vivaldi. I think it was Scott? who said it was that one. Larger than Rossini, which I really like a lot, but that's freaking 25k and wayyyy out of my league, lol. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to get this unit in my system. Now that the Melco can hook up with an optical drive to transfer my CD;s, I'm going to get that this week and start the music transfers and then get the QX in August when they will probably get shipping. Can't wait.

Blackstone 07-02-2016 07:33 PM


gaboudreaux 07-02-2016 09:07 PM

I just ordered one too! Should get it in August as well.

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