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Ayre A new dimension of musical enjoyment

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Old 01-03-2016, 10:37 AM
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Default VX5 vs. VXR vs. MXR

Can those of you have been lucky enough to hear these amps from Ayre, let me know your thoughts on the differences?

I have the VX5 at the moment and am considering either a twenty upgrade to the VX5 or an upgrade to the VXR or maybe even MXR's if I can find a reasonable deal on a pair.

All feedback welcome.

Room is treated and 5.5x4m and speakers are PMC MB2's which are pretty easy to drive at 91db.

I have googled but have not found much on the topic.

thanks in advance.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:44 AM
Biggar Biggar is offline
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Sorry, I live, quite happily, down the Ayre food chain.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essjay View Post
Can those of you have been lucky enough to hear these amps from Ayre, let me know your thoughts on the differences? I have the VX5 at the moment and am considering either a twenty upgrade to the VX5 or an upgrade to the VXR or maybe even MXR's if I can find a reasonable deal on a pair. All feedback welcome. Room is treated and 5.5x4m and speakers are PMC MB2's which are pretty easy to drive at 91db. I have googled but have not found much on the topic. thanks in advance.
What is your source and preamp. The VX5 is very good. I have one as well along with a VX5 twenty, a VXR twenty and three MXR twenties( upgraded from MXR). I am quite happy with the base VX5 used with a classe CP800 and naim streamer in a bedroom system with Thiel speakers The VX5 twenty is used in the study with Wilson Surround 2s on the wall and a ARC ref DAC as source and preamp. The MXR and VXR are used in theater with Wilson Alexia's, Mezo and Alidas With KXR twenty and Datasat R20 as preamp processor and Vivaldi as main source. I think it all depends on the total system as to whether an upgrade makes sense. The twenty definitely improves the bottom end and improves on an already very rich and natural sounding presentation. The VXR/MXR are step function improvements but require high quality source components to maximize value
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by enatai252 View Post
What is your source and preamp. The VX5 is very good. I have one as well along with a VX5 twenty, a VXR twenty and three MXR twenties( upgraded from MXR). I am quite happy with the base VX5 used with a classe CP800 and naim streamer in a bedroom system with Thiel speakers The VX5 twenty is used in the study with Wilson Surround 2s on the wall and a ARC ref DAC as source and preamp. The MXR and VXR are used in theater with Wilson Alexia's, Mezo and Alidas With KXR twenty and Datasat R20 as preamp processor and Vivaldi as main source. I think it all depends on the total system as to whether an upgrade makes sense. The twenty definitely improves the bottom end and improves on an already very rich and natural sounding presentation. The VXR/MXR are step function improvements but require high quality source components to maximize value
Thanks for the reply, source is Macbook Air >> Jkenny MK3 SPDIF converter >> NAD M51 (next to be upgraded) >> ARC REF 3 or AYRE KX5.

I am really really liking the ARC Ayre combo, its just sublime.

I also like the KX5 sounds but its not as thick & 3D as the ARC pre. The KX5 seems to be more laid back in its presentation and slightly less organic. Dont get me wrong, the KX% is a very fine pre amp for the money, and It does a better job with house, rock & roll and hip hop etc... but the ARC pulls away on accoustic music and heavy vocols music like Roberta Flack, Folk music and the like.

As it stands I only have two gripes with my current setup;

1. It runs very hot, even when turned off the amp is very warm to touch. However if this is the price i must pay for the sonic purity i get in return then I can live with it, esp in the winter.

2. I like to listen to my music somedays really loud, and I am loving what I hear thus far but on certain types of music my lil vx5 sometimes runs out of steam. e.g. AC/DC @ 125db or hard house at the same volumes.

I guess my question is are the models above just more of a good thing with the same sonic charectistics and just more power or does their flavour change as well?

thanks in advance

SJ
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essjay View Post
Thanks for the reply, source is Macbook Air >> Jkenny MK3 SPDIF converter >> NAD M51 (next to be upgraded) >> ARC REF 3 or AYRE KX5. I am really really liking the ARC Ayre combo, its just sublime. I also like the KX5 sounds but its not as thick & 3D as the ARC pre. The KX5 seems to be more laid back in its presentation and slightly less organic. Dont get me wrong, the KX% is a very fine pre amp for the money, and It does a better job with house, rock & roll and hip hop etc... but the ARC pulls away on accoustic music and heavy vocols music like Roberta Flack, Folk music and the like. As it stands I only have two gripes with my current setup; 1. It runs very hot, even when turned off the amp is very warm to touch. However if this is the price i must pay for the sonic purity i get in return then I can live with it, esp in the winter. 2. I like to listen to my music somedays really loud, and I am loving what I hear thus far but on certain types of music my lil vx5 sometimes runs out of steam. e.g. AC/DC @ 125db or hard house at the same volumes. I guess my question is are the models above just more of a good thing with the same sonic charectistics and just more power or does their flavour change as well? thanks in advance SJ
The main difference when stepping up to R series is not the power....VXR is very similar in output to vX5. The mono amps do add another 50% but in real terms that is only about 1.5db. The R series shine in the resolution, air and soundstage they present. I could live with the vx5 and do in two different systems....but the MXRs with the Alexia's present a large soundstage with the detail and resolution to identify the individual performers. While I have to work harder to see the performers with the vx5. All of the amps offer a natural and non-fatiguing presentation with an organic quality that I find to sound very close to live music.

On some music I prefer the vx5 original over the twenty version but on 85% I would go with the twenty....the twenty version also runs about 40% cooler. I have used a ref40 and ref5se with the MXRs and they pair well together. I do not have a kx5 but do have the KXR twenty....great preamp and prefer it with the MXR twenty. The Ref 40 is now used with a ref150 amp

Don't think you will go wrong with any of the options you mention
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by enatai252 View Post
The main difference when stepping up to R series is not the power....VXR is very similar in output to vX5. The mono amps do add another 50% but in real terms that is only about 1.5db. The R series shine in the resolution, air and soundstage they present. I could live with the vx5 and do in two different systems....but the MXRs with the Alexia's present a large soundstage with the detail and resolution to identify the individual performers. While I have to work harder to see the performers with the vx5. All of the amps offer a natural and non-fatiguing presentation with an organic quality that I find to sound very close to live music. On some music I prefer the vx5 original over the twenty version but on 85% I would go with the twenty....the twenty version also runs about 40% cooler. I have used a ref40 and ref5se with the MXRs and they pair well together. I do not have a kx5 but do have the KXR twenty....great preamp and prefer it with the MXR twenty. The Ref 40 is now used with a ref150 amp Don't think you will go wrong with any of the options you mention
Also as far as playing loud....I believe all of the Ayre amps will go right up to their limits without getting compressed or constrained. I think your. Speakers are 91db which means you should get to 113-114db with 200watts of power. With really good equipment and lack off distortion theses levels sometimes sound lower than other equipment that has higher noise levels...anyway while that may not satisfy full concert levels or full scale orchestra....to get that you will need different speakers not amps
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:52 AM
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they do go right up without any distortion i just want a little more , but after reading your comments I am going to stay where I am even though my VX5 runs hot all the time, (even when in stand by)

thanks for being candid with me and love your setup btw, hope you enjoyt it in good health.
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Last edited by essjay; 01-19-2016 at 07:10 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2016, 12:43 AM
Tomictime Tomictime is offline
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As a VX-R, now Twenty series with 86 db speakers ..not too much I can add to the great advice you have already rcvd..

Would confirm that the twenty series run significantly cooler and sound better MUCH quicker from standby...I think the orig had maybe just w whisker better treble extension and air when warm ( like on for a day ) ..Twenty series bottom end and image depth improved. The twenty have a more liquid and coherant sound.

ayre amps pair VERY well w ARc pres. i am running REF 5 SE.

i think an amp you might like would be the Aesthetix Atlas Monos....they also pair very well w ARc Pre.

just my buck fifty.
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2016, 04:21 AM
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Decided to live dangerously over the weekend and instead of the usual 60 setting on the ARC pre, I pushed it to 80!

I have never before pushed this setup as loud as I did Saturday and boy it did not disappoint. Other lesser amps I have had in my rack in the past would get very loose and sloppy at that level ( 70 actually), so I never tried the ARC/Ayre combo beyond 60 plus I am not keen on releasing any magic smoke from my kit nor smoking any drivers in my MB2's.

The music that I used for the test was a very heavy bass track by Notorious BIG (Hypnotise) and BIG is exactly how it sounded.

I know that Ayre claims on its site that it uses very high quality power supplies, but lets be honest here because every manufacture claims that. However in Ayres case it seems they are not just being truthful but are in fact being very accurate because the speakers were held with what seemed to be an iron grip and there was zero flab or wobble in the 12" bass drivers with the volume at 80!

The only other amps I have tested so far that gripped my MB2's like that are the Bryston 7bsst2's and the MF M8-700 both of which are mono blocks configurations (900w & 1300w @4ohm repectively). But both of these mono setups lacked the air and finesse I sought which is why they got sent back and were not kept.

Heat aside, when I actually wound the VX5 out and let it truly stretch its legs, I was compelled to do the the only thing a man could do in such a situation and that was to dance to the music

ARC and Ayre really are a ridiculously good combo which my little lady even backed up when I got her to A/B test my pre amps options with the VX5. She has no idea about brands or costs but she like the rest of us knows what her ears like and they voted for the ARC pre over the KX5 when coupled with the VX5 amp.

I may some day opt for the twenty upgrade but for now I am a happy camper. Not sure why I am always in search for a little more but its probably due to that disease we all seem to suffer around here, audionervosa.
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2018, 04:36 AM
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After a long search and much procrastination I ended up getting the MX-R's and glad I did.

More detail, better separation and of course another 150w.

Moving my KX5 and VX5 onto a new home in due course and will likely upgrade to twenty series along the way.

Thanks for all the feedback and info
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