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Ayre A new dimension of musical enjoyment

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  #111  
Old 11-18-2016, 02:34 PM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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Toslink is absolutely terrible. I would never use Toslink for serious listening.
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  #112  
Old 11-18-2016, 03:18 PM
GreenMtnGringo GreenMtnGringo is offline
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Just did some quick online research on the Wadia S7i as a transport. Found a professional review by Christiaan Punter from April 2012 stating in relevant part as follows (my emphasis):
"The Wadia S7i's transport has been optimized for accurate playback and it shows. Using the S7i as a transport only into various DACs, it performs in a consistently tight, fast, dynamic and lively manner. Comparing to the Marantz CD11LE or Levinson 390S as transports, the latter two have more color and a smoother, more relaxed presentation that I favour. But in terms of quality this is a matter of taste. The S7i functions well as a transport and as a DAC, but still, I prefer that S7i playing CD's in an integral manner. This way it just sounds most involving."
Perhaps the Wadia 7Si spinning a CD and outputting via Toslink is not the ideal transport/source material to show what the Ayre QX-5 can do.... Just sayin'.
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Last edited by GreenMtnGringo; 11-18-2016 at 04:25 PM.
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  #113  
Old 11-18-2016, 03:25 PM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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I always thought Toslink was an input of last resort. Toslink is for tv, game consoles and cable boxes and the like. A CD transport and toslink? No way. There are ten inputs on QX-5 and I suspect toslink is the worst of them.
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  #114  
Old 11-18-2016, 04:37 PM
ctsooner ctsooner is offline
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Personally I agree IRT toslink connections. I hear a big difference between the plastic optical cables vs the glass ones like the Wireworld I mentioned above. Bill I want to make sure I understand how you are set up. Are you running the Wadia as a CD player using the built in transport? If so, I can promise you that if you put the DACs up against each other as just a DAC you'd most probably hear a big difference. Not trying to try and make you think a specific way but if it's not a DAC to DAC comparison using the same toslink connector then it's not a fair comparison is it?
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  #115  
Old 11-18-2016, 07:38 PM
kngale1 kngale1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackstone View Post
I always thought Toslink was an input of last resort. Toslink is for tv, game consoles and cable boxes and the like. A CD transport and toslink? No way. There are ten inputs on QX-5 and I suspect toslink is the worst of them.
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Rip several CDs to local HDD, download JRiver for 30 days free trial and use DLNA.
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  #116  
Old 11-19-2016, 09:29 PM
BillK BillK is offline
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I appreciate all the comments regarding the transport and such.

One of the nice things about the S7i is that the digital out can be set to be from the transport independent of the digital input, such that when using it as a transport, you can connect the cable back to itself and hear how it sounds as a transport and DAC as compared to an integral CD player.

I used this method to put the two DACs on an "even playing field" when comparing the Wadia and QX-5 Twenty as DACs. I did the majority of auditioning with an AudioQuest Cinnamon Toslink, but I also compared using an AudioQuest Cinnamon coaxial and a borrowed DH Labs D-110 Silversonic AES/EBU just to make sure the results I heard weren't appreciably different when using different cabling, and they weren't. (The actual sound was slightly different with each, but the inherent sound of the Wadia as composed to the Ayre was not.)

Could it be that the Ayre was simply revealing the S7i's failing as as a transport? Quite possibly.

I can't do much more experimentation as the QX-5 Twenty had to go back to the dealer, but he's a great guy and I'm sure would be happy to allow me to run more experiments in the future.

Of note, however, is GreenMtnGringo's observation that using the S7i as a transport over Toslink may not best reveal the Ayre's strengths, and I agree. However, the vast majority of my listening is from Red Book CD played via optical disc and if the Ayre was the best streaming DAC on the planet I'd likely never know as I would rarely if ever use it that way, so my testing methodology was concentrated on how it would work for me.

Perhaps I'm too old school; when I listen to music I put a physical medium onto/into a device and play, whether that be vinyl, CD, SACD or DVD-A. Though I have all my CDs ripped into ALAC via iTunes, I use that mostly for listening to iTunes via an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red USB DAC or on my phone while traveling or on the road. I don't own Roon, and my biggest issue with Tidal is you have no idea of the source of their library, whether it was HD to begin with, or which version of a CD it may be sourced from (e.g. was it the original CD or the horrifically compressed remaster done in 2007? From my experience, it's far too often the latter.)
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  #117  
Old 11-20-2016, 05:11 PM
kngale1 kngale1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillK View Post
I appreciate all the comments regarding the transport and such.

One of the nice things about the S7i is that the digital out can be set to be from the transport independent of the digital input, such that when using it as a transport, you can connect the cable back to itself and hear how it sounds as a transport and DAC as compared to an integral CD player.

I used this method to put the two DACs on an "even playing field" when comparing the Wadia and QX-5 Twenty as DACs. I did the majority of auditioning with an AudioQuest Cinnamon Toslink, but I also compared using an AudioQuest Cinnamon coaxial and a borrowed DH Labs D-110 Silversonic AES/EBU just to make sure the results I heard weren't appreciably different when using different cabling, and they weren't. (The actual sound was slightly different with each, but the inherent sound of the Wadia as composed to the Ayre was not.)

Could it be that the Ayre was simply revealing the S7i's failing as as a transport? Quite possibly.

I can't do much more experimentation as the QX-5 Twenty had to go back to the dealer, but he's a great guy and I'm sure would be happy to allow me to run more experiments in the future.

Of note, however, is GreenMtnGringo's observation that using the S7i as a transport over Toslink may not best reveal the Ayre's strengths, and I agree. However, the vast majority of my listening is from Red Book CD played via optical disc and if the Ayre was the best streaming DAC on the planet I'd likely never know as I would rarely if ever use it that way, so my testing methodology was concentrated on how it would work for me.

Perhaps I'm too old school; when I listen to music I put a physical medium onto/into a device and play, whether that be vinyl, CD, SACD or DVD-A. Though I have all my CDs ripped into ALAC via iTunes, I use that mostly for listening to iTunes via an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red USB DAC or on my phone while traveling or on the road. I don't own Roon, and my biggest issue with Tidal is you have no idea of the source of their library, whether it was HD to begin with, or which version of a CD it may be sourced from (e.g. was it the original CD or the horrifically compressed remaster done in 2007? From my experience, it's far too often the latter.)
Wadia is always at an advantage as a CD player. Even playing field is Ethernet or something like an Aurender N10 using one of QX-5 Twenty better digital inputs, IMHO.
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  #118  
Old 11-21-2016, 09:06 AM
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imprezap2 imprezap2 is offline
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The wadia S7I, has more digital outputs then only toslink, if you want you can try all off them with the QX-5.

I have the 381i, compared it as a DAC to the DX-5 I have (both have USB), here the wadia cannot compete with the Ayre. But the Wadia sounds best with it's own transport and XLR analog output. (internal clocklink)
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  #119  
Old 11-21-2016, 09:25 AM
GreenMtnGringo GreenMtnGringo is offline
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Hi, can anyone with a QX-5 confirm whether it has 802.11ac WiFi capability? I checked the Ayre website and the QX-5 manual and did not see anything one way or another. Thanks very much.
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  #120  
Old 11-23-2016, 10:29 AM
ctsooner ctsooner is offline
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GreenMtn, not sure if it's ac or not, but it's fast enough for music. I personally have to use the wifi for Tidal right now as I'm putting together my optical ethernet run as I type this. They maximized the wifi, even thought they want you to wire it directly. I can tell you the sound over wifi is the best wifi sound I've listened to on a DAC AND that it's not the quality I want going forward, lol. There is just a HUGE difference in the same cuts via wifi and Tidal streaming and the same cuts from my Mac Mini. HUGE differences, but as I type, I'm enjoying Yoyo Ma in the background, lol....and not complaining.
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