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Ayre wants $1.5K for DSD'ed QB-9


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In case you are wondering about it, or might have heard about it from somewhere already, Ayre's DSD upgrade for their QB-9 DAC will set you back $1,500. Pricey, but it's Ayre were talking about.

Also, Ayre remains as elusive as ever regarding the first availability of the DSD'ed version of the QB-9.

Please don't kill the messenger. :)

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Ouch... Original source? More info?

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Sure does. Looking forward to more info!

 

Dr Tone – I see you are using a iFi usb power supply. I was under the impression that the QB-9 was unaffected by ubs power quality? You hear a difference?

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Sure does. Looking forward to more info!

 

Dr Tone – I see you are using a iFi usb power supply. I was under the impression that the QB-9 was unaffected by ubs power quality? You hear a difference?

 

Sorry, I just plugged it in and never looked back. A persons hearing is a finicky thing, mine changes daily, I wouldn't trust it with something that might or might not make a very small change as clean usb power will with a QB-9.

 

I figure with the amount I spent on kit it was a pretty small price for that extra level of isolation between the computer and DAC.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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I'm quite certain it's much more than just a DSD update for $1500... I think it's more like v2 that just happens to have DSD playback now.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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[PARA][/PARA]pawel8: No it does not. The QB-9 was launched in 2009 at $2500. The cheapest DCS come in at what – $10 000? Do the math. There are no similarities.

Roon client on iPad/MacBookPro

Roon Server & HQPlayer on Mac Mini 2.0 GHz i7 with JS-2

LPS-1 & ultraRendu → Lampizator Atlantic → Bent Audio TAP-X → Atma-sphere M60 → Zero autoformers → Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3

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The gap between DCS and Ayre was very wide to start with and now became even wider.

I have had both Qb9 and QB9 192 and IMHO was just average when comparing to arc DAC 8 and Berkeley Alpha with or without alpha USB.

I am going to read about software only upgrade.

The price not always corresponds to quality.

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Did you read what the Auralic guy said about software only DSD updates? It was in the 6 moons review!

With respect to Auralic.. That could be read as a bit of marketing FUD!

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I agree!:we do not even know if Sabre chips are better than Wolfson,burr-brown etc.

 

Going back to QB9 please keep in mind that it has only USB input well short of most other DACS which also include spdif,aes and toslink inputs allowing consumers to use variety of sources and hotly discussed USB converters.

Implementation of these cost money.

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Re Auralic: obviously it is better to reengineer the whole thing for a new type of input data. DSD was not available when the QB-9 was constructed.

 

One possible scenario for the update: it will be capable of playing the file produced by it’s sister, the AQ-9 AD-converter. What would be DSD256, thank you very much.

Roon client on iPad/MacBookPro

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LPS-1 & ultraRendu → Lampizator Atlantic → Bent Audio TAP-X → Atma-sphere M60 → Zero autoformers → Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3

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With respect to Auralic.. That could be read as a bit of marketing FUD!

Maybe, but the Calyx Femto designer gave a similar reason for NOT including DSD in the Femto Dac, essentially saying the the circuitry would have to be compromised for one or both if they cohabited the same device...

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. . .Ayre's DSD upgrade for their QB-9 DAC will set you back $1,500.

 

This appears to be inaccurate:

 

RE: QB-9 DSD upgrade? - Charles Hansen - Computer Audio Asylum

 

15% of $2750 is $412.50. That's a bit more than most Ayre upgrades (more typically 10% of retail) but the upgrade is quite a lot more than merely adding the DSD feature. I'm planning to get in the upgrade queue for my QB-9.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Information at last – and from Charles himself. Excellent. This is a nice touch:

 

4) Addition of an AC line powered supply for the USB circuitry. This provides for uniformly superior performance, regardless of the quality of the USB Vbus power supplied by the computer.

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Roon Server & HQPlayer on Mac Mini 2.0 GHz i7 with JS-2

LPS-1 & ultraRendu → Lampizator Atlantic → Bent Audio TAP-X → Atma-sphere M60 → Zero autoformers → Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3

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The percentage is based on the higher priced unit at about $10K retail. The work needed for that and the cheaper QB9 appears to be about the same and hence the same upgrade price in absolute dollars.

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The percentage is based on the higher priced unit at about $10K retail. The work needed for that and the cheaper QB9 appears to be about the same and hence the same upgrade price in absolute dollars.

 

If you are suggesting that the QB-9 upgrade will be 15% of the retail of the DX-5, I am quite certain that you are mistaken.

 

From Charles Hansen via Audiostream:

 

"We will apply many of the same upgrades to the QB-9, to be called the QB-9 DSD. In this case we want to keep the US retail below a certain price point, so we don't know haw many of the changes we will be able to include.That unit should be shipping in mid-February. Again the sonic improvement will be substantial, and the price increase and also the upgrade cost will be very reasonable."

 

Ayre Acoustics DX-5-DSD and the QB-9-DSD | AudioStream

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I am not sure about that Beetle. Your post above is from Jan but in March he said:

 

The QB-9 upgrade will be very similar, the only real difference being the clocks. We will change to a 3rd overtone crystal with lower phase-noise (ie, jitter), but not replace the entire clock module. Everything else will be pretty much the same as the changes to the DX-5-DSD.

 

The retail price of the new units will increase about 8% in the US. Upgrades for units bought within a certain period (we haven't decided how long yet) will receive courtesy pricing of just the difference between the old and new units. Older units will cost more to upgrade due to the amount of labor in them, I would guess around 15% (and possibly more). VERY EARLY units that are not 192 kHz capable will also require that upgrade as well, as the DoP feature requires 176.4/24 capability. (The distributor for each country sets their own pricing and warranty policies, so these will vary around the world.)

 

and in Feb he detailed the costs of the higher unit mod (DX-5):

 

If you are not using the analog audio outputs, there is no reason to upgrade your DX-5. The changes include:

 

1) Changing the DAC chip from the Burr-Brown DSD1792A to the ES9016S.

 

2) Replacing the audio master clocks with low-phase-noise modules running at twice the frequency of the previous ones, which allow the ESS DAC chip to perform at a higher level.

 

3) Changes to the analog audio circuitry and its power supply that improve the audio performance.

 

4) Addition of an AC line powered supply for the USB circuitry. This provides for uniformly superior performance, regardless of the quality of the USB Vbus power supplied by the computer.

 

5) The ability of the USB Audio input to accept and decode native DSD files from computer sources.

 

I think that's about it. If you are using the analog audio outputs, the improvement in performance is dramatic. I honestly felt there wasn't all that much room for improvement over the existing product, and was shocked at how much better it sounds now. I am not kidding when I say that in my opinion it sounds roughly twice as good as it did previously. Once you hear it, it is very obvious and you will not be able to go back. The US retail price for new units will increase by $1000, from $9,950 to $10,950. Units purchased in the last 90 to 180 days (we haven't decided yet) will be updated (in the US) for the price difference between the old and new versions ($1000). Older units will be updated for $1250 (in the US). There is a LOT of labor involved in the update, and we are offering the lower price for recent purchasers simply as a courtesy. The prices and policies in other countries are set by the importer in that country. The entire unit needs to be disassembled to gain access to the USB Audio input PCB and there is a lot of labor involved, so the prices could vary considerably. However, updated units will perform 100% identically to new units. I can promise you that this upgrade will make ten times more difference than spending the same amount of money on a power cord or interconnects or anything else you can do to your system for the same cost.

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I am not sure about that Beetle. . .

 

It's pretty clear (to me, at least) that the QB-9 DSD will cost about 8% more than the QB-9. That would put it at ~$3K USD. That's is what CH wrote in the audioasylum post.

 

There is a LOT of labor involved in the update

 

I own an AX-7 that I had updated to AX-7e and used to own a CX-7 that I had updated first to CX-7e then CX-7eMP. So, I can tell you that the typical Ayre pricing for upgrades is the difference btw the new "model" and the previous iteration. Using that formula, the QB-9 DSD upgrade "should" be ~$250. But, "there is a LOT of labor involved". In this case, the upgrade will cost almost twice as much as the difference btw the new and old iterations. Ayre is hardly likely to charge $1500 to upgrade a unit that retails for $2750. I'll bet you a virtual bottle of your favorite beer.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Can you explain the differences beween the two versions? Big difference in price?

Roon client on iPad/MacBookPro

Roon Server & HQPlayer on Mac Mini 2.0 GHz i7 with JS-2

LPS-1 & ultraRendu → Lampizator Atlantic → Bent Audio TAP-X → Atma-sphere M60 → Zero autoformers → Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3

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