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Should I upgrade my Ayre QB-9 or purchase another DAC that supports DSD?


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I have been on the list for the $750 upgrade for almost a year now, so my scheduled update is getting close. The question is do I upgrade or put the money towards another DSD supported DAC? What would you do, or for QB-9 owners, what have you done and why?

 

Look forward to your thoughts, thanks.

Alan B

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Upgrade. You will basically get a new dac for $750. Bonus: no need to fiddle with iZotope settings in A+. Sounds best without another filter ahead of the dac... (I hate those stupid settings – why would I want to design/tweak a digital filter?!)

 

My next step will propably be a dac with volume control/preamp. Too many boxes, too little room...

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On the one hand, the QB-9 DSD sounds wonderful. The upgrade is worth every penny - and not because it can play DSD titles (the increased SQ on PCM is the real goal, IMO - DSD, IME, sounds good but not any better than PCM). And on the other, having to wait nearly one year may not be acceptable to you, especially if you have music you can't play.

 

I think you should stay with the upgrade plan, especially if your wait is almost over. But if you're still many months away and are itching to play DSD . . .

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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Another option, if you like the Ayre sound, is the newly released Ayre Codex. The Codex is a headphone amp/preamp/DAC that decodes double-rate DSD and PCM up to 32/384 (but why? Is there even a single title available at that rate?). From an Ayre engineer via Digital Audio Review: "[the Codex is] within a whisker of the QB-9."

 

Inner Fidelity has a show report on the Codex. AXPONA 2015 Ayre Acoustics Codex Headphone amp/DAC | InnerFidelity

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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