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Ayre Acoustics QX-5 Twenty – The Digital Hub


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i had a chord hugott before this and wasnt fatiguing at all. ive had the qx5/20 in there about 6 weeks and it has at least 500h of burn in. with some stuff its truly magical, and with most stuff at lower volumes it sounds good but when i start to get over 60db i'm finding it fatiguing. i have switched it from measure to music and i've swapped out some cables. i think with the cardas clear cabling (power cord, balanced cable and ethernet) its a little mellower but still not enough. 

 

i'll check out the SOtM. open to other suggestions. if anyone has advice for using any roon dsp or eq please chime in.

 

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On 9/22/2021 at 5:25 AM, Axiom05 said:

Any update on this Ryan? When will this upgrade board be available to order?

 

Additional question: There is a lot of discussion about minimizing jitter coming from the source whether it's from Ethernet or digital cable, how immune to "input jitter" is the QX-5? Naively one might think that as long as the DAC input reclocks/buffers the input, jitter from the source should be irrelevant. Many people point to the source jitter as an explanation as to why different music players do not sound the same (not sure I buy this personally).

 

Sorry I missed this one.  We're taking orders on these now.  I FINALLY received a good batch of boards yesterday after the first initial small batch a few weeks ago and will be getting the lot shipped out in the next couple of days.  Feel free to send us an email or call and we'll be happy to help you out.  

 

The QX-5, EX-8 and QX-8 all feature asynchronous inputs on EVERY input: USB, Ethernet, and even the S/PDIF inputs through a technology we created for inputs where two-way communication isn't possible.  There's still a host of reasons that go into a much deeper discussion than just jitter on why different sources sound different in the digital realm, but the method in which we handle the inputs should effectively reduce jitter to the lowest amount in any solution that I've seen used or read theories on.

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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On 10/6/2021 at 3:35 PM, loudog said:

i had a chord hugott before this and wasnt fatiguing at all. ive had the qx5/20 in there about 6 weeks and it has at least 500h of burn in. with some stuff its truly magical, and with most stuff at lower volumes it sounds good but when i start to get over 60db i'm finding it fatiguing. i have switched it from measure to music and i've swapped out some cables. i think with the cardas clear cabling (power cord, balanced cable and ethernet) its a little mellower but still not enough. 

 

i'll check out the SOtM. open to other suggestions. if anyone has advice for using any roon dsp or eq please chime in.

 

 

I've have a AX-5 Twenty and QX-5 Twenty that I use with Roon. Sometimes I use DSP through Roon and have played around with HQ player both doing DSD, but never experienced any hiss as a result. Are you using the network input or USB?

 

I think in an earlier post you mentioned DOP usb which would lend to it being plugged into the Nucleus directly? If your QX-5 shipped with the new usb input. You should be able to access higher rates and native DSD by using an endpoint rather than usb direct into the nucleus. Even a simple raspberry pi can be used as an endpoint with USB into the QX-5 and will give you native DSD.

 

As for the QX-5 being bright, I wouldn't characterize it that way at all. I find it very detailed but smooth. I don't discount your experience though as it's all relative to what you've heard before. I've dealt with perceived brightness in my system prior to the Ayre stack that I have now, but it was actually all solved by better speaker positioning. Once I really dialed it in it the imaging was much sharper and the brightness was gone, this is in a pretty minimally treating room I might add. 

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I don’t want to come off as disparaging the qx5/20. I do find it fatiguing with certain recordings and at higher volumes. I also fully get what’s great about it, it’s fast, articulate and has exceptional soundstage. But it’s also fairly often that I find it a bit ruthless. I’ve read every QX5/20 review out there and my experience is not shared by most. I really want it to work for me, but I’m ambivalent about spending more. Here’s my set up:

Roon Nucleus + being fed via Ethernet from a netgear orbi router node

i have both Ethernet and usb to the QX5/20, with usb I use Cardas Clear; Ethernet is BlueJeans cat6

QX5/20 is connected to AX5/20 via Cardas Clear balanced cable

AX5/20 is feeding Harbeth Super HL5+ Anniversary with Cardas Clear speaker cable

Using a Cardas Nautilus power strip

ive tried myrtle blocks as well as isoacoustic oreas underneath and felt the oreas made a positive difference.

 

ive spent about an hour messing around with a high shelf filter in Roon DSP but although it’s somewhat helpful in some ways it definitely hurts the overall sound. 
 

I’m still trying speaker placement and I didn’t feel like reducing toe-in made any substantive improvement.

 

I think the qx20/5 is clearly a well executed product and at times I’m in awe of how good it sounds but there’s a lot of music where I feel like it’s a bit too “in my face.” I do think at low listening levels it’s superlative.

 

I haven’t given up on it but it tires me at times, enough so that I need to find some tweak to help or i need to move on. I feel like it now has adequate burn in. 
 

open to any thoughts/suggestions.

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At the risk of being burned at the stake, have you considered that your issue may be Roon? I tried using Roon for over a year and could not get away from the fact that I found it very fatiguing (with two different speaker systems). One day it dawned on me that I wasn't enjoying my music anymore. Just switching my Sonore ultraRendu back to MPD/DNLA mode (streaming from my NAS) gave a much smoother, more enjoyable sound quality. Just a suggestion...

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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I'd say trust your ears. If it sounds bright in your system, then maybe it is. You had the Chord before which you felt was a better fit and nothing else was changed? Have you tried swapping back or is it long gone?

 

I haven't heard to Harbeths so I'm not familiar with their sound, but I've happy with a Roon and vinyl fed Ayre QX/AX stack on Focal Kanta 2. We could also have different thresholds for what we think is bright.  When I had issues with perceived brightness it was with some Magnepans. While adjusting toe-in had some effect I think it was more about getting the front to back depth between the listening position and rear wall right. It also helped to change from a wall of sound to a more holographic sound stage. 

 

 

 

 

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On 10/8/2021 at 1:12 AM, Ryan Berry said:

 

Sorry I missed this one.  We're taking orders on these now.  I FINALLY received a good batch of boards yesterday after the first initial small batch a few weeks ago and will be getting the lot shipped out in the next couple of days.  Feel free to send us an email or call and we'll be happy to help you out.  

 

The QX-5, EX-8 and QX-8 all feature asynchronous inputs on EVERY input: USB, Ethernet, and even the S/PDIF inputs through a technology we created for inputs where two-way communication isn't possible.  There's still a host of reasons that go into a much deeper discussion than just jitter on why different sources sound different in the digital realm, but the method in which we handle the inputs should effectively reduce jitter to the lowest amount in any solution that I've seen used or read theories on.

Hi Ryan,

seek your help to ship out my order of QX5 through Jadis Hongkong in beginning of July.

 

cheers.

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19 hours ago, Axiom05 said:

At the risk of being burned at the stake, have you considered that your issue may be Roon? I tried using Roon for over a year and could not get away from the fact that I found it very fatiguing (with two different speaker systems). One day it dawned on me that I wasn't enjoying my music anymore. Just switching my Sonore ultraRendu back to MPD/DNLA mode (streaming from my NAS) gave a much smoother, more enjoyable sound quality. Just a suggestion...

Yes I considered that and last weekend unplugged the nucleus and switched to Ethernet from router but using mconnect app. Didn’t notice any improvement.

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4 hours ago, loudog said:

Yes I considered that and last weekend unplugged the nucleus and switched to Ethernet from router but using mconnect app. Didn’t notice any improvement.

How does the mconnect app. work, what is actually playing/decoding the music file? Must say that I am not familiar with the details of using mconnect.

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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19 hours ago, Axiom05 said:

How does the mconnect app. work, what is actually playing/decoding the music file? Must say that I am not familiar with the details of using mconnect.

The QX5/20 has option of coming with an installed network bridge. The mConnect app is what operates the bridge. It connects to Tidal + Qobuz and allows the QX5/20 to be a one box solution for streaming and DAC.

 

other apps can work in place of the mconnect app. But none, including mconnect, are that great. Roon has far better user interface. I haven’t tried all the options out there though.

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On 10/14/2021 at 4:57 AM, Axiom05 said:

How does the mconnect app. work, what is actually playing/decoding the music file? Must say that I am not familiar with the details of using mconnect.

 

mConnect, as loudog mentioned, effectively controls the network module and tells it what to look up and play, much like a remote control.  All the actual work is done within the module inside of the QX-5 itself.  The module in the QX-5 communicates via standard UPnP protocol, so there's quite a few other options that can act it place of mConnect.  Personally, I use Bubble UPnP for the most part through on my Android, but mainly because it's what I'm the most used to.  Similarly, radio phone apps, like Hi-Fi Cast, that can utilize UPnP will all work with the QX-5.  Pretty much any network solution works similarly, it's just a matter on if you follow a standardized protocol or a proprietary one so that you can have a custom remote control app.

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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