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Ayre QX-5 Twenty...USB or ethernet?


shaq
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As a new QX 5 owner, I have followed CA discussions carefully regarding the new Ayre DAC.

 

I have been surprised to read two totally divergent opinions as to how the DAC should be connected in a system.

 

One thought line says absolutely go ethernet, while the other favors USB. There is also a third opinion that the best sound can be gotten with the introduction of a microRendu in the chain.

 

Can anyone explain the reason for the opposing opinions. That there is such a divergence of opinions suprises me. Is there really no absolute answer?

 

My objective is solely to seek, reliably, the best quality sound.

 

 

 

Sent from my SM-G900P using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Both USB and ethernet on the Ayre QX-5 are good. If you don't compare, you will be equally pleased with either one.

 

But of you do, the USB sounded a little "faster" and a little "brighter". Ethernet, to me, sounded, more natural, more " I am sitting here live, singing to you".

 

I afraid, there is no absolute answer.

 

(Audio)

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I was fine with the sound via Ethernet for the first few weeks. I had planned to sell my microRendu, thinking it was no longer needed, but decided to put it back in the system and compare first. The sound is better than Ethernet. I now use the Ethernet input only for Spotify.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

EtherRegen > SonicTransporter i9 > opticalRendu > Ayre QX-5 DAC > Ayre KX-R Twenty Preamp > Ayre MX-R Twenty mono amps > YG Kipod Signature Passive speakers.

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I was fine with the sound via Ethernet for the first few weeks. I had planned to sell my microRendu, thinking it was no longer needed, but decided to put it back in the system and compare first. The sound is better than Ethernet. I now use the Ethernet input only for Spotify.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

Intersting. I think it depends on each individual. they optimized all connections. I have been using USB with a few different cables. The Audioquest Diamond usb has been by far the best. I only hooked up ethernet once, but loved it. I was very impressed by the organic sound. I didn't lose any speed either, but I also used a Diamond cable. When I switch to a generic cat 8 cable, the sound collapsed a bit and became a tad brighter (it's never too bright though). I am in the process of building a fiber optic conversion and will switch to Comcast when I get a full two week home to set things up. Folks are very happy with all their set ups, and it also depends on everything else in the chain. I'm using a rebuilt Mac Mini with Paul Hynes power supply and a totally rebuilt mother board. The designer shut down everything that isn't needed for optimum audio playback. Even bluetooth and wifi are shut off. I love the sound and will go that route for now.

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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Intersting. I think it depends on each individual. they optimized all connections. I have been using USB with a few different cables. The Audioquest Diamond usb has been by far the best. I only hooked up ethernet once, but loved it. I was very impressed by the organic sound. I didn't lose any speed either, but I also used a Diamond cable. When I switch to a generic cat 8 cable, the sound collapsed a bit and became a tad brighter (it's never too bright though). I am in the process of building a fiber optic conversion and will switch to Comcast when I get a full two week home to set things up. Folks are very happy with all their set ups, and it also depends on everything else in the chain. I'm using a rebuilt Mac Mini with Paul Hynes power supply and a totally rebuilt mother board. The designer shut down everything that isn't needed for optimum audio playback. Even bluetooth and wifi are shut off. I love the sound and will go that route for now.

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

 

Yes, there are a lot of variables that could explain different preferences. I'm still not sure of what the ultimate setup before the QX-5 will be. Currently I have a long run of AQ Cinnamon bringing Ethernet from my router into the listening room, feeding a Cisco unmanaged switch. I needed the switch for practical reasons, but the addition of the switch did improve the sound. The switch is powered by a JS-2.

 

Two short runs of AQ Vodka take the signal from the switch to the QX-5: One to the Ethernet input, the other to the microRendu (also JS-2 powered). A short Curious USB Cable (without power lead) connects the mR to the USB input.

 

What I try next will depend on if I pay for Roon when my free trial ends. Roon sounds better than LMS, so I'm reluctant to go back to that. I should probably try UPNP but have heard that it doesn't sound as good.

 

My music sits on a server built by Small Green Computer. It couldn't handle the new upsampling feature in Roon 1.3 so I moved Roon to my iMac and left the music files on the server. To my surprise the sound quality is great. Maybe the switch and microRendu eliminate enough noise that the server is less important. I'll probably upgrade servers at some point and maybe try optical Ethernet, but for now, I'm just enjoying some awesome sound!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

EtherRegen > SonicTransporter i9 > opticalRendu > Ayre QX-5 DAC > Ayre KX-R Twenty Preamp > Ayre MX-R Twenty mono amps > YG Kipod Signature Passive speakers.

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Sounds very interesting. I am still learning. That's why I've been all over the board. I think I want to put Roon on my Mac Mini server and put music on a Melco used only as a NAS as it's the best sounding NAS you can get based on what I've been told and also heard, but I have only heard the Synology NAS's and not the QNAP audio based one. This way I can have a NAS for two systems, use the Melco as the dedicated NAS and also keep my Mac Mini which is awesome and run Roon too so I can ge the best of all worlds, plus it will be optical too.

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Sounds very interesting. I am still learning. That's why I've been all over the board. I think I want to put Roon on my Mac Mini server and put music on a Melco used only as a NAS as it's the best sounding NAS you can get based on what I've been told and also heard, but I have only heard the Synology NAS's and not the QNAP audio based one. This way I can have a NAS for two systems, use the Melco as the dedicated NAS and also keep my Mac Mini which is awesome and run Roon too so I can ge the best of all worlds, plus it will be optical too.

 

After further experiments I paid for a year of Roon yesterday. That decision will drive what hardware I end up with. Roon works fine on my Small Green Computer server, but not with the new upsampling in Roon 1.3, which I like. I may just get Andrew to build another server with more processing power so it can handle the upsampling. Or maybe a modified Mac Mini like you. But whatever I get will have to be able to handle Roon.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

EtherRegen > SonicTransporter i9 > opticalRendu > Ayre QX-5 DAC > Ayre KX-R Twenty Preamp > Ayre MX-R Twenty mono amps > YG Kipod Signature Passive speakers.

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It's definitely system dependent but I would highly recommend if you go the Ethernet route to start with a high quality switch ,SMS and isolate each with linear power supplies and use only the best Audiophile Ethernet cables you can afford.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

 

And with the help of some of the guys on the threads about this who are system builders in their real life, I'm putting together a high end network with isolation and LPS's at ever step of the way. I will call Comcast this week to switch over to them. I think it's Blast plus that I'll get for internet speed. Should be fine and then I'll get a new modem and router. Probably the top nighthawk as that's what I was told to get.

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Check this switch out CT,

 

AQ-SWITCH-8 - AQVOX Audiophile High-End Gigabit Network-SWITCH 8 Ports*

 

I'm currently running a Cisco switch but am thinking of ordering this as well. 390.00 Euro,s tho.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

 

I was surprised at the improvement my Cisco switch made. It makes me wonder if I should explore a high end switch like the AQVOX, before a better server.

EtherRegen > SonicTransporter i9 > opticalRendu > Ayre QX-5 DAC > Ayre KX-R Twenty Preamp > Ayre MX-R Twenty mono amps > YG Kipod Signature Passive speakers.

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I was surprised at the improvement my Cisco switch made. It makes me wonder if I should explore a high end switch like the AQVOX, before a better server.

I was surprised as well when I replaced the cheap switch I have with the Cisco , better TV picture was the first thing I noticed followed by the sound. Im also wondering if I should explore this high end switch.

 

I found this switch as Im sure many of you are aware of on the discussion titled switches and routers and Im waiting on some feedback.

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I was surprised as well when I replaced the cheap switch I have with the Cisco , better TV picture was the first thing I noticed followed by the sound. Im also wondering if I should explore this high end switch.

 

I found this switch as Im sure many of you are aware of on the discussion titled switches and routers and Im waiting on some feedback.

 

I was told to try the Cisco switch first, but I also reached out to the designer of the Melco units and he said he HATES switches as they ruin the sound. He said that getting the best one you can and then doing optical isolation is best. He also said that since they are so noisy, that you need a top LPS to power the converter on the audio side too and that cables do matter. He says you must use a Cat 8 cable. I know that Melco makes a great ethernet cable and no one ever talks about it. I love the AQ cables, but they are only Cat 7 right now. I will reach out to the folks I know at AQ and ask about them upgrading to a Cat 8. I'm not sure the difference will be audible as Cat7 seems to be right in the upper end of parameters, but I'm no engineer.

 

Thanks for sharing about the switch as I need to get that as well as the converter. I have the LPS's for the in room conversation. Then as I said, it's time for new router and modem for Xfinity service.

 

What router are you using? If you were to start today, what router would you get?

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I like the Linksys WRT 1900 AC because its easily modified, I plan on having my Engineer beef up the power supply and whatever else he deems necessary ASAP. Im sure there are better routers out there but I like tweaking a bit.

thanks...AS you know I"m not even close to a tweaker, lol. I do what I'm told and then listen, lol.

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Yes I remember your not a tweaker, funny man tho . Do as I'm told then listen. Good one.

Im waiting for you to get your isolation, fiber network done that you've been talking about for sometime now so you can give us your thought with those golden ears of yours. I give you full credit for your write up,s and thought after all I bought the QX 5 cause of those great write ups in fact you should do more reviews for us.

 

im dead serious on the above CT.

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Yes I remember your not a tweaker, funny man tho . Do as I'm told then listen. Good one.

Im waiting for you to get your isolation, fiber network done that you've been talking about for sometime now so you can give us your thought with those golden ears of yours. I give you full credit for your write up,s and thought after all I bought the QX 5 cause of those great write ups in fact you should do more reviews for us.

 

im dead serious on the above CT.

I know many who differ on wanting to see anymore of my posts, lol. Yes, I have been traveling to much that I haven't had a chance to get changed over to Xfinity and hence built the network. Hopefully soon.

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