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Ayre QB-9 Twenty upgrade


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34 minutes ago, AB835 said:

jma2

I am 99% sure both the REGEN and ISO REGEN generate its own clean 5v for usb output.

 

That is also what I would assume, but I'll let you know to make it 100% 😉

 

Jan

 

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1 hour ago, jma2 said:

 

It would be nice if I could do the firmware update myself (if that's what it boils down to). Otherwise the sending back and forth may take quite some time (again).

 

If the Native DSD comes in a future firmware update I hope we won't have to send in the DAC again.

My understanding is that the firmware was downloaded, placed on a USB stick, inserted into a slot in the DAC (cover off) then powered on.

 

I believe the intent is that users can complete this. Don’t quote me on this as I didn’t do the install, my dealer did. With that understanding I presume Ayre would make this easy for us, vs shipping back and forth. 

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1 hour ago, Norman said:

Hello all. My temporary solution to the cycling issue was to remove the cover from the DAC. This prevents heat buildup, which seems to trigger the problem. In the case of my unit, it would work for a while when cool, but will eventually fail in the way that everyone is reporting, including the brief err message. Removing the cover may help until the firmware fix becomes broadly available.

Hi Norman - while the cover is off, is it convenient for you to snap a few photos and share? I’m curious what the insides look like vs origins. :)

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21 minutes ago, Norman said:

Beautiful, clean board design. Nice Wima film caps and good Rubycon electrolytics. Just as clean and elegant as it gets.8CB899A5-4A2D-4DAF-9873-8E87F52F9292.thumb.jpeg.f0f1c2445c46866d9e730e8aded900d1.jpegEFC8520E-B53B-4331-9FBD-68F848C12879.thumb.jpeg.bea6d53afac23bfca09f5d02a51d7afa.jpeg

Sincere thanks for sharing the pics Norman. I can’t say I know exactly what I’m looking at, but I certainly appreciate the clean layout and design. 🙂

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On 11/8/2019 at 3:32 PM, Norman said:

Beautiful, clean board design. Nice Wima film caps and good Rubycon electrolytics. Just as clean and elegant as it gets.8CB899A5-4A2D-4DAF-9873-8E87F52F9292.thumb.jpeg.f0f1c2445c46866d9e730e8aded900d1.jpegEFC8520E-B53B-4331-9FBD-68F848C12879.thumb.jpeg.bea6d53afac23bfca09f5d02a51d7afa.jpeg

 

Thanks Norman!  We take a lot of pride in our layouts and Ariel is an absolute genius when it comes to circuit design.  I'm glad you were impressed!

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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On 11/6/2019 at 8:16 AM, desbiss said:

I've upgraded mine, and after a rocky start I am loving it! Mine initially had USB cycling (3 blue bars on display, then standby light and so on... perpetual loop). Apparently there was an issue where the USB receiver in my DAC thought there wasn’t enough voltage. I worked with my dealer & Ayre and they provided a firmware update that resolved the issue. Even before being broken in it clearly bettered mine with the QB-9 DSD upgrade. :)

 

Only issue now is that mine is NOT (yet) Native DSD compatible. I have worked with Antipodes (my renderer is an EX) and been able to conclude that it is not my EX, so Antipodes has reached out to Ayre. Note: I am able to use DoP but it only goes to half the advertised DSD rate due to the larger bandwidth used with DoP. So only 128 for me right now. :(

 

Antipodes has reached out to Ayre and I am hopeful that another firmware update from Ayre will get Native DSD enabled, as this was a major selling feature for me.

 

Just to confirm, we have been talking with Antipodes.  It all seems related to flags and Linux, so we'll be looking into it further based on their advice.  Once we've figured out what needs to be done, the update will be in the form of a firmware release for one unit or the other.

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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28 minutes ago, Ryan Berry said:

 

Just to confirm, we have been talking with Antipodes.  It all seems related to flags and Linux, so we'll be looking into it further based on their advice.  Once we've figured out what needs to be done, the update will be in the form of a firmware release for one unit or the other.

Hi Ryan! Kindest thanks for your response. I am excited for the Native DSD 256 functionality, so if there is anything I can do to assist please let me know.

 

Also, this may not be specific to Linux... My dealer mentioned that the issue is also occurring in a Mac OS scenario. They have a customer using Roon via Mac OS who is having the same issues as myself with Native DSD and files above DSD128 (ie no DSD265 when using DoP, and no Native DSD whatsoever).

 

Again, sincerest thanks!

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2 hours ago, desbiss said:

Hi Ryan! Kindest thanks for your response. I am excited for the Native DSD 256 functionality, so if there is anything I can do to assist please let me know.

 

Also, this may not be specific to Linux... My dealer mentioned that the issue is also occurring in a Mac OS scenario. They have a customer using Roon via Mac OS who is having the same issues as myself with Native DSD and files above DSD128 (ie no DSD265 when using DoP, and no Native DSD whatsoever).

 

Again, sincerest thanks!

 

I'll look into this one more, but my current understanding is that's an unfortunate limitation of the Macs.  They insist on doing everything through DoP, so you lose half the rate.  I haven't dug long enough to find the workaround there, if there is one.

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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15 minutes ago, Ryan Berry said:

 

I'll look into this one more, but my current understanding is that's an unfortunate limitation of the Macs.  They insist on doing everything through DoP, so you lose half the rate.  I haven't dug long enough to find the workaround there, if there is one.

Thanks for the insight Ryan regarding Macs. Some complexities with Native DSD it seems... I appreciate the good folks at Ayre for working toward a solution for Native-capable players. Also, thank you for working with Antipodes! Companies collaborating like that says a lot about their dedication to customers. Kudos!

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Hi,

On 11/8/2019 at 11:32 PM, Norman said:

Beautiful, clean board design. Nice Wima film caps and good Rubycon electrolytics. Just as clean and elegant as it gets.8CB899A5-4A2D-4DAF-9873-8E87F52F9292.thumb.jpeg.f0f1c2445c46866d9e730e8aded900d1.jpegEFC8520E-B53B-4331-9FBD-68F848C12879.thumb.jpeg.bea6d53afac23bfca09f5d02a51d7afa.jpeg

Thank you for the pics.

I wonder, what is that RJ45 connector for, next to the USB port?

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Hi all,

 

As desbiss assumed correctly, a firmware update managed to get the initial problem solved. I am able to play music via the Squeezebox Touch and the Uptone USB REGEN. I haven't done too much listening with respect to the quality of the sound as I want it to break in over the week and further because it's a bit hectic with work now.

 

One thing I tried was to verify the PCM claims (up to 384kHz). I used the 2L test bench and in particular the first track (the Hoff Ensemble (nice track by the way!)). When I played back the 24bit/352.8kHz version of it, either I ran into problems or the Ayre ran into problems (could somebody verify if this track plays with you? It would be very much appreciated). I unexpectedly heard an irregular very low-frequency rumble in stead of the nice track. The rest of the PCM tracks worked fine and since I couldn't find any 384kHz track, I couldn't test the max rating.

 

image.thumb.png.324cf141ac1b61318887634cf2c7f15f.png

 

I will try DSD later.

 

Dear Ryan, is there a way for us to determine which firmware version we are running? If more versions of it get into circulation it may be difficult to pinpoint issues or to compare. And how will we find out if a new version becomes available?

 

Kind regards,


Jan

 

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13 hours ago, Ultrarunner said:

Ryan, is a similar update for the QX-5 in the works?

 

We tend to avoid announcing any updates before we're ready to release it.  The QX-5 already has much of what the QB-9 received in this update -- particularly the Twenty circuit design.  So the quick change would simply address the USB section.  While I know that makes a difference beyond just the capability to play Native DSD, we're always pretty hesitant to release an upgrade unless it's more significant than just that.  The DSD version of the QB-9 and DX-5 upgrades is an example of how we weren't happy just enabling DSD and charging for it.  Ayre's never been a company that releases yearly updates just to get you to keep sending your unit in to us.  That said, we are always working on things to improve our products beyond where we are today, so once we have accumulated a list of upgrades that is worthy of the product, I'm quite certain we'll have something available.

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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1 hour ago, jma2 said:

Hi all,

 

As desbiss assumed correctly, a firmware update managed to get the initial problem solved. I am able to play music via the Squeezebox Touch and the Uptone USB REGEN. I haven't done too much listening with respect to the quality of the sound as I want it to break in over the week and further because it's a bit hectic with work now.

 

One thing I tried was to verify the PCM claims (up to 384kHz). I used the 2L test bench and in particular the first track (the Hoff Ensemble (nice track by the way!)). When I played back the 24bit/352.8kHz version of it, either I ran into problems or the Ayre ran into problems (could somebody verify if this track plays with you? It would be very much appreciated). I unexpectedly heard an irregular very low-frequency rumble in stead of the nice track. The rest of the PCM tracks worked fine and since I couldn't find any 384kHz track, I couldn't test the max rating.

 

image.thumb.png.324cf141ac1b61318887634cf2c7f15f.png

 

I will try DSD later.

 

Dear Ryan, is there a way for us to determine which firmware version we are running? If more versions of it get into circulation it may be difficult to pinpoint issues or to compare. And how will we find out if a new version becomes available?

 

Kind regards,


Jan

 

 

Hi Jan,

 

I've had no problems with playing 352.8kHz files here using Foobar, but I'll try it with the file you linked.  It will likely be tomorrow for me to be able to get to this.  I'd be surprised if it doesn't work, but anything is possible.  There's a few factors that can be at play in this setup, so we can at least start with verifying that the QB-9 is handling the file correctly directly from the PC and work from there.

 

Right now there's only two versions of the firmware: one that may get caught in the "Err" loop and one that doesn't.  Sonically, they're otherwise identical (as long as the first version isn't caught in the aforementioned loop).  That said, if we release another version in the future, I've asked Ariel to add on a splash screen when the unit is first plugged in to show the firmware the unit is currently running, so that will appear in future versions.  Otherwise, it can be checked using the AyreLink ports on the back, but honestly setting up that port to connect to a computer is more work than it's worth just to check a firmware version.

 

As far as future releases, if you're not already, you can signup for our mailing list on the Ayre webpage at www.ayre.com.  As we update any of our products, we send announcements through our list there.  If you scroll to the bottom of any page on our site, you can see a field to enter your email address for the newsletter.

 

Cheers,


Ryan

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/11/2019 at 1:28 PM, jma2 said:

One thing I tried was to verify the PCM claims (up to 384kHz). I used the 2L test bench and in particular the first track (the Hoff Ensemble (nice track by the way!)). When I played back the 24bit/352.8kHz version of it, either I ran into problems or the Ayre ran into problems (could somebody verify if this track plays with you? It would be very much appreciated).

 

 

I got my upgraded Twenty back a couple of days ago. Last night, I downloaded that 2L 24/352 Hoff Ensemble (what a great sounding track!) as well as 256 DSD Mozart Violin concerto track. Both played just fine and with the display reading "352". I also noticed, on a particular album, the QB-9 readout at "h 44", presumably HDCD encoded - I didn't know I had any of those 😂

 

The only issue I had was a couple of minutes getting Roon to recognize the upgraded DAC. It seemed that the QB-9 Twenty is "Roon ready" yet it's not a model among the default listings for Ayre.

 

Anyone know the "best" playback option for DSD files? I presume it's the new "convert to PCM 352" rather than the older DoP.

 

I want to let it burn in for at least one week before any critical listening (for sure there was a difference between cold out of the box and one day later) but I am confident it is an upgrade over the DSD version. My initial impression is that it has a more refined, clear sound. The new circuit is supposed to have a lower noise floor, my ears agree. It is also more spatially unbounded - I just melted into some songs last night.  😊

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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