Jump to content
IGNORED

Ayre QB-9 Twenty upgrade


Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, AB835 said:

CG

I have had issues with my ISO REGEN  connected to my QX-5 20 as you described earlier, original USB REGEN functions normally. I installed a simple on/off switch in the power line providing power to the ISO REGEN. Normally power to the ISO REGEN is always on. If there is a problem I cycle the power off and back on to the ISO REGEN and it then works fine till the next time. What is so weird is that I have not had any issues with either REGEN when connected to my QB-9 20!

 

Thanks to you, and the others, for the suggestions.

 

I know the isolation device used in the ISO Regen can be flaky.  The chip designer has even admitted as much.  With mine, if I let the QB-9 DSD play for more than five days, the USB signal would be lost.  A power cycle of the ISO Regen fixed that every time for me, too.

 

I've eliminated the cabling as an issue, through substitution.  So, it's down to the power supply and the ISO Regen itself.  The internal regulator of the ISO Regen has never seen use here, since the QB-9 DSD had its own VBus supply.  So, that's a possibility.

 

Hopefully, I'll have time this weekend to investigate further.  My hope is that the new USB system in the Twenty with its better isolation will eliminate the desire for external isolation and reclocking.  The server I'm using has a pretty complete isolation system from common mode currents that I built myself (and actually measured...) and there's no cables other than the isolated power and USB connection to the server.  That may be fine in itself.  Or, not.  It certainly eliminates the common mode circuit added by the power connection to the ISO Regen.  In any event, I'm sure it will get straightened out.  

 

If the difference between cold and new and ~170 hours of use extends over the next 200-300 hours in the same way, I think it'll be really great.  The minor sonic imperfections I'm hearing were about 90% mitigated over those 180 hours.  Maybe the additional burn-in will get that remaining 10%.  We'll see.  Already, the Twenty has shown itself to be well worth the upgrade price.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2019 at 3:08 PM, Ryan Berry said:

It's interesting you should mention the driver.  We actually have a brand new one this year that's completely updated and necessary for raw/native DSD playback on Windows.  You can find it on our page at https://www.ayre.com/support/, select Firmware, and then select the USB Driver tab.  Let me know if you have any trouble with it.

 

I tried driver version 4.67.0, but it didn't work. In principle, I experimented with foobar2000 and JRiver, but neither could play sound. I tried using Kernel Streaming and ASIO modes, but none of them worked. foobar2000 gave the message "Unrecoverable playback error: Could not create ASIO buffers". JRiver gave the message "Format not supported". When I reinstall version 1.26S, everything works again. Too bad. I'd like a more updated driver, because this old one (1.26S), still prepared for Windows 7, causes me many problems installing on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Core Mode.

 

Does this happen because my QB-9 is 192/24, not the "Twenty" version?

 

PS: version 4.67.0 I tried to install on a normal Windows 10. On the dedicated server I use JPLAY FEMTO.

 

PS 2: I would like buffering and latency options to remain available, just as it was in version 1.26S. I do not know if this is possible, but are key parameters to make the most of the DAC.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FelipeRolim said:

A friend installed the new version of the driver and was able to get his QB-9 DSD to work. I don't know if the problem is only in version 192/24 or if it is on my computer, but I'll reiterate the experiments calmly and post again here.

Hi Felipe,

 

I'm sorry for the trouble you're having.  Similar to your friend, the unit I personally tested this on was the QB-9 DSD.  I would assume this would work with both as the actual USB portion of circuit is the same between the two units with some minor firmware changes (which is why the old drive worked with both), but I hadn't tested the 192 version explicitly myself.  I'll speak with R&D to see if they have done that experiment and try and recreate it here just in case there's some strange incompatibility we're missing.  Unfortunately, this MAY be after the Christmas break with holiday schedules hitting us, but we'll do our best.

President

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the ~350 hour update.  Probably my last words on audio...

 

That dryness or thin characteristic I mentioned before is almost entirely gone.  Who says burn-in isn't a thing?

 

It turns out that the problem with the UpTone ISO Regen was that the USB adaptor widget they sell wasn't fully engaging the USB connection in the QB-9.  A modest, ahh, circumcision of the heat shrink on the adaptor fixed that up.  The ISO Regen now does make a small improvement to the sound.  The aural picture is just a bit sharper and clearer.  Worth it?  I guess we'll see after another week of burn-in.  The Regen gets rather warm when used with the QB-9 Twenty, even with a 7.5 VDC supply.  If I keep the Regen in the system, I'll probably build a new supply that provides around 6 VDC to the Regen.  The regulator UpTone uses for the VBus supply in the Regen has a very low dropout voltage, so going from 7.5 VDC down to around 6 VDC is well within spec and would reduce the power dissipation on that regulator by more than a factor of two.  The added complexity and the additional current loops when using a device like the ISO Regen is just one of those trade-offs.  The other question is whether the Regen is providing improvement by cleaning up the VBus or whether it's due to the USB isolation and reclocking.  Or, both.  So, there may be other solutions that do the job better.  Time will tell.

 

Finally, Kimmo released a new version of Daphile today.  One of the features is that it now supports Native DSD playback with the QB-9 Twenty.  I was able to play a DSD256 track without a problem.  The QB-9 display even said so.  I was also able to play a 384K PCM track, too.  I compared one of the free demo tracks from 2L in both PCM and DSD256 format.  Personally, I liked PCM better.  But, they were close.  Again, YMMV, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, desbiss said:

Question - you’re playing in Native DSD 256? Jealous... 🙂

 

Yeah.  Native.  The display on the QB-9 even says "256".  

 

Honestly - it's not that big a deal.  I heard zero angels singing.  I'm certain the sound quality is more of a function of how the original recording was formatted and all that jazz.

 

Then again, I may be the wrong guy to talk about this.  Presence and emotion are secondary to me compared to transparency and lack of crud.  Presumably, when you attain good performance in those areas, your brain should be able to take care of the rest.  (My wife is a real-life musician.  Or was, anyway.  Was a musician, that is - she's still real-life.  She prefers transparency so she can hear what the musicians are actually playing.  For emotion, she points out that pretty much all the musicians she knows can read the sheet music for a piece and derive the emotion from that.  That, says she, is why musicians usually don't play in the audiophile sandbox.  It's already in their heads.  The emotion processing is done there.)

 

image.thumb.png.2ff39d693b7b9785e5a740ebb381eefe.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, CG said:

Presence and emotion are secondary to me compared to transparency and lack of crud.  Presumably, when you attain good performance in those areas, your brain should be able to take care of the rest.

Thanks for confirming Native 256 CG! I upsample everything to DSD using Roon but am not yet able to play Native DSD, only up to DSD 128 via DoP. 
 

I find a balance is achieved in the final 500 hour stretch. The QB-9 certainly hits high in terms of transparency and lack of crud before then. It just seems that the final stretch is where the icing on the cake becomes most apparent, with the presence and emotion solidifying. 
 

Thanks for your reply!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sonny Oh said:

Can any QB9 version (non-DSD old) be upgradeable to Twenty? Also at the same cost? How long the waiting list is? 


From the Ayre website, this upgrade is applicable to all versions. I think they change everything except the chassis, display and power supply (although I think the DSD version had a power supply modification from the original version?). 

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

I get mine Thursday and super excited. It’s up against an Aqua La Voce S3. 

Sonus Faber Olympica I w Tellurium Q Ultra & Ultra II Jumpers, Dual REL S2 w Transparent The Link < Naim Supernait 2
DIGITAL: AudioQuest Colorado < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone LPS-v1 < Chord Signature Tuned Aray USB < Sonore ultraRendu w Uptone LPS-v1.2, Shunyata Venom 3 < AQVOX Switch < Small Green Computer Sonictransporter I7 w HDPlex, Synology NAS
VINYL: Audioquest Colorado < Ayre P-5XE (soon to be Rogue Ares Magnum) < Dynavector SUP-200 Step-Up < Origin Live Encounter Mk. 3c w Dynavector XV1s < Kuzma Stabi w Dual Platter, Kuzma Linear PSU
POWER 1: Audioquest Hurricane < Niagara 1200 < Supernait 2, Ayre P-5XE w Triode Wire Labs 7+
POWER 2: Cablepro NANA < ultraRendu w LPS-v1.2, Chord Qutest w  Uptone LPS-1, Dual REL S2 Subs w Audioquest NRG4, Akai R2R
POWER 3: Shunyata Python Helix Alpha < Niagara 1000 < Sonictransporter I7 w HDPLEX w Triode Wire Labs Digital American HP, AQVOX Switch, Synology NAS w Shunyata Venom 3

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Are you in a position to provide an update on how the Ayre QB-9 Twenty compares with your Aqua?

Thorens TD 160 > Graham Slee ERA Gold V phono-pre | Aurender N100 > Shunyata Venom USB cable > 

Ayre QB-9 DSD >  Kimber Kable Hero balanced interconnect > Ayre AX-5 Twenty integrated > Acoustic Zen

Hologram II bi-wire speaker cables > Vandersteen Treo CT speakers and REL Brittania B-2, REL R328 & REL S/5

Link to post
Share on other sites

I let the QB-9 Twenty break in for 200-300 hours and it really did get more organic, not as much as the La Voce but started to sound extremely nice on the AX-5 Twenty. Would say punchier, more dynamic and more resolution without being bright when compared to the La Voce. The La Voce still has this magic in the midrange and timbre is impeccable. Think with the right equipment, each is a winner. 
 

Anyone here pair a QB-9 with Naim and have good results?

 

I need to figure out how to change my signature on this site as the system has changed completely. 

Sonus Faber Olympica I w Tellurium Q Ultra & Ultra II Jumpers, Dual REL S2 w Transparent The Link < Naim Supernait 2
DIGITAL: AudioQuest Colorado < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone LPS-v1 < Chord Signature Tuned Aray USB < Sonore ultraRendu w Uptone LPS-v1.2, Shunyata Venom 3 < AQVOX Switch < Small Green Computer Sonictransporter I7 w HDPlex, Synology NAS
VINYL: Audioquest Colorado < Ayre P-5XE (soon to be Rogue Ares Magnum) < Dynavector SUP-200 Step-Up < Origin Live Encounter Mk. 3c w Dynavector XV1s < Kuzma Stabi w Dual Platter, Kuzma Linear PSU
POWER 1: Audioquest Hurricane < Niagara 1200 < Supernait 2, Ayre P-5XE w Triode Wire Labs 7+
POWER 2: Cablepro NANA < ultraRendu w LPS-v1.2, Chord Qutest w  Uptone LPS-1, Dual REL S2 Subs w Audioquest NRG4, Akai R2R
POWER 3: Shunyata Python Helix Alpha < Niagara 1000 < Sonictransporter I7 w HDPLEX w Triode Wire Labs Digital American HP, AQVOX Switch, Synology NAS w Shunyata Venom 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s my next step, compare an opticalRendu to my ultraRendu. Maybe also an audiophile grade switch for my NAS and media server. Soon I will also be trying the QB-9 Twenty on a Supernait 2 as it seems great on a Nait 5i. Would like to also bring a Chord Qutest and Dave into the mix.  

Sonus Faber Olympica I w Tellurium Q Ultra & Ultra II Jumpers, Dual REL S2 w Transparent The Link < Naim Supernait 2
DIGITAL: AudioQuest Colorado < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone LPS-v1 < Chord Signature Tuned Aray USB < Sonore ultraRendu w Uptone LPS-v1.2, Shunyata Venom 3 < AQVOX Switch < Small Green Computer Sonictransporter I7 w HDPlex, Synology NAS
VINYL: Audioquest Colorado < Ayre P-5XE (soon to be Rogue Ares Magnum) < Dynavector SUP-200 Step-Up < Origin Live Encounter Mk. 3c w Dynavector XV1s < Kuzma Stabi w Dual Platter, Kuzma Linear PSU
POWER 1: Audioquest Hurricane < Niagara 1200 < Supernait 2, Ayre P-5XE w Triode Wire Labs 7+
POWER 2: Cablepro NANA < ultraRendu w LPS-v1.2, Chord Qutest w  Uptone LPS-1, Dual REL S2 Subs w Audioquest NRG4, Akai R2R
POWER 3: Shunyata Python Helix Alpha < Niagara 1000 < Sonictransporter I7 w HDPLEX w Triode Wire Labs Digital American HP, AQVOX Switch, Synology NAS w Shunyata Venom 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had scheduled the upgrade for February, but a number of things happened and I'll have to postpone it a little longer. I don't want to delay, as I'm very optimistic about the improvements. I currently have version 192/24, and tell you: try the Synergistic Research Orange fuse. If you are surprised by the QB-9, wait until you hear it with this fuse...

 

Please, keep the topic updated with your impressions and also with comparisons with other DACs....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...