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Ryan Berry

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  1. Nothing particularly exciting on this one, I'm afraid. When we transitioned to a new website, the new host uses better security protocols that interfered with the automatic update process. This update was effectively a "transition" update to be compatible to receive more updates later. We're sorry we didn't get out update notes to go with it on the site, but the blizzard came in fast and furious, so we had to close shop early and head home. We're always playing with things on the QX-5 though, so stay tuned! Cheers, Ryan Berry
  2. I think the point was rather you can't use specifications to find a perfect audio product. It takes listening to them to truly reach any informed conclusion. Putting on most filters, like feedback or no, balanced or not, etc. is still shopping by specifications.
  3. You're right, there's a lot of factors that led up to this conclusion for Ayre, and it's true for our design, but may not be for others. Charley's short answer on negative feedback was that if you do everything right beforehand, you don't need to introduce negative feedback to try and mask anything later. There's actually a bit Charley wrote about it here: I know that there's controversy on the subject, especially with broad statements like that, but it's audio, so of course there's controversy. We've actually used negative feedback in our design twice. In both cases, we thought it was great at first and managed to release the product with it. We ended up hating it so much after living with it for a couple months that we had to recall all the units and perform a free update to get the units back up to our standard.
  4. I appreciate that. I had a good mentor in Charley for that. We just want everyone to get to enjoy their music, it shouldn't be a hassle to do so!
  5. On that we'll also have to disagree. You see, there's quite a number of opinions in this thread. Most members have taken the time to express their opinion and moving on, while a few others have spent the most effort finding someone's opinion they disagree with and arguing about it. It happens all over the place on the forum, which is a shame, as I find the people here generally very knowledgeable. Typically the same people are at the center of it. The inability to have a discussion that doesn't end up getting diverted completely off-topic through arguing really detracts from how much people are willing to contribute.
  6. ...which is vastly different from taking some off-the-shelf consumer kit and modifying around it. As I said, I believe you're simply misunderstanding.
  7. Be cautious about quoting people if you're not doing so correctly. I'm not sure if you're misunderstanding is intentional or not, but your post suggests you didn't quite understand what I was saying. I didn't mean to come back and revive the conversation, just wanted to be clear that your interpretation was not at all what I was stating. The rest of your post I'll leave to you. As I said, your opinion is pretty clear on the subject, so not much point hashing it out.
  8. There's plenty of discussions out there and decades of articles by a number of manufacturers that better serve describing the lengths that are made to design a product that sounds better than other equipment on the market than will be served by an off-topic thread in a post asking people's opinion of how far mature digital audio's technology has advanced. As the thread took the normal turn for this forum, I'm going to end my responses on this one. It's pretty clear that people's minds are set on both sides, so there's not much benefit to either of us trying to dig into why high-end audio exists for people that see value in things you may not. I get that it will be perceived as a cop-out, but I guess that's the way it'll have to be.
  9. I appreciate that, I suppose. I'm also honest, which was something Charles Hansen was also known for. Anyone in high-end audio could tell you that it isn't a marketplace that's taking the world by storm and it certainly isn't going to make most people rich, especially when you try to do things in what you consider "the right way," like we do. If it was just about making money, none of the people at Ayre would have continued the company after Charley passed because there's certainly easier ways to do it. So we're fortunate to have the group we have. Down to the team of people that physically are building the product, I can say that every one of us believe in what we build, which isn't something you get in a lot of companies. On a side note, I get a chuckle every time you mention those myrtle blocks. I think we lose $0.13 on every one we sell. How I'd love to do away with the things, but they really are noticeable to us, so we're stuck with them. We give them out for free with the units anymore.
  10. Right. Similar to we smaller high-end designers to the DIYer, the big companies have access to a lot of resources we don't. Typically, we can't invent the wheel. We don't create the USB interface or lay out the next HDMI connector, but we can take those things and find ways to make them better. Sometimes we stumble on things that we make that the big guys want, just as there's time a single DIY guy makes something that we would want to buy from them, but the maturity I was talking about was how far down the development trail I personally feel the current offerings on the market have gone, which doesn't seem all that far in some cases (looking at Ethernet). Well, considering my position at Ayre, I don't think my boss is going to come after me. If you have a need to invalidate my statements based on my employment, that's your choice. I can only say that I'd rather make an assessment of your opinion based on your statements. I'm a bit confused by what you'd like me to admit. Do I think that there's $500 DACs worth $500 out there and that people can be perfectly satisfied with them? Absolutely. We can't manufacture a $500 right now...we don't source parts or labor from China (as an example) and we're far too fussy with our design to drop out of our comfort area to make something we'd need to mass-produce to get the quantities needed for those kind of price levels. There's are, however, a number of great companies that make products in that price range that make excellent products, and some that may not. That doesn't mean I would suddenly believe that the $500 is as good as it gets or every big as good as some of the $5000 DACs on the market. I wouldn't have worked for Ayre for the past 12 years were that the case. I will go as far to say that getting into high-end was a terrible mistake for my budget. Knowing what my system can sound like now made my enjoyment of my other pieces considerably less, not because of the price tag, but through having the opportunity to listen to and spend time with various systems from a number of companies. Sometimes not knowing better, and from an audio standpoint, I'm glad to have had the opportunities I have had, even if my checkbook doesn't agree. I know this will do little to nothing to convince you otherwise, which is fine, but the accusation at least needed a response.
  11. I agree completely, Frank. Like I said, I see it as a good thing. I'd much rather people who are designing products feel that we have a ways to go to make existing technology better than have people say that it's as good as it'll be and we're stuck. That means they start scrambling for some new "technology" to sell and you end up with some buzzword technology that may or not actually mean anything.
  12. Not really. Yes, I work for Ayre, but I've been involved in electronics far longer than I've been involved in the high-end audio industry. The piles of Arduino processors and unfinished circuits on various breadboards that my wife will constantly remind me about would attest to that. None of the products are anything more than hobby for me and carry no commercial value, but I enjoy being able to make things for myself just as many people who make their own circuits at home like to do. I will agree that I don't really have much reason to make my own DAC or amplifier after becoming involved with Ayre, but that doesn't really negate my point. Companies have access to resources the average person simply doesn't, be it parts, time, labor, etc. DIYers can make what they feel is the best sounding product that makes sense to them, but I don't imagine many are spending hundreds of hours constantly messing with it after it works or buying various components over and over again just to see how they compare in an effort to see how they can make the next one better. That's not to say innovation doesn't happen in a small environment at home, but I don't think it's necessarily the rule or even goal for every DIYer out there.
  13. Fortunately, a lot of those expensive kit makers have been around to introduce a number of the techonologies we DIYers use today. There's no reason the two aren't compatible.
  14. Sure. We're still chasing "better sounding" audio by ever-increasing sample rates while it seems everyone has a different opinion on what, if any difference it really makes. We argue formats, like PCM vs. DSD vs. MQA, trying desperately to find a new silver bullet to make digital audio sound as good as we want to make it sound. While DAC technology has continued to evolve, we've been able to get a slightly better consensus about what types of DACs are the bigger players, but still argue on which of these are really the ideal. We fool ourselves into believing this ultra-accurate oscillator is the new best thing while ignoring the lessons we learned about how bad jitter is, and get into endless debate about USB vs. SPDIF vs. Ethernet. Of those interfaces in most of these cases, the technology for almost every one are still a ways off from being fully fleshed out, really. There's a pretty good USB solution at this phase in asynchronous, but the other interfaces not nearly as much. Most companies bandaid S/PDIF jitter with slaving units to one another and Ethernet has a lot further to go to get as good as it should be. I'm not saying digital audio is bad by any means. I use it almost exclusively at home. It just has a good way to go to be a fully matured technology. That's a good thing, it means the best is yet to come. To think that we've managed to suss it all out, especially with the debates in this very forum, seems a bit silly.
  15. Unfortunately, both Microsoft and Apple's OS's have seemed to be getting progressively worse for audio over the past 4-5 years. It pushes me to make a Linux box for audio, but it has it's own problems with having to get everything to work with one another, so there's drawbacks on ease of use. For a Microsoft-base audio PC? I'd probably stick with Windows 7.
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