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Ryan Berry

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Everything posted by Ryan Berry

  1. Ah, I see. Well, if we were to equate the KX-R to simply a volume control, then can see your point. However, the unit does much for for the system than simply throwing in a gain and offering input selection, which I think is something you have to live with to appreciate. Were I able to just use the digital volume control in my QX-5 and be happy, for example, I certainly would and free up the rack space. But once I pull the KX-R out, everything is considerably less for the loss of the piece. For what it's worth, the difference between putting 2 inputs and 6 inputs on a preamp is only a ma
  2. Hi Manuel, The VGT is a variable gain amplifier stage, so closest to the third option. No, a voltage controlled resistor is effectively what is happening in a JFET, like those we use in our products, but they are not part of the volume control for us. The VGT uses a mechanical switch and motor to select different resistors for each volume level, which changes the gain stage's output level. It's tricky to work with as it has quite a few moving parts that need to work perfectly together to behave properly...one of the reasons other companies tend to avoid a switch like this.
  3. Hey Rhmmmm, appreciate the response. In all reality, we're still waiting for someone to catch up to our 6 year old design. :) But seriously, when we last upgraded the KX-R, back in 2014, we weren't sure if there was a way to make it any better. The KX-R has a special story as Ariel mentioned in a PWA video...when Charley and he finally nailed down the design of the original KX-R, we were left with a preamplifier with 0.00X distortion with zero feedback in the circuit. Charley was so excited, he called up John Curl to tell him what he was able to do and John couldn't believe him!
  4. There really shouldn't be a noticeable difference between the two as the DSD portion of the data's the same. Of course, without the DoP information, the maximum speed can be doubled, but "native" (I prefer to think of it more as "raw") DSD 64 vs. DSD via DoP 64 should really about be the same. I think your ears are spot-on. Cheers, Ryan
  5. Hi Csaba, Hard to say until we're done, really. USB is easy. The rest is more complicated. As far as timeline, the more time we get to spend on it, the better we get to make it. Give us some time and we'll have something good in the end. Ayre has a long history of making changes in units available to existing owners of our products. It's simply not right to add something and then have no path for someone who already owns the unit to be able to have the same cool features, so it will be available to all once we're happy with it. Cheers, Ryan
  6. Hey Ari, that's great news! Thanks for such a quick update. If there's anything you ever need from us, just give me a call and we'll be happy to provide it. I really appreciate the kind words. Cheers, Ryan
  7. With the QB-9 being asynchronous, you're likely getting little benefit from external reclocking solutions. However, I think people are seeing an improvement with devices like these as they add an extra level of isolation on the incoming power. Your QB-9 uses the PC's power and ground to power the USB PHY chip prior to isolation from the rest of the digital circuit. We then send it over to the DAC after separating the ground and adding our own power supply for the rest of the digital circuit. Having a separate power supply from the PC going into that PHY chip would very likely have varying
  8. Thanks for the report. We'll be in touch and see what needs to be done. Cheers, Ryan
  9. In some ways we agree. Many of the processes you're talking about is not done in the DAC chip in our units. Allowing the DAC to handle everything is easy to do, and I'm sure it's really tempting for some to slap a chip on a board, feed it power, clock, and signal and call it a day, but we've found that it doesn't sound particularly good. In other ways we're probably not going to see eye to eye (or perhaps ear to ear) here. I think one of the tricky things is that it can be difficult to understand what is actually happening inside of a unit without knowing the designer's implementation. We
  10. And impedes manufacturers from doing what we know makes a large positive change in the units. I fail to see the advantages of attempting to drive the DSD standard on listeners. All it's really doing in the end is bypassing filters, which means people are often comparing apples to oranges and not realizing it. Add in times when things are getting "dressed up" in DSP on the software end, that even tricks people into thinking the DSD is somehow better.
  11. Unfortunately, yes. In a way, it's worse than before as people continue to redefine DSD to give it new life with standards never defined by Sony.
  12. I can at least give you an old one! http://www.the-ear.net/features/dsd-under-fire
  13. The more I read, the more questions I end up with. Are the files being tested conversions of a PCM file or rerecorded with a DSD ADC? What if the ADC being used for PCM had a filter like the QA-9 instead of a brick wall filter? How is the DSD vs. PCM data handled inside the DAC? The list goes on and on and every test is likely flawed in some way.
  14. That's a fair point that I wasn't thinking about in DSD terms, Miska. Good catch. DSD passes directly through to the ESS untouched, so it wouldn't be subject to another round of oversampling like pre-upsampling PCM would. It doesn't eliminate some of our other issues with the format as a whole, but you're right that it wouldn't be subject to double-oversampling.
  15. That's a big topic full of a lot of opinions. Some groups studied could tell no difference while a study in Tokyo suggested people could hear the differences between DSD and PCM with a preference toward DSD (though no differences heard between different rates of DSD, interestingly). I've not heard much benefit of doing a conversion to DSD myself and I know that Charley really didn't care for the format, but that was probably more on principle than anything. Either way, I tell people to trust their own ears and just enjoy the music. The argument on what is right or wrong would go on endless
  16. I know HQPlayer pretty well, we've used it in the past for testing and agree that it's a nice piece of software. However, you will still run into a second pass of oversampling being done at the FPGA to get to 16X and apply our Minimum Phase filter, so you'll run into what I mentioned before.
  17. Hey Chris, I see. To be honest, we've never been big proponents of upsampling outside of the FPGA, where we can do everything in a single pass to minimize rounding errors as well as ensure that the original data is preserved and not rounded out by some software post-process. We only can guarantee what WE do internally, so this gives us a bit more control on making sure the end product is as true to the original as possible. I'm sure you already know how we tend to think of DSD based on posts from Charley over the years, but I still think that converting a 192kHz sample to DSD is a fair argu
  18. H Hey Chris, The QB-9 has handlers written for DSD256 at 11.2896 MHz but not 12.288MHz right now. We looked into this before releasing the QB-9 and could not find any source material that was recorded in a DSD format with a multiple of 48kHz, so it came off as more of a marketing gimmick to us than actually a useful feature and only adds confusion to what DSD256 is. Adding a handler is REALLY trivial, as I imagine it would be for most DAC manufacturers. The only hesitation is if there's any actual gain doing so. If there's some source material out there we're mis
  19. I hear you loud and clear. There's a pretty big list of things we want to see too, ranging from really easy to really complex to do correctly. The QB-9 was a great way for us to test a new USB implementation and we're able to check one off the list. Ethernet is, of course, the more complicated input and there's a very short list of options out there that we know do things in a way that makes us happy. We'll continue to be working hard on everything and I know you'll be pleased when we're done.
  20. Almost definitely not, Vule. There has been nothing compelling to us on the technology after exhaustive testing it that would suggest anyone benefits from MQA decoding being placed into an Ayre unit. The next upgrade to the QX-5 will likely be hardware-related to further improve the performance of the unit with things we have learned over the past few years. As the QX-5 is more complex than just about anything else we make (outside of perhaps the EX-8), it does take a fair bit of time to test things piece by piece to ensure they all make a noticeable and positive difference.
  21. It could be possible, Josh, but we'd have to get some transformers in to do the conversion. The company we work with is shut down until April 20, but give us a call after that and I should have some numbers by then on what it would take to change over.
  22. The Twenty upgrade is a relatively new release for us, so I expect it will be available for quite a long time. Nothing involved in the circuit has a limited availability, so I don't foresee a real end date on the upgrade at this time. I hope that helps.
  23. Hey Chris, Thank you for the wonderful review and I'm very happy you enjoyed the product. The QB-9 upgrade really embodies everything we've learned at Ayre over 26 years and is my personal favorite upgrade to date. We look forward to the next project soon and will be in touch. Cheers, Ryan Berry Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
  24. If it helps, I can go in and replace every lock washer with a brand new, shiny, also non-magnetic lock washer of your choosing. Just send in your material of choice with the unit and I'll oversee it personally.
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