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About beetlemania

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    Luddite with a PC!

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  1. I didn’t read every post in this thread so maybe I’m repeating information . . . PPT is a polystyrene film cap. It is a very high quality type and should last a very long time. Why does “hand made” make a difference? Electrolytics are caps that will drift with time, say 15-20 years. I would be inclined to leave PPT type in unless you want to play with other caps (caps do sound different). If you have any electrolytics (looks like two electrolytics on that board) of that age I would definitely replace those, and with a good film cap if available in the correct capacitance.
  2. @Mercman Are you still running a QX-5? It would be interesting to get your take on that compared to a QB-9 Twenty. I yearned for a QX-5 but it remained out of my budget. I haven’t heard one for a couple of years but am wondering how close the new QB-9 gets. Are you still writing for any outlet? Haven’t seen any reviews from you for a while.
  3. @CG what is your subjective experience with your QB-9 as it burns in even more? You earlier reported changes at the 200-300 hour mark but what about now? Regardless, interesting speculation of the reasons burn in could take week and months.
  4. I was a bit skeptical when I read your account. But I played my reference tracks this evening as I have the house to myself. I have to say I don’t recall *this* level of pristine clarity and liquidity. Some say that auditory memory is not reliable. I don’t have a strong opinion either way but I will say this: my system sounds better than I remember 😊
  5. Hmm, I guess I should play my reference tracks again to see if the sound has continued to change 😊 I stopped keeping track but I must be at least 750 hours by now. I have noticed recently how freaking good my system sounds if I sit relative nearfield (~7' instead of ~9') but that probably says more about my speakers and room than the QB-9. But I have sat in that position before and, while it always sounded best "nearfield", I don't remember it sounding *this* scintillating.
  6. 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?).
  7. Approaching the 400 hour mark. I think the sound has stabilized although I haven’t been careful about playing the same songs at varying intervals. To my ears, in my system and room, the main improvements are 1) improved clarity and resolution and 2) an expanded, almost unbounded, soundstage. The overall sound is refined, pretty much top-shelf albeit it’s been a while since I’ve heard competing contenders. I always considered the DSD version to be excellent but the Twenty is a notable step up. Easier than ever to relax into the music. The increased clarity makes it easier to hear individual voices and instruments during complex passages. The added resolution adds a bit more texture all around; performers and instruments are more “fleshy”. This is most obvious in the midrange but I also hear improvement in the bass and, to a lesser extent, the treble. Ayre claims quieter backgrounds and that sounds accurate to me. Well recorded music is more dimensional with an expansive soundstage. I don’t hear any aspect of performance that is a step backwards from the DSD version. This is the fourth time I’ve upgraded an Ayre product! Been really happy every time. Thanks Ryan, Ariel, and crew 😊
  8. I plugged mine in within minutes of delivery off the UPS truck in winter conditions. There was a vague character that something was not quite right but your description doesn't reflect my experience. Regardless, that character was gone within a day or two and I otherwise heard a notable increase in overall clarity and an open, unbounded soundstage even after I first got it running. I'm now approaching the 250 hour mark and plan to play my reference tracks this weekend.
  9. I would draw the line at editing (this could twist the poster's intention), but I like the option for the OP to wholly delete posts and ban specific members from that specific thread.
  10. I agree with this but would point out that he motivation of the person in these hypothetical examples is quite different, maybe even opposite!
  11. It's been 2+ years since I've heard a QX-5 (and I've never heard a QX-8) but I think the QB-9 Twenty is good enough that a head-to-head comparison in the same system/room would be needed for any meaningful comparison. The QX-5 *probably* sounds better due to higher quality parts ("better" DAC chip, Morion oscillator, etc) but, as CG wrote, the QB-9 should benefit from it's singular purpose. I have been lusting after a QX-5 but it remained beyond my budget (it also has more features than I would likely ever use). So, I was stoked when I heard about the QB-9 upgrade. I can't say how how close it gets to the QX-5 but it certainly narrowed the gap! @FelipeRolim Did Audio Magazine do a head-to-head of the DX-5 and QB-9? I can tell you this much: the QB-9 DSD version is "notably" better than the 192 kHz version and the Twenty version is "notably" better than the DSD version.
  12. 😂 y’all need to step away from the computer and put on an album
  13. I had mine running within 10 minutes off the cold UPS truck. It sounded as if something was vaguely amiss at that point but it was abundantly apparent that it bested the DSD version in terms of clarity and expansiveness. One day later I thought it still sounded a bit rough in some respects. I’m now at around 150 hours. To my ears, it clearly bests the DSD version in some important ways and I don’t hear any aspect of performance that has slipped. I want to get past the 200 hour mark before playing my reference tracks.
  14. Hi Ryan, thanks for participating here. Yep, I’m a fan of KISS, keep it simple, stupid. Years ago on this forum, I wrote that computer audio combines audiophile nervosa with computer geek obsession. Not a good recipe! When I first got my QB-9 (192 kHz version) I experimented with OS, music players and one or two other computer-side tweaks. Most things made zero audible difference to my ears, in my system. Maybe because of Ayre’s galvanic isolation? And nothing made a significant difference. I *am* able to distinguish 16 and 24 bit files, preferring the latter but I can’t distinguish higher sample rates. DSD sounds fine to me but nothing special over PCM. At this point, I buy 24 bit files when available but otherwise don’t concern myself over such matters, preferring to listen to music rather than formats and esoteric computer tweaks. Maybe that’s why I love the QB-9 - it does one thing and it does it to the nth degree. The Twenty upgrade is special (although its ability to play 24/352 is pretty much lost on me!). I’m approaching the 100 hour mark and will have more to write about in the coming days/weeks.
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