RMAF12: Hot Ayre puts on the Best in Show

And the award for “Best In Show” goes to … whoever the hell rolled up a set from “Mad Men” and un-rolled it into a room at the Denver Tech Center Marriott. Ska-doosh!

Seriously. Look at these pics. What the hell? I was absolutely floored. I mean, look at the floor! These guys thought of everything. Blown. Away.

First point — I am being totally serious when I say that the bar has now been set. Every room I walked into after the Ayre Acoustics room at RMAF this year, I asked myself why the vendors cared so little. Every room, I found myself thinking, it’s like you didn’t even try — not good! And every room, at every other show, will now suck because of what Ayre was able to pull off. Let me finish this point this way — if you are planning to show at any audio show, ever, and this room isn’t the first thing you’re thinking of, you are doing it wrong.

Second point — this room sounded pretty good. More importantly, it felt great. And of all the rooms at RMAF this year, this will be the one I remember.

Third point — the room was so distracting that I almost forgot to pay attention to the new Ayre integrated amp. Not! No, not even a little bit, actually, though I heard a lot of speculation from show-goers about this point … who all, nonetheless, had something to say about the Ayre electronics on display. Ironic? Hmm. But regardless of how I felt about Ayre, the new product, or even the associated gear on display, I was disarmed, completely undone, and very much realigned into a positive, happy, place. Boy, howdy, what a head job! Nicely done, folks. Nice one!

Associated gear was the “baby” Vivid Giya, the G3. The Ayre DX-5 “universal” digital front end fed the soon-to-be-shipping $9,995 Ayre AX-5. The Ayre dps turntable shared the console.

Sound quality along the long-wall was about as good as you can expect. Yes, I’ve heard the Giya G3 sound better, but it was quite clear (to me, at least) that these guys need space around them — and you, the listener, need to have something other than a wall behind you. Like, say, space. Lots of space. However, this was not a problem for this room — it is a problem for hotel rooms and this set up was probably the least of all the evils (that wouldn’t totally fubar the marketing job the decor was doing). That said, I thought the mid-to-high was clean and clear, exactly what I’ve come to expect from Vivid. The Ayre electronics did a great job with what they had to work with. Bravo and bravely done, guys. A smashing success.

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