Ayre 8 Series | High End 2019

Leadership team at Ayre

High-End 2019 show coverage brought to you by The LSA Group

Ayre (website) was one of the earliest to market with a good USB DAC. That’s how I remember seeing and interacting with them. The QB-9 did one thing (USB) and did that one thing well, and all the mags raved about it. But what I always wanted? Well, aside from anything in the the milled-block-of-aluminum R-Series, was the C5 CD player. Man, I wanted that thing in a bad way — “no point in USB, when CD is that good!” is what I remember thinking.

My, have things changed.

What’s new these days is that the product line at Ayre has simplified. Gone is the 7-Series. Poof! In it’s place, say hello to the new 8-Series. Already available are the QX-8 DAC ($5,500) and the EX-8 100wpc integrated amplifier ($6-8k, depending) with an optional D/A converter (with or without the asynchronous USB interface and with or without the Ethernet interface, which is “Roon-ready and pre-configured to stream Spotify, Qobuz, and Tidal“.

But what you may not know is that the separates are also on their way. The new KX-8 preamplifier should be available in October (-ish) for about $5,500 and will be matched by the upcoming VX-8 stereo amplifier, also available at that time.

And yes, wonder of wonders, this will be joined by a CX-8. A CD-only transport (with sled sourced from TEAC) + DAC (featuring the ES9028Q2M chip). As with the integrated, this CD player/DAC can also be configured with the same USB interface and/or an Ethernet interface.

Next RMAF, we’re heading into the hills (Boulder, that is) to go visit these folks.

Shown here in Munich with speakers from Vivid.

Ayre QX-8, Ayre EX-8

Ayre 8 Series amp, DAC

Core Power Technologies
High-End 2019 show coverage brought to you by Core Power Technologies

Ayre CX-8 CD

Ayre 8 Series CD

Ayre VX-8

Ayre EX-8

About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

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