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Older Ayre electronics with 2ce Sigs


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This pastime for me has been a good deal about tourism. By this I mean that I enjoy trying pieces that were significant or had an enthusiastic following, for one reason or another. Vandersteen 2ce Sigs came my way after a pair of 2ci, and 1B. But prior to the Vandersteens, I'd mucked around with stacked Advent OLAs, and Snell EII,  and Magnepan SMGa.  I've been happy with things that once sold well, in part because many sales in decades prior also means readily available supply.  With the 2ce Sigs I've been able to try out a small variety of pairings for electronics, and the speakers have reliably given an opinion on upstream equipment.

My current setup, in terms of walking downstairs to turn it on right now, is a Conrad Johnson 17LS2, which has been factory refurbed as recently as 10 years ago. This is a zero negative feedback piece, and has a slew of features including a sexy gold remote control. It feeds a Pass Aleph 5, factory  refurbed on my watch just over a year ago. I have a sweet email from Pass that says the amp exceeds the original specs. As you may know, it has only two gain stages, and only 60 watts into 8 ohms. The majority of my listening is below 80-85 dB, and the system draws me in to sit down for hours, or to dance around the room if the house is empty. I shouldn't complain or mess with it, but I took the A5 from my upstairs system on a lark, and the swap has stuck for over a month. In addition it's winter in Maine, and I enjoy the space heater feature of the A5 as an adjunct to the household heat.

The CJ came my way locally, and wasn't a planned purchase. It is different than the Pass X2.5 that's usually paired with the A5. That amplifier is going to stay with me for the long run, but may go back to the upstairs system at some point. When that happens I'm thinking of trying out an Ayre V5-xe, or even a V1-xe. They come around often enough that I'm not worried about availability. Do folks think it would it pair okay with the CJ? I'm sure it would pair with the speakers.

There does not appear to be an impedance mismatch. (850 output, vs 100k unbalanced input)

Long run consideration is that I may upgrade speakers in the next two years. There are enough uncertainties in that plan that I hesitate to use it at a guideline. Could I sell the CJ? I suppose, but it's simply the best preamp in the house at the moment.

I've heard some newer Ayre equipment at Audio Connections, through newer Vandersteens. That was a great afternoon, and highly educational. The long term goal would be to give them a pile of money and order from the selection of finishes, but I'm not quite there yet.

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The preamp tourist list? Nakamichi CA5, Superphon Revelation II, B&K Pro 10 MC with bypass, Adcom GFP-750, Inspire LP-27a, Classe DR-6, Sonic Frontiers Line 1, Audible Illusion M3A, Coda 0.2B.

 

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Early iterations of Ayre amps tended to sound a bit bass shy, if I recall. If I were going to buy Ayre, I would look to the models that contain the Diamond Circuit. Though they cost more, it is worth the money. 

One inexpensive route would be to get the Ayre AX 7e integrated amp.  65wpc, if I remember correctly. I think @ctsooner used it with his Treo's.

Bob

 

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2 hours ago, GdnrBob said:

One inexpensive route would be to get the Ayre AX 7e integrated amp.  65wpc, if I remember correctly. I think @ctsooner used it with his Treo's

Bob, as good as the integrated from Ayre as well as the Mimas from Aesthetix is, the inability to have a separate preamp/amp section is limiting especially when you start looking at the Vandy subs.

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7 hours ago, stratocaster said:

Bob, as good as the integrated from Ayre as well as the Mimas from Aesthetix is, the inability to have a separate preamp/amp section is limiting especially when you start looking at the Vandy subs.

stratocaster, not true as both companies will install a high-pass.  RV

 

7 hours ago, stratocaster said:

Bob, as good as the integrated from Ayre as well as the Mimas from Aesthetix is, the inability to have a separate preamp/amp section is limiting especially when you start looking at the Vandy subs.

 

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wow….what a fun experimental thread…. as you probably know that initial Ayre power amp holds its value very well today…. some 30 years on…. for a reason…. i wouldn’t hesitate to try one… Love CJ preamps..i had a Premier 3 back in the day…..

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I love and have owned much CJ gear. Same with Ayre. Bob is right, that AX7 ex was a great pairing for a bit. It was a tad bass shy.   Of the last word in detail, but very musical. I did change to the first AX5/20 that was offered by a,local dealer who upgraded it for me. 

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Whatever way you go, Ayre is a stand up company that will ensure their products will perform, as well, if not better, if you should need service.

I have dealt with almost all of the guys, and they will go out of their way to service their equipment to the best of their abilities. So, take my comment on the bass with a grain of salt.

 I own the MXR/KXR (non Twenty) as well as the QB-9 Twenty DAC ( and 2 Codex'es). Whenever there was an issue, they fixed it, and at a very reasonable cost, quickly too.

Bob

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I've always wondered that Conrad Johnson wasn't mentioned as often with Vandersteens.  An ET250s seems like it would be worth a try, or if one of the MF2200/2300/2550 amps. I think that I'd like more headroom or dynamics. Maybe more power gets me there, or maybe it's down to the design of the amplifier circuitry.

The Ayre products seem to be very well designed.

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9 hours ago, TomicTime said:

I am of course biased as we were both a CJ and Vandersteen dealer…..  My older brother has a SS CJ amplifier that is quite good…. 

I got mine all at Bruces back in 83 or so when I lived in Coronado.  I heard Quatro's in a guys house in Chicago some years ago.  They were the cloth ones and it was all top CJ amps.  He was trying to get me to buy the Quatro's as the new wood ones had just come out if I recall.  Loved the sound.

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