Author Topic: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.  (Read 13604 times)

Offline williammaxtor

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Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« on: December 06, 2009, 04:48 »


Here is yet another rebadged oppo player that is selling for far more then what oppo charges for it. Ayre admits to changing nothing in the digital, HDMI, and video processing department so it is nothing more then a "snake oil" mod. With the new OPPO BDP-83 SE this ayre player is using the old DAC's and not the new ESS DAC's so you are paying $10,000 for less.

Then again one just has to look at ayre's past source units to realize it is all snake oil.

Ayre CX-7eMP




Offline williammaxtor

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 04:49 »
I know I mentioned this in the theta/lexicon rebadged thread but this needs it's own thread to get the word out.

Offline EGG_Shell

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 08:58 »
Actual its not rebadged, they do a major overhaul.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1181755

Quote from: Charles Hansen

Well, first of all you have to remember that we don't have to pay $500 for the unit. We buy in quantity, so Oppo gives us the spectacular discounted price of (make sure you are sitting down, please!) $400.

Then to make it an Ayre, we dismantle it completely and recycle everything except the main PCB (with the video decoder, ABT scaler chip, and HDMI transmitter), the transport mechanism, the VFD display, and the remote control handset.

Next we re-build the main PCB. The big switching power supply only provides 5 VDC, then there are little mini-switching power supplies (called DC-DC converters) on the main PCB that turn the 5 VDC into 1.0 VDC, 1.1 VDC, 1.8 VDC, and 3.3 VDC. All of those are removed. There are also USB power switches that allow hot-plugging of USB devices. These are removed as they have another kind of DC-DC converter called a "charge pump".

All of the supplies are replaced with pure linear supplies with analog regulators. The USB power switches are replaced with devices without the charge pumps. Now we have gotten rid of seven noise sources that create high-frequency square waves with harmonics well out into the MHz region. Getting rid of all of that noise creates a visibly cleaner picture.

Next, we replace the low-quality master video clock with a VCXO. This becomes more important later on, as you will see.

Now we start adding things back in. First is our AyreLink communication system. It allows AyreLink equipped components to act as one big system. For example, turning on the player will turn on all of the downstream components as well as automatically select the correct input on the preamp. We also make an external RS-232 to AyreLink converter box for system controllers like Crestrons. The AyreLink system has opto-isolators between each component to avoid unwanted ground loops, which is why we don't use RS-232 inputs on any of our equipment.

Then we add a custom programmed FPGA on the front panel PCB to do some housekeeping. It intercepts the appropriate commands and translates them to operate the AyreLink system. It disables the internal volume control (which operates in the digital domain and degrades the sound) and instead routes the volume changes to an AyreLink equipped preamp. It also allows us to send custom messages to the front panel VFD display. So when the USB audio input is activated, it will report that on the front panel along with the sample rate of the received signal.

There are a bunch of boards added on the audio side. I say "side" because we literally split the player into two parts. There is a separate power transformer that runs all of the audio circuitry, which is separated from the video side by a bank of opto-isolators. So the audio and video "sides" have separate grounds that are completely galvanically isolated. This is the only way to get the best performance from either your audio system or your video system.

All video displays have switching power supplies that dump noise into your system in the absence of such isolation. There are also ground loops that are inevitably formed as there is no such thing as a balanced video connection. All of those problems go away with our isolation system.

The ten-channel audio board is replaced by a two-channel audio board. Everything on this board is top-quality, with discrete, fully balanced, zero-feedback audio circuitry and discrete, zero-feedback power supply regulators. There are improvements in both the parts quality and circuit design that give it even higher performance than the QB-9 USB DAC that was recently rated "Class A+" in Stereophile's recommended components issue. For two-channel disc playback (CD, SACD, DVD-Audio), the performance exceeds our $6,000 audio-only disc player.

We also add the USB audio input that allows you to connect your personal computer and turn your system into a music server. Your entire digital library (except SACD's, thank you very much Sony -- not!) can be stored on a hard drive and played back with the click of a mouse. So this one component can be the only source component that you need. This input is also connected via a bank of opto-isolators, so there is actually a *third* "side" to the system -- the video, the audio, and the computer. The noise from your computer and its switching power supply will not be connected to either your video or audio systems.

We also add a second audio-only HDMI connector. This is fed by the isolated signals on the audio "side" so that it won't contaminate your surround-sound system if you choose to connect one. It also supports the new "Audio Rate Control" (ARC) feature that is part of the HDMI 1.3a specifcation. This is a breakthrough for the surround-sound enthusiast, as HDMI is normally the worst way in the world to send audio data -- the jitter is even worse than the lowly S/PDIF connection.

But with ARC, the surround-sound processor uses a local crystal oscillator to provide a low-jitter clock to the DAC chips. Then there is a buffer that stores the incoming audio data. When the buffer is too full it sends a signal back upstream to the Blu-Ray player telling it to slow down the disc slightly. When the buffer is too empty, it asks the disc to speed up slightly. Now the audio clock is in charge, the way that it should be. (When the unit is running in two-channel mode, the local low-jitter, fixed-frequency crystal oscillator provides the master audio clock.)

With a modern digital display (plasma, LCD, LCOS, DLP, et cetera) jitter on the video signal does not matter. Since there is no conversion to analog, the digital signal values are simply stored in a frame buffer until needed.

Then the whole thing is put into a custom chassis made entirely from anodized aluminum and stainless steel. We want our products to look just as good 50 years from now as they do today. There are other people making Oppo "clones". One of them only replaces the chassis. Another replaces the power supply also. Nobody is rebuilding the complete player and adding the extra features and advanced technology that Ayre is.

As far as the value, it is up to you to determine that. I can't tell you how much an improved picture is worth. I can't tell you how much better sound is worth. I can't tell you how much the features we add are worth. You will have to decide that for yourself.

What I can tell you is that, just like all of our other products, they offer engineering and performance beyond what anyone else is offering, at a fair price that reflects our cost of manufacturing, and that we back up our products with both a strong network of the finest dealers on the planet and an incredible service policy.

Unlike other manufacturers that try to sell you a "new and improved" product every year or two, when we figure out a way to genuinely improve the performance of our existing products, we offer upgrades to current owners at very reasonable prices. Go to the Audio Asylum and check out some comments regarding our recent "MP" upgrades to the C-5xe and CX-7e disc players, for example.

If you want a great Blu-Ray player for an incredible price, buy the Oppo. If you want the best picture and sound quality in the world for your home theater and price is not a concern, check out the Ayre. And no, it will not be available in November, sorry. Early next year will be a better guess.


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Offline williammaxtor

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 08:34 »
Wrong, it is a rebadge product and ayre is just trying to defend the $10,000 price. Further more if you use the unit with digital connection there really will be no difference, this is just aother example of snake oil.

Offline armoury

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 14:18 »
Whilst personally I don't have the kind of money to spend on something like an Ayre, nor would I even if I did since my eyes and ears are rather shot anyway, unless and until you've had the opportunity to compare this with an Oppo, isn't it a bit premature to immediately brand it as 'snake oil'? 

There has always been a law of diminishing returns in improving performance, whether audio or now video, at the higher end of equipment, and again personally I wouldn't play in that range since I simply can't afford it, but some people can and want the very best bang for their mega-bucks.  That's their choice, their money.  I once had the privilege to hear a system far more high-end than my own mid-fi set-up, and it was certainly jawdroppingly good.  So I wouldn't be immediately dismissive of what this can do.  Whether it is worth it or not, or whether you can see or hear any notable difference or not, that's another question, but why be so vehemently negative about it even before its release?
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Offline williammaxtor

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 06:14 »
Whilst personally I don't have the kind of money to spend on something like an Ayre, nor would I even if I did since my eyes and ears are rather shot anyway, unless and until you've had the opportunity to compare this with an Oppo, isn't it a bit premature to immediately brand it as 'snake oil'?

Nope, if using it as a digital source it will be bit for bit perfect with the oppo and as we see with ayres other source units they are clearly a snake oil company. 

There has always been a law of diminishing returns in improving performance, whether audio or now video, at the higher end of equipment, and again personally I wouldn't play in that range since I simply can't afford it, but some people can and want the very best bang for their mega-bucks.  That's their choice, their money.  I once had the privilege to hear a system far more high-end than my own mid-fi set-up, and it was certainly jawdroppingly good.  So I wouldn't be immediately dismissive of what this can do.  Whether it is worth it or not, or whether you can see or hear any notable difference or not, that's another question, but why be so vehemently negative about it even before its release?

But why assume that the ayre is better based soly on name and price?

Offline junchoon

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2009, 09:07 »
Nope, if using it as a digital source it will be bit for bit perfect with the oppo and as we see with ayres other source units they are clearly a snake oil company. 

But why assume that the ayre is better based soly on name and price?

that may be true in saying "bit for bit perfect" - but what if the bit did not arrive in a timely manner?  especially fo 5.1, that's where the ARC will make a difference, which OPPO has not implemented yet in BDP-83.  of course lah, so far only sony and pioneer implemented (non-standard) ARC in their AVRs. 

u maybe saying that SACD or multichannel stuff is not important, but the point of the new Ayre is to improve on the audio quality, and that's where the money will be spend.

cheers,
wps

Online Pingu

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 09:12 »
Seems like you are on some sort of crusade... who are you, actually?
xxx

Offline armoury

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 10:53 »
Nope, if using it as a digital source it will be bit for bit perfect with the oppo and as we see with ayres other source units they are clearly a snake oil company. 

junchoon's already answered, there could be improvements in clocking, which leads to improvements in PQ/SQ.

Quote
But why assume that the ayre is better based soly on name and price?

I don't assume anything; what I'm asking is why are you assuming it is snake-oil, even before anyone (let alone you) has reviewed the unit? 

All I'm saying is that until you've actually had the chance to see and hear what the Ayre can do, it seems unfair to be slamming it already.  Upon review, you might very well conclude that it isn't worth it, or that you see/hear no difference from a stock Oppo at all, and it would be your right to express your opinion, but until you've actually seen/heard the unit, it's all speculation.
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Offline williammaxtor

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2009, 05:13 »
Quote from: junchoon
that may be true in saying "bit for bit perfect" - but what if the bit did not arrive in a timely manner?  especially fo 5.1, that's where the ARC will make a difference, which OPPO has not implemented yet in BDP-83.  of course lah, so far only sony and pioneer implemented (non-standard) ARC in their AVRs. 

u maybe saying that SACD or multichannel stuff is not important, but the point of the new Ayre is to improve on the audio quality, and that's where the money will be spend.

What does room correction have to do with what we are talking about? How does the ayre improve on audio quality?

Quote from: armoury
junchoon's already answered, there could be improvements in clocking, which leads to improvements in PQ/SQ.

They admit to not touching the video section so PQ is irrelevant and with the audio side jitter is not audible.

http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/26/1/50/_pdf

30ns in sighted tests and 250ns in blind.

Quote
I don't assume anything; what I'm asking is why are you assuming it is snake-oil, even before anyone (let alone you) has reviewed the unit? 

All I'm saying is that until you've actually had the chance to see and hear what the Ayre can do, it seems unfair to be slamming it already.  Upon review, you might very well conclude that it isn't worth it, or that you see/hear no difference from a stock Oppo at all, and it would be your right to express your opinion, but until you've actually seen/heard the unit, it's all speculation.

Look at the past source products from ayre the  CX-7eMP is all snake oil so why would their new products be any different?

Offline junchoon

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 09:20 »
What does room correction have to do with what we are talking about? How does the ayre improve on audio quality?

They admit to not touching the video section so PQ is irrelevant and with the audio side jitter is not audible.

http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/26/1/50/_pdf

30ns in sighted tests and 250ns in blind.

Look at the past source products from ayre the  CX-7eMP is all snake oil so why would their new products be any different?

there is a misunderstanding - u must have been referring to Anthem Room Correction.  ARC is standard in HDMI also refer to as Audio Rate Control.  imho, it is when 6 channels or more that ARC will be relevant.

fyi, my xa5400es will go down to about 200pico second with the HATS (Sony's implementaton of ARC) turned on, it is 8000ps without:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/blogs/welwynnick-64635/1983-jitter-list.html

is there an audible difference???  i dunno, since i tak ada Sony AVR!  :)  but other people who has Sony player and avr, reported very good result.

cheers,
wps

Offline williammaxtor

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2009, 03:39 »
The findings of the sony equipment would be 100% subjective. Why would ARC only matter when 6 channels or more are present?

Offline junchoon

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 21:04 »
The findings of the sony equipment would be 100% subjective. Why would ARC only matter when 6 channels or more are present?

i dont have the sony avr to prove it.  just based on reviews by users with xa5400es and HATS compatible AVRs.  not sure what kind of objective/subjective results u r looking at?

in regards to ARC, to make it clear, i think a more correct term is MCH (more than 2 channels), and not 6ch or more. 

my reason is when two channel only, then use Arye's analog.  more than that, use hdmi out to handle.  if Arye did not implement ARC, then even a dvd player can have almost identical sound.  but throw in ARC, it will make the Ayre DX-5 providing the best sound in MCH.

cheers,
wps 

Offline williammaxtor

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 04:49 »
Well we know that the ayre DX-5 does not have room correction so it is irrelevant.

Offline comfortablynumb

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Re: Ayre DX-5 at $10,000 is a rebadged $500 OPPO.
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2010, 13:41 »
So, the Ayre is $10000 compared with a $500 Oppo?
Assuming IF (that's a BIG 'IF') there is a 10% improvement from the Ayre for its PQ & SQ over the Oppo, then that would mean a price tag of $950 for every 1% of improvement.

Er, I would rather remain with the Oppo. No, thank you.


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