Ayre's QB-9 USB DAC Revealed
Saturday morning Ayre held a press conference at the top of the Venetian to reveal their latest products, which include a new USB DAC, the QB-9.
Another tweaky USB DAC you say? Yes, but this one takes serious technical aim at the jitter problem inherent in most of these products. Ayre is licensing Wavelength Audio's new asynchronous USB approach called "Streamlength" which essentially clocks the stream from the DAC instead of waiting for the computer to parse out the data. The result is a tighter jitter spec and all the sonic benefits that implies. The QB-9 also includes an implementation of the company's new MP filter that minimizes ringing.
Though CES rooms are not a great way to judge these kinds of things, the demo ran iTunes via a Mac Mini through the QB-9 directly into the KX-R preamp and held its own against the other disc transports in the rack. Retail will be less than $2,500 and the product should hit the streets by March.