It seems that the reference player for a lot of people is the Ayre 5XE and it was interesting to read the review about the recent firmware update that Ayre is going to offer. On the one hand it's great to be able to hold onto your CD player and get it updated without having to purchase a new one but on the other side is the expense which could range up to $900 if you own a 7XE and $200 on the 5Xe. This is not much to pay but having to send it in to Ayre is a major inconvenience for some and one wonders why dealers are not trained to do the upgrade as well? Regardless it seems that the Ayre 5XeMP is still the flagship CD player for Stereophile and that those who own one made a damn good choice. For those of us who cant afford one all we can do is say "someday"..
If its just a firmware update why does it cost anything ?
Once the firmware is written its just the cost of burning a CD or emailing the file, a few bucks at best.
I have not read the article yet, is just a firmware update ?
From what I read yes it is but Ayre requires you to return the CD player to your dealer where they then will send to Ayre. $200 for owners of the 5XE more for owners of the 7XE. However Stereophile writer feels that the sound was much improved..now was that with or without the display on??
Here is where I prove my ignorance on the issue...is not the software dependent on the hardware processor chip in the machine. While one can update like a PC, what happens when the next audio equivalent of a dual core chip replaced that pentium 4? Is Firmware separate from the hardware to the point that all future firmware changes will work regardless of where the hardware leads in future years? If the updates are just software/firmware, then the costs listed are way excessive.
Am I way off here or is there a real limit on the ability of the hardware in the machine to support future technology?
And yet another player -- like the Meridian -- to do the D to A so that it's better in the time domain than in the frequency domain. Isn't this the approach Wadia rather controversially took, years and years ago? I'm betting that it's only getting these good results now that other problems in the D/A conversion have been largely figured out.
I talked to Ayre about updating my C5xe and they said that I didn't have to TAKE the unit to my dealer.
They said I could ship it direct to them and they would ship it back to me, assuming that I have the original carton (I do), but I would have to contact the dealer first and pay the $200 to the dealer; they don't want to handle the payment.
Just thought I would clarify that.
I haven't bothered to do it yet. It sounds so good now that I really don't have much motivation to improve it...lol.
Regardless it seems that the Ayre 5XeMP is still the flagship CD player for Stereophile
Wait until JA listens to the new Mark Levinson No. 512