Hello. Has anyone auditioned these two players side by side?
I heard them both when a friend auditioned them in his home (along with the SONY 9000).
The other two units came in way behind the Ayre...not even in the same ballpark!
The Sony 5400 was not auditioned; wish we had had it to compare also.
Interesting. I have a couple of friends that preferred this new Levinson over the Ayre and the new Meridian (both with the Apodizing digital filter).
I wonder if JA can pull some strings at Levinson and review one of these units..
Hold the press; a friend brought his new Sony SCD-XA5400ES over to my house yesterday and we compared it with my Ayre C5 for nearly 8 hours. I could not #@$%^ believe it; it was a bit of a shock!It wasn't really that close; the Sony sounded noticeably better than my Ayre on 90% of the discs we listened to...CD and SACD....grrrrr (MUCH better in some cases...).I have to say that I have never heard ANYTHING better...at any price!!!! (yes, there are certainly units costing $12K and more that I have never heard...)It is true, however, that I have yet to send my C5 in for the new MP modification; I will see about sending it in next week. Maybe after several years use it has lost a little something anyway; maybe the mod plus a factory tuneup will be a significant improvement?But in the meantime, I think that today I will be investing $1500 in a new 5400 at Sonystyle online.I think this SONY is going to be a watershed product, like the original NAD 3020 (which I lovingly used for quite a few years). I think I can safely say that almost every player for under 10 grand is now going to go back to the drawing board.The SONY engineers have performed some magic here! I am just amazed.Run, don't walk. When the word really gets out on how good this is, at this price, they are going to be back-ordered to Christmas, lol.