Here’s a picture of Ayre’s Michael Wiedmaier pretending to enjoy a martini. I also have a picture of someone pretending to take a hit from an oversized bong; a picture of someone else looking mesmerized by a lava lamp; a picture of someone dancing on a shag rug; a picture of someone else putting out an imaginary cigarette in a real-life ashtray; and a few other funny pictures, too.
I have no pictures of Ayre’s new AX-5 integrated amplifier, no comments on the sound quality of the system, no recollection of even listening to music while in the amazing Ayre room. I do recall very pleasant conversations with readers, exhibitors, and attendees. At any hi-fi show, there are rooms that are all about the gear; rooms that are merely about the technology; rooms that are stuffy or solemn; rooms that are even empty and quiet.
And then there are rooms like this one, a hotel room that has been completely transformed into something else, that puts everything aside and takes you to another time and place, where fun is the priority. You want to stay and linger, talk and listen and relax.
Over at AudioStream, you’ll find a picture of the Ayre room that gives a good sense of its complete awesomeness. And, fortunately, I have a press release regarding the new Ayre AX-5 integrated amplifier (price TBA). Rated to deliver 125Wpc into 8 ohms, the zero-feedback, fully-discrete, fully-balanced design incorporates the Variable Gain Technology of Ayre’s highly regarded KX-R preamp into its power amplifier section and adds FET input-selector switches. Other features include Ayre’s new Diamond output stage, EquiLock circuitry, and Ayre Conditioner powerline RFI filter.
Most people were super-excited about the gear in the room. I was mostly excited about the room’s décor.