Both Ayre CX-7e and Marantz SA8001 received A ratings in the recent Recommended Components. Does anyone have thoughts on how these two compare sonically on redbook cds(have no sacds)? I love the look of the Ayre but it is roughly $2k more. I am using the Krell 400xi integrated and Thiel 1.2 speakers. Thanks for any input. Dokosan
Hi, Dokosan. Welcome!
I've listened to both with regular CD's and preferred the Ayre - but it was on different systems, so your mileage may vary.
The Esoteric DV60 is in the same budget range and I think it to be nearly identical in sonics to the Ayre; but the Esoteric has some sampling choices that I've gotten to play with and I really dig them.
It's worth your while to check out the Esoteric before making a final choice.
One other thing to consider. Charles Hansen, the owner of Ayre, is one of the classiest people in Hi Fi. There is some value in knowing that a product will have someone like him standing behind it.
Keep us posted on your quest!
Another post on this forum reminded me...
Consider APL Hi Fi, too!
I haven't heard the Marantz but the Ayre CX7e is killer. It has bettered the other four or five players that I've heard in that price range.