Ayre Acoustics KX-R Twenty line preamplifier Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Remote-controlled line preamplifier. Analog inputs: 4 balanced (pin 2 hot), 4 unbalanced. Analog outputs: 2 pairs balanced on XLRs (pin 2 hot), 2 pairs balanced tape (pin 2 hot). Other inputs/outputs: 2 AyreLink ports. Gain range: Variable Gain Transconductance topology in 60 steps of 1dB. Frequency range: DC–250kHz. Signal/noise and channel separation: not specified. Input impedance: 2 megohms, balanced; 1 megohm, unbalanced. Output impedance: 150 ohms, single-ended (when used with an adapter); 300 ohms, balanced. Power consumption: 35W (65W maximum when volume control operated).
Dimensions: 17.1" (438mm) W by 3.7" (95mm) H by 11.4" (292mm) D. Weight: 40 lbs (18kg).
Serial number of unit reviewed: PROTO-1; firmware, rev.F.
Price: $27,500 (upgrade from KX-R costs $9000). Approximate number of dealers: 40.
Manufacturer: Ayre Acoustics, Inc., 2300-B Central Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: (303) 442-7300. Fax: (303) 442-7301. Web: www.ayre.com.

Ayre Acoustics, Inc.
2300-B Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 442-7300

Allen Fant's picture

Very nice article. And yes, more money spent is required to beat the Pass Labs XP-30!

jimtavegia's picture

but it sounds better than all of them I'm sure.

georgehifi's picture

I wish this review compared the "dCS Vivaldi upsampling D/A system" with it's own digital domain VC in either 2v or 6v output mode and 2.3ohm output impedance, directly connected to the "Audio Research Reference 75" 300kohm input and 1.4v for full power input sensitivity.

It should even sound better without the KX-R Twenty in the signal path. Less is more if all lines up right, which this does!

The best a preamp can try to be, is a straight wire with or without gain, and in the direct connect above that's exactly what you will have, no pre perfect drive and just one set of interconnects.

Cheers George

domainedujac's picture

Dear Mr. Atkinson,

it might not be widespread knowledge, but your experience with the Ayre pre-amplifier is not as unusual as one might expect. 'Detours' in fact can 'create sound' - sometimes in a very positive way.
Unfortunately we are still confronted with the persistent conception in HiFi circles , that physical- and engineering science expertise that proofs to be right in most technical applications should also be beneficial for the reproduction of recorded music. Given the metaphysical and therefore unseizable character of music, this misconception often leads to developements which might satisfy engineers' dreams but not that one of a listener. In this context It was pleasant to read about your personal experience with this 'voodoo'…..

klaus r.

tmsorosk's picture

Voodoo ? or great engineering ?