Ayre Acoustics QA-9 USB A/D converter Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Linn Sondek LP12 turntable with Lingo power supply, Linn Ekos tonearm, Linn Arkiv B phono cartridge.
Digital Sources: Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP & DX-5 universal players; Apple 2.7GHz i7 Mac mini running OS10.7, iTunes 10, Pure Music 1.86, Vinyl Studio, Pure Vinyl, BIAS Peak Pro 7; dCS Debussy, Metric Halo ULN-2 (headphone output), Benchmark DAC 1 (headphone output) D/A converters; Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 4 USB–AES/ABU converter; Metric Halo ULN-2, dCS904 A/D converters.
Preamplification: Liberty B2B-1 phono preamplifier, Classé CP-800 D/A preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Classé CT-M600, Lamm M1.2 Reference (both monoblocks). D/A Integrated Amplifier: Devialet D-Premier.
Loudspeakers: BBC LS3/5a, Lansche 5.1, Sony SS-AR2, KEF LS50.
Headphones: Sennheiser HD-650.
Cables: Digital: DH Labs Silver Sonic. AES/EBU: AudioQuest Coffee, Belkin Gold USB. FireWire: AudioQuest FireWire 400 (prototype). Interconnect (balanced): AudioQuest Wild. Speaker: AudioQuest Wild (Classé, Lamm), Cardas Clear (Devialet). AC: XLO Reference 3, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Target TT-5 equipment racks; Sound Organisation turntable stand; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators; Audio Power Industries 116 Mk.II & PE-1, APC S-15 AC line conditioners (computers, hard drive). AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from breaker box.—John Atkinson

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

JR_Audio's picture

Hi John.

A nice review on a sort of “untypical” HiFi product (AD Converter) with some very good aspects from Charles Hansen about Digital Filter


PS: I have had also the Metric Halo ULN-2, because of the good reputation, but was not happy with the sound and so sold it after 1 month.

mav52's picture

John, have you tried any of the Symmetricom timing analyzerers like,  TimeMonitor Suite etc.. for measuring jitter ?

John Atkinson's picture

have you tried any of the Symmetricom timing analyzerers like,  TimeMonitor Suite etc.. for measuring jitter ?

Sorry, no.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Staffan Fritz's picture

Hi John,

Thanks for reviewing an A/D-converter - not many of those reviews around!

What I would like to see in Stereophile is an article covering the hardware in different price brackets necessary to rip vinyl, as A/D-converters and, especially, the stage between the turntable and the converter. It's difficult enough to choose between all the available phono amplifiers, but what if you want to apply the RIAA curve in the digital domain: what then to use? How much do you have to invest to gain anything compared to using your existing phono stage that cannot bypass the RIAA filter? What about using a tape deck to amplify the signal so that you can use a line input? Or is a microphone amplifier the way to go, and then what about impedance and what not (I'm totally lost there).

Thanks for a very entertaining magazine; one of the true highlights of the month even if most of the reviewed equipment is way out of my reach. But I enjoy it all the same!

Staffan Fritz

Visby, Sweden

hemingway's picture

Hi John,

This is a long time in the past and perhaps I missed it in your text. I see a comparison between the files, but did you perform a comparison of the rip to the live event? I note that Michael Fremer's review of PureVinyl in 2010 has a comparison of the live playback and a ripped file, however he uses a different phono stage for the live playback than was used for the rip, so it seems apples to oranges. I also note that your recent review of PureVinyl 5/Seta preamp notes there is nothing to distinguish between the PureVinyl 5 and earlier rips. But again that seems between files. I assume but want to confirm you found the rips 'transparent' or not distinguishable from the 'real' thing?
Best regards