Simply Plain and Gray

Q: Have I mentioned that I'm not too fond of the Ayre's appearance?
A: Why, yes, I have.

They are just so — so — plain. Gray like this New York City sky. They almost have no looks. If not for the silly Myrtle blocks, which prop them up, I probably wouldn't notice that they were even in the room. The amplifier, actually, looks a lot like a CD player. The CD player looks a lot like an amplifier. One time, I dumbly tried to stick a disc into the amp. I thought the damn thing was broken.

You know what, though? Last night, as I listened to Ella and Louis, I realized that I'd never seen so deep into the music. It was weird.

I've heard of speakers disappearing. You know the kind of audiophile talk. But can CD players disappear? Amplifiers? What about my couch? Can hi-end audio make my couch disappear?

Last night, I tell you, everything — everything; my speakers, the cables, the silly blocks, my orange couch, my wood floors, the television set, the windows, the walls of my room, all of downtown Jersey City — seemed to disappear. Where did everything go?

The most amazing and obvious wonder, I find, of this hi-end audio business is the components' ability to create magical images of musicians making music, and to place them — all flesh and body and soul — in the space between a pair of loudspeakers. It's crazy and wonderful and breathtaking.

The Ayre gear works this magic better than anything else I've had in my little Jersey City apartment. Quietly and discreetly, like clouds passing through the sky, the simply plain and gray Ayre gear gently removes all else from the scene, leaving only beautifully detailed and warmly breathing music.

Monty's picture

That's about as high a compliment that I think can be given. After it's all said and done, if you can forget about the gear, that's special. I like minimalist looking gear, but only in black. The silver craze is wearing thin, with very few exceptions.

Al Marcy's picture

I have audio junk piled in my Audio Dungeon. It doesn't matter what it looks like if you can't tell what is playing. Happy Ears matter :)

Bobby's picture

Quiet, don't let Art Dudley hear you," he'll be calling you an audio nerd/geek for enjoying ""it doesn't exist in the real world"" imaging", and sentence you to counting solder joints inside those Ayre's. Hey Art, at the price per joint you quoted for that passive preamp, the motherboard in my PC would cost $17,829,415.25 (hmm, can you imagine a Krell PC motherboard, or even better, an Audio Note...)

WonkotheSane's picture

If making things dissappear is the mark of good sound, then my ex-girlfriend was worth every penny I spent on her. (ba-dah-DUM!)