The Ayre QX-5 Twenty Debuts At Audio Connection
The QX-5 Twenty ($8950) is a Roon Ready network player that also includes USB, Toslink, and S/PDIF inputs and variable single-ended RCA and balanced XLR outputs so it can serve all of your digital input and pre-amplification needs (see the press release for more info).
The event took place over the course of a Saturday afternoon in the super-secret annex building around the corner from the Audio Connection storefront which sits on Bloomfield Ave. The first time I visited John Rutan was with my father back in 1994 to hear the then-new YBA CD 1 Blue Laser CD player. The way I remember it, once we told John what we were there for, he proceeded to show us into the back room where he asked us to have a seat and enjoy a Rogue amp driving a pair of Vandersteen speakers. John seemed more excited about this, listening and enjoying, than in selling us a YBA CD Player with a blue laser. Nice.
Back to the QX-5 Twenty and the present, I enjoyed my time at Audio Connection listening to Vandersteen speakers being driven by Ayre amps fronted by Aye's digital players in two different rooms. I also very much enjoyed hanging out and talking with Pete Swartz, an AudioStream reader and all-around nice guy, who has been digging into the hi-fi hobby since the '70s (like me!).
That very handsome Codex base is the product of Tom Mahony of Bourbon Woodworks and it serves two purposes; it makes the Codex sound better and it makes the Codex look better. Nice.
I'll end this chapter of the QX-5 Twenty story by saying that this "dealer event" didn't really feel like one; it felt more like I was invited to someone's home to hang out with friends, in many cases old friends, to share in the enjoyment of music. Nice.
The day before the Audio Connection event, Alex Brinkman came out to the barn where he delivered my very own review sample QX-5 Twenty. Twins! I'll have a lot more to say about the QX-5 Twenty in the future.