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Ayre QB9??

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Posted on June 30, 2012 at 07:09:27
JeffH
Audiophile

Posts: 4047
Location: Orange County, So Cal
Joined: April 5, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 8, 2005
I have the QB-9 home for demo. I'm running WASAPI Event w/ 50 buffer. The sound is exactly like the reviews that I've read depict, light, opened, balanced and detailed. I'm not getting quite enough musicle for rock, but it's not terrible. Is it $2,500 nice? Don't know yet. I have it until monday to figure it all out.

One thing, is that the DAC reads 96 for everything I play. I record in FLAC 16/44. Does this mean it's upsampling everything or am I missing a setting in the QB-9, JRiver 17 or Win7?

BTW, I'm using all stock cables.

 

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RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on June 30, 2012 at 09:41:16
AbeCollins
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February 2, 2002
I've read nothing but great things about the Ayre QB9 but I haven't heard one for myself.

I needed a DAC with more versatility and as it turns out, the Wyred4Sound DAC2 fits the bill nicely ($1500 MSRP). The icing on the cake (for me anyway), is that it has a full-bodied and robust sound with deep impactful bass which is ideal in my setup and my preference for rock and blues music. Just FYI.

Keep us posted on the Ayre. I'd love to try one myself someday. Thanks!

 

QB9 does not upsample., posted on June 30, 2012 at 10:02:53
Gordon Rankin
Manufacturer

Posts: 2754
Joined: June 9, 2000
Jeff,

You have something setup wrong as Windows is upsampling everything before hitting the QB9.

Go through the online guide @ the Ayre Website because you are probably not using WASAPI.

It will actually sound better ounce you have everything setup right.

Thanks
Gordon


J. Gordon Rankin

 

Will do, posted on June 30, 2012 at 11:31:41
JeffH
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I'll have to double check settings. Any other helpful hints would be appreciated. I'm in and out today due to work, so I get back to this later this afternoon.

Win7 pro/Asus laptop w/8gb memory/JRiver 17

 

RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on June 30, 2012 at 11:35:35
JeffH
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$1,500 is more like my budget, although if I sold a few Mosaic box sets I could swing the Ayre. My friend/dealer had the QB9 as a demo to loan me. I was hoping to be swiped off my feet enough to justify the next 1K!

 

RE: QB9 does not upsample., posted on June 30, 2012 at 13:05:12
Old Listener
Audiophile

Posts: 1924
Location: SF Bay area
Joined: February 6, 2005
Perhaps Jeff is using WASAPI but does have exclusive access checked.

It is also possible that the DSP studio options in JRiver are set to upsample output.

Bill

my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/

 

Drivers or no..., posted on June 30, 2012 at 15:02:51
JeffH
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Looking at the Ayre website:

"Connected via a USB port and using the Streamlength asynchronous USB transfer mode software licensed from Wavelength Audio, an Ayre USB D/A converter generates a fixed-frequency master audio clock for jitter-free playback of your music. Now the D/A converter is in control and provides the critical master audio clock; the computer simply stores the music files. Ayre USB D/A converters also utilize techniques to provide total electrical isolation between your computer and music system."

I was told by my dealer that software was not needed.

 

RE: QB9 does not upsample., posted on June 30, 2012 at 18:54:55
JeffH
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DSP is not selected.
WASAPI - exclusive access is checked.

 

RE: Will do, posted on June 30, 2012 at 19:21:00
Doug Schneider
Reviewer

Posts: 302
Location: North America
Joined: April 16, 2005
Here are some helpful hints (hopefully) since I have a similar setup. You definitely shouldn't be getting 24/96 for all material. Either Windows is doing it or JRiver is.

In JRiver:

Tools > Options > Output Mode - make sure WASAPI or WASAPI Event Style is selected.

I'd tell you to select Tools > Options > Output Mode Settings, but if you're getting sound through the DAC, that device has to be selected find.

Make sure all the DSP Studio options are turned off.

There's a new handy feature in MC17 with this little "tools" icon that's over to the top left, just to the right and a little down from the Search box. You'll see three icons there -- hover your mouse over the right-most one when music is playing. It will tell you what Output Mode is selected and if JRiver is manipulating the signal (i.e., upsampling, etc.). There was a time when a writer of ours was experiencing something similar and, sure enough, somehow he turned on an option in JRiver that had it upsampling all signals to a certain frequency.

My bet is that you'll find something there. As soon as WASAPI is selected properly and no DSP options are on, there should be a clear path to the DAC and 44.1 should play through the QB9 as 44.1.

Report back if not.

Doug Schneider
SoundStage! Network

 

RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on June 30, 2012 at 19:56:50
Bob_C
Audiophile

Posts: 1599
Joined: July 31, 2000
As Gordon mentioned when you get it set right you should get better results. It is a very good DAC.

As for sound and value, there are all allot of good sounding DACs out there now. Just depends what you want... I am still enjoying my MinMax Plus currently with discrete op amps, and will be sticking with it for a while.

But...

I have been listening to a $300 AckoDAC board driven by LiPo batteries a friend put together... HiFace-ESS... It sounds really nice! :)

Good luck on finding what you want...

regards
Bob

 

Well then let me pitch my DAC too! :-), posted on June 30, 2012 at 21:40:58
JoshT
Audiophile

Posts: 5043
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
Joined: July 4, 2000
I have the bel canto 2.5 for $1,995 retail, and it's virtually identical little brother, the 1.5, is $1,395. Only difference is an upgraded power supply (which you can do later for the 1.5 anyway), analog input and a display that shows more information at the same time. Otherwise they are identical and both sound great. Both have a nice headphone amp built in, can serve as preamp (digital only for 1.5), and have multiple digital inputs.

I have not heard the Ayre. I understand it's stellar. What I can say about the 2.5 is that it's clear as a bell and gutsy at the same time, with awesome bass extension and control, and offers lots of functionality for the money.

Some things that might drive "purists" away:
1. Adaptive USB implementation, that only accepts 96kh sampling
2. Switching power supply.
3. Upsamples to 24/192, which is not defeatable.

But man does it sound good. I think it proves that, when done right, all three of the above are just fine.
___
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

 

Are you asking a question?, posted on June 30, 2012 at 22:38:54
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
I'm not clear from your post, but I think you are asking if drivers are required with the Ayre QB-9.

If so, the answer is "maybe".

When we first introduced the unit, no operating system would support 192 kHz without installing third-party drivers. However, shortly after the QB-9 was released Apple released a new version of OS-X (Snow Leopard, 10.6.4) that would support 192 kHz USB audio. At the same time we worked together with Wavelength to supply a driver so that Windows (XP and newer) would also support 192 kHz. I am told that the current version of Linux also has a USB driver that supports 192 kHz audio.

Summary - When the unit was released, it would operate up to 96 kHz on any modern operating system without additional drivers (still true). Currently it will operate on newer versions of Apple and Linux up to 192 kHz without additional drivers. For Windows, our supplied driver (free download from the Ayre website) will allow the unit to go beyond 96 kHz, up to 192 kHz.

I've heard rumors that the official release of Windows 8 will support 192 kHz USB audio with the native driver, but I don't know if this will actually transpire.

Hope this helps. For more information, visit our website and/or call the factory.

 

RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on June 30, 2012 at 23:03:35
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
A great feature of the QB-9 is the sample rate indicator. Without it, you wouldn't know that anything was amiss. And as several posters have indicated, it will sound even better when everything is set up properly. Plus it never lies. Whatever it displays is the actual sample rate that your computer is sending out.

Keep at it -- I'm sure that you'll figure it out soon. Probably just simple setting somewhere. If your still stuck on Monday, call the factory and ask for Ryan (Michael's on vacation for a few days). Ryan has a ton of computer experience and should be able to point you in the right direction.

 

I'm getting this error..., posted on July 1, 2012 at 05:45:17
JeffH
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"This device cannot start. (Code 10)" in Windows 7 device manager.

Since my other components work in the same usb ports (hiface, etc), I wanted to make sure that wasn't due to lack of drivers. I was able to listen to the QB9 for about 45 minutes friday night. The next morning, booted up and rec'd the code 10. I have not been able to listen since. I changed ports, cables with the same results. DRATZ!

Can I attach the QB9 to my Win7 desktop pc and and got the same results. I used both a generic and a rather expensive USB cable.

Thanks Charles for your input.

 

RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on July 1, 2012 at 06:04:05
jqunac
Audiophile

Posts: 2892
Location: Central Indiana
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Abe, didn't your previous dac use firewire? Was it difficult converting to usb? Did you notice any deleterious effects? thanks

 

RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on July 1, 2012 at 13:50:20
AbeCollins
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Yes, I had an Apogee DAC with Firewire input but I am now using the W4S DAC2 via USB. I bought the DAC2 at last year's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.

There were no issues or sonic compromises in moving to the USB DAC2. It sounds wonderful. It has a full-bodied robust sound that I tend to favor over a lean or thin sounding DAC (or CD player). It has a similar sound to my Accuphase CD player.

 

Will do, posted on July 1, 2012 at 21:48:13
JeffH
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Thanks for the input!

 

RE: Ayre QB9??, posted on July 1, 2012 at 22:44:22
rmilewsk
Audiophile

Posts: 422
Location: So. Cal.
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I've had the qb-9 working with my win 7 pc for months. If you want to send me screenshos of how you have it setup I can take a look and send you back how I have mine setup.

 

RE: I'm getting this error..., posted on July 2, 2012 at 11:57:56
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
These are some of the issues you get with 'driverless' or 3rd party driver installed hardware on the 'Sometimes Universal Serial Bus).

If I were you, I would try the newer 24/192 usb dacs with known solid drivers for Windows such as Wyred, Mytek Stereo DSD etc.

 

fmaked again?, posted on July 2, 2012 at 15:20:44
Beetlemania
Audiophile

Posts: 770
Location: Utah
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"I would try the newer 24/192 usb dacs"
The Thesycon driver for Ayre/Wavelength is plenty "solid" but thanks for your concern troll (not).

 

RE: fmaked again?, posted on July 2, 2012 at 22:01:17
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
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You want to join the list of bullies?

 

Plenty Solid!, posted on July 3, 2012 at 10:58:47
fmak
Audiophile

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http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/digital/messages/16/164474.html#post

 

Will you ever stop trolling?, posted on July 3, 2012 at 11:09:40
Beetlemania
Audiophile

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"As soon as I selected the Wyred4Sound DAC2 in the sound devices window, the iMac crashed."

Gee, it took me 4 seconds for find an example of driver issues for your recommended DAC. Nice job, fmak!

Maybe you've never noticed that computer's are "complicated", with uncountable variations in hardware and software. These kinds of issues are more to do with computer than the DAC, Wyred or Ayre.

 

Just to clarify, posted on July 3, 2012 at 19:00:33
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

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I'm not sure where you are coming from on this topic fmak. The link you posted was from a customer in Holland and he had no problems at all with the Thesycon driver. Instead there is something wrong with the hardware in that unit. It's hard for me to diagnose from 6,000 miles away but I have never heard of this problem before. My best guess would be that the ribbon cable to the display has come loose in shipping, but that is just a guess.

The Thesycon driver has always worked extremely well with no problems. The original poster for this thread (JeffH) didn't have any problems with the driver at all. He called the factory for assistance and the problem was simply that the switch on the rear of the unit was set for Class 2 Audio (High Speed, capable of at least 16 channels of 192/24) which requires the Thesycon driver when used with Windows instead of Class 1 Audio (Full Speed, limited to 96 kHz). My understanding is that he hadn't installed the Thesycon driver and Windows was sending everything over at 96 kHz.

The fact that the unit has a sample-rate display alerted him to the fact that something was amiss. One of our technicians helped him with the setup and everything is working fine for him now. He posted his experiences at the link below:

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 3, 2012 at 20:21:46
barrows
Audiophile

Posts: 62
Location: Rocky Mountain
Joined: September 1, 2010
Blaming, Ayre, or the QB-9 for these kind of problems is in error. Windows requires a driver for proper operation with USB Class 2 Audio because of a Windows problem: non compliance with the USB Class 2 Audio spec.
I am sure the OP will get this all straightened out with the help of Ayre's (excellent) tech support.
Computer audio has bit if a learning curve to get the correct settings for bit perfect, high resolution playback with the various different software players. It is worth reading up on all the features of your chosen playback software, so that you understand how the options affect playback, and may affect sonics. With the Ayre, I would recommend sending only native file rates to the DAC, and letting the QB-9 take care of filtering/oversampling (via Ayre's proprietary algorithms).
Getting the right settings will result in improved sound quality as well.

 

RE: fmaked again?, posted on July 3, 2012 at 22:10:45
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
Is it the 'mania' at work that prompted this post?

 

Where is the blame, posted on July 3, 2012 at 22:15:24
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
with this?

'These are some of the issues you get with 'driverless' or 3rd party driver installed hardware on the 'Sometimes Universal Serial Bus).'

If you read what people say here and elsewhere, they do have propblems and pulling switches, installing alternative usb drivers etc should be an 'easy' part of the setup.




 

As Steve Martin used to say on Saturday Night Live, posted on July 3, 2012 at 23:54:21
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
"I blame yourself." (Actually he said, "I blame myself" but in this case I'll make an exception. I won't blame myself.)

We put a switch on the unit so that it would be compatible with any computer made in the last ten years or fifteen years. If you are using any Mac OS prior to Snow Leopard, or an older version of Linux, or don't want to install any drivers for Windows, then just set the switch for Class 1 USB Audio. You will be limited to 96 kHz maximum sampling rate, but this is not much of a limitation in the real world. Probably less that 0.001% of all music ever recorded is even available at resolutions higher than 96 kHz.

On the other hand if you want the capability to go to 192 kHz then you need Mac Snow Leopard or newer, a newer version of Linux, or install the Thesycon driver in Windows XP or newer (or maybe Microsoft will include it as part of Win 8). You also have to flip the switch on the back.

It's really not a big deal and it makes the unit compatible with any computer that has a USB port (which is pretty much every computer made for the last ten or fifteen years). I don't really understand why you think this is such a bad idea.

 

Probably less that 0.001% of all music ever recorded is even available at resolutions higher than 96 kHz, posted on July 4, 2012 at 02:06:34
fmak
Audiophile

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This has nothing to do with anything. There are plenty of good 176.4/192k and dsd recordings around that audiophiles go for. Even some of the most originally anti hires inmates here have been buying them by the GB (or TB).

''On the other hand if you want the capability to go to 192 kHz then you need Mac Snow Leopard or newer, a newer version of Linux, or install the Thesycon driver in Windows XP or newer (or maybe Microsoft will include it as part of Win 8). You also have to flip the switch on the back.''

Many use PCs, and dacs with multiple inputs plus usb provide one stop drivers that just work.

 

RE: Probably less that 0.001% of all music ever recorded is even available at resolutions higher than 96 kHz, posted on July 4, 2012 at 04:10:54
Ryelands
Audiophile

Posts: 1403
Location: Scotland
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Many use PCs, and dacs with multiple inputs plus usb provide one stop drivers that just work.

True. And the most reliable of those USB drivers is probably Thesycon's. Your suggestion, made here and elsewhere, that it is anything else is, to be polite, ill-informed.

If I had the money, I'd buy an Ayre DAC tomorrow. Apart from its reputation for fine sound, one reason for my choice would be that its Windows driver is, from experience (yes, unlike you, I use it and know it), rock solid.

The OP has a minor config issue that has either been resolved already or will be pretty soon. Designer bashing is inappropriate here.

 

RE: Probably less that 0.001% of all music ever recorded is even available at resolutions higher than 96 kHz, posted on July 4, 2012 at 04:27:43
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
''True. And the most reliable of those USB drivers is probably Thesycon's''

Show us the basis for saying this. Certainly there are more issues posted here than with other recent usb dacs.

What you want to buy it's up to you. What I and others wouldn't do is down to us.

 

RE: Probably less that 0.001% of all music ever recorded is even available at resolutions higher than 96 kHz, posted on July 4, 2012 at 04:31:44
Mercman
Reviewer

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Contributor
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I've had no issues with Thesycon driver with W7. The Ayre uses Streamlength USB that is solid in performance.

 

RE: Probably less that 0.001% of all music ever recorded is even available at resolutions higher than 96 kHz, posted on July 4, 2012 at 04:38:39
Ryelands
Audiophile

Posts: 1403
Location: Scotland
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What I and others wouldn't [buy] is down to us.

True. But what's not down to you is the right to belittle products you know nothing about. I say the Thesycon driver (it's not a USB DAC BTW) is rock solid because I and dozens of others (inc, I note, Steve) have installed it and forgotten about it: it works day-in and day-out without trouble. As indeed a driver should.

You have no grounds for undermining the product, not that'll stop you trying.

 

You have, posted on July 4, 2012 at 05:48:09
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
no grounds for making the accusations. You read what you want to into what I said but this is down to your own pysche.

 

It's, posted on July 4, 2012 at 05:52:12
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
really this simple. Good man-machine interfaces are newcomer (and even old comer) proof. It is not beyond a manufacturer to provide a one stop solution. Making excuses for this that or the other when inmates have trouble is more troublesome than bundling a simple install solution, or installing a switch which says MAC/PC/Linux input.

If you don't need or want it for a narrowly focused set up, fine. However, judging from the no of posts of people having issues with switches and the ability to follow long instructions (read them), there has been an issue.

 

Typical, posted on July 4, 2012 at 06:42:38
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
This is typical of your posting on the back of what others should have responded, in this case Charles Hensen.

If you want to play games, do it with yourself, or with 2-3 others here.

 

Now it makes sense why, posted on July 4, 2012 at 06:58:02
Beetlemania
Audiophile

Posts: 770
Location: Utah
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>>>Good man-machine interfaces are newcomer (and even old comer) proof

1) You recommend the Wyred: ""As soon as I selected the Wyred4Sound DAC2 in the sound devices window, the iMac crashed." NOT;

2) There is an entire thread discussing the merits of ignoring your (trolling) posts.

 

RE: Typical, posted on July 4, 2012 at 07:18:30
Ryelands
Audiophile

Posts: 1403
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This is typical of your posting on the back of what others should have responded

You really are an insolent little troll. Charles Hansen dealt with the specific issue of his own product; Steve and I pointed out that your remarks about wider use of the Thesycon driver ("I have warned about 'driverless' and 3rd party driver USB audio devices . . .; "These are some of the issues you get with 'driverless' or 3rd party driver installed hardware on the 'Sometimes Universal Serial Bus . . .) were not made any more correct by being repeated.

In fact, you've talked gobs*** about the Thesycon USB driver in recent posts in this forum, in AA Digital and, IIRC, on DIYAudio. Your latest comment was just one too many. You clearly know absolutely nothing about the product and are misleading list members.

To correct the record, the driver works and works well. So, if I may, I'll borrow your aphorism - Get Lost.

 

RE: It's, posted on July 4, 2012 at 07:31:33
Mercman
Reviewer

Posts: 5140
Joined: October 20, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
May 20, 2004
If I understand you correctly, you don't like the Ayre QB-9 because of the switch for Full Speed USB or Hi Speed USB.

All I can say, is that I was able to master this concept relatively quickly, and enjoyed listening to this fine DAC on my system.

 

A troll who accuses others of trolling, posted on July 4, 2012 at 07:33:45
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
How many times have you posted on the merits of cMP?

There is little basis to what you advocate, not even with the use of decent audio equipment.

 

RE: A troll who accuses others of trolling, posted on July 4, 2012 at 07:40:26
Ryelands
Audiophile

Posts: 1403
Location: Scotland
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A troll who accuses others of trolling

Damn - I seem to have mislaid my fly swatter.

 

I seem to have mislaid my fly swatter., posted on July 4, 2012 at 08:44:51
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
Examine your brain

 

I don't like or dislike it, posted on July 4, 2012 at 08:51:20
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
Based on the no of people who had issues and who asked for help here and elesewhere, and based on the number of assertions that there are no issues by inmates here, I'd say that is a human interface issue and that it should be 'sorted' vis installation software.

 

6 Moons, posted on July 4, 2012 at 08:56:07
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
the article is so confusing throughout that I concluded it was the writer.

Six Moons is an advertorial based 'journal?'

 

fmak's standard:, posted on July 4, 2012 at 09:06:17
Beetlemania
Audiophile

Posts: 770
Location: Utah
Joined: November 1, 2003
"Good man-machine interfaces are newcomer (and even old comer) proof"

Funny how you're willing to make an exception to "support" your weak argument.

Ciao.

 

RE: fmak's standard:-High, posted on July 5, 2012 at 02:47:02
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
nt

 

RE: A troll who accuses others of trolling, posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:43:00
Dawnrazor
Audiophile

Posts: 11414
Location: N. California
Joined: April 9, 2004
Gee Fred what happened to:

If inmates find a big difference, I believe them instead of preach at them.


Ryelands, myself and many others did find big differences with the cmp2 recipe. But somehow you seem to preach at us. What a crock.

You never actually said you created a cmp2 box and listened to it.

DID YOU ACTUALLY BUILD ONE?

Or do you just know without hearing them how things sound??

I am guessing the latter. Fred just knows without listening....

Cutting razor sounding violins

 

Charles, you have been fmak'd, posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:08:13
AbeCollins
Audiophile

Posts: 22080
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Contributor
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February 2, 2002
Charles, you have been fmak'ed as have many other folks here.

He knows everything and enjoys interjecting off-topic remarks with nothing constructive to contribute. I have never seen him actually help anyone, only interrupt and criticize.

If you call him on it, he will lead you down a rat hole of wasted time and energy often resulting in insults and personal attacks.

Just so you know, many of us have been there! And many of us ignore him.

 

RE: As Steve Martin used to say on Saturday Night Live, posted on July 6, 2012 at 00:06:09
Bloodwound
Audiophile

Posts: 15
Joined: May 15, 2007
Hi. There is somehow a big misunderstanding that you need Snow Leopard to use UAC2. OSX Leopard also supports UAC2.

 

Your full of, posted on July 6, 2012 at 00:17:52
JeffH
Audiophile

Posts: 4047
Location: Orange County, So Cal
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Contributor
  Since:
August 8, 2005
(fill in the blank)

The problem was me. I didn't navigate to the proper setup pages, which explained the set up and configuration of the DAC, Win 7 and JRiver. The DAC sounds great. Thanks for your half ars response.

 

Actually, posted on July 6, 2012 at 00:25:17
JeffH
Audiophile

Posts: 4047
Location: Orange County, So Cal
Joined: April 5, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
August 8, 2005
He could be thrown into the trough of justice....just a thought ;)

 

Exactly, posted on July 6, 2012 at 00:29:46
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 10470
Joined: June 1, 2002
as I said elswhere, the method of use is not newcomer or even oldcomer proof. Other units are more so.

I don't see why you should make a rude remark when you were the one who posted your problems.

 

Because of your, posted on July 6, 2012 at 07:17:13
JeffH
Audiophile

Posts: 4047
Location: Orange County, So Cal
Joined: April 5, 2000
Contributor
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August 8, 2005
shallow answer. Instead of stating something like "hey dummy, did you check your setup" or "I have some knowledge about this, did you simply switch the unit to Rev A" You immediately come up with the answer that you did. The answer is more a projection of your personality than a "I really want to help" response, which is a bummer. "Old comer/new comer proof" what a frig'n joke. Some of my 4 year old Grandson's toys are more complicated than the Ayre QB9.

 

RE: Exactly, posted on July 6, 2012 at 07:58:02
Beetlemania
Audiophile

Posts: 770
Location: Utah
Joined: November 1, 2003
"Other units are more so."

Just not the ones you recommend. Whatever.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 6, 2012 at 15:33:40
cookymonster
Audiophile

Posts: 5
Joined: July 6, 2012
Hello Charles,

I am the customer from Belgium (close to Holland ;-)
The DAC sounded extremely well the first days.
The trouble started after rebooting the computer.
I guess shipping will not be much of an explanation,

Everything I tried on my PC involving sound, turned out on a blue screen.
Anyway, I removed the Thesycon driver and stability has returned.

The Dutch dealer Audiac is working on it. I guess they calready contacted you. Seems to be quite a problem,
I hope they will fix it soon. A wonderful sound, and a nice match with my AX 7E.

 

RE: Charles, you have been fmak'd, posted on July 7, 2012 at 00:28:40
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
Abe, thanks for the advice. BTW, I have been enjoying reading your posts more and more lately. I find you to be a valuable contributor to the various forums. Thanks for your input to all the various posters.

 

Mostly correct, posted on July 7, 2012 at 00:35:59
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
Yes, Leopard did support USB Audio Class 2. The catch was that it was still limited to 96 kHz and therefore provided absolutely no advantage over USB Audio Class 1. So if you are looking to go past 96 kHz, you need Snow Leopard or newer.

We were confused (and disappointed) about this too. We had thought that we could come out of the gate with 192 kHz support for at the Apple products, but the QB-9 was released before Snow Leopard. We actually delayed production of the DX-5 (disc player with USB input) until Apple released Snow Leopard and we had negotiated a deal with a Windows driver developer (Thesycon) so that the DX-5 could hit the ground running with support up to 192 kHz.

 

Please correct me if I am misunderstanding you, posted on July 7, 2012 at 00:51:26
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
If I am following your posts correctly, your opinion is that it is better to:

a) Have a USB DAC that REQUIRES a driver installation to even operate.

than:

b)Have a USB DAC that will operate up to 96 kHz with no driver installation required, or by flipping a switch operate up to 192 kHz with Mac and Linux and only require a driver installation with Windows.

If that is what you are saying, I strongly disagree as flipping a switch is a much easier thing to do than install a computer driver.

In any case we are both entitled to our own opinions. There is no "right" or "wrong" answer to this situation. As always, the final decision is up to each customer to make.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 7, 2012 at 16:15:09
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
Normally the service department only contacts me about a case that they are having trouble solving on their own. The factory has closed for the weekend so I can't check up on this at the moment.

This is the first time I have heard of the Thesycon driver causing some sort of conflict with a computer. On the one hand the fact that the problem went away when you uninstalled the driver seems to indicate something was amiss. Normally I would recommend re-installing it, but this can only be done while the QB-9 is attached (and the switch set to Class 2 audio). This done so that people can't just steal the Thesycon driver from our website and use it with other brands of DAC's. (We have to pay Thesycon for this driver and they don't want others to be able to steal it.)

On the other hand I don't understand how a problem with the driver would cause the strange display you described on the QB-9 in your original post. If you still had the DAC there are a lot of things we could try in order to locate the source of the problem.

For what it's worth I have seen many Windows-based laptops having strange problems waking up from "sleep" mode. Just last night my wife's Thinkpad (last of the IBM models running Win 2000) gave a error when trying to print. I told her that the first thing to always try is to simply reboot, and of course this solved the problem. I have a much newer Thinpad (a Lenovo product running Win 7 Professional 64-bit) and I put it to sleep every day. Usually after a week of this something goes amiss and I have to reboot to solve the problem.

In your case rebooting seemed to cause the problem. I have never run into this before, so cannot provide any definitive solution. If you still had the DAC we could try a lot of different things. However one thing is for certain -- sooner or later we will be able to solve the problem. We never give up and always keep working until everything is right.

Perhaps you can borrow a different sample (eg, a demonstration unit) from your dealer and see if that is the problem. Also you may try downloading the driver from the website again. The current version is 1.26 and can be downloaded from a link on the instruction page linked below. Please also note the following warning from that instruction page:

If you are installing the Thesycon driver to allow operation beyond 96 kHz in Windows, be sure to uninstall any other ASIO drivers (such as ASIO4ALL) that you may have installed. If both drivers are installed there will be conflicts and your computer will not operate properly.

Also simply running the DAC in Class 1 audio with the native Windows USB driver would allow us to figure out if the problem is with the hardware or the software. Another common cause of problems is poor USB cable, but this would cause clicks or pops in the audio and not the "blue screen of death" on the computer. Hang in there and I am certain that we will be able to solve the problem sooner or later.

 

RE: Mostly right, posted on July 9, 2012 at 19:18:49
Bloodwound
Audiophile

Posts: 15
Joined: May 15, 2007
Leopard does only support UAC2 on the latest update 10.5.8 which came out after Snow Leopard gained support for it in 10.6.4 (I think)
I know this for a fact since 192khz is both selectable in 10.5.8 and my QB-9 says 192 on the display.

Of course all machines that support Leopard also support Snow Leopard, but not all people are comfortable doing the upgrade themselves or feel they really need (just to play some tunes). It is nice to know that their options are just the same as those with newer machines, at least hardware wise. You need to change this on your computer setup guide on the Ayre homepage as a LOT of people use this as reference.

 

Thanks for the info, posted on July 10, 2012 at 00:07:57
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
I was unaware of this. Since the Snow Leopard update is only $30, it's not much of an obstacle and there are probably other changes as well. But we try for accuracy, so I will look into this and change it if appropriate. Thanks for the info.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 10, 2012 at 03:34:41
cookymonster
Audiophile

Posts: 5
Joined: July 6, 2012
Hello Charles,

Thank you very much for your reply. I feel very honoured.
First of all, I received the message from the Dutch dealer Audiac, that mij QB-9 unit is fixed and already shipped to me. I am very happy about that. Ik think you are in a very good position to figure out with Audiac what could have been the problem. From the brief feedback, I understood that there must have been some hardware issue as well.
These co´ncidences make a diagnose very difficult, I guess.

Looks like I installed the latest version of the Thesycon driver, the link from the Ayre installation website. Is it possible that the instructions for windows 7 have changed a bit during the last weeks ?
Could it have been an inproper installation ?

Anyway, here's what I plan tot do next. For the moment I will continue playing with the Asio4all driver in 96KHz. My asus netbook doesn't have any problems with that. Within some months I plan tot buy a MAC mini. I guess I can go beyond 96KHz without any problems. This looks like a very well proven solution.

I am ready to give any kind of feedback to Ayre, I already mentioned that to the dealer.

I honestly admire your active communication and search for "perfectionising" (is that English ?? :-) your products.


 

Follow up on Leopard, posted on July 10, 2012 at 14:09:56
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
I spoke with Gordon Rankin, developer of the Streamlength asynchronous USB audio connection we license from Wavelength. He said that the problem with Leopard was actually in the feedback pipeline for the asynchronous operation, and not the 192 kHz capability per se.

This was confirmed by our lead technician, Ryan, who has a much better memory than I do. This is what e-mailed to me regarding Leopard operating at 192 kHz:

"When we were developing the QB-9 192kHz, we did have a 10.5.8 computer
that we were using here at Ayre in the form of the Mac Mini. As Gordon
said, it works (displays 192kHz and even plays at 192kHz), but it was
getting occasional popping. This same behavior was also present with
10.6.3. I unfortunately have upgraded the computer to 10.6.4 since
then, so I can't go back to do it now, but I remember very
clearly that it did it then. I also am pretty confident saying that I
doubt Apple had the 10.6.4 fix in 10.5.8, as 10.5.8 was released August
5, 2009 while 10.6.3, which definitely has the problem was released
March 29, 2010 and 10.6.4 didn't come about until June 15, 2010.

"The pop issue we heard wasn't a constant popping, like you'd hear from a
dirty vinyl, but it was definitely there when you listened for an
extended period of time, probably showing up now and again every 3-10
minutes. So it's very possible he thinks it works, when in reality,
he's shorting himself some quality."

So we will leave our recommendation for 10.6.4 or newer on our website setup page. Leopard may work at 192 kHz with an adaptive USB DAC (if such a thing exists, as most people making adaptive USB DACs use the Burr-Brown devices that are limited to 48/16), but not reliably for asynchronous USB at sample rates above 96 kHz. If you own a QB-9 I would recommend either upgrading to Lion or waiting a few months for the next OS that is in the works, Mountain Lion.

The upgrade from either Snow Leopard or Lion appears to only be $20. Mountain Lion will only work with the newer Mac computers. I'm not sure how to upgrade from Leopard to Mountain Lion. It may require an intermediate upgrade to Snow Leopard first. But the general consensus has been that there have been improvements in audio quality in each of the recent releases of the new Mac OS's.

 

RE: Follow up on Leopard, posted on July 10, 2012 at 14:22:35
Bloodwound
Audiophile

Posts: 15
Joined: May 15, 2007
Thanks Charles. I┤ll take your word for it, even though I can┤t remember any popping or something like that. (Even Pure Music worked fine)
Snow Leo is what I would recommend anyways as it rock solid.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 10, 2012 at 14:23:31
cookymonster
Audiophile

Posts: 5
Joined: July 6, 2012
Well, I just figured out
1. Perfectionising is not English :-)
2. Nothing has changed to the Windows setup instructions on the ayre website.
But my setup procedure was somehow different.
When installing the Tessycon driver I should disconnect the USB cable.
This did not work. I had to connect and already put the switch to RSrv B before installing. The setup program would not let me do different.
Perhaps this could be the problem ?

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 11, 2012 at 02:45:39
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
It sounds as though there was a definite problem with the hardware of some sort, as the display also read "8 U 8" at Audiac. We sent them a set of replacement PCB's. When we receive the other ones back we will be able to figure out the problem. Typically it is just a bad solder joint.

As far as the Thesycon driver is concerned, almost certainly your problem is that you have the ASIO4ALL driver installed also. As noted on the website and also the post just above, this will create a conflict that can cause your computer to stop operating.

PLEASE be sure to uninstall the ASIO4ALL driver (and any other sound card drivers you have added to the system -- it is fine to leave the drivers installed for a laptop with a built-in sound card) BEFORE you try reinstalling the Thesycon driver.

We only recommend two programs for music playback on Windows -- either J.River or Foobar. If you are using J.River, select WASAPI Event Style output for the best sound. If you are using Foobar, go to Preferences, Output, and select the Ayre USB device from the drop-down menu.

These steps should solve all of the problems you have experienced. I am certain that there was a conflict between ASIO4ALL and the Thesycon driver. We made the instructions on the website before the Thesycon driver was available and the unit only operated in Class 1 Audio up to 96 kHz. There are some pages in our instructions recommending its use, and telling how to install it. This information is obsolete and we need to remove it from the website. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 11, 2012 at 02:49:16
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
The Thesycon driver can only be installed when the QB-9 (or DX-5) is attached to the computer and the rear panel switch is set to USB Class 2 Audio. This is completely normal as explained in a previous post.

I am sure that the problem is the fact that ASIO4ALL is installed. As noted on our website and also in a previous post, this will cause conflicts that can crash your computer. Please uninstall ASIO4ALL before attempting to reinstall the Thesycon driver.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 11, 2012 at 13:18:19
cookymonster
Audiophile

Posts: 5
Joined: July 6, 2012
Hello Charles,
My QB 9 has arrived.
I think I studied the instructions well but I may have made some wrong judgements. Before installing the Thesycon driver I uninstalled the asio4all driver. But I don't know about the other drivers.
Like the windows driver for the QB 9; the driver for my old Cambridge Audio Dacmagic ? Do they conflict with the Thesycon driver ?
Then something I may have misunderstood: I use the Album Player for playback. In the instruction page Ayre "recommends" J River and Foobar, but I was not aware that I should choose one of both (and forget about the album player - so wasting a lot of time invested in album art, tags, album and track information).
Thanks again for the answers and concern.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 11, 2012 at 23:17:38
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
Again, I may be giving some less-than-perfect advice. I have actually heard a lot of good things about Album Player software and it may be fine for your needs. I doubt that it will cause any conflicts with the Thesycon driver, while I know that the ASIO4ALL driver will.

The problem with Album Player is that its capabilities are relatively limited. As the name suggests, it plays albums, which is great. What is not so great is that most users also want to rip albums, transfer the files to iPods, compress to MP3 if necessary, possibly convert between formats and so forth. I looked at Album Player a while ago, and while I know that it will do some of these things, it wouldn't do all of the things that I wanted from a music player.

The problem is that there are literally hundreds of music player programs out there. We can't possibly provide setup instructions for all of them. Many of them have flaws that limit their performance. For example Window Media Player will only output Direct Sound. iTunes on a Mac is fine, but is no fun at all one a Windows machine (in my opinion). It takes a huge amount of installation space on your hard drive as it automatically installs many other auxiliary programs. (To get an understanding of this, look on the Support section of the Apple website for the instructions to uninstall iTunes on a Windows machine. There are at least four separate steps that have to be performed in a specific order.) In my opinion, it simply clogs a Windows machine up with a lot of unnecessary software.

So it's not really a case of "there are only two music player software programs that will work with the QB-9". Instead, we spent a lot of time looking at different programs and trying to find the best ones on an overall basis. For Windows, the two that we thought stood out above the crowd were J.River and Foobar, although for different reasons, and therefore best for different users.

J.River has a *very* complete feature set, and everything comes with the player. It will even play (and I believe even rip) Blu-ray discs. They are constantly improving the program and adding new features also. I thought it was much better than the competition back with version 14. Now they are at version 17 and there is an even greater advantage. There are only two real problems with J.River:

1) It costs $50, instead of being free like most playback software. (There is a free version with no video and some limitations to the audio playback, however.)

2) The program is so complete with so many features that it can be confusing to configure everything for the best performance. However, they have an online forum that is monitored by many J.River experts, including the lead developer.

I have never heard of anybody who purchased J.River and then later regretted it. They also offer a 30-day free trial so that you can make sure that this is the best software for you. Overall it is simply outstanding.

As far as Foobar goes, it doesn't have nearly the ease of setup of J.River. It will require a fair amount of time to set things up the way you want them. The online forum is through Hydrogen Audio, and they strictly forbid any discussion of sound quality. HA's philosophy is "bits are bits" and there is no way that a music player can affect the sound. But Foobar is quite customizable, and many third party developers have created many interesting add-ons. Finally Foobar is a totally free download, which is nice for many people.

I'm not saying that these are the only two Windows music players worth using. But I am saying that these are the only two fully-featured Windows music players that we felt offered enough merits that compelled us to include setup instructions for on our website.

At this point the main thing to do is to get the machine working. Now that the unit has been repaired (Audiac had an outstanding service department, and Michael is a extremely competent technician), I am confident that uninstalling the ASIO4ALL driver will solve your problems. At that point you can try many different music player software to find the one that is right for your.

Best regards,
Charles Hansen

 

RE: Follow up on Leopard, posted on July 11, 2012 at 23:34:05
Charles Hansen
Manufacturer

Posts: 6035
Joined: August 1, 2001
I am still using Snow Leopard also, although I have to use Windows for all my CAD programs. I am very happy with SL. The change to Lion eliminated the possibility of running in integer mode, which I had found to improve the sound. However most people said that Lion in non-integer sounded better than Snow Leopard in integer.

Now Audinirvana allows Lion to operate in integer mode. This apparently offers the best sound available from a Mac at this time. But Mountain Lion is coming soon, and all bets are off at that point. It could sound better, id could sound worse, it may or may not work with Audinirvana in integer mode, and on and on...

And for what it is worth, I also remember that certain models of Mac were susceptible to the "popping" problem. It was strange as Apple generally uses high-performance hardware for things like the USB peripherals. But some people including our sales manager at the time, Steve Silberman, had popping problems that we could never solve. Other Macs. like the Mini early 2009 version never had a single pop. You may have one of the machines that is immune to the problem.

 

RE: Just to clarify, posted on July 15, 2012 at 16:08:38
cookymonster
Audiophile

Posts: 5
Joined: July 6, 2012
Hello Charles,

I downloaded J River trial version, using wasapi event style.
Just like you mentioned, it is very complete.
Too in my opinion. A lot of features. Nice, like the theatre display.
But for playback, the Album Player is much more easy, "productive".
I alreay spent a lot of time in customising the interface>
But for the cover art in combination with the actual running paylist, I still prefer the Album player. But sill more than 20 days to go with the trial version of J River. I might change opinion.

I remarked that I did not do one of the instructions on the Ayre setup page. I didn't make my player take exlusive use of the DAC.
Could that make the Thesycon driver instability ???

 

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