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Some initial comments on the Ayre QB-9 DSD

Mine is an original "DSD" so I have no pre-upgrade reference to compare it against.

Apparently, the DSD upgrade is less about DSD but improvements in many areas of the DAC. I just read an article on the QB-9 DSD in Computer Audiophile linked below. The article goes into some technical detail on the USB interface, power supplies, noise filtering, etc.

I have to say that I am impressed with this unassuming basic USB DAC. It has a very natural or 'organic' sound to it with great dynamics. It's smooth but doesn't lose any detail and it creates a nice soundstage. The QB-9 DSD is probably the best sounding DAC I've had in my system.

I have to do some AB listening against the PS Audio NuWave which I consider to be an incredible "bang for the buck" DAC at $1000. I prefer it over the W4S DAC2 as the NuWave seems to be a little more transparent with W4S being darker sounding.

Interestingly, I didn't care for the $5000 Luxman DA-06 very much and same goes for the Wavelength Brick v3 USB DAC. Both of these were unusually 'warm' and very smooth but to the point of washing away a lot of detail. These DACs were also rolled off at both frequency extremes emphasizing the midrange.

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  • Some initial comments on the Ayre QB-9 DSD - AbeCollins 10:10:27 06/20/15 (1)


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