Gander-thou fourth untu the rather favorable new Stereophile review of the Ayre K-5xe MP preamplifier.
I’m happy as a clam because this review means that the Ayre K-5xe MP will be placed into Stereophile’s vaunted Class A section which is reserved for best performance regardless of price. Its sonic siblings, the QB-9 DAC, the V-5 amplifier,the CX-7 and C-5 CD players, the KX-R preamplifier, and the MXR amplifiers are all there already. Let’s just call it Class Ayre and be done with it!
The review above states that the K-5xe MP will now be placed solidly in Class A. The previous version, the K-5x, only made it to class B, which I never agreed with based on my own listening experiences in the store. Thankfully with said new review, the beautiful Ayre K-5 joins it’s brothers in audio and I, with great relief, no longer feel impolitely compelled to lobbeth thy holy handgrenade unto thine errant reviewer.
Said new review of the Ayre K-5 brings about an interesting fact about our store’s floor model Ayre K-5xe MP: I’ve told everyone NOT to sell it.
Why Not? Well, because it’s five years old.
Five years old! Aren’t you supposed to have the latest version on display?
Yes, of course we should have the latest version.
Well if it’s five years old, and the latest version, how is that?
The Do Not Sell is because I want people to learn about Ayre’s upgrades. Over the last five years, we’ve upgraded our K-5 twice now.
Year 2006: We originally bought it as a K-5x for our store for $2995. They are now $3500.
Year 2007: We had the $300 evolution upgrade done. It came back as a K-5xe with a new gold ‘evolution’ badge under the faceplate logo and a little quieter backgrounds.
Year 2009: We had the $400 MP upgrade done. It came back as a K-5xe MP with a new MP badge and sonic improvements in transparency and harmonic bloom.
This five year old piece on display shows people how their investment will be preserved. It was one of the reasons we became an Ayre dealer eight years ago, back in 2003. We really liked how they actively worked to take care of people over the years of ownership. We also liked their commitment though action attitude of producing things that were not going to be thrown away.
The upgrades are fairly painless as well. We make an upgrade appointment with Ayre and when it comes up, people bring it to us and we ship it to Boulder Colorado where Ayre does the upgrade in 1-2 days. Typical turnaround is about a week.
Tunes too ya,