Ayre C-5xe Universal SACD/CD Player
Crazy high quality SACD player built by Ayre. A great find as working high-end SACD players are becoming more and more difficult to source.
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The C-5xe is an impressive hunk of audio jewelry. It sports a 5/8" aluminum front panel, and the rest of it isn't much less substantial. A large, centrally located display is housed, along with the disc drawer, in the center of the faceplate, while an inset control wheel sits to its right—an outer ring accesses play, skip forward and back, and open/close; the inner button controls stop and pause. (In DVD mode, the skip forward and back commands allow you to navigate the menu options without resorting to an external display—sort of.)
The front-panel display is impressive and conveys a lot of information, such as whether the C-5xe is playing a track with 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, DSD, DTS, or Dolby Digital data. Additional lights indicate DVD-Video chapter numbers, DVD-Audio group numbers, or CD, SACD, or DVD-V track numbers. An indicator labeled V-Part lights up when you play tracks with video content. There are also indicators for Play, Pause, and other disc information—and my favorite, Display Off.
The rear panel is a much simpler affair, boasting an AES-EBU digital audio out (Ayre can supply an adapter if you require an S/PDIF connection), single-ended RCA outputs, balanced XLR connectors (pin 2 hot), a control port, and an IEC AC input plug.
There are, however, two nonstandard switches on the rear panel. One switches between the IR remote control and command port inputs, such as Creston or AMX systems. Actually, this also controls the digital filters, allowing consumers to choose between two algorithms—one labeled DF Measure, which Ayre says produces greater accuracy in the frequency domain, and the other, labeled DF Listen, which Ayre says is more accurate in the time domain. (I used both, but settled on DF Listen for my auditioning.) The other switch turns off the digital output when the analog outs are being used.
Our passion for purity in music reproduction has driven us to design and build no-compromise stereo equipment since 1993. Forged from our fully-balanced, zero-feedback designs, we innovate new technologies and implement them in the most affordable way possible. Whether you are looking for the best system for music streaming, a USB DAC, a phono stage, or an incredible integrated amplifier.
• Stereo analog RCA outputs
• Stereo analog XLR outputs
• AES/EBU (XLR Connector) Digital output
• Standard IEC power cord
Neutral sound with little to no coloration
8 - Very Slight Signs of Use, the remote control is fully functional but is just missing the cap for the STOP control button.
Working perfectly and tested in our lab.
Unit, power cord, and remote.
Will be packed using our highly developed in-house process and custom packing materials.
17.25" x 13" x 4.75" inches
Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better
Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best
Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Better
Kimber Kable - BALANCED XLR Connectors - Best
Kimber Kable - Digital AES/EBU (XLR Connector) Interconnect
Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Better
Kimber Kable - Power Cords - Best
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect resistors and other passive components for signs of overheating. When the unit is first powered on we check the drawer mechanism function.
After the visual inspection we connect the CD Player’s RCA outputs to our Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates a real world input impedance and allows us to monitor the output on an oscilloscope. We start with a test CD with precision test signals to verify proper output on both channels. If the CD player has balanced outputs these are also tested at this time. If this check passes, we move onto evaluation with actual music CDs. We listen for clicks, skips, and drops during playback. At this time we also check the transport functions including skip, ff, rw, play, pause, repeat, and programming if applicable. If the unit has a remote control, all remote control functions are verified.
If the CD player is capable of SACD playback we test its ability to read SACD layers on multiple discs including standard and hybrid SACDs. At this time we also check the unit’s digital outputs where applicable. If SACD layers are being properly read we should see the digital outputs mute during playback. On redbook CD playback we verify that each digital output maintains proper lock on our bench DAC.
After bench testing is completed, CD players are set up for testing on our long term test rig. During extended testing we make sure that unit can play through several different discs from beginning to end with no skips or lock ups.
Universal digital disc player with remote control and two user-selectable digital filter settings. Analog outputs: 1 pair unbalanced (RCA), 1 pair balanced (XLR). Digital outputs: 1 AES/EBU (XLR). Maximum output level: 4.1V RMS at 1kHz (balanced), 2.05V RMS (unbalanced), CD/DVD; 2V at 1kHz (balanced), 1V RMS (unbalanced), SACD. Frequency ranges: DC–20kHz at 44.1kHz sample rate, 0–22kHz at 48kHz, DC–40kHz at 88.2kHz, 0–44kHz at 96kHz, 0–80kHz at 176kHz, DC–88kHz at 192kHz, DC–100kHz at 2.8224MHz. Power consumption: 60W.