Ayre KX-R Preamplifier ($18,500) Review on Stereophile

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stereophile has posted its review of the Ayre KX-R line preamp ($18,500). This is a solid-state design with a variety of technical and design innovations, including a chassis milled from a single block of aluminum (photo).

Reviewer Wes Phillips liked the unit’s silent background and broad soundstage. He compared it to the solid-state Parasound Halo JC 2 ($4000) and the tubed Conrad-Johnson ACT2 Series 2 ($16,500), after which he concluded:

I could live with any of these preamplifiers. In my dreams, of course—the only one I could remotely afford is the Halo JC 2, which ought to say something convincing about what Parasound hath wrought. But I digress—we are gathered today to speak of the Ayre KX-R, and I can’t think of a preamplifier that has impressed me more with its fidelity to music as I hear it.

Read the entire review, then check out Charles Hansen’s manufacturer’s comment for a description of the firmware bug that caused “the strange results noted in some of JA’s measurements.”

doug s. November 5, 2008 at 7:39 am

i don’t read many “mainstream” audio rags any more, but when i did, i always thought this statement pretty-much sums up what i think of wes philips’ rewiews:

“of all the (insert component here) i have ever rewiewed, this particular piece is certainly one of them…”


doug s.