Ayre DX-5 Universal Disc Player

December 21, 2010

Kal Rubinson has reviewed the Ayre DX-5 universal disc player ($9995) in his Music in the Round column in the January issue of Stereophile. This follows on the heels on Michael Fremer’s review in the December issue. The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is does it sound better than the Oppo BDP-83 on which it is based. Ayre made significant modifications to the Oppo unit, essentially modifying everything other than the core video function. Kal compared the DX-5 to the BDP-83SE and concluded:

The superior sound of the DX-5 was apparent with the Meridian 621/861, the Classe CT-SSP, and the McIntosh Labs MX150 A/V Control Center (see below), but not with the now dated Integra DTC-9.8 pre-pro, which proved an unsuitable mate even through an analog connection. Was all this due to lower jitter via Ayre’s HDMI? I don’t know. What I do know is that I preferred the DX-5’s HDMI Audio output to that of any other disc spinner so far. Is it worth the substantial price multiple over the stcok Oppo BDP-83 ($499, no longer in production) or stock Oppo BDP-83SE ($899). That will depend on what you connect it to and what you listen for. But if you want to extract all the subtlety and detail from the best multichannel discs, Ayre Acoustic’s DX-5 demands your consideration.

I’ll post a link to Kal’s review as soon as it is put up on Stereophile’s website. If you can’t wait, hustle down to your local bookstore and pick up a hard copy of the January issue.