Ayre CX7-E vs Rega Saturn; your thoughts please

Looking to replace old, way old, Sony XA20ES. Already sold a Cambridge Azur 840c (just not my cup of tea).

Amplification: Krell s-300i
Speakers: Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home (front ported)
Cabling: Audience AU24E all around, except...
Power Cable: Shunyata Taipan Helix Alpha for the Krell.

Any, and all input is gladly welcomed.

As always, thanks!
I listened to the 840c briefly prior to picking up a CX-7e and they are not really in the same league. If the Ayre hadn't worked out the Rega was on my short list along with the Linn Majik.

The nice thing about the Ayre is that it now can be upgraded to mp version.
Second the CX-7e. It is already a very fine sounding player in the evolution ("e") form and I hear that it is significantly better with the recently announced MP upgrade.

As Cpk points out, Ayre is constantly looking for ways to improve the sound of their equipment and always offer current owners very fair prices on resulting upgrades. Their equipment does sound better when using the balanced XLR connections, so keep that in mind when choosing.
Not precisely what you asked but essentially very similar.....
With redbook the (VSE/Custom Analogue) Uber Clocked Saturn simply sounds musical compared to the stock Ayre CX5-E which sounds clockwork.

Not even the slightest competition without considerations if you appreciate an analogous presentation:

Saturn=Fluidity, full blooded tone and timing
Ayre=hard mechanical articulation...

... different horses for diametrically opposed courses !
Hi Folks,

I appreciate the feedback, and it supports my inclination towards the Ayre. I had the opportunity to listen to both machines in a shop in NYC. However, the associated electronics, cables, and speakers were different for each player, and so, not an entirely, or even remotely near, objective comparison.

There are strict budgetary constraints in play. To that end, my purchase will most probably have a high dependence upon the fine Audiogon community.

Coolhand, the mod route is intriguing, and I have done some reading about the interesting evolution of VSE, and it's closely knit offspring. The results seem impressive. However, it seems that even with the purchase of a pre-owned Saturn (no relation to, and with all due respect to GM, and now Penske), this option would appear to be outside of my budget.

Please keep the opinions coming,

Thanks again.
I have heard the CX7-E extensively. It is an extremely fine player sonically though I respect the build quality more. If you have the money to spend you can't find much out there to equal the AYRE, however, I own (2) REGA SATURN players. Previously, I was using a REGA APPOLO with a very fine BEL CANTO CD-3 DAC. After much A/B listening comparisons, the REGA SATURN simply out performed the other combination. The sonic signature of the SATURN is more controlled and balanced over the audio spectrum, with an inherent ease, sweetness, and accuracy of timbre other (1) piece players simply don't have, unless of course you have deep enough pockets to go 3-5 times the money. Even then, I doubt that the the satisfaction factor would be any greater. The only pitfall, and I have only experienced this on a miniscule basis, is an occasional "lock up" on certain discs, not allowing the operator to back out of the "play mode" instantly. This is also not the fastest responding player, so you have to be very deliberate in your mode execution. Otherwise, within my budget limits, I would never trade either of my SATURNS. I have had the AYON CD-2 to audition at home also. Again, a wonderful player. Built like a tank, but I wasn't really sold on spending %5500.00+ in place of my SATURN. Don't get me wrong, however. There are many things that the AYON does, that excells all other units on the market. Superb piece.
The difference between the CX7-e and the CX7-eMP is quite remarkable. It would be foolish to not look at an MP upgraded player, or plan to get it done for the small charge if you buy an older CX7-e.

I hate to spread gossip of this nature but rumor has it that Ayre is in dire financial shape and I don’t know that it will find the same support that ARC did. 

OP, I owned the Krell s300-i and found it to be very clear, precise and analytical. I would believe the Ayre will continue those attributes. If you want a more colorful presentation, I believe the Saturn might be a better choice.

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new cd player. Comments please. 


1. New Rega Saturn MK3 or a used Ayre Cx-7mp? 

Post removed 
Post removed 


AYRE still continues to offer critical parts and service for its Players. Unclear if Rega offers the same?


Happy Listening!

They definitely offer the same. In your opinion, do you like the sound of the Ayre over the Rega?