Ayre introduces the AX-8 integrated amp

Ayre Acoustics introduces the brand new 8 Series Components. The 8 series will fit into their product range below the new 5 series, taking the place of the discontinued 9 and 7 series and the older 5 series products. The price range of the 8 series is planned to be between $2,500 - $8,000 US Retail.

The first two products which are showing in Munich are the AX-8 integrated amplifier (with digital inputs including streaming) and the QX-8 digital hub (also with streaming) and like all Ayre components, they will be hand-built in Boulder, CO.



Does anyone have pricing information on the new Ayre EX-8 integrated amplifier / DAC?   The unit is scheduled to be shipped during the first week in February.  

Will the Ayre EX-8 amplifier have analog inputs? I am currently using my Ayre AX-7e amplifier in my 2 channel home theater system and run RCA connections from my TiVo cable box to the Ayre amplifier and also run balanced XLR connections from my Ayre Codex DAC to my Ayre AX-7e amplifier.
The original announcement claimed 3 analog inputs (one balanced)
I'd forgotten that they said VGT technology in the volume control. I wonder what that will look like at this price point. I can't imagine it will resemble what's in the KX-R or KX-5.
This is the replacement for the 7 series so it's going to be a decent step down from the 5 series and nowhere near the ballpark of the - R series.  It should be good value for money but I wouldn't expect anyone is going to be blown away by performance. 
The AX-7 was excellent in its price category. I don't know what can better it for less than $5K. The AX-5 is better in every way - more resolution, better bass, more headroom (with the extra power) - but not by as much as the price jump suggests. Likewise, the SQ jump from AX-5 to R-series is notable but nothing close the difference in price. IME, the AX-5 gets close to the horizontal asymptote on the performance/price curve.

I suspect the EX-8 will better the AX-7 by a worthwhile margin. Ayre has learned quite a lot since the AX-7 was introduced. I'm very curious to see how they incorporate the VGT volume control at this price point. I'm expecting a great sounding product.