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.



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.