Has anyone heard this unit? Does anyone know how this unit is supposed to compare to their all in one players?

As you know, everything is so system dependent... but I was very happy with the 840C (DAC input) for quite some time. I used it with the HiFace, modded HiFace and Halide Bridge, and the 840C was very responsive and revealing during each phase.

That said, the Tranquility DAC removed the digititis, or etchy top end that always seemed to plague the 840C. The Tranquility is just in a completely different league. I also prefered the QB-9 to the 840C, by a wide margin. The Ayre is a great DAC, but the Tranquility SE took my system to another level. I'm spending WAY more time listening these days!
I will to get a hold of a QB-9 and do a fair head to head comparison in my own system. If the QB-9 is as good, I wil probaby keep it for its hirez feature. Anyone dealer allow home auditions of the Ayre?
Feel the same way as Horacio. I'm usually open minded about audio components, but when year old thread is resurrected just to promote a competing product by small number of people that cross post to several different threads, it makes me wonder. I did look at the web site for Tranquility DAC. There is very little technical information about the DAC there, other than the use of non-oversampling DAC. There are a dozen different NOS DAC sold on eBay for less than $500. It's not clear to me how this one is different from the rest of the pack, other than the use of $30 extruded aluminum case from Hammond Manufacturing. I would love to hear from someone who compared Tranquility against another NOS DAC, but perhaps in a different thread.
QUOTE: "I will to get a hold of a QB-9 and do a fair head to head comparison in my own system. If the QB-9 is as good, I wil probaby keep it for its hirez feature."

To Dracule1 and Jylee,

I bought the QB-9 (here on AudiogoN) for exactly the same reason Dracule1 wants to obtain one. I wanted to do a shoot out with my Tranquilty SE; I wanted a Hi-Rez capable DAC; PLUS, I wanted aysncronous technology based solely on all the reviews I'd read. As mentioned earlier, I took about 2 months to listen to both the QB-9 and SE with all types of music. Everyone who heard these two DACs in my system prefered the Tranquility SE.

I have absolutely no affiliation with any manufacturer and I'd be more than happy to discuss any of my observations and experiences with any fellow AudiogoNers. Just drop me an email! I learn something everytime I talk to another audiophile --- and there's certainly a lot left to learn!

Best Regards and Good Listening!

Jylee, promote a competing product? I am not sure if your comment was directed at me, but I did not "resurrect" this thread. We are all just audiophiles who are giving our experience and opinions. We don't get any financial or other benefit by "promoting" our experience with a particular product. Since the OP has not responded with any objections, I think we can have a little wiggle room to talk about other products in the same price range as the Ayre. I have no financial affiliations with dB Audio Labs or Ayre. As for dozens of different NOS DACs on eBay, I have heard many of those using similar chips. They do not compete with the Tranquility in sound or in internal build quality, and I don't expect them to compete with the Ayre either. As for the plain aluminum case, I can not argue with you there. It is very pedestrian in appearance. If you open it up, the quality of parts are all there, including teflon V-Cap coupling caps (which I like very much and also have in my tube mono blocks) and over-sized power supply in my Tranquility SE. It is a very elegant design inside using (class A, I think) discrete output stage with no OP amps. But I am open to other DACs. I am willing to spend up to $20,000 for a DAC if there is a night and day difference, but I have not found one yet that improves the sound of Tranquility red book CD enough for me to take the plunge. The DAC I really want to try is the MSB Technology Diamond DAC, crazy expensive at $27,000 but I may be able get it down close to my price range. Anyone have any experience with this DAC?