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

It would seem your terse remarks are directed at me. And I don't really understand your tone. I did not "resurrect" this thread to promote the Tranquility DAC! I posted my remarks after I bought an Ayre QB-9 and conducted two months of A/B comparison to the Tranquility. I've learned much from fellow audiophiles and I try to offer my views, where appropriate, when I can.

I suggest you try to give the Tranquility and Ayre pieces a listen. Or try to be open-minded enough to defer evaluation to folks that have.
My comments are not directed at specific member. Rather I was commenting on the "situation" in this thread. Personally I would care less if Tranquility is the best thing since sliced bread or not. Some prefer NOS DAC. Some prefer Sony PS1. Some prefer Bose sound. To each his own.

What I was trying to point out was the manner the comparison was presented. As I see it two cardinal audiophile rules were violated.

1. giving an unsolicited advice.
2. comparing product you own against product you haven't heard.

No, there are no such written rules and I'm only half serious. I cringe every time someone does that. For example,

user1: "I just bought a CD player XYZ and it's great!. Has anyone heard this before?"
user2: "Player XYZ sucks compared to ABC that I own."

user1: "Has anyone compared amp AAA and BBB?"
user2: "I own AAA and it's better than BBB"
user1: "Have you auditioned BBB?"
user2: "No"
Jylee, "two cardinal audiophile rules"? Didn't know they existed, and I've been in this hobby 28 years. People give unsolicited advice all the time, welcome or not. If the OP protests, that is fine since it's his thread. If I violated spirit of his thread, I would apologize and start another thread. However, what right do you have to come up with your "rules" on a thread you didn't initiate? BTW I did not compare the Tranquility to the QB-9. I specifically stated I have not heard it and can not comment on its sound. I know you claim you didn't aim your comments on anyone in particular, but actually you have. What's wrong with people giving their opinions no matter how ridiculous it seems to you? After all, your opinions may seem ridiculous to others. There are no absolutes here, just opinions. I hope the QB-9 has made many happy. Diversity is key in high end. There's something for everyone. Over the years, I've learned to go with the flow. Have a nice day.
QB-9 has better timbre than the tranquility. Also the clarity is more refined and is ultimately more relaxed but not in loss of resolution way.