Ayre V-5Xe or Bryston 4B-ST


I am currently using a Bryston 4BSt driving my sonus faber cremona speakers. Seems like a great match since the bryston is very neutral and the SF well you know their character. I have an opportunity to purchase an Ayre V-5XE and have heard great things about the Ayre. Large sound staging, quiet, and great frequency response. I know that listening is very subjective but was wondering if anyone could make a suggestion if the Ayre would be an improvement over the bryston. I am using a tubed preamp with some really nice NOS tubes.

Thanks in advanced. Doug
See if you can barrow the Ayre and find out yourself if you prefer the sound.
Thanks gentlemen for your responses. I was a little concerned about getting too much warmth which i enjoy but not at the expense of losing detail. I want it all I suppose. The system does sound terrific and Lloyd I am keeping my eyes open for the 4b sst2. I think I really got lucky with the equipment matching and my room acoustics. I would preview the Ayre if I could but it's not located in this area so would have to purchase to preview. . I just thought it doesn't hurt to keep searching. I can change the sonic character with some tube rolling but that amperex bugle boy 12au7 from 1958 blows me away. Time to listen to some music.
Regards. Doug
I have not heard that combo, but all things being equal, my experience has been that most people prefer the sound of a zero-feedback amp like the Ayre. The Bryston is an honest product that features very good build quality for the money, but it sounds closed-in and two-dimensional compared to typical zero feedback designs.

PS - I owned a 4B-ST for five years.
If the Ayre is to be purchased used, and you do not need to sell your curent amp first to finance the cost of the Ayre then I would purchase the Ayre and put it into your system for as long as you need to evaluate it fully. If you end up not liking it, as long as you got a fair price for it, you should be able to re-sell it fairly quickly at little to no loss. A lot of "ifs" I know, but otherwise hard to go wrong here.

Your point is well taken, and i tried to allude to it in that i do agree in 1000 setups, i think the Ayre would edge out the Bryston statistically.

I [very personally] find the match that Doug has to be very special and work particularly [shockingly] well with the SF Cremonas.

For example, I had never thought i would like the Krell Evo 402 that much...but when i heard them with the Cremonas, i was stunned. I still would not buy the Evo402...but if i were going for the Cremonas as my speaker...different matter. Same probably for Bryston. I prefer the Gryphon SS sound myself...probably more adaptable, but also it happens to work well in my system.