IC compatibility for Ayre CX-7e CD player

Just purchased an Ayre CX-7e and like to get some feedback from Ayre owners of either CX-7e or (upgraded) CX-7e-mp about IC's that have produced the best or most satisfying sound "in their system" Let me state the following:
1)I realize that every system is different, and responds differently to cable interfacing

2)Room acoustics even after the trial/error merry-go-round of finding the right IC cable or cables can negate or make uncertain the compatibility factor of IC to CD player

3)I am NOT USING the balanced outputs of the Ayre player, and would need to use an adaptor to see if those outputs made a difference in the overall sound

4) Ayre recommends plugging the player directly into the wall, and to avoid AC multiple strip adapters. I have read that these adaptors, and power line conditioners can limit or change the dynamics of a system

5)My previous player, the original and venerable Apollo sounded fuller and less digital after I switched to a Chord Chameleon IC. This compatibility factor did not change over 3 system electronics replacements. (The Chord was actually recommended to me over Rega's IC). Therefore, I have to assume that certain IC's are or may be better suited to a particular CD player, even though the overall system parts may be upgrade or downgraded over time

Lastly,from what reviews I have read, and also comments gathered from owners of the original CX-7, is that the "e" upgrade, and then the "mp" upgrade did improve the sound quality of the player over the original player. (Possibly the "mp" upgrade being the most dramatic) I only mention this observation because it may factor into the selection of the IC that works in a particular system. For the record, my system is: Rogue Sphinx integrated amp using a Acoustic Zen Tsumani Plus PC, the about to be "retired" Rega Apollo using a Shunyata Diamondback PC, and the afore mentioned Chord Chamleon IC. I intend to use the Shunyata temporiarly with the Ayre CX-7e. (I don't really like the Shunyata because the female IEC connector is cheap plastic and often losens and disconnects from the player.). No power line conditioners are anticipated, but I have to use a power strip for convenience. Thank you to all.
Hi Jim,

I can't answer the questions you've presented, but I would offer two thoughts:

1)If and when you try the balanced outputs, be aware that most adapters short the inverted signal on XLR pin 3 to ground (XLR pin 1). You do NOT want to do that on an output of a component such as this, which most likely drives both of the signals in the balanced signal pair with active stages having low output impedances.

I believe that Cardas can supply XLR-female to RCA-female adapters which leave pin 3 open, as it should be when adapting such an output. Better yet, although more costly, would be to use a Jensen PI2-XR transformer and the necessary additional cables.

2)I suspect that most users of that player are connecting its balanced outputs to balanced inputs, via balanced cables, and are also using preamps or integrated amps that differ considerably in design and price point from yours. I would not expect the cable synergies that have been found by such users to have much if any relevance to your particular setup. Trying several different choices via The Cable Company is probably the best way to go under the circumstances.

-- Al

I would add that this spinner will require at least 200 hrs just to begin to "open up". You have plenty of time for cable/cord selection. Go ahead and use the cables/cords you have on-hand.

After the 200 hr mark, start looking/listening to other cable/cord option(s). Audioquest and Transparent, are an excellent place to start. You can always contact Ayre and ask for Mike. He can provide guidance as well.

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Al. Thanks again for your technical advice. I am probably going to stick with unbalanced cables, because "adapters" may provide only marginally better sound......However, maybe your can clarify why the Ayre's playback is louder than the Rega Apollo using the same Chord "Chameleon" IC. Interestingly, one of the reviews of Ayre CX-7 after the "E" upgrade noted a louder presentation.

Jafant. I think I agree with you about the burn-in mark because the Ayre CX-7e I purchased had two owners over its 6 year current lifespan. The last owner claims low hour usage, and thinks this was the habit of the first owner;, it does sound a bit rough around the edges, and less smooth than I expected. However, dynamics and timing are first rate.

I am still adjusting to a new listening space which has its challenges. I am trying to damp down the room a bit more than it is. I also realize that it is probably worthwhile to get the "mp" upgrade in the next 6 months.
... maybe your can clarify why the Ayre's playback is louder than the Rega Apollo using the same Chord "Chameleon" IC. Interestingly, one of the reviews of Ayre CX-7 after the "E" upgrade noted a louder presentation.
The Apollo's "full scale" output voltage (the voltage that it puts out in response to the maximum possible numerical value of the 16 digital bits in each sample, for each channel) was spec'd right at the CD standard of 2.0 volts. Stereophile's corresponding measurement of the Apollo was a little higher than that, at 2.175 volts. I couldn't find numbers for the CX-7e, but both the CX-7 and the CX-7eMP are spec'd at 2.25 volts for their unbalanced outputs, and Stereophile's measurement of the CX-7 was very close to that, at 2.255 volts.

The small differences between all of those numbers, however, coupled with your statements, leads me to suspect that your CX-7e's actual maximum output is somewhat greater than any of those numbers. Which is not an uncommon occurrence among CD players. And if the maximum output voltage is higher, lower output voltages corresponding to smaller numerical values of the digital bits will scale up proportionately.

-- Al
I found that this player responds well to power cord upgrades as well as interconnect experimentation.

I'm using a Triode Wire Labs digital cable along with Analysis Plus interconnects, and loving it. Plenty of detail with a very balanced sounding tone and audio bliss.