See Ayre QB-9 Twenty Upgrade Announcement

“Ayre QB-9 Twenty Upgrade” copied from an Ayre email announcement.

“The QB-9 was one of the most successful Ayre products ever. There are thousands of them out in the world, and to many owners, the QB-9 is still their favorite piece of audio gear. As part of our commitment to providing a lifetime of enjoyment from Ayre products, we are releasing an update for the QB-9 with the newest technology from the 8 series. The "Twenty" update for the QB-9 brings it back to the cutting edge of technology, giving QB-9 owners the excitement of discovering their music library all over again!

New QB-9 Twenty Features:  We have made a number of innovations since the release of the QB-9. Here is what has been improved with the Twenty update:

  • Diamond output circuit improves musicality and bass response.
  • A new JFET differential stage lowers the noise floor.
  • AyreLock power supply regulation for better rendering of fine musical detail.
  • New AC noise filtering for improved resolution.
  • Custom Ayre Asynchronous USB technology further reducing electrical noise in the system.
  • New ESS DAC chip for improved signal to noise ratio and spacial detail.
  • Six layer board design for optimal circuit isolation.
  • Proprietary reclocking to eliminate USB domain jitter.
  • PCM play back up to 384 kHz
  • Native DSD capability up to DSD256 (4x)
  • HDCD decoding

Retail Available QB-9 Twenty Upgrade. $1,500 August”.

This new Ayre QB-9 Twenty Upgrade looks very interesting. I wonder how it sounds.

Anyone heard this yet?
Apparently there *are* units that have been upgraded, so someone has heard it by now. My unit is in the queue for next month, hope to have it back no later than December.
Hi, I have some negative experience with the QB-9-dsd. Here is my story.
I recently bought (on the second hand market) a QB-9 DAC (upgraded by the seller to DSD status), 1 200$ CDN (~900$US), a good deal, I believe. It plays perfect, I praise its performance, native DSD and Hi Res flacs sound beyond reproach.

    B U T  

An annoying physical hum emanates from the box -- nothing in the speakers. I am fortunate to enjoy a very quiet listening room, I sometimes hear the hum (not always) from my seating position. I communicated with Ayre, they acknowledge the issue and this was their answer:

Yes, a QB-9 with your serial number has an internal transformer for Buss Power. And they do tend to hum a little. There’s not much you can do about it unfortunately.

But… we just came out with a new Twenty upgrade for the QB-9... [skipped description] ... US retail is $1,500.

So, Ayre's  proposal is to pay almost twice as much as I already paid for my unit to "upgrade" in order to settle a hum issue... At this price point, the competition is ferocious! ... and what if ... the hum remains?

Moreover, from CANADA, custom and transport issues are getting more frequent and complicated nowadays.

I rather consider to sell my unit (should get 900$US) and shop for something else supporting DSD... At 900$US + 1500$US = 2400$US, I have many many options. I currently fancy about a second hand Meitner DA-1 for this amount.

Did anyone have issues about physical hum? 

That sucks.

It is worth trying however on a completely different phase/circuit.

Sometimes physical hum is caused by DC on the line. However, it is also true that some cheaper transformers hum. If you had been the original owner, this would be a horrible story.