Ayre Acoustics K-3 Preamplifiers

4.4/5 (10 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Stringreen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Att: All Ayre owners!!! I have D1xe, K1xe, V1xe, and C5xe. I have upgraded all my stuff first to the x and then the e versions. With each step, but expecially with the e upgrades, the stuff is transformed WAY better. Run to the UPS man and send yours away now. You won't regret it. The model C5xe you may not know. It is a brand new Universal player - plays DVD, SACD, CD, MPG, etc. It's a WOW!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by spgmclean a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 24, 2005

Bottom Line:   
This is at the heart and soul of my system. I was lucky to get a fully upgraded current piece for a real good price.
I matched it with the V-3, and I must tell you my mags(3.5) are the truth. This is a match made in heaven.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1750.00

Purchased At:   Gifted Listenerr



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by catale a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is one of the best preamps I have ever heard at this price! After having heard lots of equipment in my life, I can't beleieve that any honest person can rate this preamp 2 out of 5 stars like the one reviewer below. Either he has not heard it or he has bad intentions!
This preamp retrieves an amazing amount of detail, but always mantaining the necessary musicality. In some ways it reminds me of the positive qualities of tube sound but without any of its inconvenients.
If I had to summarize the qualities of the Ayre K3x I would say it is dynamic, transparent but harmonically very rich and musical at the same time. It also is cabable of creating a hughe soundstage with very natural ambience, which really allows you to hear into the acoustics of the recording scenario.
To my ears it is some of the best preamplifiers I have heard in much time, only surpassed by its bigger brother K1x, which gives you more of everything.
Another key aspect of any component for me is that it never should cause any kind of listening fatigue. The Ayre is a champion in this field too, especially when you combine it with one of Ayre's superb power amplifiers (V5x or V1x for example).
This preamp really is in the league of the very best and I think that its rating in the German Stereoplay, which puts it at the level of (the more expensive) Linn Klimax Control and Mark Levinson 380s is absolutely justified, if not an understatement. As you may know, also stereophile has rated it Class A. It is a pitty it has been discontinued. I still haven't heard the Ayre K5x, but from its price it seems probable that it won't reach the quality of the K3x.
My recommendiatin is: if you can't afford the K1x, go for this one. You won't regrett it!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by PERROT a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 25, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This preamp is not the last word, but for people that want music at home, this preamp is a standard. It has all what we expect from a preamp at this price, say dynamics, neutrality, extension, good bass, 3D imaging. But what amazed me, compare to the competition (and I feel the Goldmunds are the reference in performance), this preamp educates its listener to what is music and what is audio (same for most of AYRE products). It breaths with naturalness, respect of rythm, real dynamic (some have better dynamics, but so few that many people make confusion between dynamics and overshoots that make a surealistic portrait).
2 preamps are better, many sounds different but not better (I use rel piano and guitar to get a reference): The AYRE K1X and the GOLDMUND mimesis22, also I've not audiotionned some first rate product from AR, Conrad. The best quality of this preamp is that it can be in a high end sytem despite of the cost and get a good result, without having always the desire to improve. I use it with Goldmund cones, PAD Dominus AC, and Cardas caps, and Dominus interconnect.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 6, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I went totally against my own grain in buying this pre-amp without auditioning it first. This is the first time I have ever done that, but the product was/is being discontinued and there was no opportunity to do so. I had very high expectations, given the rave reviews from the audio press. It arrived home and immediately noticed that system sounded so much sweeter than I was used to, even though the unit was as cold as my freezer. Needless to say it exceeded all of my expectations by a wide margin. I never thought that a pre-amp would make such a huge improvement, since their main functions are to pass the signal and control volume. Well, I learned very quickly that my previous mid-fi pre-amp was not doing those things very well. This pre-amp allows me to hear ALL the notes, every nuance in the phrasing, totally free from grain and with a background as black as midnight. The optional phono stage is so good, it seems as if I installed a new and expensive turntable. If you are into vinyl, This is one of the better phono stages I have heard including some expensive dedicated outboard models. The build quality is superb. Thick aluminum panels throughout, stainless steel fasteners, Shallco stepped attenuater, motorized remote volume, outboard power supply with plitron transformer. Every part is top quality, which undoubtedly leads to top quality sound. Finally, the best compliment I can pay to a pre-amp is that it gets out of the way of the music and lets you hear everything your source has to offer. If you have good sources, you need a pre-amp as good as this one. I highly recommend it if you can find it used, or get the K-1, I am sure its better, although I have not had the pleasure.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002




Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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