Ayre Acoustics K-3 Preamplifiers

K-3

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Stringreen   AudioPhile [Apr 26, 2005]
Strength:

Every perameter

Weakness:

still looking

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!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
spgmclean   AudioPhile [Apr 24, 2005]
Strength:

Stays out of the way of the music Warm Sweet Sounding Sound Staging embraces the listener

Weakness:

None at all

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.

Similar Products Used: CJ-OK BAT-Below average Meridian-Below average Audio Research-OK Musical Fidelity-Steril Levinson-Makes the best pre-amps(but over priced Krell-Junk
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
catale   AudioPhile [Nov 18, 2004]
Strength:

Dynamics, pace, speed, detail retrieval, harmonic richness, musicality, non fatigueing

Weakness:

Only 3 line level inputs.

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!

Similar Products Used: Lavardin, Spectral, Audio Research LS25, Krell
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael   AudioPhile [Feb 06, 2003]
Strength:

An open window to your source. Thoughtful, attention to detail design. Easy to operate. Top quality build, parts. Great phono stage. Stunning looks.

Weakness:

A little expensive, but you get what you pay for. Lack of balance control. Phono stage requires balanced XLR connectors, which requires adaptors or XLR phono cables.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Anthony   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 29, 1997]

The K-3 is the second preamplifier to come into production for Ayre. It is a balanced solid state design utilizing very high quality parts and an extremely sophisticated "choked" power supply. The unit is priced at $3,500 w/remote.

The sound, ah yes...can you say "air"? Cause thats what you get (clean, clear and pristine). This preamp posesses the speed that and dynamic agility of its big brother the K-1 at about 2/3rds the price. Far and away one of the most musical devices that one could hope to add to their High-End stereo system.
Needless to say, the K-3 mated up with the equally superior V-3 amplifier
is an absolutely incredibly musical combination. Highly recommended!


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Anthony   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 29, 1997]

The K-3 is the second preamplifier to come into production for Ayre. It is a balanced solid state design utilizing very high quality parts and an extremely sophisticated "choked" power supply. The unit is priced at $3,500 w/remote.

The sound, ah yes...can you say "air"? Cause thats what you get (clean, clear and pristine). This preamp posesses the speed that and dynamic agility of its big brother the K-1 at about 2/3rds the price. Far and away one of the most musical devices that one could hope to add to their High-End stereo system.
Needless to say, the K-3 mated up with the equally superior V-3 amplifier
is an absolutely incredibly musical combination. Highly recommended!


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ben   Audiophile [Apr 23, 2001]
Strength:

AYRE AYRE AYRE

Weakness:

inputs

Lifelike,delicate,an organic reproduction of low level dynamics. Articulation,clarity,and bottom end extension. It clearly surpassed the ethers ex the cj premier 14 & not the premier 16. The 16 Is the best there is . That is if you like music. (THE KEY WORD IS MUSIC) I rilly like the K-3 nice preamp.

Similar Products Used: (CJ VARY GOOD) (ARC OK)(MARK LEVINSON OK) (KRELL CRAP)(GRYFFEN GRAP)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary OShields   an Audiophile [May 29, 1998]

Sorry,but I've listened to the various Ayre products and find all of them lacking in dynamic contrast,which has been it's most noteable flaw.Possibly the choke power supply limiting current? Otherwise very easy on the ears SMOOTH-but lacking.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
george coleman   an Audiophile [Sep 14, 1999]

Build and construction of the highest quality. Excellent design alla balanced and RCA inputs/ouputs , separate power supplies, carefully handcrafted circuit board design capable of future product upgrades. Musical preamp that can revival others at any price. With addition of optional phono stage you have one of the most capable products around. Downsides: only 4 inputs. So go buy it's big brother the K-1.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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