Charles Hansen of Ayre saved my love for audio [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-03-2009, 07:25 AM
If you recognize the user-ID, you probably associate it with a litany of posts about trying to get rid of an unpleasant dryness, a sort of "reedy" sound in my system, that I've been logging-in to write about, over and over again, for years.

Over that time we've gone from room treatment issues, to power conditioning, to after-market cables, to RF treatments, to treating my IC terminals, and, well, back again, with no lasting success. Each time we've tried something, it's seemed to work for a few minutes (or hours), and then right back to the same old problem. Even the installation of a dedicated AC line made no difference. And the worst part was, I knew there was something actually *wrong* -- and I wasn't just listening in a finicky room, for example -- because what I was hearing was far more noticeable and jarring than any of the room/equipment changes I'd experienced before, and I'd listened in the past under some pretty un-ideal circumstances. Whatever was happening, I just wasn't getting it across in my posts in a way that equipped everyone who was trying to help with the right information to make the right suggestion.

Well, Charles Hansen of Ayre fixed it. And the best part is that he wasn't even trying.

In the past day or two, someone logged in to another high-end audio forum, asking what he could do to "warm up" an Ayre system -- which caught my attention because I'm not in the habit of thinking of Ayre stuff as excessively lean. Mr. Hansen made one quick suggestion and, when I applied the same suggestion to my rig, INSTANT SOLUTION.

Know what it was? Disconnect the TV and the DVD player from AC power when listening to music. Just like that, no more trouble, voila.

I had actually gotten pretty close to this fix by accident, since I had a power conditioner with a toggled power switch, connected to the undedicated AC outlet, managing all of my sources, while the amp and preamp were connected by themselves to the dedicated line, but because *all* of the sources were connected to the power conditioner, I was still dumping the RF crap from the switching power supplies of the TV and the DVD into the signal path whenever the CD player was on.

Now the amp and preamp are connected to the dedicated line, the CD player is connected to the undedicated line, and the DVD player and the TV are connected to the power conditioner, and *then* to the undedicated line. And to think, I only spent about two grand in RF shielding and new power cords and interconnects and speaker wires, that I wouldn't have had to spend if I could write about my trouble in such a way that other people knew what was wrong! :-)

So may I humbly and respectfully suggest that this experience be added to the "permanent record" of tweaker suggestions? So that the next time someone comes in and says, "I've got all of this reedy unpleasantness in my music and I don't think it's the speakers," we might all try suggesting this tweak as an antecedent to any money being parted with? It made all the difference in my system, and saved me from dropping any more ridiculous money on my rig.

Cheers, everyone. Sorry for the long post.

Dave O'Gorman
Gainesville, Florida

Mr Peabody
01-03-2009, 02:24 PM
Which power conditioner were you using? Some of them boast of isolated outlets which would seem to help. But I guess if the source and trouble component shared a twin outlet then there could still be issues. So even if the outlets are isolated it would bare tracing cables to see what is plugged where.

Your experience to me would also seem to prove that power conditioners can make a difference if the components are plugged in properly and the outlets are properly isolated. it could also go to show how some may not have had good results with these products by maybe plugging the wrong two components in to shared outlets.

Interesting nonetheless.

01-03-2009, 07:49 PM
Good to hear from you as always, Mr. Peabody. I think the conditioner debate is mostly about whether people know what causes RF pollution and what to do about it. Most people don't know, for example, that rotating the conditioner by ninety degrees can cause a total reversal of the conditioner's effect, from beneficial to detrimental or vice-versa, owing to asymmetric pollution from the conditioner's own transformer.

In answer to your question, I'm using an APC H15, but in all honesty the principal benefit is that with its front-apron toggle switch I can completely disconnect the video gear from the mains. When the TV is on I don't much worry about sound quality because the sound quality of movies is so bloody terrible anyway, all the time. :-)

Still toe-tapping to that Linn power, I see....?

Mr Peabody
01-03-2009, 08:12 PM
90 degrees, huh? Now would that be vertical or horizontal 90 degrees?

Yip, the Linn is doing a good job. Mainly HT but it still amazes me the power that comes from a box only 11 lbs.

01-04-2009, 06:53 AM
I've never tried vertical but, in case you were joking, it didn't seem all that outrageous to me :-)

I've got McCormack pre- and power and I love the inner detail resolution but they're a bit lean for my slap-happy room. I'm thinking of down-shifting to a YBA integrated and putting the difference toward some fresh furniture for the cats to destroy.

Mr Peabody
01-04-2009, 07:11 AM
I have not heard either. I've heard McCormack can be a bit forward. Maybe you should get some nice tube gear. Not tube, but have you ever heard any gear by T+A?

It just seems if a piece is supposed to be a "power conditioner" it should not have issues with it's transformer whatever direction.

01-04-2009, 08:14 AM
Oh I agree about conditioners, and if I wasn't such a cheapskate I'd get one that was built with all of these other parameters in mind -- the Ayre, for example. I know I'll dope-slap myself when you tell me, but off the top of my head I can't figure out what T&A is short for. Other than the obvious, which isn't a brand of audio equipment, that is.

Mr Peabody
01-04-2009, 12:04 PM
It's "+" not "&", go ahead, take a slap. I'm not really sure, a sales rep once told me "theory plus application".

Here take a look:

Maybe it's, teleldro + akustik but I don't speak ze German.

01-05-2009, 07:12 AM
Well, that's a relief -- I thought it was going to be like not knowing what an "AR" preamp is, or something. Any experience with Audio Refinement / YBA? Turns out that they make a multichannel pre (and matching power) that might be voiced in a way that makes a slightly better fit for my lean front-end and slap-happy room.

Mr Peabody
01-05-2009, 04:23 PM
None with those. Audio Refinement is out of business. bought out their inventory and was blowing it out, it seems like a year or so ago. I didn't get good vibes when asking about the sound quality.

01-05-2009, 04:41 PM
Glad your system is sounding great. I improved my system by having nothing grounded. I was getting much of that noise from the ground with a three prong plug.

01-06-2009, 10:33 AM
It's funny, I actually had problems with my rig *because* it wasn't grounded. Now that I've got a grounded, dedicated AC line, everyone's telling me to lift the grounds! :-)