But all this could easily be attributed to any one of maybe a dozen or so very decent amplifiers. The Ayre AX-5 twenty uses unique technology and claims it makes a difference. Where does this difference appear? Put simply, late at night, early in the morning, or any other time you need to listen to music at less than ‘lusty’ levels. This is when an amplifier really shows its hand – some seem to underplay bass, or lose some upper-mid clarity at quiet levels, as if the loudspeaker is dominating the presentation. Here, the Ayre’s character stayed uncannily intact even at whisper quiet levels. Even the fun aspect of musical replay, which usually demands a fair bit of volume to realise, came across at low levels.
That Ayre makes a well-engineered amplifier in the AX-5 twenty is something of a given; the brand has the reputation for good design and well-made products. That it sounds this good under such a wide range of conditions shows just how good Ayre is at making amps. If there is a sweet spot in audio amplifiers where quality, performance, and price converge, then the AX-5 twenty must be sitting right in the middle. Strongly recommended!
Type: Integrated line amplifier
Inputs: 4pr balanced (XLR), 2pr single‑ended (RCA)
Outputs: 1pr balanced (XLR), Cardas terminals (spade lugs)
Power Output: 125 watts per channel continuous into 8 ohms, 250 watts per channel continuous into 4 ohms
Frequency Response: 0Hz-250 kHz
Gain: 26 dB
Input Impedance: 1 MΩ unbalanced inputs, 2 MΩ balanced inputs (1 MΩ per phase)
Finishes: Black and Silver
Dimensions (W×D×H): 44×48×12cm
Weight: 22 kg
Manufactured by: Ayre Acoustics
Distributed by: Symmetry
Tel: +44(0)1727 865488