Ayon CD-2 sonics? thoughts? opinions?

I heard Ayon released the CD-2 at CES .
It's previously only been available in Europe.

Anyone hear it ? see it?
thoughts or opinions welcomed
I have the Ayon CD2 and Ayon Retailer here replace the tubes on my CD2, and yes the tubes are difficult to access inside the unit.

But I did not like the sound of it and return to the original tubes :-)
This thread is a bit stale, so maybe no one will see my question, which is how difficult is it to replace the tubes in the Ayon CD-2? I have heard elsewhere that the tubes are difficult to access inside the unit and therefore are pretty difficult to swap with NOS tubes. Is this true?
There's a big improvement to change the original tubes in aynon's CD player, I'm the owner of a CD-1, and was not satisfied with the little sound hardness remaining after break in, so I went for a pair of 6H30-DR instead of the original ones and switched the EH 6922 to a pair of Siemens Cca. The player is not the same ! Best improvement came from 6H30 DR, but be patient they take quite a long time before being at their top (at least 100 hours). Switching 6922 was not a so big improvement excepted to correct some sibilance on the top treble and change slightly the medium sound. I auditioned recently the CD-2, in comparison the definition is much better, coming partly from the real symetric implantation of components and mainly, to my point of view, from the PCM 1704 Dac (same as the one in the Audiomat Maestro).
But honestly I have the same result by coupling the CD-1 with a Whest Audio DAP 10 (unfortunately discontinued), this little box is quite a mystery for me, same effect as a high end DAC. Also coupled with a Burson audio buffer it gives interesting results (personally I connect the CD-1 in RCA to the Whest audio and in XLR with the Burson Audio buffer, both give a different sounding and I switch according to the kind of music I listen to).
Budburma, thanks for your updates!

Most people here love to glow over whatever gear they are running. But, your honest perspectives of what you have heard along this journey should be applauded - thank you.
A quick follow up on the CD2 with the NOS DR tubes. My oops in installing them was more of my own concern and less of a problem than my paranoia originally portrayed.

The player is now different animal, a pure joy. All the excessive energy is tamed and the microdynamics under control. Huge soundstage with a gentle and warm yet dynamic and detailed presentation. Hard to say 'reinvents your whole cd collection', but it is fun to relisten to things with it. The decays are now extended and I'm really not finding any deficits to my ear with the reproduction from this player. The DAC portion holds up the same high standard.....

Hopefully, I can get more out about it later next month. If anyone has any specific curiosities, shoot me a email.

Enjoy the tunes!
Here are some notes on the Ayon CD-2 that recently replaced my longtime love, the Cary 306/200. First, this is my system as it now stands:

Ayon CD-2
Karan KAI-180
Squeezebox Duet, Bolder modified and with power
Dynaudio Confidence C-1
Sound Applications XE-12S modded to near Linestage
Cables: Gabriel Gold Rapture RCA Interconnects and Speaker Cables, Von
Gaylord Chincnilla Sig. RCA Digital
Power Cords: BMI Hammerhead Gold Mk1 and Mk3
Gabriel Gold Rapture on and off the CD-2 (see below)

Of note, the Karan is a relatively new addition and I had only a short time to listen to it with the Cary, but did listen thoughtfully to the tunes I have used most often for analysis of gear in the past. And, here are those tunes:
David Gray: The Ep's 92-94
Shine, Lover
John Hiatt: Crossing Muddy Waters
Crossing Muddy Waters, What Do we Do Now
Dave Matthews Band: Under the Table and Dreaming
Satellite, Pay for What You Get, #34
Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker
May Winding Wheel
Ben Harper: Fight for Your Mind
Please Me Like You Want To
John Coltrane Quartet: Ballads
Say It (over and Over Again)
Mike Doughty: Skittish
The Only Answer, Looks
Steve Earle: Train a Comin'
Goodbye, Northern Winds, Rivvers of Babylon, Tecumsah
Sometimes Why:
MIddle, Hush Child, Let Down, Hallowell

The soundstage is enormous and fabulous and as good or better than the Cary, while the imaging less precise, but in a very nice way. The images are rounder, a little softer, and larger. With the Karan, the Cary's images were somehow diminutive on a large stage....while that left a lot of black background, it seemed less real than the Ayon. The notes are true on attack, but the decay feels a little attenuated.

The detail is comparable or better, but since the images are larger, there is less separation on vocal harmonies in close proximity. So, with more crowded or complex parts of music there is some congestion that is not
so pleasing.

It is a very revealing player, so the recording is stripped of any corrective blurring or bad production for better or worse. And, forget about MP3's, they sound terrible and suck any way.

The ergonomics suck.....Holding on to the slow cooker like top while changing cd's is and true pain in
the ass.

It is overall a more musical player with a sweet midrange (more about that below) and bass is very realisitic and well controlled. No bloat, but a ton of energy overall. This abundance of energy presents itself as this nagging bit of forward nature in the upper mids. Truth be told, that is actually always nagging me in my system and in the end it is probably the Dynaudio's fault They are accurate and unforgiving and sound great when piled on with clean power, but require reigning in to avoid listener fatigue. It's their (and
my) specific conundrum of needing gobs of power and liking a tubish

The Ayon does not add the tubish warm I was hoping for, but it has so many good attributes that I am going to try a quad of '80's Rusky DR tubes and see if that will bring it on home.

So, with that aggressive sonic trait demand in mind, the BMI cord is a better match in my system for the player....the Rapture cord has a small of that sonic signature and doesn't work as well right now. But, the new tubes could change things and I would venture is a great match for a system with less
tendency towards the aggressive or one that is more laid back and needs a little push towards 'coming alive'.

The DAC portion is very nice with the same caveats as above and is where I really here the MP3 disgusting hashy stuff.

So, overall, I like the CD-2 better than my Cary, but am not blown away by it. I am anxious to hear it with the NOS tubes and see what they brig to the table.

And, to be fair, I have been under the weather for a few months and am bringing a less than optimal attitude and overall gestalt of life to the listening table so my best ears aren't on. So much pig's guts on the table.

Like the man said, "I've been down but not like this before." Don't want to be a whiner, but really and I am holding my own, but for the most part hunkering down in the bosom of my nuclear family wile my friend's are awaiting my inevitable bobbing back to the surface. That's gonna' happen
I am sure, just in my waiting chrysalis stage.....patient and expectant of beauty.

Besides, my dog needs a new knee more than I need a new CDP. New knee is good news.

Those are the notes from my very own underground.
For the records and fwiw, Ayon was displayed using Gabriel Gold Rapture wire at RMAF. And, there was a CD-1 for sale here that was Steve's and in the ad he said something about having gone on record claiming that cdp was the best he had heard. So, there is a connection there, but one, I think, of mutual appreciation and respect for their craft and products.

Of course, I am following that lead....so maybe there's some proof that drug reps should be banned from doctor's offices and capitol hill should be rid of the pandering influence of lobbyists in dc. exposure is information at some level.

Me, I can't wait for my CD2 thanks to you guys and steve!

Hey there! It has been a while.....glad to see you are still around and active. you'll love the raptures. they are hard to beat and the speaker wire is somehow even better (imho). shoot me an email if you'd like.

i have also been dealing with paul (great guy) AND my cd2 is on the way as well. i have already ordered a quad of nos dr's. maybe we call all compare notes in the next few weeks.

i will be running it with a karan kai-180 and rapture ic's and speaker cables to dynaudio c1's. should be pretty sweet.

enjoy the tunes!
Glad to hear you like the CD-1/Rapture combo. Those custom two-box speakers you have look great! With the Revelator drivers you must be in heaven.

I've talked to three people who have heard the CD-1 and the CD-2. All three indicated the CD-2 is a significant step forward, so if you like the CD-1 sound the CD-2 would be the next logical step for you, I think.

I'm still burning in the Raptures, and they'll be ready to go by the time my CD-2 returns from USA Tube Audio with the initial shipping damage repaired, so here in a couple weeks I should really be in for a treat! I'll be sure to post a detailed review of both the CD-2 and the Rapture at that time.
Aggielaw, Just got a Gabriel Gold Rapture that I also purchased from Glory (gary) running from my Ayon CD-1 to the KR Audio Kronzilla SXi integrated. All I can say is "wow", these cables really get the most out of the Ayon. Also, I recently started leaving the Ayon on 24/7 which improves the sound considerably from starting up each listening session. Wish I could try the CD-2, but I don't think I can swing the extra cash outlay right now-- if it sounds better than the CD-1, that is saying somehting. But have to say, with the Rapture in my system, I'm a pretty happy customer and quite content with the Cd-1.
I have not found the "looped" digital cable trick to work on the CD-2. It seems when "Digital Input" is selected the transport is inoperable. Just as well; one less thing to confuse me. ;)
Not in my case. I purchased a pair from Gary ("Glory") before I called about the CD-2.

I've not heard of any link between any of the players from Ayon Audio, AyonUSA/USA Tube Audio, and Steve at GG.
It appears a few people are using
Gabriel Gold cables and Ayon.Is there a connection?
I can post a "preliminary" review of the CD-2 next week if folks are interested. It will only be preliminary because my unit had an XLR output go bad due to rough handling in shipping so I can only run it on the RCA cables I have on hand (Gregg Straley Reality Cables and Gabriel Gold Revelation mkI and Rapture cables) but I think I have a good overall feel for the unit now.

The CD-2 review will not be for a while; I just received the unit two weeks ago, and I will not have a final copy for several weeks. Then it undergoes the process which leads to publication. It will take some time, but I aim to make it a worthwhile read.
Bob, I will be making comparisons between the two in the CD-2 review. Sorry to keep you waiting, but I can't let all my secrets out of the bag. :)

Are you going to be able to compare the CD-2 against the CD-3 soon? I am looking to purchase a new CDP soon and enquiring minds want to know.
Douglas-I'm using Gabriel Gold Rapture interconnects now and don't have any matching digital cables.
Steve at GG should be coming out with a digital cable soon, I may give it a try then(maybe sooner)if I can get a few beta cables out of him.
I've got two or three at the moment, and you can bet I'll be futzing with them! Even though it might not be absolutely productive in terms of creating the cleanest signal path, I have found that testing such things can lead to helpful insights and sometimes very pleasing results.

Bob, you should try my suggestion to use two digital cables as ICs, and let me know what happens. I love common sense creativity in this hobby, as it can sometimes pay off big dividends!
If you have a handfull of Digital cables on hand you will have fun going from cable to cable.
Gerhard Hirt, the designer at Ayon says this is doable with their cdp. I will likely try it out.
Here's a thought running a high quality digital cable out of the CD2's digital output and back into the CD2's Digital input.
I tried this with a Krell KPS 20I before and it was interesting to hear how different digital cables sounded looping them thru the unit.

It was almost like I had a great 1 box player and and great seperates too!
I actually tweaked the unit with a digital cable that I liked best and 90% of the time listed to it looped.
Every Digital cable sounded so different it was baffling.

So for the cost of a used digital cable you can have some

Most people might use the digital in on the CD1S or CD2 as a Dac for their server.
just thinking out loud.
An additional thought; I have not found the sound of an economical sibling player used as transport to be identical to the more expensive model when shunted through a DAC. Though the laser assembly is identical in many cases, the difference in topology is such that the performance is significantly different (let's say, with $40K rigs as a baseline) even when the player is operating as a transport. Whether such differences are worth it to you - well, that's your call.

Questions such as:

Will the performance of the less expensive player operating as a transport exceed that of its internal DAC? (possibly, depending on external DAC and Digital cable)

Will such a CD1S with external DAC exceed performance of the CD-2? (Doubtful; you may come closer, but then you're spending nearly the cost of the CD-2)

My guess is that the CD1S with the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic might be a really fun, good performing combo. It's a combo I might try if I had the time. You might end up finding that it's not significantly better than the CD-1S alone. It's extremely difficult to cobble together economical sources which are hugely better than a primo cdp.

Absolute answers to such questions would only be found by actually doing the comparisons.
FWIW, the impression I got from Paul at USA Tube Audio is that the CD-1S is designed to be lower cost and slightly lower performance than even the CD-1. Although the CD-1 is now discontinued in Europe, I believe Paul told me Ayon intends to sell the CD-1 in the US for a bit longer.

I suppose what is implied here is that the CD-2 will be vastly superior to the CD-1S.
I do not know offhand if the Gabriel Gold was used at the show. The information I obtained on the room I posted a pic of in my CES report was that Ayon used the Clarity Cable power conditioner and the Echole Cables. Whether Gabriel Gold was used in that room I do not know, or if at all at this show. Contact Charlie Harrison at USA Tube Audio and he may be able to tell you.

I have not compared the CD-1S with the CD-2. I suppose it is conceivable that the single ended output would be similar, but I have serious reservations about that. My guess is it would be more a case of wishful thinking, "Oooh, I could get the performance of a $5.5K player for half the cost..." It certainly would not be wise of Ayon to make a player that was identical in single ended output on two players at big price differences. Ayon has never done so in the past, why now? What motivation would Ayon have to undercut their primo player with a nearly identical one?

In casual observation I see several differences in the specs, including tube complement, D/A conversion and number of transformers. In my thinking just the tube complement alone would be enough to substantially change the performance, let alone differences in the D/A conversion. I'm not going to spend the time going back to research it, but it seems to me that the CD-1 and CD-3 units shared a lot of similar specs as well, and they were separated by quite a wide margin in terms of performance. I certainly would not anticipate these two (CD-1s and CD-2) to be identical in single ended performance. It looks like the transport and some of the topology is similar, but that's a long way from identical.
Doug- Is it true that the Ayon was using the Gabriel Gold
Rapture interconnects at the show as member audio852 mentioned.
This would be the first time these cables made a public appearance.There is alot of talk on a thread here and people seem to love them.Did you get to hear them?
On a more relevant note
I posted a question that no one has yet to answer.
Maybe you can help ? If I'm only running single-ended is their a difference between the NEW CD-1S and CD-2.
Their specs look similar
Don't put yourself out on a limb you e-mail me outside the thread if you wish.
I have a CD-2 unit in for review, and I am in the rare position of having extensive experience with all three Ayon players, most of it in side by side comparisons.

The CD-2 is a vast improvement over the CD-1; no contest. It would be wrong to consider them near equals in terms of performance. They are in completely different leagues.

The long term question will be how the CD-2 compares to the CD-3 (two chassis design). I have not gotten into direct comparisons with the CD-3 yet, but the CD-2 appears to be an assault on best attainable Redbook sound in a single chassis design. I will refrain from drawing any firm conclusions as my time with it has been short, and more will be learned as the review continues (The review may contain idiosyncrasies or caveats if applicable). However, I will say that the player does seem initially to be living up to the expectations I had for it when I heard it briefly at CES.
Hi Donpark1439,
I am an Ayon Aficionado and so are a few from our audio group. I'm not with Ayon, but I sure know I have sent them many customers, I think their gear is great. I deserve royalties here!
audio 852-
You have been referring to Ayon as "they" your feedback identifies you as being "they" meaning are you not with Ayon?
Will do, Chayro. Also, the unit I am auditioning is the CES demo, so it has 50 hours or so on it already. I think I read somewhere that this unit isn't supposed to be run continuously for days on end to be broken in; can anyone here confirm that? I believe I read 8 hours per day, then shut it off for the night. Maybe that was a different unit I read that about, though. I've done a good bit of research on CD players in the last month.

I apologize for the poorly-typed post above. My point was that USA Tube Audio is basically allowing people to steal the CD-1 from them. :-)
For those interested, I just purchased a CD-2 from Paul at USA Tube Audio in Arizona.

Aggielaw - you must post a review after it arrives. It looks like a great product. I realize it will take a month to break in, but you should have a handle on it after a few days. Thanks.
For those interested, I just purchased a CD-2 from Paul at USA Tube Audio in Arizona. He has a very high opinion of the CD-1, and they have a sale on their limited stock of CD-1 players that is so good I almost couldn't pass it up to get the CD-2.

I emailed Ayon Audio USA www.ayonaudiousa.com and they told me that the Ayon CD-1 will still be available in the North America. They explained that eventually the CD-1 will go to the CD-1S, a lees expensive model, no balanced XLR, different chassis & look, a lower cost different unit altogether. The CD-2 is coming out in North America in mid February 09. Retail is $5500.
I just looked at Ayon's website and the CD-1 was gone. Looks like the CD-2 is its replacement.
jwm to be honest I have never heard a stock 128 or 168.I wanted to go with the Ayon at first but had the budget restriction.
I read some reviews on the modded Raysonics called Walter and he advised me to go with the fully modded 128 and I was impressed from first listen.
A friend let me borrow his CD-1 which had stock tubes in at the time and it was certainly impressive.It did not have the option of upsampling on/off and I agree I prefer the sound of the 128 with upsampling off.
The CD 128 also uses four 6922 tubes instead of a mix of 6H30 and 6922 tubes which made it easier for me to tweak.
as I have a nice selection of nos 6922 tubes to choose from.For me the modded 128 was the best choice.
Another member in this thread said that the Ayon CD-2 will have the option of defeating the upsampling which is good but it will use four Russian 6H30 tubes and nos 6H30 tubes which I have heard to be better cost a nice piece of change.
I have the 168 and my friend has the 128. We compared the two and liked the 128 without the upsampling. In this mode it sounded similar to the 168. I think the 168 sounds better, it is more dynamic. I wonder if moding the 168 would improve it. What changes do you hear in your modded unit.
The Ayon CD-1 and the Raysonic CD-128 share many cosmetic similarities externally.I'm using a modded Raysonic CD 128 L-2 with Dexa D clock.
The mods were done by Chris Johnson(Sonic Frontiers)and the unit was purchased from Walter(Underwoodwally)
I found the Raysonic CD 128 performance to be near that of the Ayon CD-1.
I initially wanted to go with the Ayon but it was just out of my budget at the time.
I've had both units in my system and internally they are quite different yet sonically they share a lot of the same qualities.
I am very pleased with the modded CD 128,however,if they were priced the same I'd give a slight edge to the Ayon.
FWIW-I am also using Gabriel Gold cables between my Raysonic and LSA Signature
thanks i already have a a pair of Gabriel Golds and they sound awesome with my cd-1 good to know they'll mate well if i go with an all ayon system.have you heard the cd-1 if so in your opinion how does the cd-2 compare.you can e-mail me directly if you are more comfortable sharing your opinion
Donpark1439 - Ayon was using Gabriel Gold Cables, Echole Cables & Clarity Cables. I listened to the different systems using the different cables and they all sounded excellent.
audio852 did you happen to notice what cabling Ayon was running with at ces.I started a thread about cabling with ayon and got no replies
Ayon Audio was at CES 09 in Suite 30-128 - They had alot of nice amps & CD's. I listened to the CD-2 and it was glorious. Super micros - yet very three dimensional, transparent, very musical. Ayon told me the CD-2 will be available in February 09 - That is when they will begin to ship. The Ayons are definately not made by Raysonic, Ayon introduced the CD-1, 2 years before the Raysonic came out.
By the way the CD-2 looks totally different, a larger chassis, digital in, analog volume control, 24/192 user controlled upsampling and the puck is built in to the cover. Really nice.
i think the chassis for the cd-1 and cd-3 were made in the same factory as the raysonic chassis and that's it .The chassis is then shipped to to austria where completely different internal designs are installed
I think the cd-2's chassis is different from the cd1/cd3 and that it is all built and designed by ayon in austria