PS Audio or Ayre?

So I'm thinking about getting the BHK signature preamp or, I just read a review on the AyreK5xe preamp. They both seem like great pieces. Anyone have a preference?
Had the Ayre K5xe mp before, was trounced by a McIntosh C47. Preamps have evolved, a little bit like dacs. Even the digital volume in my old Yulong DA8 dac was better than the Ayre. The K5xe is not a bad unit, but I was loosing details ( resolution) with it, obvious difference not subtle.
I am wondering why I am constantly seeing the BHK amp and preamp for sale on Audiogon?  I am not talking about the dealers selling them, I am talking about actual owners.  If they are that good and I don't doubt it, why always for sale?
It would help to know what equipment you are using, as well as speakers.
A lot depends upon synergy.
I've got an old set of Spectra 22s. Tandberg 3026a power amp. Rotel RC870bx. Rega P3tt.
You also need to look at the company and the people that work for it. I have been very happy with my PS Audio equipment so far. Good luck in what ever you decide.
PS Audio likes to totally changes designs which turns people off.  I have the Perfect wave DAC.  6 Years ago it was perfect.  Now it's a red headed step child.  Direct stream is now more perfect than perfect wave.

Ayre builds on the previous models instead of kicking them to the curb.  With Charles Hansen gone, however, this may change :(

The guy who made the comment about the McIntosh sounding better than Ayre sounds like a PS Audio dealer or a McIntosh dealer. Either that or he is tone deaf. Go audition one and see for yourself. I knows guys who have $30,000 monoblocks being driven by that pre amp and it really shines.

If you are going fully balanced I can’t recommend it enough. If not Ayre is not the last word in single ended design. If you are going single ended I highly, highly recommend the Belles Aria Pre Amp. It’s not expensive, is hand made, dead quite and extremely neutral. I almost bought one for myself and I’ve been listening to Ayre electronics for 14 years. You can even get it with phono.

pacmi03, the Ayre K5xe was their entry level at the time more than 10 years ago, so it is normal that it is beaten in performance by newer designs. Your friends that use it with 30k monoblocks are bottlenecking their system big time...according their system is not bottlenecked elsewhere in the first place, may I suggest for them to try something better. The K5xe has a nice timbre, but it`s older resistive design is eating resolution and transparency, that was my experience with it in my system.

I am not selling anything, just a normal audiophile that tried different gear overtime.

I own both PS Audio and Ayre products. Note that PS Audio offers an upgrade path from the PerfectWave DAC to DirectStream; it is even user-installable, albeit not cheap. But still a lot less than a new DAC. With the Directstream the upgrade path is much easier as it is done via software to their FPGA chip.  Can't beat that!  Yeah it would have been nice if they had an interim-step to upgrade the PerfectWave, but a small company needs to make tough choices sometimes about where to focus their limited resources.
I own BHK pre. I can find no faults. Destination pre for me. Responds well to tube rolling. Very happy. Now looking for a phono pre....
I have the BHK Pre and the BHK Mono's. I love the flexibility of the Pre with 5 pairs each of RCA or XLR balanced. Sound quality is outstanding and since it has a tube front end you can tube roll to adjust your preferred sound accordingly. It also supports Home Theater bypass if you need that as well. So far (Over 18 months) I am quite satisfied.
Another happy BHK Pre owner here.  I've never owned Ayre, but have listened to demos (not with my speakers) and they have been nice, but not nice enough to entice me to buy one. 
Definitely PS Audio.  I once bought a ayre cd player & it would not play my CD's and no, none of my CD's had scratches on them as I am very meticulous with my stuff. The ayre also made loud distortion noises out of my speakers and I had to stop it. The was a aye player bought brand new, ayre seems to have a lot of real estate inside their boxes and has their units tweaked to play louder than the competition. I just bought a PS Audio BHK-250 amp brand new last year and I love. Go PS Audio and really, stay away from ayre. All the best to you.   
The PS Audio BHK Pre is an amazing piece of equipment. The company stands behind their products solidly and continue to develop great sounding gear. Go for it. You will be pleased.
No experience with Ayre but can attest to ps audio sound and as a company.  My dad has been doing business with them for 20 years now.  Not only great sound but tremendously helpful, tech savvy. I have a ps audio power plant from 1999 that’s still crack-a-lackin.  
I am also an owner of the BHK-250 and BHK Pre Amp. Completely satisfied.  PS Audio's customer service is one of the best in the industry. 
count me as a very satisfied PS customer.  my entire system is PS except for speakers of course.   They make a great product and stand behind them with great customer service.   someone above made the comment about seeing the preamps used on Audiogon.  just checked and there are none. 

I think the bang for the buck quotient from PS is extremely high and i for one am looking forward to their upcoming speakers. 
I can also attest to the great customer service of PS Audio as a recent DMP owner.  Ayre used to be great (own a D-1 transport) but now I can’t get a response via email or on the phone to repair questions.  Hopefully, things will improve in the future.
@frustee I have a Perfect Wave and upgraded it to a Direct Stream. Check the PSAudio website for pricing. I just installed a Bridge II. It now decodes MQA. The software upgrades are free. 

I love the BHK Signature 300s driving my Joseph Audio Perspectives.   I am not using a preamp. 
Been running Ayre gear for a long time, no issues, sounds superb. My only need for service was to take advantage of their upgrade program. Great communication and fair price. If they upgrade a product you can get your unit upgraded to current spec for the difference in price between your version and the new. They don't make you buy a whole new unit.
Big ayre fan , had the whole 5 series set up for years. Thought it couldn’t get better, then went ps audio Bhk , a whole different level , by a large margin. Better on every aspect of the things you want from aa system. 
I agree with Beetlemania.  Not a single complaint with the units or the serice department....always got through with a phone call.

Auible Illusions or PS Audio BHK preamp?

I currently run an Audible Illusions L3A linestage and Bryston BHA1 headamp with PS AUDIO BHK 300s.  

Have an opportunity to pick up the PS Audio BHK pre at half price.  Any experience with AI and/or BHK?  BTW am running Siemens E88CCs in Audible Illusions for months.  Much freer upper end. Removes any trace of grain or hardness.  I've been assured by the dealer  the tubes well last despite AI's being tough on tubes.  

Sorry to half hi-jack thread but no experience with Ayre. 

Current system -
PSA BHK 300 monos
Audible Illusions L3A linestage
Harbeth 30.2
Dual HSU ULS-15 MK2 subs
Bryston BHA1 headphone amp
Sennheiser HD 800s
cantorgale10-14-2018 7:11pm Report this
Both good companies
long long ago sold PS when it really was Paul and Stan
disapointed they don’t support older pre bankruptcy product with simple things like schematics, etc for power amps, power supplies
i get it they lawyered up
ayre is certainly evolving
if you like etched hyper detail or need single ended look elsewhere
horse $&@“ about engineered to be louder
certainly not true at a 7 amp power amp selection I went thru
i would say make every attempt to hear both !!!!!!

I endorse the proposition that these are two good companies. I own both PS Audio and Ayre. The DirectStream DAC/Memory Player combination is hard to beat while the Ayre VX-5 Twenty and K5xemp, though not a the pinnacle of the Ayre hierarchy, are first rate. I also use an Ayre P5xe - an incredible phono stage.
No experience with Ayre but I have the PS BHK pre. In my system it is superb and is better than direct connection of my Berkeley Reference DAC to Atmaspere S30 OTL power amp. I was previously very happy with a Bent Audio TVC pre but was intrigued to try the BHK for a loan demo. 

I have previously been a big fan of passive and TVC units but immediately noticed a more 'live' sound with absoultely stonking bass. In comparison to my previous pre's I found the bass to have much more texture/colour alond with a fabulous drive to the music.

I love Robert Cray and recently saw the band in concert. Well, listening to the 40 Years Live CD really brought back the excitement of the tremendous guitar playing from Robert and the driving bass from Richard Cousins.

I think the BHK is excellent and value is very hard to beat at anything like the price (plus some!). 

I own both and have the K5xeMP and the BHK. The Ayre is an amazing value and at the prices you will find it used and even new unless Ayre has run out of stock. It has 2 balanced and 2 unbalanced inputs and no headphone amp.

That being said, there is no question the BHK gives you more detail. It has more inputs and it has a headphone amp. I don’t like the stock tubes and would recommend getting a pair of Tunsgrams to roll in. The stock tubes were slightly bright and rolling is a little bit of a pain in that you need to move a jumper.  Another perk of the BHK is that the volume control has more steps.  It is the superior unit but then again is nearly twice as expensive.  

I have replaced both now that I am Art Audio’s importer and my Conductor is a big step up vs. even the BHK. Of course it is also a lot more expensive. The Conductor simply is similarly priced to the BHK and I think it sounds better. But the neither Conductor model has XLR inputs and the Simply has no headphone amp and in the end I am a bit biased.  

Re. Exron's comments about Ayre products, I've had excellent experiences with their gear over the years and dealing with their customer service, which is what I've generally heard about from others on various audio boards over the years. 
Re. Ayre gear having 'a lot of real estate inside their boxes,' two thoughts. One is that most of their gear is made more or less to standard component sizes, which may be partly governed by reasonable aesthetic considerations and/or those related to providing enough mass to reduce box resonance; and two, I've often heard it said in high-end audio that gear benefits from construction aiding simple signal paths and the like, rather than cramming circuit boards and adding more stuff inside boxes. I'd prefer construction quality over quantity.
I replaced a Rogue RP-5 for the BHK Pre. Big difference IMO. Much smoother, wide soundstage. The RP-5 always seemed to have a touch of harshness. My ZU speakers are super efficient and revealing, The BHK Pre is perfect