A legendary Ayre D-1 DVD-Video/CD transport - it is a digital audio transport only (without DAC) - it plays really great CD and 24-bit/96kHz DVD 2-channel discs, equipped with basic video option (that includes composite, S-video, and component video outputs) - external power supply. The unit is technically fully functional, with only minor visible cosmetic wear and some fine scratches. I have had a Cary CD/Wadia which are both very good audio CD players but neither could give the bass response the Ayers gives nor the very wide sound stage and musically neutral midrange/hi which almost sounds like a tube CD player. The Ayer D1 CD/DVD can play most CD's and DVD for both Audio/Video. I have not heard another CD audio deck play music like the D1. The unit comes with a separate outboard Power supply. The remote control unit broke quite a long time ago so the unit does not come with a remote. It cost me $6800 brand new and I am listing it or $1000 to sell quickly.
Stereo Review article in 2001 by Michael Fremer That's exactly what Ayre Acoustics' Charlie Hansen thinks—minus the irony. He's betting that a small group of discerning videophiles will appreciate what he's done with the D-1, physically, aesthetically, and visually—and by "visually" I don't mean its looks, although, like all Ayre products, the D-1 has a smart-looking, sculpted, distinctively art deco-ish brushed-aluminum face.
The $5250 base-model D-1 is a digital audio transport only, for CD and the 24-bit/96kHz, 2-channel discs available from Chesky, Classic Records, Analogue Productions, and a few other audiophile labels. It must be used with an appropriate D/A converter, and in this configuration is strictly an audio-only device. It is not a DVD-Audio or DVD-Video player.
To watch DVDs, you'll need to add one of two options. The basic video option, for $750, includes interfaced composite, S-video, and component video outputs. One of Ayre's primary design goals is the reduction of jitter due to power-supply problems and less-than-stellar clock circuitry. The Pioneer store-bought goods are assembled into an extremely rigid chassis. Ayre then adds its own proprietary video circuitry and low-jitter clocks. Canned oscillator chips are plentiful and cheap, but Hansen believes he achieves far better performance by building his own. I'll spare you the details, though a page could be devoted to these circuits' design. The D-1 also features a sophisticated outboard power supply separately grounded from and connected to the main chassis via a dual umbilical cord.
The D-1 is expensive, comes with a stinky remote, and, as of this review, there's still no instruction manual! But no DVD player I know of is built like it, physically or electronically. Add the D/A converters and analog output circuitry and you'll have one of the finest-sounding CD/CD-R players you can buy. Though it will not at present play back DVD-Audio, a future upgrade for that format is under development, and will be made available if there is sufficient demand.
The bottom line: The well-to-do DVD fanatic looking for the finest video and audio performance need look no further than the Ayre Acoustics D-1. See it on your favorite wide screen and you'll know. That may sound like advertising hype. It's the truth.