RMAF 2012 Ayon Audio Spirit III and S-3 Stereomojo


Stereomojo logo


Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2012

By: James & Linda Darby, Dr. John Richardson, Brian Boehler, Mike Galusha


Designed and made in Austria and distributed by top importer Charlie Harrison, Ayon is one of the world’s premiere tube amp makers.

They’ve been very busy, rolling out a whopping 14 new products over the next few months.

Ayon Spirit III Gen 4 Front 1

This is the new Spirit III, updated version of the Spirit II

Ayon Triton III Gen 4 Left

And this is the new Version III of the $12,500 mighty Triton integrated, coming in for review

as soon as they have one that’s not already sold.

Full-featured pure class-A tube (KT88) stereo integrated amp or pure power amplifier
Switchable between pentode (100 wpc) and triode mode (60wpc).

Ayon S-3 Network Player Front

Ayon’s new S 3 tubed Music server $8,500 is on our list of upcoming reviews.

Conversion rate
192kHz / 24 bit
Tube complement 6H30
Dynamic range > 118dB
Channel separation >105dB 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Output level @1 kHz  / 0,775V -0dB /RCA
2V fixed or 0 – 2V rms variable
Digital ouput 75 Ω  S/PDIF (RCA)

Digital inputs
75 Ω  S/PDIF (RCA & up to 24/192kHz),
TosLink (up to 24/192kHz)
110 Ω  AES/EBU (up to 24/192kHz)
75 Ω  BNC  (up to 24/192kHz)
I2S (up to 24/192kHz)

Front ANd rear mounted USB type ‘A’ socket for USB “pen”/hard disk drive
Network inputs
RP-SMA plug Wifi Aerial input (“wireless” network connection) 802.11b/g
UTP RJ45 10/100Mbps socket (“wired” network connection)
S/N ratio> 110 dB
Frequency response
10Hz – 50kHz  +/- 0.3dB
Total harmonic distortion @ 1kHz
< 0.002%
Remote control
Analog – Line Inputs & output
2 pair RCA and 1 pair RCA out
Analog – Main outputs
1 pair / RCA & 1 pair / XLR
Dimension (Wide x Deep – incl. terminals x High – incl. feet) cm
48 x 39 x 12 cm
Weight, unit only
12 kg



Charlie also distributes the made-in-Germany AVM line. We reviewed their all-in-one C8 and were very impressed with this company

that is well known in Europe but just breaking in here in the US.

Top left is the AVM A5-2T, integrated amp with tube preamp stage. A whopping 350 wpc

for just $4,900.

Top right is the AVM 5.2 tubed CD player for $4,850.The CD5.2 offers connectivity in plenty: 2 x USB (1 x 192/24 asynchronous, 1 x 48/24), 2 x SPDIF coaxial, 2 x SPDIF opt. and one AES EBU digital input. The XLR- and cinch outputs use different drivers and may be operated simultaneous. Each channel sparks two DACs operated in balanced mono mode. This way the SNR is optimized to the theoretical maximum. The upsampling allows switching the output samplerate between 44.1 and 192 kHz and simultaneous allows the choice between two digital filter characteristics (sharp or smooth). With the upsampling circuit the master tact is regenerated completely and jitter is kept away from the DACs. The PureCD mechanism is spring mounted and completely capsuled.

Lower left, the CD3.2 CD player offers a large variety of connectivity and control options: USB DAC input (without external driver installation) and six digital inputs in all possible shapes (AES EBU, coaxial, optical). The RS232-control and the port for an external IR-sensor allow the operation in custom installation environments. The XLR- and cinch outputs spark separate driver stages and may be operated simultaneously. Cutting edge technology is applied when digital signals are being processed in the CD3.2. Both channels offer separate DA converter chips, operated in double mono configuration. This results in optimized signal to noise ratios and eliminates distortions almost completely. The upsampling circuitry allows an individual adjustment of filter characteristics and sampling rate alike. By using upsampling technology the master tact for the digital signal is generated internally and makes the signal processing independent from the master tact stored on the CD, possible jitter originating from the CD is eliminated in this way. The PureCD drive with the slot-in loader is shielded against acoustical influences and rests in a suspended mounting, which protects the CD drive against footfall.

Lower right is the is the AVM PA3.2, very versatile preamplifier in a very cool black chrome: 5 line inputs, a front input and 3 slots for the optional plug-in modules connect it to any source. Poweramps can be connected via RCA Cinch or XLR alike. Active subwoofer may connect to the processor in/out. Menu functions allow an individual configuration of the PA3.2 according to your personal likings (input names, sensitivity etc.)

The new Legacy Aries exhibited were being powered by the AVM MA3.2 mono power amps with 420 watts each of class D power.

There was a lot more Class D amplification at the show as it seems to be coming of age, loosing its previous stigma of being unmusical and sterile. This technology is improving rapidly.