To Doug Schneider,

I very much liked your feedback on two dream systems. I am considering buying the Devialet D-Premier or Ayre Acoustics electronics [to use] with Wilson Audio speakers. What would you choose?

Very best,
Toon T.

I reviewed the Devialet D-Premier and the Ayre VX-R, so I am asked this question often. Really, though, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, so there's no easy answer.

The D-Premier houses a digital preamplifier, DAC, and power amplifier in one case -- it's truly an all-in-one electronics solution that I believe represents the state of the art in modern amplification. The VX-R is an outstanding stereo power amplifier -- in many ways, the best product of this type I've heard -- but you still need a preamplifier (likely the matching KX-R), DAC, and cabling to flesh out the front end for a complete system. Ultimately, both setups would likely work exceedingly well, but there's no way to say which one is better because there are so many variables. What you really must decide is if you want separates versus an all-in-one approach. . . . Doug Schneider