Jump to content

Upgrade Advice - which component next


Recommended Posts

Hi All, 

 

Looking for alternate ideas or opinions on my next upgrade:

 

Current set up:

 

QNAP NAS ---> Netgear Router ---> Yamaha WXC-50 (as streamer only) ---> Cambridge DAC Magic Plus ---> Cambridge CXA-60 ---> Monitor Audio Silver RS8 (most recent upgrade)

All cabling is of decent quality (Bills / AudioQuest).

 

So the question is, where is the next "bang for my buck"  upgrade  - looking for something under $1,000 to keep matrimonial bliss.

 

Currently i am thinking amplification (100wpc or better if i can find it) but as my wife tells me that i'm wrong all the time, I thought I would check for some other opinions.

 

NB. Acoustic treatment is  a non starter due to a mixed purpose living area (i've already tried and lost that battle).

 

Any suggestions are welcome!

 

Note for Mods - I have tried to put this in the right forum, but please accept my apologies if I still got it wrong

Edited by ethro
note for mods
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question!

There is nothing actually wrong, but i also know that things  could sound better. 

If i had to pick something, i would say i want  better detail/ clarity, but i dont want to add any more brightness

Link to post
Share on other sites


You've listed 6 components so you are pretty much guaranteed to get 6 (different) answers 🙂

 

I'll kick off. I think ur reasonably evenly balanced across ur system, meaning that you might need to upgrade everything before you get a huge leap in quality (ie, the weakest link syndrome).

 

If I had to take a pick for the current weakest link,  I'd opt for a streamer upgrade 🙂 If you can combine that with a dac upgrade then so much the better

 

 

Edited by tripitaka
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ethro said:

Yamaha WXC-50

I would agree with this.  For the budget, you're not going to gain a lot of sq elsewhere, on top of what you already have. 

Wait a while and go to $1500-2k and options abound for used speakers and amplifiers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks  @tripitaka, that was pretty much at the bottom of my list! 

I guess i might have to find a way to try some others

Edited by ethro
Typo
Link to post
Share on other sites


Tripitaka is correct though,  you will get varied opinions and there is often some confirmation bias in the path we chose to follow. You might get a bunch of different options but you can be sure they're all trying to help

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would look at good quality class D amplifier (for clarity and details). Not to replace yours, 2 amps are always better than one. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tripitaka said:

If I had to take a pick for the current weakest link,  I'd opt for a streamer upgrade 🙂 If you can combine that with a dac upgrade then so much the better

+1

1 hour ago, ethro said:

If i had to pick something, i would say i want  better detail/ clarity, but i dont want to add any more brightness

 

8 hours ago, ethro said:

NB. Acoustic treatment is  a non starter due to a mixed purpose living area (i've already tried and lost that battle).

Given you want better detail and clarity in a shared room, a steamer/DAC with room correction is the way to go. Software such as Dirac Live is especially helpful in mixed purpose rooms.  BUT you have to double your budget to get the NAD C658. There are many happy owners here

Sorry,  blown the budget. Maybe this step for much later?

Link to post
Share on other sites


I would recommend more power via the classifieds, either sell the CA and invest in a beefier integrated or add a power amp and keep the CA as a pre.

 

just having added more power to my 2ch system the difference in sound is significant, more than a streamer or dac upgrade for sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, opinions are exactly what I am after, otherwise I am just talking to myself!

Still looking like a streamer may be the 1st cab off the rank, unless the right amp comes up!  - I have had a WTB up for a while but stupidly have passed on some amps that in hindsight, I should have been all over!

I see people jump on the Bluesound streamers pretty quickly here, assuming that will be an upgrade? How is the user interface?

I also have a mac mini basically doing nothing - would that improve anything?

 

10 hours ago, proftournesol said:

spend the money on new music, the best upgrade for any system at any price

@proftournesol - Yes music is always an upgrade - fortunately I have no issues getting more music, it's the hardware that causes problems!

 

1 hour ago, Hi-Fi Whipped said:

I would recommend more power via the classifieds, either sell the CA and invest in a beefier integrated or add a power amp and keep the CA as a pre.

 

just having added more power to my 2ch system the difference in sound is significant, more than a streamer or dac upgrade for sure

@Hi-Fi Whipped - That was my original though as well .

 

9 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Given you want better detail and clarity in a shared room, a steamer/DAC with room correction is the way to go

@Snoopy8 - The NAD uses the same interface as the Bluesound i believe? - do you have any experience with it? The Yamaha app is pretty good so would an equivalent level to keep the missus happy

 

9 hours ago, Irek said:

I would look at good quality class D amplifier (for clarity and details)

 

@Irek - Something like the Peachtree 220 in the classifieds the other week ? 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Current trends in class D are Ncore technology, which from what I have heard gets closer to a Class A/B sound than ice power has in the past which is favourable for a lot of people. Check out March Audio website for some examples, just note prices are in USD but will come close to your budget.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ethro said:

 

@Snoopy8 - The NAD uses the same interface as the Bluesound i believe? - do you have any experience with it? The Yamaha app is pretty good so would an equivalent level to keep the missus happy

Yes, it uses BluOS, one of the most user friendly Apps around.  And it looks really good on a tablet, nice on phone.

 

If you look at that owner's thread, you will note that Dirac Live is the game changer here.  Plus you are simplifying the music chain, no need to get a good cable connecting streamer to DAC.

Link to post
Share on other sites


3 hours ago, ethro said:

Something like the Peachtree 220 in the classifieds the other week ?

 

Hard to say, class D keeps improving almost every year. Every time I look at those amps there's new model coming soon. From integrated amps I like Primare i25 but if you like or prefer power amps than March audio looks very promising. 

Saying that speakers are making more noticeable improvement. Maybe it's better to wait and hunt down platinum series. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Irek said:

Saying that speakers are making more noticeable improvement

As speakers were the most recent change i need to look elsewhere for addiitional improvements. 

Otherwise we start the "why did you  buy these if you want different  ones" discussion.  

Will be keeping an eye out for amps as well, the  march audio ones do look good

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ethro said:

Great, thanks everyone!

I think the 1st plan will be to try the BluOS and go from there

Cheers

 

@ethro I was close to jumping on this FS... looks like it's still available :D (I am currently waiting on the same white Node 2i from a local retailer).
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Next component you should try is

https://www.bunnings.com.au/whites-50-x-50-x-12mm-anti-vibration-squares-8-pack_p3961977

or 

https://www.storedj.com.au/search?ProductSearch=ISO-PUCKMINI

or

https://www.selby.com.au/brands/isoacoustics/isoacoustics-gaia-3-isolating-feet-4-pack.html

 

Sorry, this isn't what you were asking for but does make huge difference.

 

Other than that, I would say higher amplification and since your current amp is 60wpc/8ohms, I would say don't bother with any other power amp below 150wpc/8ohms, as it is not going to make that much difference in volume or dynamics, you are more likely to hear any difference above 150wpc/8ohms.

 

As has been mentioned, take a look at March Audio's ncore and purifi class D amps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that for power amp you need some preamp. If you go that way you might consider streamers with good preamp capabilities.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nowallet said:

I was close to jumping on this FS... looks like it's still available

Cheers - i'll be looking for a black one though

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, :) Go Away (: said:

I have these under a pair of monitors (near field) in the office, and they made a noticeable difference.

I haven't got these under the main speakers yet, but I do have some super high quality audio grade chopping boards (Ikea Aptitlkig) under them.

I won't go on record saying they made anything better, but they didn't make it worse so they stayed!

Will grab some more of the whites squares next time I'm at bunnings

 

Foe amplifications yes ideally i was think 150wpc seemed about right this is the one that seemed about right for price/performance:

https://www.marchaudio.net.au/product-page/p252-stereo-250-watt-power-amplifier

 

27 minutes ago, Irek said:

If you go that way you might consider streamers with good preamp capabilities.

yes, the office monitors are active so  a pre amp option in the range is preferred, this is how I started with the WXC-50's!

I can still use the CXA as a Pre if I had to as a short term solution

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ethro said:

Foe amplifications yes ideally i was think 150wpc seemed about right this is the one that seemed about right for price/performance:

https://www.marchaudio.net.au/product-page/p252-stereo-250-watt-power-amplifier

 

I would go for P502 or P452 if budget allows, but I do see that you have already said the budget to be under $1000 so P452 is out. 

P252 is certainly capable amp but the price difference between P252 and P502 isn't much and for that you do get significantly higher wattage. By the way, the prices listed there are in USD and also need to factor in GST on top.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...