I already own a NuWave NPC, and world like to have BHK mono amps, DMP, Directstream DS Sr, P20, BHK Preamplifer. But my wife won’t let me purchase all that right now. So just so you know I love the sound of tubes but need advice on what component I should get next. I can most likely get one component a year. But which would I get better sound from with getting first, Directstream DS, BHK preamp, BHK 300 mono’s, P20?. Recommendations?. She might let me get more if they were cheaper but equally good options but I don’t want to be upgrading for some time. I’m ready to get a system that I will always be happy I have.
What is the rest of your system currently?
I have a NuWave NPC preamplifer and a 1960’s tube dynamo preamp, 1970’s pioneer turntable PL-50, OPPO BDP-103 and some 90’s pioneer receiver. I been into high end audio for a while but not until recently have I been able to buy any truly high end audio. I also have a 1960 reel to reel and some 1990’s cassete tape player.
I think your next step depends on a myriad of personal preferences, your goals, your room, etc. FWIW, in my room/in my system there have been three outstanding “evolution events” for me in the last 12 years or so.
I bought a pair of (in my opinion) truly outstanding speakers in terms of performance per dollar - Anthony Gallo Acoustic Reference 3.1 speakers. I have had these for more than 12 years and they still keep giving me more every time I make an investment in the equipment upstream.
I bought a used Anthem AVM 50v preamp/preprocessor with Anthem Room Correction (ARC). ARC is an amazing and amazingly effective tool. No matter how I change up my system or improve the layout and acoustics of my room, remeasuring with and engaging ARC results in a significant improvement in performance over removing it from the system.
I bought a PS Audio DS Sr. DAC and Bridge (now Bridge II). I ripped my entire CD collection to my iMac hard drive and I have never heard better than ripped files fed wirelessly to my router and then over ethernet to the Bridge/DS Sr.
Your mileage may vary (maybe better amplification or something else should be your priority). But, for me these three changes to my system have had the most positive and transformative impact on my system as compared to other changes in various kit over the years.
Speakers, Infinity RS series from 1990’s is what I have now. I’d like to get Martin Logans 15A or ps audio new speaker when they come out. So I’m going to probably hold off on speaker for a little bit. My room is a smaller study room. But eventually I will get a dedicated room.
I think amplification next, and then speakers.
I dunno, I’d start with source (DS sr) and work my way down. . . .
I agree. Let’s see what else the Infinity’s can bring to the table. I think you will shocked and what the DS Sr. can uncover via your current speakers and amplifier. On the other hand, if you are not very impressed with the DS Sr., I believe an argument can be made that your amplifier and/or speakers may be a bit lacking in resolution.
I’d be holding off on everything until you’re ready to pull the trigger on new speakers.
Summary: Roll the Dice and pick a component.
I think it depends on how far off your new listening room is. The wife approved one-component-per year schedule you alluded to implies a timetable of 5 -6 years to complete your system upgrade. If you’ll be in your new room within that time frame I’d start acquiring the front-end components first and then decide on the speakers and amps after you are in the new room.
Don’t forget to budget some serious $$ for room treatment. If you have the luxury of building a room from scratch, I’d plan on investing some of that budget in proper design. You’ll thank yourself later. I’ve moved around a bit before retiring and have dealt with audio in 9 or 10 different rooms. The room itself is the foundation of a great system and makes as big of a difference in system performance as components. scotte1 is right on about room correction, but it works even better if the room is optimized to begin with…
If you need to play SACD’s, I’d start with the DMP as Paul says it will be discontinued sometime in 2019 because the Oppo drives are no longer being made (but PS Audio have plans to continue support for it because they bought a boatload of spare parts).
If SACD’s are not an issue, then probably the preamp or the DSD would be my choice. If you are into computer audio/downloads/streaming, I’d suggest the DSD first.
Free advice, so take it for what it’s worth
Are you limiting your system to exclusive use of PS Audio components?
No. But I’m just waiting to make sure I get some very very good stuff that I’m happy with long term.
I use PS Audio power products, and also have a DSJ. Amp/pre-amp are Wyred4Sound. Definitely a brand to consider. I like the idea of buying what you want and upgrading less often. The one thing you may end up changing from time to time is your DAC. Technology and format changes are ever progressing. A five year old DAC is ancient in terms of technology, whereas amps, preamps, and speakers can last for a very long time. I once had a twenty five old year first gen Adcom GFA-555 amp. Other than repairing a damaged RCA output jack, it ran trouble free.
Is US audio mart a legit place to get used stuff?
Yes…it’s the US version of Canadian (Canuck) Audio Mart.
Although I’m Canadian and I use the Canadian site regularly, the US site is good too. I’ve purchased many items and made some friends in the US. Like all purchases and sales on the internet, you need to keep you wits about you.
I’ve heard of the saying “King of the Castle”…don’t recall “Queen of the Castle” before. Although we do have a Queen Elizabeth II and she has plenty of castles, and is most certainly the boss of her realm. Sometimes wife just needs to be told their place in the hierarchy in the audio HiFi Kingdom, particularly if the King is the one paying the taxes. For what it’s worth. Just saying.
It’s Not really that way. I just try to do things in harmony with her because I love her and respect her and she does the same for me. I’m ready stubborn and I get my way most of the time and will here. It is I am just very smooth about getting her to agree with me. I married a redhead with a mind of her own and a heart of gold. Also I’m the spender in the family. I could out spend her 10:1. She couldn’t imagine spending 50 to 75G on a home stereo system ever. She is always using coupons and checking prices to get the best deal/bang for the buck. I always joke with her to keep doing it “we have stereo gear to buy.”