How do I continue to upgrade from my sprout 100

Good evening all,

I’ve had the sprout 100 for about 2 years now and I’ve been super duper happy with it. Originally I started out with just the sprout 100, b&w cm5 speakers, Amazon speaker cables and my source was Qobuz via usb Audirvāna.

Along the way I’ve upgraded what I can. Better usb cable, a schiit modi3+, better interconnect and better speaker cables.

I’m now reaching a point where I’m not sure where to take this little fella. I don’t want to start from scratch with a new system so what would be the best next step while still using the sprout?

I’m thinking about using the sprout just as a pre amp for a better amp but I’m also interested in upgrading to a better dac (denafrips ares ii). Any advice/tip would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!

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Welcome to the fun alonso…

If you are looking for future growth of your system…
I would recommend separates as these will allow greater
flexibilty for your future pathway…

Once again welcome

Best wishes in your journey



Thank you for your warm welcome.

I guess my question is, while on the path towards separates, what is the best way to use the sprout as part of this separates system until I can finally phase it out?

Thank you!

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Your welcome!!

Probably is to keep the sprout in use your system as you acquire your
next level of equipment. This way you keep enjoying your music.

Other forum members will no doubt respond with their thoughts

Best wishes friend

Welcome @alonso.hernandez

The Sprout is an amazing little critter and you have put together an excellent system - very intelligent on you part.

Perhaps consider other speakers that are a bit better at the mid-range. Otherwise, perhaps start working toward separates, starting with a good amp.

But you have already done a great job. It is hard to make suggestions without totally changing what you have.


Thank you Elk!

Your suggestions and help is much appreciated!

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+1 for a speaker upgrade. The used market has a great selection of bookshelf/standmount speakers. I am partial to ProAc for bookshelf. I’ve also seen quite a few KEF LS50’s forsale since the Meta’s were released.

Have fun!


Speakers would be the way to go. The Metas are a strong recommendation but your music preference and listening tastes play into it considerably. Your system is tapped out performance wise IMO, so seeking out speakers with a better midrange is a logical long term approach. Once you land on a speaker amplification and then preamplifiers may be considered.

BTW welcome to the forum. This is a great group of people willing to assist fellow listeners.


Upgrading speakers will probably give you the biggest bang for the buck. As a side note the Denafrips Ares ii is a fantastic little DAC. I bought one for my computer speakers and tried it in my main system. The results were that I sold my DS DAC and bought an upgraded DAC for my main system. The Denafrips didn’t deliver the soundstage of the DS DAC, but it gave it a run for it’s money in dynamics and clarity. Which is mighty impressive for the price.

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You have an integrated that includes a DAC, but you also have a separate DAC. I would recommend swapping the Sprout for an integrated that is purely analogue. That allows for a better future upgrade path where you can level up your DAC and amp/pre-amp individually.

Of course, as everyone here already pointed out, you can never go wrong with better speakers.

Every input on the Sprout100 goes through the internal ESS 9016 DAC, so the analog output of a Denafrips DAC will be re-converted to digital, run through the ESS DAC and re-converted to analog. So one doesn’t get the full performance from the Denafrips.

For the OP, I suspect your best bet is new speakers.

First of I’d like to say thank you to everybody for your feedback. You guys were right, there are so many nice people here. Its refreshing after having some pretty crummy experiences at in-person shops where they don’t give me anytime of day simply because I have a small lower priced integrated. Honestly I’ve heard some really expensive set ups that made me say “I think my set up sounds better”.

So by the looks of it, I’m leaning towards getting a better amp or better speakers…… or a better integrated? Stellar?

Amp wise, is there anything you guys can recommend that is maybe sub $1100.

Speaker wise, maybe sub $2500?

Also I thought I’d share my set up. Let me know what you guys think


Neat and cozy! :+1:t2:

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A few questions:

  1. What are your room dimensions?

  2. How far do you sit from your speakers?

  3. Are you interested in used speakers?

  4. What kind of music do you like?

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Very nice looking set-up.

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Those are the right questions as well as listening priorities and in what way are you looking to improve on your current system. Personally I’d give the KEF Meta speakers a listen at your price range. You are best to sample various speakers at your local dealer. Depending on your budget you may be able to pick-up a lightly used pair of speakers for a reasonable price. Focus on the speakers first and foremost, then consider amplification. An integrated amplifier without an internal dac can be a good way to go without significant compromise.

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Hey Alonso…

You certainly have a beautiful room to start with…

Alonso when you say amp sub 1000.00 do you have a preamp yet?

You might not be aware of it, but PS Audio has a great trade up program.
toward the purchase of new gear. This might be a good start.

Not sure which speakers you currently have…But here is an idea to
consider…Keep your current speakers and spend the combined
monies say 3000.00 on your new equipment…
Here is a beautiful integrated from PS Audio:

Im a fan of Parasound which does offer the Hint 6 integrated.
which could be in line with the combined 3000.00 and add in your Sprout
for a trade in…the numbers gap becomes more mangeable. also offers a trade in program…

There is also a marketplace here on this forum.

It has been said that inexpensive speakers will not sow off upgraded electronics…
Not true at all…I had some very entry level towers that did indeed show of my
upgraded amp and preamp, speaker cables and inter connects…just that the full potnetial
wasn’t revealed until my speakers were upgraded…

Lots of possible ways to go…

Best wishes on your journey!!

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I agree with the folks in here and you could definitely benefit quite a bit from a speaker upgrade. However, getting a separate amp and using the Sprout100 as a pre actually works quite well.
We did this experiment a few years ago. We listened to a classical piece with some piano. Just going through the Sprout100 sounded great. We then installed an S300, using the analog out from the Sprout, and we were all surprised with how much more realistic the piano sounded.


Hey V, I’m sorry for the slow response but my room dimensions are


I have my system set up along the long wall. To the right of the 14x12.5x9 rectangle, it opens up into my dining room. So I’m not sitting in a room with 4 walls.

I sit about 7-7.5 away from my speakers.

I’d prefer new speakers so I can audition them.

I listen to a ton of stuff but generally leaning towards rock.

Thank you!

First off thank you for the compliment!

Honestly that’s a question I can’t answer. I don’t have enough experience to say which direction I want to steer my system. All I know is that every time I upgraded something with my current system, the changes (when positive, not all were) really showed me another layer of the music. I just want to see what happens with the “next” upgrade.

You know multiple people have suggested the KEFs but honestly I just don’t like the way they look. Looks are pretty important to me since they sit in the living room that everybody immediately walk into.

Could you suggest some DAC-less integrated amps?

Thank you