Upgrade Path - what is the best first step?

I second speakers first.

I don’t believe there’s an immutable law that says “the following steps are the steps to follow.”
For example, if you hear speakers in a shop, the sound you hear will not likely be the sound you hear in your listening room, powered by your amplifier.
My most recent example is a friend who heard Maggie LRS speakers in a local shop, which were powered by an Aesthetex Atlas power amp/ preamp. He was over the moon with the sound in the shop, but when he got home and plugged them into his amp, he was completely deflated. His particular amp just doesn’t have the current to drive the LRS’s into their “sweet spot”.
My point is to take your time, research the hell out of your hopeful solution and you’ll get there eventually----like the rest of us.

1 Like

How do you listen to Music? Music files, CDs, Vinyl, streaming?

Welcome! Roksan M-series is very good equipment. Harbeth, Spendor, Dyn Audio, Focal, Golden Ear, Proac or Paradigms speakers would be a good upgrade from your current Polk speakers. A PS Audio P10, P15 or P20 power regenerator would be a very good upgrade as well!

This is a very hard question to answer. I’d say that it depends on your budget. While it is part of the enjoyment of being an audiophile, continually replacing equipment is expensive. Your system is good enough that you should be able to move to a long-term component with anything that you replace.

I agree that your speakers may be the weak point in your system, but you may not be at a point to buy ones that are the ones you would keep while replacing the other components. Do you know what you would likely buy for your next pair of speakers, or the price range you would be shopping in?

You could buy a DirectStream DAC as the next step. The advantage of that is that it would likely be the last DAC you buy for a very long time. Also, you would know that whatever else you hear in your system, the source is definitely not the issue. I don’t know anything about the Roksan equipment, but it doesn’t seem likely to be the weak link at this point.

Unless you are seriously unhappy with your speakers I’d go for a PS Power Plant first. It will improve all your existing electronics and, unless you are jamming a ton of wattage through your system, you can plug all your stuff into it. Speakers next. Then a couple of PS mono blocks.


Streaming 95%, CD 2% music files 3%. But I don’t keep a log, just feels like that :-).

Thank you - I am detecting a wighted bias to speakers followed by regenerator followed by amplification so far in the responses. This is really helping me to focus my research.

The quality, thought and care in all response is much appreciated - what a community!

Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer? I was going to suggest Roon as a possible add, but you seem to stream almost exclusively.

I have a couple of PSA Power Plants (a P12 and prior version P5). Pretty amazing devices. You might need a larger PP like a P15 or P20 based on your gear.

I stream from Spotify and I am growing impatient with them not upgrading the quality of their stream.

I have Qobuz and Sirius XM. Also have had Tidal and Deezer. Qobuz and Tidal are solid streaming programs and have hi-res options.

90% plus headphone user. Headphones are preferred over speakers for me.

Ditto +1

But don’t you think one of the most enjoyable aspects of music is sharing that experience and talking about the band, the shared times listening to music?

1 Like

And most important, color schemes! Make certain your color schemes augment your personal aura or it will be impossible to successfully choose the proper cables!!!

And remember, only buy your cables from a company that takes forever to actually build and ship your cables. You will be buying new ones soon enough as someone here will have a better idea for you so long delays create cost savings. (at least annual cost savings)


Big ole’ grin for Al :grin:

1 Like

Yes, but that physical sharing may not be available to all especially these days. This is why we hang around this forum. :grin:

1 Like

Ditto on Al’s point about cables, can’t forget good cables.

1 Like

Since creating this thread I have done 3 things which have made a dramatic difference to sound quality and sound staging (i) I was listening on Spotify direct but now subscribed to Tidal hifi , (ii) listening through Roon and (iii) connected my sub to the power amp outputs via a high quality output to line passive transformer device (recommended by another member).

My goodness what a difference - it’s like the mist has lifted and I am transfixed by recordings I have listened to for over 30 yrs - there is more and more to discover.

I suspect that the sub connection has corrected a subtle phase shifting that was in effect causing some cancellation effect with my floor standing speakers.

I am enthused.


That is good. Because you have fallen into a den of hyper-enthusiasts.



Just wait to see how excited and happy you will be when you have bought your first $4500 power cable for your $450 power supply for your $400 Matrix.