What component or tweak made the biggest difference in your system?

Putting aside speakers, what single upgrade made the biggest sonic difference in your system? Amp, preamp, source, cables, cleaning up AC, or room treatments?

Anthem Room Correction (ARC) in my Anthem AVM Pre/Pro (Anthem AVM 50V2), followed by the PS Audio DirectStream DAC (Sr. w/Bridge Ethernet card). Each piece of kit individually, and together, has allowed for the “lifting of veils” and brought clarity and resolution to the presentation of well-recorded music that was not available prior to their insertion into the signal chain. FWIW/YMMV/IMO/ETC., Etc., etc… :smiley:

Not a large difference but a noticeable difference in SQ was moving my Roon core from my laptop (with wireless connection) to a Nucleus+ connected directly to the switch that my DSJr is plugged into.

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Nucleus+; introduced me to DSP and amazing streaming. Bonus: allowed me to add a plethora of shinny little boxes… Luvs me my shinny little boxes, especially on my shinny block diagram…:ok_hand:

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@Gary_M: You have to play too!


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A PS Audio DS DAC without question.

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I looked at that (your flowchart) the other day. Not sure if I was impressed or very concerned.
I looked the Nucleus and bought something else not least because it does not need any additional boxes, shiny or otherwise.

Careful and thoughtful positioning saved me from ditching speakers, second was getting toslink cables made out of glass, that improvement was shocking considering such cheap cost.

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Looking over the years, there have been different components and tweaks that have made the biggest impact, depending on the system at the time. With these custom built linearrays, room treatments made a huge improvement in the sound, mostly because the speakers had a peak at around 2k. So I had to over treat the room.


DS DAC. Definitely. It was the first PSA product I bought and it was the catalyst… “Gets better year on year for free because of Ted”

How about those fancy cable risers…? Big or little impact…?


I love seeing set ups with speakers way out into a room and close to the “sweet spot”. I suspect your current configuration has great imaging and a really nice deep and wide soundstage.

Thanks for posting.

Those fancy cable risers set me back plenty, but they were well worth it.

My current speakers were designed to sit very close to the front wall, but some how still manage to throw a deep soundstage.

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I guess if I backed up a step it would be moving from a Denon 4400 AVR to the DSJr with M700 monoblocks. That was a huge improvement in the whole experience. Adding the BHK preamp was another notch up and included a really nice HP amp as part of the deal.

Does anyone have any experience with the “Master Set” speaker setup?

I visited this local dealer here in Denver, who offers this service for $400. I must say everyone of the systems I listened to in their high-end room sounded superb and dialed in.

Roon with Tidal to find new amazing tracks!


I just stumbled upon the best tweak since introducing the DMP, DSD, and BHK to my system, and it’s a biggie. My Von Schweikert VR 35’s are bi-wireable but I’ve been using jumpers, because the manufacturer of my speaker cables, MG Audio, suggest not to bi-wire with their speaker cables. I decided to go ahead anyway and try bi-wiring the 35’s…WOW! Everything from top to bottom improved, and not just a little.
Maybe MG Audio meant not to bi-wire using two pairs of their speaker cables, which I’m not. I pulled out an old pair of heavy gage 6N Acrotec speaker cables, removed the jumpers, and connected them to the lower binding posts, and I now have a new pair of speakers. The soundstage expanded in all directions, and the music became more relaxed and organic, with awesome bass definition and impact.
This is definitely one of the best tweaks I’ve ever made, and right up there with any component upgrade, and it was free.

I started with a fairly empty listening room setting up a pair bookshelf speaker system (DeVore 3XL); After adding 13" tube traps at each corners, it made very big improvement; Next significant improvement was addition of REL S3 subwoofer; later I added 2nd one; these subs just simply completed the spectrum and seamlessly merged as part of music presentation; The last significant improvement was on power side; I recently added dedicated 20 amp line using 10 gage Romex to power a new P20. somehow P20 and two REL S3 don’t get a long well and I just plug S3s back to wall; P20 powers DMP/DS, turntable & phono, pre-amp and power amp. This is another Wow moment and simply bring out even more extension, tonality, layers and details out of each CD, SACD and LPs. I used Audience SE or SX cables from the get go and therefore didn’t have opportunity to compare through upgrade path. I would assume they are part of contributors to SQ to some extend as well. Reason was that, for one time, I borrowed a pair of different brand balance interconnect just test out DSJ directly to source to power amp, I did hear significant difference compared to Audience SE RCA that I have and went back to pre-amp route; I am glad because later I added vinyl system and the pre-amp is very handy; I did upgrad DSJ to DS and DS appears to be a bit more open, extended, and airy (DSJ was fantastic by the way); Still break-in the DS!

Sounds like a great system. At this point I can’t even imagine how much better my system would sound if I was to add a dedicated line and a power regenerator, not to mention a BHK pre.

I would say room sound treatment. It is so easy to forget that the room you sit in is as important as anything else in the system. Most of us are in some way “stuck” with the size and shape but we can adjust the sonic character with sound treatments.

Fascinating. I too am using MG Audio cables and though it wouldn’t help me on the IRS it’s interesting to read how it did help you. Thanks for sharing!