Your Next Upgrade?

I’m curious what the next upgrade you’re contemplating it making is and why.

I have two upcoming items. My current system is in my profile.

  1. Speakers: the Ulfbehrts are highly dynamic speakers and pack a huge punch and soundstage, and stands equally huge in my comparatively small listening room. I’m currently breaking in a set of Alta Audio Alec’s which are amazing in their own right. More on this later.

  2. I took the plunge and ordered a HOLO Audio May DAC KTE Edition. Having only experienced the DSD and chip DACs so far, I wanted to try an R2R DAC. The reviews of the May DAC impressed me enough to give it a shot. Input-wise, it’s comparable to the Directstream Sr. sporting two custom I2S inputs. It’s being built now and I expect to have it in hand next month.

  3. Exploring tonearms… TBD.

Other minor changes:

  1. Added The Funk Firm’s Achromat on the SL-1200GAE to replace the rubber mat because review.
  2. Ordered a RAL HDMI cable based on the hype.
  3. Bought the Iconoclast SPTPC speaker and XLR cable set from a fellow forum member to replace a current Iconoclast TPC cable. The XLR will replace a Audio Envy XLR from the SPP. Looking to see if it’s better than TPC.
  4. Swapped Tungsrams in the BHK Pre with a fresh pair of PSVANE’s latest 12AU7 series because the Tungsrams were making light scratching noises. These PSVANEs are dead silent and perfectly matched. No volume clicks.

Those are my next steps. What are yours?

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If you have the DSD Sr it may be worth trying the ‘Matrix X-SPDIF 2’ since you have a good HDMI/USB, thread -> HERE <- It’s a fairly inexpensive noticeable upgrade for both the DSD Sr DAC and probably also for the MAY DAC.

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…and if you have the money don’t forget to order a fully loaded Farad with the Matrix immediately! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thanks gents. I’ve listed my current build in profile as a FYI. The two suggestions I have done.

What are your upgrade plans, if any?

@vee

Personally I’d like to upgrade my speakers…but, to do that I’d want to also upgrade my integrated too.

10 or so years from now I’d Iike to get a Hegel H390 and the Focal sopra N°3s.

I’m happy for now with the level I’m at right now - synergy is good.

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TSS Directstream DAC is my next planned upgrade.

I actually hope to get into the beta program for it.

My system is also in my profile

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There are a lot of new DACs on the market. I would be interested in hearing your impressions after you receive yours. Congrats on the purchase.

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My next upgrade is ongoing, the Audio Research Ref.6 needed new tubes and i took the plunge to have it upgraded simultaneously to a Ref6 Special Edition. It’s now at the certified AR service centre and will be back within a couple of weeks :smiley:

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Unless I win the lottery, and even if I don’t win the lottery, can’t think of anything I want to change. Bought an EAR Phonobox a few months ago, not a major investment (bought for £1,000, sold Vertere for £650, so about $500 difference in USA money). I almost demo’d the Stellar Phono, but it was 2.5 times more expensive sand I just bought the EAR and was done with it.

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I just replaced my D&D 8c’s with a pair of BHK 300’s and Spatial Audio X5’s. The 8c’s are a wonderful solution and sound great but even with built is room correction I never could get them to sound “right” for lack of a better term. I was already driving the 8c’s with a BHK preamp so now the PSA chain is complete.

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You find my setup in my profile.

The upgrade I lust for is a black P15. It just makes so much sense - theoretically. I never heard a regenerator, and I have no idea how polluted my power is. And I’m broke. Still, I have alerts set on all platforms for a used machine that I can not afford. Silly me.

The other upgrade - that I know would make a HUGE difference - is acoustic room treatments. But that’s out of reach. It’s a family living room. Not a man cave. And I know it’s better that way…

The latest upgrade, ok tweak, didn’t work out. I ordered a DC Blocker from SupraCables. And the corresponding LoRad power cable. Total around 600 Euro. When putting that in front of my power strip, the hum from the transformers in my Farads doubled. I actually did not notice the hum before. Bummer. It’s a well respected, tested DC blocker from a so called “no BS” company. At worst it should change nothing. But - with it in the system: clear audible hum. Putting it out of the system: silence. Well, lesson learned. Some things are just good as they are. It might work wonders on other systems… I’m sending it back now.

And, oh, yes, a Technics SL1200G would be also something. And a Lumin U1 instead of my Lumin U1Mini. And…

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I was looking at that mat yesterday. May I ask: What differences do you hear when replacing the mat?

If there’s any chance you could try out a P15 for an in-home trial, I have a feeling it wouldn’t leave. I love mine and can’t imagine not having it.

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Ahh…upgrades. The triumph of hope over frugality. But what is life without hope?

Since early 2019, my system has been based on a SGCD feeding M700 monoblocks that drive Thiel CS2.2 speakers. I recently bought a BHK preamp (which is wonderful, by the way) and am now using the SGCD in DAC-only mode. I’m exploring some cable changes right now, using Cardas XLRs and Shunyata Delta power cords.

I plan to add an Innuos Zen Mk3 soon for use as a server/streamer, and I’m hoping to find the perfect DAC upgrade sometime next year.

Hope springs eternal!

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Couldn’t agree more. Marriage/family is the art of the compromise. The fact that my audio system is intended for family use is one of its main selling points and major changes become impracticable. I bought some acoustic panels from GIK and was told to send them back. Fortunately they have a 30-day return policy.

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My last two significant upgrades were an Innuos Zen Mk3 and Shunyata Delta NR. This was driven by my system having a software update making it Roon Ready. The Innuos replaced an Auralic streamer and network storage and it was a no-brainer.

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@stevensegal, I hope your Zen and Delta NR upgrades have worked out well. I’ve been told that the V2 version of the Delta NR power cord is fantastic due to the new conductor design. I hope that’s not just marketing hype. I’m currently waiting for a pair of Delta cords to arrive. I haven’t ordered the Zen yet, but I like what I’ve read about Innuos, and I don’t have the skill or patience to mess around with confusing computer set-up issues on my own.

@SDL The Zen is idiot-proof and I’ve never got involved in using devices that need putting together or modifying laptops. A V2 cable sounds like an opportunity to get a V1 at a discount. I bought the power cables based on a review and then a home trial, the dealer is local and had loan stock, so it was not a problem.

After I bought the Zen I bought an SSD QNAP for business use that would make an ideal Roon Core. If I had that at the time I might have purchased a dCS Bridge and used the QNAP for the Roon Core. That would have been a bit more expensive, but not much. A friend did that, he also needed a good AES/EBU cable. He’s very happy with it. He is also a Devialet owner.

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My next upgrade is continued optimization of room acoustic treatments. I now have GIK corner tri-traps in the (3) major corners (open floor plan) and one broad-band panel to the left and behind the listening position to make the partial wall “disappear”. The tri-traps are unique in that they offer a “range limiter” feature to reflect some higher frequencies which is very desirable for planar/dipole speakers where you want some back wall reflections.

To be added:

  • (4) 1’ x 4’ GIK 242 series ceiling “clouds” along the couch/sectional corner to act as bass traps and reflection reducers above the listening positions.
    image
  • (2) 2’ x 4’ GIK diffuser/absorber panels; (1) right behind the primary listening position on the kitchen island and (1) above the TV just between the speakers.
    image

I guess I’m lucky as my wife is very reasonable when it comes to these items in our living room. Fortunately she’s also an avid listener and appreciates great music with great sound.

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I have a new P20 on it’s way from PS Audio. It should be here sometime next week. I plan to sell my black P15, if your interested in buying used. It’s almost exactly a year old so it has about 2 years left on the warranty.

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