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  1. #1

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    Default I'm in a tail spin

    I'm looking to improve somewhere just not sure where. I was kicking around the idea of a new amp than talked myself out of that idea.

    Than I got on the tube preamp kick and pretty much talked myself out of it also. I guess I was worried that if I didn't like the sound it would be money wasted. So I decided to dip into tubes the easy way and I bought Pearsal001's tube buffer and am enjoying what it has done to my music. It has done two things noticeably well,it opened up the sound stage and it has taken some of the edge off from the SS sound.

    Now here's where I go into a tailspin. There was a thread about a cheap CD player recommendations(Mr Smith I think). He has the same CDP listed in his sig as me so I was curious as to what people's suggestions would be. Seems like the general consensus was a Dac with a few Jolida JD100a suggestions thrown in.

    If I go with the Jolida I can take the buffer out and hopefully have that nice tube sound and more detail in my music.

    Honestly reading the specs on Dacs is like speaking to me in Chinese. I don't have a clue so I go off from reviewsand suggestions. This is where your expertise comes in.

    Their is a W4S Dac1 on Agon with updated caps for $800. Supposedly the same caps as in the Dac2. If I understood correctly what I have read I could connect this to my CDP and also another piece of gear. Maybe a music streamer?

    So give me your thoughts and opinions. Go with a Dac or new CDP? W4S or something else? Jolida or something else?
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  2. #2

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    What's the budget? I'll recommend if you want a DAC/CDP to look hard at the Oppo 105. I'm sure there are better pure CDP's out there, but if you're wanting some bells and whistles like streaming, this should be VERY high on the list. I've not heard the 750, but have read many great reviews on it by people who's opinion I respect, so I wouldn't focus on that. The amps could definitely be a consideration for upgrades. While the 555 is a solid amp, it seems to have the reputation of a great "starter" amp. What is the full chain of cables you use? Depending on the answer, that might be the best return on your investment.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  3. #3

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    I don't think anything SS is going to float your boat. Try the Jolida.
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    Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeakers
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    | Jolida JD-100A CDP | Sansui TU-717 Tuner (Joseph Chow Mods)

  4. #4

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    The 105 was something that I have considered even though I'm not really into watching blurays or sacd.

    Cables: MIT Exp1 between amp and pre. Signal analog 2 for Ic's and Clear Day Double shotgun for speakers.

    Let's say budget is no more than $1500.00

    Starter amp was kind of my impression also.
    Last edited by ratster; 09-08-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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    Lsi15 w/Fortress mod.


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  5. #5

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    Doug's cables are an upgrade over the Exp1 for sure. What about power cables?
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Doug's cables are an upgrade over the Exp1 for sure. What about power cables?
    Signal and Pangea.
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  7. #7

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    Check out the Peachtree Nova Pre, nice dac and preamp with class A tube output. Really detailed and warm sounding with a great dac. Just a thought, i've been really happy with their products.

    http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/novapr...-with-dac.html
    Theater Room: Pioneer Elite SC-35, RTi12's, Csi5, Fxi5's, Fxi3's, ED A5-350 sub, Optoma HD20, 92'' Elite Screen, Sony BDPS790, Xbox One, APC H15, MIT Exp 2 SC's, Pepster PC's

    Living Room: Martin Logan ESL's, Peachtree Audio iNova, Zu Mission SC's & IC's, Pepster PC, Sharp Aquos 60'', AEX

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by B Run View Post
    Check out the Peachtree Nova Pre, nice dac and preamp with class A tube output. Really detailed and warm sounding with a great dac. Just a thought, i've been really happy with their products.

    http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/novapr...-with-dac.html
    I definitely did not have the same experience, and I went in wanting nothing more than for it to be my next purchase. It very well could have been the stock tube ruining everything though. The Marantz 2216 ran circles around it musically.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  9. #9

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    Hmm was it the Nova Pre? I started with the Nova and just upgraded to the iNova, which is surprisingly a huge upgrade in sound quality. I was happy with the Nova, Headrott hooked me up with an Amperex 7308 to swap out the 6922eh. The iNova has way more detail and air and added a noticeable depth to the soundstage, and that's with the stock 6n1p still in it which will be pulled out pretty soon. I think the biggest upgrade was the DAC chip and the upgraded caps. The Nova Pre is supposed to be quite a bit better as well. I've still never ran a true tube setup so it could easily be that I just don't know what i'm missing, but right now i'm really happy with where the sound is at. Keep in mind i'm running 97db efficient 12 ohm speakers so it might not have the same result with a more difficult load, just throwing it out there.
    Theater Room: Pioneer Elite SC-35, RTi12's, Csi5, Fxi5's, Fxi3's, ED A5-350 sub, Optoma HD20, 92'' Elite Screen, Sony BDPS790, Xbox One, APC H15, MIT Exp 2 SC's, Pepster PC's

    Living Room: Martin Logan ESL's, Peachtree Audio iNova, Zu Mission SC's & IC's, Pepster PC, Sharp Aquos 60'', AEX

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    Outdoor: Polk Atrium 5's, Yamaha Rxv371

  10. #10

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    Peachtree Nova. I paired it with the Ushers which is apparently quite easy to drive. It wasn't a load issue, it just didn't sound good. That was one of my biggest disappointments in audio so far, and given the praise those units have gotten, I really do think it had a lot to do with whatever tube was in it. Again, my doors are open for you to bring those Zu's up and hear what they can do in a dedicated room on full tube power...

    Rat, I'd be looking at the amps and DAC/CDP as main upgrade areas. I can speak from experience that the Exp1 and Pangea are good cables for the money, but Doug's cables are better. Right now I've got one of his PC's on my Preamp and its a good improvement over the Pangea AC-14 I was using.

    Another thought: have you thought about trying some simple, cheap mods to some pieces in your rig? I'm speaking of course about dynamat. You can get it for cheap now and it makes HUGE improvements for the investment.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  11. #11

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    Default

    I haven't played with Dynamat at all. I do have my CDP on Mapleshades brass footers and Maple platform. That little tweek did make a nice difference.

    I will check out Doug's pc's. I was also thinking about trying out a Shunyata.

    I'm still happy with my CDP so I guess I will think some more about a Dac. So I'm open for suggestions on a amp and dac.

    W4S amps any account? Would Parasound be a step up?
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  12. #12

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    What do you feel is not right with the sound?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    What do you feel is not right with the sound?
    I don't think their is really anything "not right" I'm just looking to improve. I want more clarity,detail,imaging etc...
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  14. #14

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    Gotten your ears on any new speakers lately? I've refrained until now, but you might look there too. As nice as they are, eventually you're going to outgrow those as well if you keep progressing in this hobby.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Gotten your ears on any new speakers lately? I've refrained until now, but you might look there too. As nice as they are, eventually you're going to outgrow those as well if you keep progressing in this hobby.
    No I haven't. Our selection of speakers locally is pretty much limited to Best Buy.
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  16. #16

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    Ok, here's my 2 cents. In order, upgrade the woofers and crossovers in your speakers (you'll be amazed at the improvement), install a dedicated 20 amp line or two (you'll be amazed at that improvement), get a new tube CDP (getting rid of the buffer and extra connections) and make all the cables the same brand, whatever choice that may be. At that point, I suspect you'll find those amps are the weak link.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  17. #17

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    ^^+1, what he said!^^

  18. #18

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    Thank you F1nut.


    Amp suggestions.?
    Last edited by ratster; 09-09-2013 at 07:58 AM.
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    Morrow Xlr
    Lsi15 w/Fortress mod.


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  19. #19

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    I know everyone has an opinion and there is no wrong or right answer on anyone's opinion. A lot of this is trial and error and as crazy as it sounds, that is also a lot of the fun for many of us. I have had suggestions from a lot of people on the board. Some were right on, some wasn't what I was looking for but, never regretted trying any of it. To me, that is the fun part, trying different things. That is another reason why a lot of us try to buy used and why a lot of us sell for better deals on this board, to help keep it going and make it more affordable to keep trying different things, buying and selling for basically what you paid for something - shipping. Its fun.

    Unfortunately one of the things you want to try out would have to be new right now, the oppo. Anything else is definitely worth the risk of trying out if you buy it at a decent price so you can resell what you paid for it.

    Here is my story: I had a jolida cd player and I loved the sound of it after I changed the tubes , dynamat, and put a better power cord on it. I wanted to get more into sacd, and digital. I sold the jolida, got a good sounding pioneer elite d9 for sacd, and a W4S dac2. I originally got the dac2 because I was going to use it as a preamp and sell my McIntosh preamp, but I was missing some of the sound of the jolida so I thought it must be the tube sound I am missing. Sold my McIntosh preamp and I got a AR SP16 preamp and after trying a few sets of tubes in it, much better but, still something I thought was missing!

    On redbook the w4s using the pioneer as a transport sounded fantastic, actually better then sacd! That started me on a journey to find a tube sacd player so I can have the tube sound of the jolida back for sacd . Found a Cayin tube sacd, Matched it up with some early 60's tubes and I now have the nice tube sound of the jolida on sacd, and the great sounding w4s dac for redbook, flac, and high rez.

    This was a long $ journey to try to better the sound of the jolida, and keep that sound with sacd and digital files!

    Would I do it again the same way? Im not sure but, it was fun trying out different things in my system! The jolida has a sound that Newrival said best, like a warm and fuzzy blanket vs some more analytical or more accurate. We had a fun test at his house actually with a few cd players and that was a fun night. I preferred the Jolida and he preferred the Musical Fidelity for different reasons. It depends on what sound you are looking for. Are you looking to get into digital files or stick with CD? LP?

    Sorry for the long post. There is no wrong or right answers. It depends on what you are looking for and what you want to spend. Every suggestion made here is a good one. It all depends on what route you want to take. If your not going to get into digital files and cd is your main source for music, to me a used jolida + better tubes and sell the buffer would be step 1. If your going to get into digital files, then I would take the opportunity to look into something else that would give you the sound you want and handle the digital files as well as a dac for your cd player. So, it all depends on what you want to do and what do you see in the near future as your music source will be.

  20. #20

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    In MY opinion, you'd need to up your game in the DAC department if you wish to significantly out-do that Rotel. The 1072 is no slouch. Seems to me an $800 DAC would be a move sideways.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  21. #21

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    I would vote for new speakers. The LSi series are nice, but for $1500 on the used market, you can do a fair amount better. I know auditioning speakers is a pain, but the gain will be well worth it.

    How are you using the two gfa-555s? I assume either bi-amping or bridged, but I would stay away from bridging with the LSis.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratster View Post
    Thank you F1nut.


    Amp suggestions.?
    Last on my list, so no suggestions right now.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  23. #23

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    I'm with F1.....Looking at the gear lineup, all are very solid pieces.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  24. #24

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    If something is "bugging" you about your system, and you can't quite put your finger on it-------->SPEAKERS.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  25. #25

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    I think the landscape is muddier than when he started this thread...
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratster View Post
    I don't think their is really anything "not right" I'm just looking to improve. I want more clarity,detail,imaging etc...
    You have nice gear so I'll play the room acoustic treatment card. You won't believe the difference it makes. If you do choose to chase other gear you are in a better position to hear the differences with a treated room. All the audio buzz words including the ones you mentioned come into play.

    GIK is my fav but there are others such as ATS, RealTraps, diy, etc. You can customize with fabric colors, even artsy images so they both function and look good.

    An old thread started by someone who was here and joined me.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...nt-Revelations
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by erniejade View Post
    I know everyone has an opinion and there is no wrong or right answer on anyone's opinion. A lot of this is trial and error and as crazy as it sounds, that is also a lot of the fun for many of us. I have had suggestions from a lot of people on the board. Some were right on, some wasn't what I was looking for but, never regretted trying any of it. To me, that is the fun part, trying different things. That is another reason why a lot of us try to buy used and why a lot of us sell for better deals on this board, to help keep it going and make it more affordable to keep trying different things, buying and selling for basically what you paid for something - shipping. Its fun.

    Unfortunately one of the things you want to try out would have to be new right now, the oppo. Anything else is definitely worth the risk of trying out if you buy it at a decent price so you can resell what you paid for it.

    Here is my story: I had a jolida cd player and I loved the sound of it after I changed the tubes , dynamat, and put a better power cord on it. I wanted to get more into sacd, and digital. I sold the jolida, got a good sounding pioneer elite d9 for sacd, and a W4S dac2. I originally got the dac2 because I was going to use it as a preamp and sell my McIntosh preamp, but I was missing some of the sound of the jolida so I thought it must be the tube sound I am missing. Sold my McIntosh preamp and I got a AR SP16 preamp and after trying a few sets of tubes in it, much better but, still something I thought was missing!

    On redbook the w4s using the pioneer as a transport sounded fantastic, actually better then sacd! That started me on a journey to find a tube sacd player so I can have the tube sound of the jolida back for sacd . Found a Cayin tube sacd, Matched it up with some early 60's tubes and I now have the nice tube sound of the jolida on sacd, and the great sounding w4s dac for redbook, flac, and high rez.

    This was a long $ journey to try to better the sound of the jolida, and keep that sound with sacd and digital files!

    Would I do it again the same way? Im not sure but, it was fun trying out different things in my system! The jolida has a sound that Newrival said best, like a warm and fuzzy blanket vs some more analytical or more accurate. We had a fun test at his house actually with a few cd players and that was a fun night. I preferred the Jolida and he preferred the Musical Fidelity for different reasons. It depends on what sound you are looking for. Are you looking to get into digital files or stick with CD? LP?

    Sorry for the long post. There is no wrong or right answers. It depends on what you are looking for and what you want to spend. Every suggestion made here is a good one. It all depends on what route you want to take. If your not going to get into digital files and cd is your main source for music, to me a used jolida + better tubes and sell the buffer would be step 1. If your going to get into digital files, then I would take the opportunity to look into something else that would give you the sound you want and handle the digital files as well as a dac for your cd player. So, it all depends on what you want to do and what do you see in the near future as your music source will be.
    Than you. I asked for opinions and yours is valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    In MY opinion, you'd need to up your game in the DAC department if you wish to significantly out-do that Rotel. The 1072 is no slouch. Seems to me an $800 DAC would be a move sideways.
    I guess I'm looking at it from the technology has advanced point of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by nwohlford View Post
    I would vote for new speakers. The LSi series are nice, but for $1500 on the used market, you can do a fair amount better. I know auditioning speakers is a pain, but the gain will be well worth it.

    How are you using the two gfa-555s? I assume either bi-amping or bridged, but I would stay away from bridging with the LSis.
    I agree on the speakers.That sig is misleading. I'm only running one the other is in the closet waiting on me to decide what I'm doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Last on my list, so no suggestions right now.
    I'll check back with you again. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD View Post
    I'm with F1.....Looking at the gear lineup, all are very solid pieces.
    Thank you

    BDT
    thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    If something is "bugging" you about your system, and you can't quite put your finger on it-------->SPEAKERS.
    That thought has crossed my mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    I think the landscape is muddier than when he started this thread...
    Not like it would be the first time it's happened here

    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    You have nice gear so I'll play the room acoustic treatment card. You won't believe the difference it makes. If you do choose to chase other gear you are in a better position to hear the differences with a treated room. All the audio buzz words including the ones you mentioned come into play.

    GIK is my fav but there are others such as ATS, RealTraps, diy, etc. You can customize with fabric colors, even artsy images so they both function and look good.



    An old thread started by someone who was here and joined me.






    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...nt-Revelations
    Lol. Gik is waiting on the material from Guilford.
    Main
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    Clear Day Dbl.Shotgun
    Morrow Xlr
    Lsi15 w/Fortress mod.


    Bedroom
    HK3490
    Marantz 5003
    Monitor 70 II
    Signal cables

  28. #28

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    Knowing that you're using the single 555, I'd recommend you look harder at the amp, but still not sure if its the first place I'd tackle. Room treatments are a biggie and definitely worth an investment. You do get a lot better feel for your gear when the room is in proper order. My ushers lost a lot of treble yet added tremendous detail and imaging once treatment was done. Adding dynamat to my amps and pre added another layer of clarity, and also reduced the treble more. Killing sound waves/vibrations in the gear is something all should consider, regardless of the level they play the game. In some cases, just a little can go a very long ways.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  29. #29

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    Thanks DSkip. Dynamatting my speakers,CDP and pre were on my "try list" but I figured the heat from the amp would effect it's adhesion.
    Main
    Parasound P5
    Parasound A21
    Cambridge Audio tuner
    Yaquin tube buffer (PearsAll)
    Rotel RCD1072
    Clear Day Dbl.Shotgun
    Morrow Xlr
    Lsi15 w/Fortress mod.


    Bedroom
    HK3490
    Marantz 5003
    Monitor 70 II
    Signal cables

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