Advice on System Upgrade

LeoGooner

Standard Member
I could certainly use some upgrade advice. My current system is below, I have included when I bought it and how much I paid as this has, rightly or wrongly, informed my thinking to date:

Rega RP 1 turntable (with original cartridge) 2011, £229
NAD C370 amp 2001, £405
Pro-ject The Phono Box preamp 2001, £40
Bluesound Node2 streamer 2017, £475
Monitor Audio Silver 8i speakers 2001, £610
Van Den Hul Snowtrack speaker cable (2x5m bi-wired) 2001, £100
Van Den Hul D102.3.8 interconnect 2001, £50

I don't want to replace the streamer and I don’t listen to vinyl enough to justify upgrading the turntable. I also have a CD player, tuner and tape machine and won’t be replacing them, but would like to be able to use them with a new amp. I like the sound but want to improve the soundstage, detail and low end.

I started out thinking I should spend about double what my current components cost to get a good improvement, so about £2000 for amp and speakers and maybe another £300 on cartridge upgrade, cables etc. I've no idea if I've got that right. I would prefer an amp with a phono stage and headphone output, and floorstanding speakers. I haven't really considered separate pre/power amps and imagine I would need to significantly up the budget for this.

I am talking to my local dealer but their stock is very limited. I have been looking at possible amps (Rega, Naim, Marantz, Roksan) and speakers (Wharfedale, Fyne, Acoustic Energy, B&W) but having been out of the hi fi market for some time, realise I need to better understand two things:

1. the price/quality relationship – if I was to spend £3000 rather than £2000, would that make a significant difference? Of course this is largely subjective but more informed views than mine will help.
2. I use hi fi in the traditional way I guess (and resisted streaming for some time). I don't plan to use the TV, bluetooth, USB devices etc with the hi fi so I'm thinking I'd be OK going for a purely analogue amp?

Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
 

[email protected]

Active Member
You might consider keeping the electronics and looking at just speakers. One reason I can think to replace the electronics is if you think you would benefit from one of the systems that tailors frequency response to compensate for the room.

I’ve moved to just a Powernode 2i plus speakers, not because I use streaming from the internet, but because it’s easier to use a large library if I rip it all to files on my Mac and select music from my iPad. I had nearly the same amp you do (C372). But it was starting to make noise, so it was easiest just to get the Powenode, which is a Node plus amp, and thus replace it. There are higher end equivalents with better specs. Whether better sound is unclear to me.
 
Last edited:

Paul7777x

Member
I’d start off with the Lyngdorf TDAi 1120.

And replacing the cartridge in the Rega.

You’d no longer need the phono amp, or the streamer or the amp.

And you’d get the enormous benefit of RoomPerfect which can’t really be overstated.

Following that and having sold the above to add to your budget I’d consider something like these.


Or,


I’d further suggest that this would be all the hifi you’d ever need.
 

English Invader

Active Member
I don't want to replace the streamer and I don’t listen to vinyl enough to justify upgrading the turntable. I also have a CD player, tuner and tape machine and won’t be replacing them, but would like to be able to use them with a new amp. I like the sound but want to improve the soundstage, detail and low end.

The sources may be the root of your dissatisfaction with your system. If your speakers are any good, they'll get better each time another component is replaced.

I'm using a pair of Castle speakers from the 70s and they're currently the last man standing in my system. Every other component has been replaced since they came in and each time a component was upgraded the sound got better.

You'll be surprised how much good quality amplification and sources can inform the soundstage, detail and low end you get from the speakers. The speakers can only reproduce what's given to them from the sources at the other end of the line and if they're not up to snuff a new pair of speakers will only leave you feeling disappointed.
 

LeoGooner

Standard Member
You might consider keeping the electronics and looking at just speakers. One reason I can think to replace the electronics is if you think you would benefit from one of the systems that tailors frequency response to compensate for the room.

I’ve moved to just a Powernode 2i plus speakers, not because I use streaming from the internet, but because it’s easier to use a large library if I rip it all to files on my Mac and select music from my iPad. I had nearly the same amp you do (C372). But it was starting to make noise, so it was easiest just to get the Powenode, which is a Node plus amp, and thus replace it. There are higher end equivalents with better specs. Whether better sound is unclear to me.
Thanks hedrick
the Powernode 2i looks good but doesn't have the line inputs I need. I'm also thinking its best to keep streamer and amp separate, as I will want to upgrade the Node2 at some point.
 

LeoGooner

Standard Member
I’d start off with the Lyngdorf TDAi 1120.

And replacing the cartridge in the Rega.

You’d no longer need the phono amp, or the streamer or the amp.

And you’d get the enormous benefit of RoomPerfect which can’t really be overstated.

Following that and having sold the above to add to your budget I’d consider something like these.


Or,


I’d further suggest that this would be all the hifi you’d ever need.
Thanks Paul
I've not come across the Lyngdorf, will take a look. I also hadn't thought about buying used, I will check this out too so thanks for the tip.
 

LeoGooner

Standard Member
The sources may be the root of your dissatisfaction with your system. If your speakers are any good, they'll get better each time another component is replaced.

I'm using a pair of Castle speakers from the 70s and they're currently the last man standing in my system. Every other component has been replaced since they came in and each time a component was upgraded the sound got better.

You'll be surprised how much good quality amplification and sources can inform the soundstage, detail and low end you get from the speakers. The speakers can only reproduce what's given to them from the sources at the other end of the line and if they're not up to snuff a new pair of speakers will only leave you feeling disappointed.
Thanks English
you make a good point. I was thinking I would change the amp first to see how it affects the existing speakers. Of the sources, the Node2 is by far what I use most - I have ripped my CDs in FLAC to a NAS, and use Amazon HD. I've not had the Node2 too long and when I did comparison auditions (back when we could do these!) it was far and away the best so I haven't considered changing it just yet . . . will definitely be upgrading the Rega cartridge
 

Paul7777x

Member
Thanks Paul
I've not come across the Lyngdorf, will take a look. I also hadn't thought about buying used, I will check this out too so thanks for the tip.

Used is a great way to a serious bargain and some excellent engineering for your cash. Especially speakers.
 

The latest video from AVForums

65-inch LG C1 Review coming soon to AVForums
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom