Upgrade Options - PC or Seperates

daveymck

Standard Member
I currently have two setups one while working at my laptop and the other a hifi separate's, tend to spen 4-6 hours a day listening on laptop and couple evenings on the separates. Worth pointing out that separates is in a large conservatory (I know) so i do near field listening - no option on the battle to move my "mancave" into another room.

Tend to be listening to metal - more post metal and doom/melodeth with some progressive metal so bands like Solstafir, Seon, Paradise Lost, Boss Keloid and bunch of black metal (more melodic end often with traditional instruments mixed in). At the lighter end will listen to New Model Army, Tom Petty and some trad metal Maiden/metallica etc. So isnt a bunch of genres required, i the past have been drawn to the Naim and Grado sounds.

Have around £1600 to invest into my systems but have to be honest so confused with dac's and streamers as well as speakers etc which way to go with this and how to split to get best bang for buck in both systems, instinctively the pc system seems the one to invest more into. Have been down a black hole of research the last few days.

Current systems

Amazon HD (Laptop) > jitterbug > Chord mojo > Bowers and Wilkins P9 Signature

Amazon HD (Laptop) > Jitterbug > Chord mojo > chord clearway interconnect > Roksan Kandy KA-1 Mk3 >Audioquest Rocket 11 Cable > B& W 685 S2 - Have a CD player and turntable but dont tend to use them.

I also have Grado RS2 headphones which I love the sound of but cant use as share the office space so need closed backed Headphones, would like to get closer to that sound though if possible, do understand the limitations of closed backs though.

Had been looking at different headphones - Beyerdynamic T5P, Audeze LCD-2 closed back maybe some Focals.

But searching have seen recommendations of other desktop dac/amps RME Dac2, IFI etc etc am happy and wedded to Amazon HD for now as seems to have more of the newer albums I listen too in hd rez compared to tidal that I used to use so native support for that is important. Not sure if any of these would improve on the mojo.

On the separate's system was looking at maybe adding a streamer so dont have to cart the laptop around the house but thats a minor inconvenience and would I get a better sound out of say a bluesound node? - again being on Amazon seems to limit the options Naim and Cambridge Audio dont support.

Or do I upgrade the amp - go back to Naim (had a nait 5 in the past) or the speakers maybe some Neat or Dali ones that I understand tend to be good for metal.

Am happy to go new or into the second hand market.

Help!!!
 

gava

Well-known Member
I'm struggling to see your upgrade path.

You are probably not going to make things sound massively better for £1600, you have a pretty good setup already, so instead I would concentrate on convenience and variety.

On your separates system you are listening nearfield so power is not the key concern.

A streamer is a good idea, and as you say because of Amazon something like a Node makes good sense or alternatively a dedicated phone or tablet with USB output into a nice DAC. However I think a better solution would perhaps be the Marantz PM7000N which gives a lot of streaming flexibility, has a good DAC, can do Amazon, but Bluetooth and everything else too, it has plenty of power for nearfield listening. This would remove the laptop & Mojo from the separates system - you could just go sit there without carrying a bunch of stuff with you.

On the laptop side I'd say go for an extra pair of headphones. Closed back limits your options of course..
Keeping the price < £1,000 I'd say:
  • Dan Clarke Aeon 2 Closed
  • Focal Celestee
  • Sony MDR Z7Mk2 (If you have long listening sessions these are superb - they are supremely comfortable)
  • Beyerdynamic T5p (I have the gen 2 and they are nice for more active listening, but overall I prefer the Sony)
  • Audeze LCD2- closed.
The main thing would be to go for something a bit different from what you have now since headphones have very different sounds.
 

old45s

Standard Member
I'm somewhat similar i.e. running two set-ups albeit not conventional.

My main playback set-up is CD player thru mixer to Active speakers.
Alternative set-up is Asus Laptop thru Cambridge DAC to mixer to Active speakers.

All my laptop music files are WAV. lossless from either CD's or needledrops.
I find the SQ I'm hearing from both the CDP and the Laptop is identical to my 60 y.o. ears.

So, your question - CD or Separates... for me, using a *MIXER with Laptop AND CD Player plugged in, I can play either, or either, together or separately. No moving stuff or switching of cables.

*I don't recommend using a DJ Mixer... just a standard mixer.
 

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