Dedicated AC lines and/or a phono cartridge.
A Low Output Moving Coil Cartridge is an option for an upgrade . Your Phono Stage will handle the Low Output .
If you buy Used with Low Hours of use you might only spend $250 to $600 depending on Make and Model . You can find a Shelter 501 mk II , Dynavector 20XL , Lyra Lydian Beta Used for about $600 or less . An AudioTechnica ML 09 mkII or Denon 103R can be found for $250.00 or less .
I have bought a number of Used Cartridges on AudiogoN [ at least 25 ] and all but one was as described in the Ad . I was able to get my money back on the one that wasn't .
Eveyone of the Cartriges Listed above is a MAJOR Upgrade to the Dyna 10X5 .
Now if you wanted to spend all $1000 on a Cartridge , well that opens up whole other level of performance .
How about beefing up your power conditioning. I would replace the Furman 1215 with a Furman Elite-15 PFi and also add a PS Audio Quintet. Plug your Audiolab integrated into one of the "Power Factor" outlets on the Elite-15, and plug the Quintet into one of the regular outlets. The rest of your components, would be isolated by the zones in the Quintet. Just one of many options, good luck!
I will upgrade the speakers later to Michael Green Chameleons or something else but that's not $1k upgrade.
Dedicated line is not possible in the apartment. I was thinking about big cartridge upgrade or adding power amp. I don't think that low compliance and heavy MC will work well with this arm. The cheapest Lyra, don't remember the model, is light and medium compliance, so it should work. But I have no idea how it will actually sound in this arm and the whole set-up.
My view would be to replace the Audiolab. This amp is quite mechanical sounding and in the states you have access to some great pre/power amps at wonderful prices second hand. Because the Audiolab can be split you could do the power amp first, use the Audiolab as a preamp only, then upgrade the preamp later. I like tube pre with solid state power combo's for ease of use and compatibility speakers.
Audiolab was actually the first piece in the current system. I myself am surprised how much performance you can sometimes extract from a modest piece of equipment.
So far no one mentioned upgrading the tonearm, adding DAC to the player or getting super $1k interconnect. Or super isolation platform for the table or/and the rest of the stuff.
I currently have a pair of PBN Montana speakers ... I use a Lyngdorf TDAi2200 with room correction that does a better job than the mechanical tunig of the MGD speakers to allow for more flexible placement in the room
I am not sure what speakers I initially replaced the MGD's with but I think it was a pair of Rethm's ... sold the pair MGD Classic 60's and 3ea Studio 5's to a friend for a surround system ... he still has them and they sound awesome
This thread is a bit old for now and I don't know if you upgraded your stuff or not... However, here are some things coming to my mind...
If you listen to turntable A LOT upgrade the cartridge. Dyna 10x5 is essentially one of their entry level carts so if you like Dyna sound you can get a Dyna Karat such as 17D2MKII or other. This should be a huge improvement.
If you listen to cassettes A LOT get your NAK 682 ZX tuned up/brought to specs by a pro. There are small companies doing this, such as Will Herrmann or ESL, or individuals who could do the same for less. I serviced my Dragon with one them and Im very happy with results.
If you listen to CDs A LOT, consider upgrading your CDP or better get someone tweak it to improve performance. I tweaked my Cambridge Audio 640 V. II and was pleasantly surprised with results.
Here is another, shortgun approach that works if you live in a large metropolis area, have some funds to spend and adventurous mind. Look at LOCAL ads in Craigslist, Audiogon etc and found a piece of gear that you like for some reason and which fits your budget. Buy it and audit in your system; keep it if you like and sell if you dont.
I didn't upgrade anything yet.
I do listen to my Nak a lot and I did have it fully tuned and aligned by Willy Hermann less than a year ago. So much better than before.
I of course listen to the table too and make recordings on the Nak.
CD player does not see much play time.
I am not so sure that I like Dyna sound really, it is yes/no situation. In any case, I decided to upgrade the cartridge for now; it appears most logical. So it might be Karat that you mentioned or Lyra Dorian or perhaps I will try better MM.
Upgrading amp is tough, that's expensive. It'll take some time but I will get Rowland Concentra 1 or 2 or older Rowland separates, but I am looking here at $2500 at least. Maybe Gryphon integrated but they are very rare. Perhaps older Audiolab separates before Rowland, but again they are very rare.