After Several Years, Time to Upgrade: Your Suggestions


My Audio System for the last few Years:

-  Peachtree iDecco 1 (as digital dac/preamp only)
-  Paradigm Reference Active/40 Speakers
-  Harmonic Technology Truth Link Interconnect
-  Vandersteen V2W Subwoofer with Velodyne Sub-crossover
-  Lenovo T410 Laptop Server (Win7 Pro, Samsung SSD, 8gb RAM, JRiver 21, Halide USB/SPDIF Bridge)
- Music: jazz, classic r&r, folk

I'd like to upgrade and am thinking I'll start with the DAC/Pre and simplify subwoofer set-up. Have about $3k to spend.  I have not kept up with the latest and greatest in audio and really appreciate the very knowledgeable folks on this forum. Would love to get your input and recommendations. Thanks very much for your time.

Matt

pirius
Peachtree is selling off their 225 watt integrated/DAC for about half price
Have you upgraded the unbranded Chinese tube in the iDecco?I was blown away when I changed the tube in my PTA MusicBox with a 1953 Mullard Long Plate.
How about room treatments?A simple re tube & a well treated room will go a loooong way in terms of sound quality.
Have not changed the tube. Will look to make that change. Do have some room treatments.  Thanks a lot for your time.
I would sell the Peachtree and the Paradigm speakers.
I would replace them with a high quality integrated ss amp, a Bifrost DAC and Magnepan 1.7 speakers or Vandersteen 2CE Sigs. I would keep the Vandy sub and crossover.

The 1.7's would really sound great with Jazz. But the 2CE's would match up with the sub very well and can be driven more easily. Also good wit jazz.
The Parasound integrated would be an excellent choice. But there are others too....
First things first.  What are you looking to accomplish with an upgrade?


Matt-

the pre-amp is the "heart" of any system. Choose the best that you can afford. Happy Listening!
What am I trying to accomplish?

Most important, on jazz recordings:  (1) truer tonality on piano, reed, brass, vocal; (2) better definition/pace on subtler dynamic shadings -- especially cymbals and snare; increased sense of instrumental space/ambience.
If you wish to keep your speakers, I think you are on the right path with your idea to upgrade the pre and DAC. Good luck with whatever you choose!

TEAC UD-501, no need for pre, this one got NOS mode too. For cables, go Mogami ( make sure you use the right ones for the right application)

Here is a link for a first reflection point calculator:

http://www.acoustic.ua/forms/calculator4.en.html

Although they use cm’s for measurement but you can put inches in the boxes and get the same results. Using this greatly improved the sound quality in my room. I had my reflection points all wrong using a mirror and far too much on the front and back walls. Correcting with the calculator and tuning the room took my system up several notches to the WOW point...saved big $!

Enjoy

Pirius,

Last year was a major equipment upgrade year for me, learning all sorts of new stuff about audio and sound quality.  It all sounded great, when I "dialed in" the new speakers, then all bets were off, adding new sub woofers, as the acoustics of my (new) room were just an awful match for the subs.

After trying all sorts of "fixes" I discovered the joys that room treatments could offer, eventually installing ten bass traps purchased one or two at a time from ATS Acoustics.

The best tools for helping me with the room treatments was downloading "REW" (Room EQ Wizard) and purchasing a miniDSP UMIK-1 USB-connected calibration microphone.  Took the guesswork out of where to place the bass traps, best crossover points/volume/EQ settings for the subs.

I now had a wide smile on my face!
Wowowow .... these posts are like gold for me in terms of knowledge-sharing. I am learning so much. Thanks and keep those cards and letters coming in!

Matt
Matt-

where are you? Who are your nearest dealers/retailers?
Westchester County, New York

The only dealers I know of locally are Lyric, White Plains and Accent on Sound, Mt. Kisco. Then of course are the NYC dealers -- 40 miles away.
basically within an hour or so you can hear almost everything...
an hours travel time, not listening time...
So, took the first step.

Bought a CJ PV-8 pre-amp, fully restored by Bill Thalman. Just subbing that in place of the Peachtree has been hard to believe. How can there be such a difference? (rhetorical question). Absolutely amazing.

Next,
- restore my Rega Planar 2 (new belt, etc.)
- new cartridge (yikes where do I begin?)
- new X-1 interface for Peachtree DACIT