No mention of AC stuff. I would suggest replacing the main AC duplex wall thing for starters. At least the one serving the amplifier. Plenty of folks will chime in with their favorite. I bought all Furutech GTX for my setup. The Rhodium takes way way longer to break in. but is way better than the gold.. eventually. LOL
Then power cords. another perennial million different suggestions..If you do go for the Furutech, I suggest Pangea AC4XL, which also have no brass, all copper plugs parts (like the Furutech)
And a conditioner. The hot commodity now is the AudioQuest 1000, or 5000 models. If you did consider the 5000, then other ones to compare would be a PS Audio regenerator..
If you own zero LP albums I say DO NOT go to turntable etc. A total money pit only good if you already have a pile of LPs..
I also would not change amps if you like the sound you now have. The AC stuff will move the sound up way more than a slightly better amplifier etc.
One plus of upgrading the AC is even if later you do want to change amplifiers etc, the upgrades to the AC will benefit those products too.
Bad case of upgrade fever
Please share a comprehensive list of symptoms and what your problem(s) are?....Before diagnosis and treatment....
The panels you have are more than likely OC703 covered with fabric https://www.amazon.com/Owens-Corning-703-Fiberglass-Boards/dp/B005V3L834
These are even more effective cut as triangles placed in the 4 corners of the ceiling, and cut as rectangles placed along the corners where the side and front walls meet the ceiling. Much the same effects you’re hearing only even more so because these are much more effective locations for treatment.
Okay so that’s zero dollars of your $5k budget and already the room is even better. What next?
Keep going! Synergistic Research HFTs will give you improvements in detail, image resolution, bass definition and liquid top end extension far beyond anything you can get with acoustic panels. Their ECTs will do the same for your components as the HFTs do for your room. With your budget you could completely treat your whole system and room and still have funds left for the FEQ and some Blue Quantum Fuses. Unless you are sick and tired of one or more of your components I just don’t see getting anywhere near the improvement for the dollar from a new component like what you can get from the right tweaks like these.
[Edit: "tweaks like these" also definitely includes power cords, AC outlets and stuff like Elizabeth mentions.]
I have to ask why replace the duplex recept if you’re still on a branch circuit?
My input would be begin with an isolated/designated circuit first, factoring in a hospital grade recep at the very least.
@elizabeth ...I’ve kept up with a lot of your posts and you’re one smart cookie. Please do not think I’m messing with ya, just a different approach.
Where'd you place the panels? Are bass traps in the corners (especially) at the speaker end of the room? Cheers,
The Isotek Aquarius is also an excellent power conditioner.
Keep the Hautonga..... It is a very good Integrated.
I would agree with suggestions on cleaning up the AC feeding your gear.
Just a very good power conditioner made a very audible difference in my room. Then I went and put it on a separate 20a line with SR Blue duplex and SR Blue fuses. Homemade power cords just cos I can.....
Upgraditis is a serious illness my friend, very hard to cure!
Just a quick update from my post this morning. I also have a Furnam Elite 20 PFi AC power source that everything Plugs into. I also have Pangea power cords on all components and the speakers. Sorry, I forgot to add these components to my original post.
My room is 12 feet wide. My speakers are 3 feet from back wall, and 2.5 feet from side walls. The bass traps went into the corners, and the acoustic panels went to the first reflection point on the side walls. The back of my room (behind listening position) is open as it continues beyond my seating about six feet. Since these are electrostatic speakers, no ceiling treatment is needed, and my floor is carpeted.
I do like the sound of the Plinius, but wondering if an upgrade to better amp/preamp or integrated would enhance the sound, or what moving to a tube integrated like the Primaluna would do.
Thank you for the suggestions so far!!!
I have no idea how good your digital source is and won't comment on that. I agree with your thinking, I guess, you might want better integrated/separates to bring more out of your speakers. Messing around with power cords, cables and duplexes makes little sense before major equipment upgrade. You want not only better amp but amp with much better power supply. And you might want to take your $5k a bit higher, saving couple of thousands might defeat the purpose of serious upgrade. I like to upgrade in big steps even if it is only one power cord.
Thank you again everyone. Curious, no comments about moving to a tube integrated like the Primaluna HP or others. Is that because there is no advantage or appreciable sound difference?
@smills59 Steve, You've listed what you have, which is important and a good start.
I believe you will get higher value and more pertinent and specific advice if you share what you want / need / would like to have / are missing, etc. etc. Having well defined goals will also allow you to sift through and sort out what members will offer up.
All the best. - David.
No reason to replace the Hautonga.
Concentrate on power outlets, power cords, and power conditioning.
Admitting you are addicted is not the first step to recovery.
What? No tweaks? I’m shocked!
I now run a PrimaLuna Dialogue integrated. It sounds wonderful. I have sensitive speakers and don't need the HP model power.
I came back to tubes after a 5 year absence and had owned an Almarro 318B SET amp, BAT VK60 and a Consonance push-pull design. I had gotten tired of tube maintenance, monitoring life, system hum etc. What I use now is dead quiet, tubes self bias and there is extensive protection circuitry. This PL design takes all the hassle out of tube ownership IMO. I'm sure there are other mfgs out there that make tube power a simple, reliable proposition.
Sell your DAC and Bryston BDP-1. Buy a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC and add a Bridge II. This will give you an excellent DAC and Streamer. PS Audio will continue to upgrade your DAC for free. Add footers to your speakers.
Next upgrade: add a power regeneration.
Get your speakers real amp, integrated Plinius is not good enough. Improving the source is always a good idea. Regenerators don't work well in all cases, though usually work well for the source components.
Thank you everyone! I'm going to look into the power suggestions, and also start a new post regarding a tube amp for my system. I've made the decision to change the Plinius to tube, if I can find the right one. If not, I'll keep the Plinius. It will be fun to try something new, and tubes will also be a major change. I think I like the idea of tube rolling--might keep me busy for a few years.