Change my AA front-end

I'm suspecting my AA digital gear may not be providing ALL the bass energy possible IMS. My buddie has the same Sonatina speakers and even on 6" granite platforms has better bass response. Of course, his room is smaller, but I believe his Theta transport and EVS dac are just that much better in the bottom-end. My gear> AA transport / dtipro.32 (ad.3 ditter) jitter filter / ddev3.0 dac with Dusty Vawter's mod and Perpetual Technology op-amp upgrade / M.P.S. dedicated power supply for dde-dti. I'm using Audio Magic i2s mystic reference silver throughout. BMI Whale Elite power cords on & M.P.S.

Not having sampled any other CDPs lately I'm interested in recommendations for a CDP (new or used) that would improve apon the AA gear and be purchased for what the AA could be sold for. I don't want to get into seperates or put anything into the upgrade. SACD is not an important consideration. I'm using a Moth s45 SET integrated amp with the Sonatinas and Shunyata Hydra PLC. The only areas I want to improve are bass weight and overall fullness to the presentation. I'm also looking into adding a tube preamp down the road. Thanks.
I have no idea what an AA is. Therefore, I will just say that if you are considering a new cd player, I would highly recommend the Sony SCD-1 SACD/cd player. It is everything the reviewers have said it is. Strong bass, articulate, smooth and yet very detailed highs, excellent decay, etc., and a refined synergy of the music as a whole.

I had owned and still own a Sony DVP s9000es dvd/SACD/cd 2-channel unit. The s9000es is a very nice all around unit. Certainly not the best sonically but it will get you about 7 or 8/10's of the way there.

The SCD-1 is simply better in every sonic category and may get you perhaps 9/10's or more of the way there.

personally, i don't think the front end is your problem. i had the same front end driving a power amp direct with exactly the same problem. once i put an audible illusions tubed preamp in, all the fullness and bass suddenly appeared. i'd tend to blame it on the passive attenuator in your moth. hope this helps, harry
AA refers to the defunct Audio Alchemy. Isn't the SCD-1 Sonys top-of-the-line player? Like I said I wasn't looking for the best, just something better than my AA gear which is about 6 years old technology-wise. Thanks for taking the time.
Thanks, I agree that is another avenue I'm looking into. But seeing my front-end is/has been the weakest link in the system I thought I might upgrade it first and THEN consider a tube preamp.
Out of curiosity, what kind of pre / amp is your buddy using ? Quite honestly, i would not expect phenomenal bottom end out of any SET amp. I will add that the Millennium's are VERY solid in terms of bass extension and weight, so that may be a factor. Sean
He is using a Theta basic II transport / Melos Gold preamp with nice tubes and lastest upgrades / AES Super amp with the Amperex EL34's. He is using some killer power cords but I've always noted the heavier bass from his Sonatinas than from mine, so its not the umbilicals or tubes or amp. I've heard about 4 different amps IHS also. Funny thing I'm using 24x12x4" polished granite platforms under my Sonatinas and he turns around a get 6" granite bases and he stills has better bass! That was one area that IMS the granite didn't help.
Personally I wouldn't change your AA front-end either,I'm not sure (although others will argue otherwise)that the new generation of DAC's,or new format players will really give you a justified improvement of the type you are looking for.
Ideally try to get a home demo of those players that you think will make a difference and decide if you get the sound you are searching for.
I was shocked to find that a MSB Link 3 Dac-with upsampling capability and dedicated power supply was nowhere near my Dtiv2/DDE3 in terms of presentation,weight and musicality.
MikE, how much money are we talking? You claim you'd like to buy a cd player for what you could sell your seperates for, what do you believe you could sell your seperates for? I also agree that an active preamp will give you more bass slam.

I tend to go with the pre-amp as the fix for your problem. If I may throw a question in also, I too have the AA DDS transport. Does anyone know where or if it is possible to get a schematic for it? The display has went dim, very dim, it is visible barely when the lights are off, and I would like to try and troubleshoot it too fix it.
What are you using with the Have you compared this front-end to anything a bit more current? I'll Email Dusty Vawters, he has a forum on
Thanks for the ideas. Drf24> About the schematic, Dusty Vawters informed me that this information/parts list could be gotten from Pioneer Parts dept. directly Good Luck. As far as my price range, I want to limit that to what I could get out of my AA gear (see above+Audio Magic silver 12s cables)=$1000-1200?

Keeping this in mind what do you guys think of this idea. I get a Pioneer 440/444 cd/dvd player on Ebay for 'round $140-$250 then have Dan Wright tweak it to death (see his webpage), this would run between $200-400. Then I would use an out-board DAC, like the Bel Canto tubed dac which I can get used for $450-500. I'm inclined NOT to go the preamp route only because of the status of my front-end, that before I do another serious upgrade I should address THAT first. Whata think?