I need help with this please.


I currently have a Yamaha as500 integrated amp and my music collection is almost all on an external hard drive for my lap top. I also want to listen to spotify,etc. Do I add an external DAC to the Yamaha or do I sell the Yamaha and replace with A wyred 4 sound m-INT, or Hegel, etc. The yamaha seems a bit bright, but I will eventually upgrade the speakers so the real question is... for a few hundred bucks more, will I get (upgraded?) better sound? from a class d integrated with built in dac (like peachtree /W4S) or am I better off just adding an external dac. I think the convenience of an all-in-one would be nice I'd like to stay at the price point of maybe a peach tree, W4S, NAD356dac, or used Hegel. Your experiences and thoughts please? Room is about 15 x 18. Future speakers may be kef ls50 or psb imagine, etc. Thanks! (Just trying to get nice system for the $)
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128labguy
You are overthinking this. Been there, done that!

Assuming your speaker upgrade is not in the distant future, I suggest you do nothing now and think thoroughly through the speaker plus amp combo. Spend as much as you can there, listen to as many combinations as you can. Do not assume expensive speakers plus expensive amp will sound the best. You might get best sound by getting extremely good speakers and a good but not powerful amp.
A while back The Absolute Sound listed a Wilson speaker plus a small integrated...was it Moon?...as a fantastic combo. Just as an example. I'm not saying you should spend that kind of money, but the amp wasn't something that would usually be considered a pairing to that speaker.

Digital evolves fast. Do not over spend there. This is coming from someone using digital (computer) as my only source!

If you only plan to use digital as source, think about eventually having a DAC driving an amp driving the speakers. Otherwise, a good integrated amp would probably be a good choice.

Probably a good idea would be to research the speakers people use with SET/low powered amps. You could probably drive those easily with a Peachtree, for example.

My two cents. I hope it helps.
The Yamaha will not be magically transformed by changing speakers, so forget that. The Peachtree I have heard at Newport show and it's quite good. Another option is to get the Sony HAP-Z1ES. The Sony delivers the SQ and has a decent DAC. The Sony driving a good amp will amaze you. Good amps are hard to find however. I recommend buying used on Audiogon. A good amp is the Wells Audio.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I agree with the aforementioned responses as I also have a computer based system. I have taken the advise from both these posters and thank them again.

So it seems that you are looking for advise developing a new computer based system. My position on this is to first establish a budget that would allow for the purchase of the speakers, integrated amp and a stand alone DAC. Once you have a budget estimate I would purchase, in order, the speakers of choice, an amp that compliments the speakers, and after the DAC.

You need to audition the speakers personally. Once speakers have been identified it would be easier for other on this forum to recommend a complimentary amp. Regarding the DAC, you might consider buying a used older model one, possibly one even lacking a USB input, and using a USB/SPDIF converter. Look up Computeraudio online for more info regarding this.

I prefer using a stand alone DAC because that is where future improvements can be made at the least expense. Speaker and amplification technologies are more mature. People sometimes change speakers because that changes the character of a system to the extent that it becomes new again. Amplifiers can last within a system for a long time.

If you provide more on your music preferences, listening habits, room size you will solicit more specific recommendations.

Take your time and do your homework. I am sure you will be pleased in the end.
Sorry, I now see that you provided your room size. As a follow-up, I was thinking that you could purchase a used inexpensive USB DAC to hold you over while exploring the market. It could then be sold once you upgrade w/o much loss.
Just for the record... I use Spotify from a mobile device without a fancy pants DAC and the sound is much better than I anticipated...note...I have premium subscription fwiw. Good luck...heard mog has better audio so if you are starting from scratch might be the place...I am familiar with Spotify features, quirks, etc so I am staying put for the moment...
Mog is Beats music now I believe