Adding an isolation transformer to my system.
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ROON with Tidal lossless streaming and an extensive 3TB library of hard drive personal lossless music.
This extremely sophisticated and elegant user interface has transformed my listening experience. More listening with more connections to other artists. Everything controlled via my iPad to a headless Mac Mini Roon Server. More listening less fiddling. I discovered stuff I had I didn’t know I had or had forgotten. Absolutely wonderful.
ROON is FANTASTIC.
Oh, I also got a Benchmark DAC3 and highly recommend it. Despite having a DAC2 previously, the improvement was surprisingly quite audible. However, ROON is a transformational product while the DAC3 can be regarded as incremental.
Added two SVS SB2000 subs, handing off to my monoblocks at 80 Hz and above (I can now run the volume on the preamp an eighth of a turn lower), the subs take care of everything below that, got them dialed in over a month’s time, had my audio buddies provide a critical ear, all is well!
"I see faces and traces of home...back in New York City"
After 5 speakers including 2 in the $15k + range
The Pure Audio Project 15 neo open baffle speakers with the Voxativ drivers
And very minimal crossover Leonitis . Which gave the the opportunity to max out the crossovers potential since it sits open in the back . The Voxativ full range driver is very Special and only used from 350hz on up to the dual 15 inch Neodymium Bass drivers ,and 95db efficient allows you to experimrnt with loads of amplifier options. At just over $8k with the optional Verastarr wire harness .
Very Natural and bettered the other 15k+ speakers I had totally satisfied Finally.
In all honesty EVERYTHING was a big deal this year.
Discovered streaming and Tidal via Bluesound Vault 2...check
Replaced my McIntosh preamp with Exogal Comet Plus DAC/Pre..check
Replaced my old Focal speakers with Wilson Witt series1...check
Replaced all interconnects with Nordost ones, speaker cables with Analysis Plus Oval 9....check
Replaced fuses with SR Black....check
Replaced my Clearaudio tt with one I have lusted over for years, a Nottingham Analogue Spacedeck cw Shelter 501 mk3 cart
Just hard to pick a winner here!
Time to sit back and enjoy the music
To those that have done multiple upgrades, were these done at once or over the course of the year? If at once, did you listen between installing the new additions to see what changed?
@uberwaltz, what to you like about the nordosts? Which line did you go with?
@ghosthouse care to share your impressions of the F7? I’ll be in the market for an amp next year and my speakers are 98 dB sensitive..
Had several changes this year. The biggest just happened as Bob Smith at TDSS put the Level 3 mods into my Nuforce Ref 9 V3 SE mono amps about a month ago. The sound continues to improve as the power supply and wires break in more. It is more resolving, dynamic, and even more quiet with stronger, better defined bass.
Added 5 SR Blue fuses to my amps, MW 5400 CD, and Whest 3.0 RDT SE phono pre--made the sound much more beautiful, fuller, more dynamic and detailed.
My VMPS RM40 BCSE speakers have never sounded better.
The Chord Dave had the most impact on my system, but it was only one of several changes and they occurred at different times. I changed from Wireworld Platinum XLRs to Audioquest Fire XLRs, from Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 speaker cables to Clarus Crimson speaker cables, and most recently changed the standard spikes on my speakers to IsoAcoustics GAIA Is.
Made a lot of changes this year...
Installed 51 feet with ceramic balls in them
Installed 5 Oyaide Tunami Power cords
Replaced an AQ cinnamon digital cable for VH Audio silver
Replaced a Parasound Zdac for Audio Alchemy's latest
Replaced a Pioneer stable platter with a Cambridge transport
Replaced a cardas phono cable with a furutech
Switched out a Denon DLs1 cartridge for a Clearaudio concept MC
Installed a VPI Analog Drive System
Removed all vacuum tubes from my system:
Replaced a Sonic Frontiers Phono amp with Audio Alchemy's latest
Replaced a 6550 SET Jeff Korneff power amp with Valvet mono blocks
Replaced a melos preamp with the Audio Alchemy preamp/dac
All of the above changes improved the system dramatically with the single largest improvement being the SE solid state Valvet mono blocks. These are sweet amps!
My upgrades were all spaced out, just different things as I could afford or find them. But evaluating each change at a time was a step in the right direction for my tastes.
Nordost Heimdal xlr and silver shadow digital( aes and bnc)
Very open and detailed sound, not lean as some have described but every system will give different results
I moved part way across the country earlier this year, few changes to the basic system components, but:
1. room- longer, deeper room, with slightly higher ceilings;
2. new power subsystem based on a 10kVa Controlled Power isolation transformer
3. I installed a big Minus K under the turntable- a heavy Kuzma XL with HRS platform to isolate the table
4. I added new subwoofers- a matched pair of 15" Rythmik sealed boxes with a small DSP controller.
I did not do this incrementally, so the changes in the aggregate were significant though for about a month, waiting for the Controlled Power unit to arrive and get installed, I played the system without it-- the power here, even without the isolation transformer is better than it was in the New York metro area, probably due to newer infrastructure. Density is actually higher where I am now, in central Austin, compared to the Lower Hudson Valley of New York, (i.e., not in Manhattan).
In the aggregate, the system is quieter, has more dynamics and plays louder (without sounding loud). Part of that is the room, which is probably better, sonically, than my last room.
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Those additions to the system were done one by one over the course of the year and with several months in between each. Wasn’t planned that way...just how it worked out. We don’t have a plan.
Completely "new" system with two pairs of speakers. And I am satisfied. I listen to different music on different speakers. Or I change the speakers under the mood :)))
Chord Mojo + Sansui B2102 Mos Vintage + Tannoy Berkley +
The first system for many years, when you do not want to sell anything :)))
My system comprises many DSPs distrubuted between two computers, one a source-plus-DSPs front end, the second the 'active crossover' for a 7-way system (pair of 3-ways with single sub). Changes are numerous partly because of this; a pair of pcie soundcards are (besides the computers) the only actual hardware before the power amps, all else being software. Thus, the biggest change was a computer upgrade.
The originals had Celeron dual-cores, but in late summer I found a sale online for refurbed HP Compaq Pro 6305s with quad-core AMD processors plus a bunch of expansion slots and decided to give them a shot. They were only $160 apiece! Apparently some big company dumped its workstations for new models and they hit the refurb market all at once. Anyway, it was a great move. The machines proved so fast compared to the originals that I was, e.g., able to extend my FIR crossover filters to a huge 64k taps/channel (over all 7 channels), way above what my old machines could handle comfortably. The sonic improvement has been very obvious and satisfying. I'm still experimenting with squeezing all I can from the new setup on both ends.
I upgraded my HT by replacing Klipsch KG 4.2's mains with Klipsch Rf-7's. I also found 3 RC-7's for center and surrounds. And I replaced my dated Onkyo with a Denon Avr-x4300, and a basic Sony bluray with the UDP800.
Everything blends nicely sonically and the sound is the best I've owned. And, even though my 65 inch Samsung is only 1080p, the picture has improved with the 4k upscaling and with 4k discs too. It seems the higher resolution provided by the 4k disc allows my tv to live up to its maximum potential. Next year I will buy a Sony or Samsung 70ish inch with 4k and HDR. I'll have time to acquire a collection of 4k blurays.