My weakest link??

I'm getting the upgrade bug and would like your comments on my system's "weakest link." Small carpeted listening room - 11x12x8 with a padded wall behind the speakers and bookcase on the opposite wall. Linn Ikemi CD on vibrapods, Onkyo T9090II tuner, Plinius 8150 integrated, Tyler Reference Monitors on sand-filled Soliloquy stands, Quadraspire rack, HT Truthlink ICs, HT Pro-9 speaker cables, Shunyata Black Mamba PC on amp and JPS Labs digital cable on CD. Two dedicated circuits with Albert Porter Hubbell cryoed outlets and 10 gauge THHN wire.

Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
You have some fairly good stuff now. Obviously there is room for improvement but just what are you trying to accomplish and how much are you willing to spend. Your room size/shape is your biggest handicap. If I had to live in that room I'd be looking for a very refined monitor speaker and amp/preamp or integrated to match.
*You have some fairly good stuff now.*

Gees, Newbee, 'fairly' good stuff?
I think he's got the nicely assembled system.

I agree small room like his is hard to work with.
My room is similar to his at 10 X 12. Diagonal speaker set up
works well in awkward shaped room.

Joeldoss, unless you are really unhappy from what you've got and
knowing what you want to get out of your system, random upgrade is
a waste of money and can lead to you a great frustration.
There are various tweaks you can fine tune your system.
Ikemi benefits from putting some weight on top to minimise
vibrations. Perhaps different footers and aftermarket shelves.

Are you using Ikemi as a transport?
What in particular do you find lacking in your system?

I agree with the others that you already have a nice system, and that your room presents a distinct challenge. Since there seems to be no way to alter your listening room, I'll only address the issue of components. If you have decided that it's time to upgrade, then here are my comments and suggestions:

1. Speakers are the only transducer in your system (unless you have a turntable/tonearm/cartridge combo, in which case the cartridge is also a transducer). Transducers convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, or vice versa, and they have the greatest variability in performance of any component in an audio system. Hence, new speakers will produce the greatest audible change in your system. Whether or not you WANT to change speakers is obviously your choice, but this will produce the greatest change in your system.

2. The second place to think about an upgrade is your integrated amp. The Plinius is a good unit, but there are better integrated amps available, and a separate preamp/power amp combo has even greater potential for improvement. For example, if you are willing to consider separates, then you might consider a good tube preamp with a high-quality solid state amp. This would give you the benefits of tube (more important in the preamp where the signal voltages are low), with the advantages of solid state power amplification (better bass control, slam, etc.).

3. Your CD player is a very good model, so you might want to consider adding an analog front end (turntable, arm, cartridge, and phone preamp) to round out your system.

4. Last suggestion: if you have not already played with different models of interconnects and speaker cables, you might do so. This involves the final stage of "tuning" your system, and you may find that different IC's/speaker cables make a useful improvement. Sometimes dealers will let you audition cables at home, but if you don't have a local dealer, you can often but used cables to try that can then be re-sold at little loss if you don't like them.
Thanks for all of your suggestions. Yes, my room is my weakest link - it serves as my listening room and home office. I am new to high-end and really don't know what to expect from any upgrades but recently replaced some B&W Matrix 803s with the Tyler monitors. This change improved the detail, clarity and provided tighter bass (although somewhat less bass.) I'm considering a REL Strata III sub but wondered what a better amp would do. I have not yet tried any other amps. Sdcampbell, I have considered an analog front end, but feel that I would prefer spending the $s on acquiring a small CD library.

My humble system sounds better than it ever has so I'm wondering why I'm even considering changing anything. I guess I'm falling into "the grass in greener" syndrome.

Thanks to all for your comments/suggestions.
Happy listening, Joel
Joeldoss, The grass isn't always greener, sometimes its just fake grass. I couldn't recommend a subwoofer in your room - it would produce the same (or very similar) problems that full range speakers would in the bass. I hope you didn't interpert my "fairly" comment as a put down - in fact it was an understated compliment. Something to think about, but not to rush into - if you like your Tylers and if they are suitable for tubes - explore that possibility. In a small room you wouldn't need that much power. See if you can get a loan of a mid powered push/pull tube amp - you might be surprised at difference it can make.
Newbee, thanks and don't worry - no "put down" was felt on this end. Do you have any push/pull integrateds that you might recommend? I'd like to keep things simple.

I have had very similar equipment/room. I've owned the Plinius 8200 and the Tyler Acoutics Taylo Reference Monitors. Both of these pieces were good, but they can be bettered, especially in a small room.

My current system is a Cary CD-308 w/volume control direct into a pair of (slightly modified)BottleHead Paramour 2A3 SET Tube amps or a Dodd 8 Watter Tube amp. Speakers are Reference 3A MM De Capos. My room is maybe slightly bigger than yours and it has a pretty sever bass "suck out".

My current setup is FAR MORE enjoyable in my smallish room than was the Plinius/Tyler setup. Both the Paramours and the Dodd amps provide incredible value. These things sound WAY more expensive than they actually are.

Compaired to my current setup, the Tylers/Plinius had a significant lack of bass in my room. The De Capos have amazing bass in my smallish room and that is using either 3.5watts/channel or 8 watts/channel. In my small room, the De Capos will play louder than I can tolerate. And they are being pushed by a 3.5 watt amp!!

For the price, my system sounds BIG, open, lush, refined and expensive. But the beauty of it is the fact that it was relatively inexpensive (used/DIY).

My guess is weakest link is synergy. If you are curious about speakers, I would recommend the Reference 3A MM De Capos. They are tremendous, but a little pricey new. I bought my pair used. I would consider a pristine used pair a bargain at anything less that $1400-1500. They would work OK with the Plinius and they would also allow you to try a small SET or push/pull tube amp. They are pretty effecient and a very stable load. You can power them with almost anything. They even sound surprisingly good connected to my Sony ES HT receiver.

My $.02 worth. My room, my system, my ears! YMMV, etc, etc........


The room.

What did you expect from me?

The Listening Room
Unless you have great results with an amp that has ultimate bass extention I doubt you will get much more out of the Tylers. I had "better" bass response in my room from my Totem 1 speakers which are much smaller(bass is the biggest challange in my room also). Even with a pair of subs I never got the Tylers to work that well in my system, but if you keep them add a sub. They sound best out from the wall anyway. If you search 'Tyler' here you will find you are not the only one with questions about the Reference Monitor's bass. I could not get away from a highlighting of detail compared to the rest of the sound. Loads of reviews indicate that others have enjoyed them so you may be able to get your setup to work for you. Good luck. ps Newbee says no sub but you can move the sub around and possibly find a spot where it (they) works in your room.