Need Expert Opinions On An Old System

I have an older system has served me well for years, but now in a new house and larger room, it seems to be a touch lacking and hasn't sparkled like before. Since I have been out of the game for a while, any opinions on an inexpensive upgrade path would be welcome!

Power: Adcom ACE 515
Source: Rotel RCD940BX
Source: iPod via Marantz iPod Dock
Pre: Sonographe SC26
Amp: Muse Model 100
Amp: NHT MA-1A (never been hooked up yet)
Speakers: NHT Model 2.5
Sub: NHT SW-2P (again, never been hooked up yet)
Cabling: Wireworld Solstice level mostly, AQ Copperhead


1. I listen to 50-50 between CDs and the iPod.
2. I believe hooking up the sub and amp will help.
3. I would like to hook up my TV as well for shows, movies, etc.
4. Room is 17'x22' with a 17'x15' kitchen/breakfast area adjacent.
5. I need a DVD/Blue Ray player.

Thanks in advance!
Hard to beat this: ( Hook up the new stuff(amp/sub) before making any other changes. Be certain your speakers and listening position are set up optimally(distances, toe-in, etc).
Oppo is a good suggestion for DVD/CD. Clean up everything first with Caig Deoxit and then contact enhancer. This should all work fine for now. The Rotel is probably the weak link. Decent Oppo SE version would smoke it.
I'd guess the difference you hear is the difference in the rooms. Works through that and a lot of your complaint will likely diminish.

Also, I'd take a turn at doing away with the power conditioner, and plug things directly into the wall or a decent power strip. Power conditioners can often dull a system, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Obviously, both of these suggestions are either low cost or free.
I would agree with Trelja the difference is probably due to a change in room acoustics. Play around with speaker positioning (if you can) and furniture placement.

IF you are looking to change equipment, I might actually start with the preamp ... when I had older, less expensive gear, changing to a better pre (or linestage in my case) made a much bigger difference than amp or source. First high-end linestage I used was a Reference Line Preeminence 1 passive - FANTASTIC ... best part is a good passive is NOT all that expensive. I think Muse amps are well suited to passive linestages if I remember correctly.
Well, first hook up the stuff that has "never been hooked up yet", try that.

And like Celtic66, I was thinking that the 10 y.o.+ Rotel CDP is probably "the weak link". You could have a $50,000 system & hook up an old $100 CDP & it brings the whole system down.....

And/or you could start upgrading everything, gradually. Buying used, I'm thinking you could upgrade some/all of your components to a "whole better system", w/o going broke. (Just my 2 cents, good luck!).

Good thoughts everyone. I'll go ahead and hook the sub/amp combo up. The Muse driving the NHTs don't seem to have as much punch in my previous (smaller) room so hopefully taking some of the load off with the sub/amp combo will allow it to free up a bit.

Regarding the Oppo, good call. I need to go ahead and get one although I'm unsure between the 83, 83SE, or one with various mods (probably out of my budget).

Will keep everyone posted...
You can change your cables because they are all tone controls to a pure silver which will give you a little brighter sound. If your old room had hard products (wood, concrete, tile or etc.) on the floor, walls or etc. then that will make the music brighter. Just the same softer products (carpet, drop ceilings and etc.) will smooth the music out and also a larger room will do the same thing, because of reflections or lack there of like the smaller room.
Sub/amp combo hooked up following preferred method by NHT where I ran the input into the back of my amplifier, then the cabling from main amp to the NHT amp. From there, the NHT amp splits off into the speakers and sub. Crossover set for lowest setting (35hz). Bypass (whatever that is) is set for ON. Overall sound is better in most regards but I notice a few things:

1. The 8" woofer on my NHT 2.5s don't seem to have a lot energy/sound coming from them. Crossover on NHT amp set for 35hz and specs on NHT 2.5 say 80hz. When I turn the crossover setting higher than 35hz on NHT amp, I get less sound from the NHT 2.5s.

2. Overall sound levels are much lower. I'm having the turn the level on the preamp much higher to get same db levels.

3. When I turn the NHT amp high enough to get the desired bass levels, I notice it picks up a large amount of mids thereby centering the soundstage around the sub (placed between the two speakers). When I dial the NHT amp down to get the right amount of soundstage, the bass seems a bit thin.
*Room is 17'x22' with a 17'x15' kitchen/breakfast area adjacent.....Speakers: NHT Model 2.5*

I can't pretend to be able to figure all this out, & I don't know all your components that well. But that's a very big room, by my standards. I do remember the NHT 2.5's--I listened to them in the mid-90's, I think they cost $1250 new, is that right? They certainly weren't bad.

*sparkled.....any opinions on an inexpensive upgrade path would be welcome*

I just can't figure how a system with NHT 2.5's is going to Sparkle in a room that large. Your components aren't "bad" by any means, but Sparkling can cost fairly big bucks....esp. in a room that large....