New DAC or Speakers? What will put airy-ness in?

Okay like the title says, what is going to give me that airy sound that i had in my old setup which consisted of a Classe CDP.5, Classe CP-35, B&K Ref4420 and B&W CDM9NT speakers, it sounded so open and airy, i really miss that sound!

I have a much smaller budget system now that consists of a B&K AVR202, Pioneer ELITE BDP-05FD and KEF C-Series speakers.

I know these are two totally different setups, but what upgrade is going to put that airy-ness back into my system?

Better speakers or an external DAC?

Check my virtual systems to see my previous setup and my current setup.
Changing speakers will undoubtedly make a more obvious impact on sound (more readily apparent than changing out DACs). The type/brand of speakers you choose will determine the qualities such as how "airy" they sound.

Don’t get me wrong, some DACs may sound more airy than other – same with amps and sources - but any time you change speakers, you’re going to be able to hear more of an immediate difference than with just about any other component.
Find speakers that have that sound you are looking for
Try a pair of Gallo3.1s they sound very good with most amps.
I saw a pir for $1200 here.
Not sure you will get much airy-ness with your receiver... this so much comes down to the weakest link in the chain, whether it is speakers, DAC or amplification.
From looking at your system I would say your reciever is the weak link as Arni mentioned.
An integraded amp would put some depth to your sound stage for sure.
The speakers you are using should be a very good speaker for what you're looking for.
As far as dac's, I don't use one. I have a friend that had one and it made the sound stage a bit small. It could have been the synergy thing though.

Good luck in your quest.
Speakers, Receiver, Dac.
A good preamp will get you what you are looking for.

Happy Listening.
Speakers dont determine airiness as a rule. It's mostly the source. If you want the very best, eliminate the preamp and go directly from DAC to amps. Start with the digital source and make this as good as you can afford, then the DAC, then the amps.

I have some original KEF reference spaekers that are highly modified. Really outstanding. I have not really liked the new KEFs with the integral tweeter, even the highest models.

I agree on the receiver. You cant expect to get world-class sound from this. Look for something used on Audiogon.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Haha sounds like the opinions are all over the place! I really would like a different set of music makers, have no idea what to look for, any suggestions for a decent under rated used speaker?

And what would be a good preamp to start with? I think that Classe might be a little out of my budget (right now).
Do you think that a Classe CAP101 integrated will get me there?
Room treatments will do wonders for the sound stage and imaging.
Don't wast money on a DAC. B&Ws have a house sound IMO and I bet you miss it. Try a used pair of B&Ws. What is your budget?

The 703 is a newer model of what you had. The 804 would be a lot better or even the 805s if you like monitors.
Or could some one recommend a good integrated amp?
What is your budget? Are you wanting a Tube amp or SS amp ?
For around $1000 + - you can get a nice SET tube amp that will let you walk around in the sound stage.
I have an Almarro A318B and it is very three dimensional.
It's a high current amp that has powerful bass and very extended highs. The mids are SET mids (lush and full).
There are plenty of reviews out there on this amp.
It would get you started. The $1000 I mentioned is for a used one.
Hope this helps.
Yeah i am shooting for under $1000, and i do not care if it is tubes or solid state, though i really do like the solid bass of solid state stuff, i will look into the Almarro
Okay so i have really upgraded the setup and i think i am finally almost "there" if there is such a thing...

I now am running a Classe CP-45 preamp

B&K ST2140 amplifier connected via balanced XLRs to Classe pre

Revel Concerta M12 bookshelf monitors

And the same Pioneer ELITE BDP-05Fd blu-ray player

Turns out the ELITE disc spinner is not too shabby, it really was the processor and the speakers that were hold the sound back.

Everything is MUCH MUCH more open and definitely has that airy-ness that i am looking for!

Now, what will take me to the next level? An older / better CD only player like a Classe CDP.5 that i had before or perhaps a nice DAC like the PS Audio Digilink III ?

Is there going to be a marked improvement going with the PS Audio DAC over the dac that is in my ELITE player? Thanks!