Next move: pre, dsd, amp, xover, or ???
I have Thiel CS 2.3s driven by a BAT VK-55, sourced by ps audio PW DAC, with bridge II, mostly tidal. The DAC serves as a preamp in terms of volume control. Mostly Audioquest cables, amp power cord is cardas clear m, all fed by ps audio upc-200.
I am am hoping to improve the highs, which sometimes sound smeared, too much sibalince; would like more air and clarity. Loud rock sounds flatter, less dynamic than I’d like. I am not willing to give up the deep detailed and beautifully resonant mids. Willing to spend up to $3000, used is ok. Totally balanced is a must. Not currently willing to entertain the idea of different speakers - my goal is to make the 2.3s sound as good as reasonably possible before moving on to other speakers.
Some more thoughts.
A preamp is the obvious choice, and it’s easy to find a really good one in this price range, so much so I am almost paralyzed by the choices. Aesthetix , Ayre, ARC, several BAT, Parasound and more all have apparently excellent models in my price range. Patience would put atma-sphere and PS Audio within reach. Which is best for my situation? There’s no way to audition all of these, would I be getting on the preamp merry-go-round?
A different amp would also be strongly recommended by many. The BAT VK-55 is probably not considered a good match, being very much under powered for these speakers. But I do really love what it does and I am not very excited about moving on yet, especially when there are other potentially good options.
I can easily upgrade the ps audio perfectwave DAC to their DSD, people are already raving about the upcoming snowmass firmware update. I can’t imagine this would address the problems I‘d like to resolve, but I expect to do this sometime in the future, why not now?
Thiel users are reporting significant improvements with upgrading crossovers. I am not sure I am ready to tackle this one, to me it seems like the most complex choice.
I have not done anything in terms of component or speaker isolation and my rack is by Ikea - is it time to spend some $$$ here?