Recommendations for HiFi Listening Room

Newbie here.  Wife and I are looking to turn our Great Room into a listening room.  It’s roughly 21’X’19 and has a cathedral ceiling that is 11’ tall at the wall and 20’ tall at the apex.  Spoke to a good hifi dealer in the area who made the following recommendations/proposal and I’m curious if this group may have any input for getting maximum bang for my buck.  Basically, with a budget around 35k (or thereabouts) would you buy something similar or are there any components you’d add or swap out?

Paradigm Persona 3F

McIntosh MA8950

Pro-Ject Xtension 9 w/ Ortofon Black Cartridge 

Sony ES DSD Music Server (this one concerns me a touch in that it appears to be an 8 yr old product line).

Thanks so much in advance for your collective expertise.  My wife isn’t going to let me drop money into this for another 15 years so I need to get it right the first time. 

If it matters, our musical taste is quite varied: classical, jazz, classic rock, alternative, hip hop.  My mother complained in my youth that if i had 10 bucks I would just buy a CD with it.  She is still right. 


Congratulations! I think you will really get a great result between the room treatments, your components, and the ARC room correction from your Anthem Pre. As for a streamer/dac combo I recommend you strongly consider looking at the OS of your streamer to make sure you like it. Some people want Roon, some want whole house audio, some want a particular music service. Can you use the dac in your preamp and save some scratch?





I think the N200 is a perfect choice given the rest of your system.


As far as a DAC. That is a price range I am just not familiar enough with. I really love Audio Research and Berkeley Alpha 3. A bit more expensive. Also the Schiit Yggdrasil… too inexpensive.My rule of thumb is the carefully chosen components in roughly the same price range are about optimal for the best sound for the price. So, roughly TT = Phonostage = Streamer = DAC = preamp = amp. My streamer and amp are about 20% above the rest in my system.


@brewerslaw I’m both an Aurender and T+A dealer, and my favorite combination in your price range is the Aurender N200 and T+A DAC 200. I’ve written about this pairing a few times on this forum but posted a pic of the two together here:


Take a look at/read the reviews and comparison on, the PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, at $6k.

Congrats on your new system!


I agree the Aurender is a good choice and I’m sure @blisshifi recommendation for the T+A DAC is solid. As alternatives the new Innuos Pulsar looks very good, and their newest version of their free Sense software is getting high praise. Another DAC to consider would be the Denafrips Terminator. Last, you might also want to look into a digital-to-digital converter (DDC) like the Denafrips Hermes, etc. that will allow you to use an i2S connection into your DAC that many feel is the best way to feed a DAC. Anyway, hope this helps, and congrats on the new system!