Replacing components, Please weigh in!


Hi Audiogoners! I’ve been a member here for a long time and lurked in the forums on and off over the years, but this is my first query here so hopefully you’ll go easy on me!

I want to improve the sound quality of my relatively modest stereo analog system. I have two components that I think are weak links in my system and I’d love to hear recommendations on replacement components that will complement what I already have (i.e., I don’t want to make new purchases that outperform the components I am satisfied with). 

Here’s what I’ve got:

  1. Project 2 Xperience — turntable
  2. Dynavector P-75 — phono pre
  3. Dynavector 17D3 — cartridge
  4. Meadowlark Audio Kestrel (first generation) — speakers
  5. Nakamichi RE10 — receiver
  6. Audioquest King Cobra & MIT cables

I think the weakest links in my chain are the Nakamichi RE10 receiver and the Dynavector p-75 phono preamp. Both these components have either a fan or an audible hum that annoy the heck out of me. I want a system that is QUIET. 

First Question — I’ve been seeing a lot of love here for the Herron VTPH-2A, Stanley Chinook, and Allnic H1202. My question is: I want to squeeze the most performance out of my speakers and cart as possible without overshooting — are these preamps going to outperform my speakers and turntable? If you think one of them is a good fit, which one do you think is the best for me?

Second Question — I get really overwhelmed reading about amps b/c I really don’t understand the technology and for me it’s like being an English major in a room full of engineers (I’m the former English major — Audiogon is the room full of engineers)! I am truly a low-information junior audiophile. Can anyone point me in the right direction for amps I should be looking at that will be a good fit for my Meadowlark Kestrels? 

I listen to mostly rock and pop from the 70’s and 80’s on clean, original vinyl. My room is 12.5’ wide x 18.5’ long, with a large archway to another room interrupting the long side (sad space, I know). Ceiling is 7’10”. Does this info help you weigh in? Maybe? 

Thanks for your thoughts, this junior audiophile appreciates them! 


D0f93b43 0e60 44a3 9a9f 68555e863a37amy_oneshanti
Now would be a great time to start checking out acoustic treatments. Done right, it's an effort that will always pay off. Plenty of threads here on the subject.
I would agree that receiver is very much the weak link in your system. But good news your speakers are very easy to drive which opens up a world of choices tube and SS. Are you able to get out and listen to anything? Don't get too caught up in specs or technology just take your time and get what sounds good to you.
Oh and in case you had not worked it out for every ten audiophools who reply , you are likely to get ten totally different opinions and suggestions.

I would be looking at a good integrated first, if it has a built in phono just dandy because that way you can also compare that to your existing P75.

And if still you are dissatisfied then maybe move on up through the phono stage food chain.
Suggest that you treat it as an opportunity for some fun!

Go to a few good retailers and tell them that you are looking for a good phono and pre and amp for 5K or less, new or used. When you hear a demo you like, ask to try the equipment at home. Live with it over a weekend. Take your time - it’s your money, it’s your decision. Wait until you fall in love.

I suggest solid state, just because tubes fail eventually, and it’s a hassle. I would guess, that’s too much hassle for someone who isn’t a dedicated audio freak like most of us here.

Good luck! And good hunting!
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