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
2008?
Then it is definitely time for a change!
Now another aspect that springs to mind that could possibly effect your choice of integrated.

What other sources do you have if any or are considering apart from vinyl?
No point going for an amp that has 8 inputs, tape and pre outs, built in DAC etc if all you are looking at is best possible vinyl reproduction.

That way you would be spending your money on best amp possible rather than most options possible.

I can now join the club of heartedly recommending a tube phono stage after years of ss units.

My recently acquired Manley Chinook is rewarding me immensely. It is possible the Herron could be better still.

If you go the way of a tube phono and all you are doing is playing vinyl then a very good ss integrated might be the best call.

Options, options!

Always a tough choice as to which way to go without disappointment or financial hiccups.
Hi Lewm, thank you for that info - I bet you are right! I will take a look inside.
You are not the first person to tell me that my cartridge is outperforming my turntable. Getting a new turntable is on my wish list, but at this point it’s a far future event. I do love that cartridge!
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Another thing to add to the wish list, if I may.

I cleaned my records carefully with a VPI 16.5, and then moved up to an ultrasonic unit. Night and day! It was like doubling the cost of a major component. There are a few threads here on US cleaning, which you may wish to consider. Guilty secret: I use the US cleaner for jewelry and stemware as well. 
Amy, I have found that the better dealers do permit the loan of robust  equipment, like electronics or speakers. That is, if the customer is known and local, and prepared to put down a deposit. Otherwise you might have to buy with the option of return within a few days.

It doesn't hurt to ask!