source I just upgraded from Audio Aero Capitol Mark 1 to Capitol Mark 2 CD player. the Mark 1 had slight extreme bass extension and weight deficiency the Mark 2 has totally eliminated this deficiency I cannot believe the bass my speakers are putting out now thought I needed bigger woofers to accomplish this bass output. And player isn't half way broken in yet. Your speakers are better than you think they are and benefit from a better source always.
Assuming that your speakers aren't broken, the source will give the best improvement for money spent. A low priced speaker can at least attempt to reproduce what you feed it. No speaker, no matter how good, can reproduce sound that it is never fed. Getting the info in is paramount. The second thing is preserving it on the way to your ears. This is not to minimize the need for good speakers, as I have been involved in speaker design and building for many years. And I appreciate the importance of them too. I love great speakers, and I would always try to do them justice by giving them the best source possible to work with. However, you can never overcome a poor source with great speakers.
That's a tough one. If you define source very broadly as anything in the chain prior to the speakers, I'd pick source. Specifically, I'd dramatically upgrade cables, analog and pre-amp. I know I'm cheating a bit here, but that's where my system is weakest. The Montana KAS and Sierra Denali amps are very nice and I can live with them for a long while (we'll see). My cabling needs serious help but I'm waiting until I move into my new house and unpack my system before trying new combinations.
So, to answer your question, I would put money into those areas I have not been putting major bucks into before. As many have stated, "more money" does not always equal "better system", but I think it would take some cash to find the right combination and there are several areas of focus: Pre-amp (tube) at $5-$10k, cables (front to back) at $2-$15k, analog (turntable, arm, cartridge, phono-amp) at $10-25k. I'm drooling already. Too bad great analog is so pricey. Oh, and if source includes album, cd and sacd purchases, well -- let's go ahead and add $10-20k there. I'll be happy to let anyone know where they may send a check for $50-70k if you e-mail me. Thanks in advance.
well my amp and preamp are already at the end of the road, so i would go with grand utopias.
Of course the amount can change things, but to give an answer, I would have my SCD-1 SACD/CD player modded.
To answer the question a little less tongue in cheek, my very first priority would be a set of 5 meter XLR interconnects between preamp and amps. I need to do a lot of research before I can determine which would be best.
Pops, I have the MIT Oracle V2 speaker cables and really enjoy them. The 1.1's would be awesome! (depending on system and tastes, of course)
I'm not sure where this fits, but if I had unlimited money I'd construct a dedicated room. I'm at the point where the biggest limitation in sound reproduction is the acoustic environment.
A few weeks ago I won $2000.00 playing video poker at a local 7-11 store. I gave my wife 15 long stem roses, one for every year of our marriage and $500.00. I got myself an Adcom 750 Pre-amp from an ad here. Ya gotta love VEGA$
Pretty smooth vegasears. I bet the roses upgraded the WAF!
Well, if I had came across an unexpected windfall of money right now, and if I wanted to upgrade my audio system, then as much as I would like to upgrade my speaker system, I would just let my speaker system be right now and upgrade my amplification and get a "state of the art" audio rig instead (and this is assuming that I will have either a Sony DVP-S9000ES or the newer Sony DVP-NS999ES in place by the time I perform this ULTIMATE system upgrade). And the following upgrades would be:
(01). Upgrade my amplification system. I would upgrade from my current Adcom GFA-545 MkII/GFP-750 combination to either a Bryston 4B-SST/BP-25, or get me a used Krell Power Amplifier and Preamplifier, and then upgrade the cables from my current MITerminator 2 and 3 Interconnects and Speaker Cables and get the MIT Oracle (either V1.1 or V2) Cables (both, the interconnects and speaker cables) instead.
(02). I would go out and get me a killer analog rig. And it would consist of a VPI TNT Mk V combined with either a JMW Memorial 12 or a Graham 2.2 Tonearm, mount me a Grado Reference Statement at the end of it, and then run it through an AcousTech PH-1 Phono Stage.
I would keep the rest of my system intact the way it is right now, and then later on, when my budget recovers, I would upgrade the speaker system either Thiel's latest $2,500.00 Speaker System and then combine it with Thiel's Subwoofer or upgrade to a pair of Ariel Acoustics 10 T's. Do those few little things, and I'll be a happy camper for an AWFULLY long time.
That's what I would do if I came across an unexpected windfall of money.
Way to go, Chaskelljr2001! You'd really love that analog rig.
common people, lets dream here, first I would get anything burmester sold those big silver amps that look like ice chests, all their cd players and pre amps, just to piss off the purests I like a z system 6 channel equalizer, cables does it really matter with eq? Speakers hey lets try the big 99's from burmester and then the trios but lets get some exotic italian amps from graaf, or stay ss and get the pipe dreams or atc 70's or grand utopias.
Get a super cool room (disconected from the house)dcorated in east indian exotic colorfull materials and tapastries
on the wall, add some belly dancers,couple of cases of great and expensive german wine, and while we are dreaming
lets throw in a sample pack of viagra and the dixe chicks (not that I need the viagra but I want to play as long as this dream can last.
Kelton, that's the spirit! If you're going to dream ... Dixie chicks and German wine!!!