I would first think about improving the source components and maybe cables. Not familiar with your components, just read about them.
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A step to separates might help. However, judging from your photos I question your application for the GIK panels. It appears you have a total of 6 panels, 2 on each wall and two on the ceiling that are tightly spaced together. I suggest a looser spacing on the sides and remove one or both from the ceiling. Also try a different ceiling position somewhat over the speaker position. You might find the missing air/dimensionality. Good luck.
richard, ryan here (i bought your sashas a few years back). seriously, come to houston one weekend as i think you'd benefit greatly from a few $ spent on AC conditioning and some diff cabling before you go whole hog on speakers / separates. TG Audio (local mfg) makes some great (but not great looking) stuff, and think it may get you there faster than swapping boxes
Thanks for the recommendations:
Inna- I'm happy with my BDP2, Jeff Rowland Aeris DAC, and Wireworld Platinum cables
Nonoise- I've already heard the Raidho C3.1s, but not with my own components...on Saturday I will hear them with my own components
Rhljazz- I placed my panels according to what GIK told me to do, but I will experiment with removing the ceiling panels and or moving them along with the side panels
Fjn04- thanks for the suggestion, but my focus is JR 625 mk2 or the Raidho C3.1s
Changing the speakers will have the greatest impact on your sound. It used to be an unbreakable almost religious code that you pick your speakers first and build your system around them. Somehow that simple rule got lost, but I remain true to it. So get the speakers assuming it is as good business/financial deal compared with the amp. The cost to you may be the same- but are the two roughly equivalent in terms of discount.
It's hard to decide without listening both pairs - your speakers with Rowland separates and your Rowland integrated with those Danish speakers. But even after listening it may be inconclusive. If so, what would you do?
I would think that replacing speakers would be a more radical move. You might want it and you might not. Replacing Rowland with Rowlands would make your speakers sound better, perhaps much better, but it will basically be the same sound.
If these two options are your only choices, the Raidho's are a no brainer- they are a massive step up from the Aerials. I would just note that, if it were my $, I would split the upgrade cost between front end and speakers. (As an aside, I am a big fan of both the Bricasti and the Wireworld cables you have as well).
Best of luck.
Ric, given the choice strictly between the JRDG 625 mk2 & Capri 2 or Raidho C3.1's, I would go for the upgraded Rowland amps. The reason being the Raidho's have very average build quality & are way over-priced imho. And I know from whence I speak. I tried to sell a pair and they are boat ankers. The Rowland amps otoh have a solid reputation and generally good 2nd hand value.
But I agree with Mechans that a better pair of loudspeakers will have a greater impact on the sound of your system vs an amp upgrade. I was recently faced with the same choice; upgrading to Vitus separates from my current SIA-025 or upgrading my speakers. The latter option won, and the Magico S7's are currently front runner for my next pair of speakers.
If you're prepared to consider any other speaker options, I would look at a good 2nd hand pair of Proac Carbon 8's, Magico S5's or Vandersteen 5a carbons. Or even a new pair of Revel Ultima Salon 2's. And given the prodigious power of your JRDG amp, if you have a medium-large room with an even front wall, you could also consider a new pair of Graz-authorized resto'd Apogee Diva's such as the TSW Diva Ultimates.
Wow, I attended RMAF 2015 and listened to and looked at several speakers. I'm vey surprised at how many comments I've received regarding the quality of Raidho speakers. I haven't heard too many speakers that are detailed, disappear, and sound warm at the same time. I guess my ears are defectiveYour ears are not defective. But for some reason some Magico owners (sorry Melbguy1) have this impression Raidho cabinets are poor to average build quality (and yes the cabinets are made in China). I personally disagree with those statements because I own a pair of D2's in Walnut. I think the fit and finish is spectacular. Last when Raidho was showing the Diamond series when they first came out they used Jeff Rowland to drive them
I've owned Wilsons, Revels, Audio Physics, DeVore, and one or two other speakers. I've seen the Raidho C3.1s and to my eyes they are well made. As a matter of fact my Aerial 7t's cabinets are made in China and they are beautiful to me.
I really don't want an argument about Magico versus Raidho.
Xt, i'm not arguing or seeking to argue with you about Magico vs Raidho.
Your opinion of the build quality of the Raidho C3.1 is a good example of
the human condition in a sense; why two people can look at the same
object and espouse completely different views about its qualities or
performance. Cest la vie.
Ricred1, it appears that you are seeking a particular sound. Could you describe, if you know it, what exactly you are looking for?
I noticed that you have no analog source. What if you are looking for an analog sound in digital playback?
I hope, I am wrong, because if I am right - you are doomed. No speaker or amp can do it.
Xt, not arguing or seeking to argue with you about Magico vs Raidho. Your opinion of the build quality of the Raidho C3.1 is a good example of the human condition in a sense; why two people can look at the same object and espouse completely different views about its qualities or performance. Cest la vie.
Melbguy1 we all have our own opinions and tastes. I've never said Magico are are bad or even mediocre. They are very good no doubt. Please let's bury the hatchet from the past
Thanks and Best
Ricred1 - I believe the Raidho's are going to give you a lot more 'air and separation' between instruments and vocals.
Xt, I didn't know there was an issue (with Magico) or a hatchet to bury?..thanks for enlightening me.
Re: Raidho. Yes, their drivers are certainly fast and accurate. Magico's latest graphene and diamond-coated beryllium drivers however are lighter, stiffer and faster than the previous generation & are better drivers all round. Also the S7's in particular go deep in the bass & can move a lot of air. So it is a matter of personal taste.
Several months ago I listened to my friends Raidho C 3.1s and a couple things stood out compared to my system: more air around instruments, more space between instruments, and extremely good vocals. The speakers were driven by a Jeff Rowland 525(I had one and traded it).
When I attended RMAF this year I listened to a couple systems that had "more air" and "more space" between instruments than my system and none of them were playing an analog source. Simple stated, I'm looking to add more air and space within a certain budget.
I had a pair of Wilson Sophia 2s several years ago that cracked due to faulty glue. They are definitely made in the U.S...anything is possible no matter where a component is made. Several high-end companies manufacture their components outside of the U.S...being manufactured in the U.S doesn't guarantee 100% perfection and isn't always an indication of quality.
Thanks, I'm looking forward to receiving the JR 625 Mk2. After several hours of intense listening, I just didn't think the Raidho C 3.1s were worth the additional cost. I went from the JR 525 amp to the Continuum S2 integrated amp and the differences were significant. If the differences between the Continuum S2 and 625 Mk2 are as significant, I'll know I made the right choice.