Strategic Mid-Fi upgrade
I would categorize my audio so far as ’scrappy’ mid-fi. (I'm using the term mid-fi tongue in cheek as compared to the $20k gear I'll never have.) My first real piece was NAD 312 integrated with PSB Centurys which I felt was nice, but a little low powered. I found an Adcom GFA-535II at a garage sale and was emailing with Nelson Pas himself as to a simple upgrade I could do. He had me swap out the inout fuses with 5w ceramic and WOW! that’s what I’m talking about. Huge ROI, bang for buck. I sold that an was only using the 312 while I built another HT setup [Klipsh reference, Rythmik servo sub I built, etc].
After finding a decent Hitachi HT500 turntable, I started doing a lot more straight up music and when I ran across a HH Scott 420a, I ditched the NAD. Unfortunately, I think the Scott is gong to need caps soon, and I’m looking for a new option for pre and amp. After the Adcom experience., I was thinking 545II and the 565 pre, known for it’s phono stage. This is probably ~600ish and I’m wondering if I can do better than this.
Every bone in my body is telling me I should do a tube pre, but while rebuilding something will be in my skill set, it’s not yet. I was looking at things like the Scott 222 Stereomasters and similar, but even those might be budget busters. I have to scrimp and save for every penny of my audio budget, so i want this next upgrade to COUNT, and I’m done messing around.
Stuff I’ve seen that might be in this range, with good phono stages: Adcom 565, Scott Stereomaster 222’s, Superphon, Nikko amps, Dynaco PaS3.
It doesn’t HAVE to be tube or SS, I’m interested in sound. I play guitar, am familiar with tubes, and listen to 70’s to current rock/prog. Speakers right now are Advent Heritage that I have added damping, rebuilt Xovers, put in stabilizers, and am thinking about either swapping or rebuilding into DIY MiniStatements.
I realize this is all over the place. Any and all help is much appreciated.