suggestions on upgrading my system

Here is my system...

Harman Karman HK990
VPI Scout turntable with an Ortofon 2m bronze cartridge
Revels F52's
SVS PB-NSD subwoofer.

Any suggestions? 

Thank you for your input.

What do you feel is the weak link to you're system? I would upgrade my amp stage... This is what I have and I absolutely love this piece...
I believe the weak link might be the phono/preamp stage in your integrated.  Obviously different ways to attack this. Maybe getting a outboard phonostage 1st. Also can the amp be separated from the pre in the HK?
replace harman karden
What is your upgrade budget? 
I'm not sure what is my weakest link. I would think it is on the electronic side. I like my speakers, TT, cartridge, and sub.

I also have a Onkyo DX - C390 cd player.

Mesch, I'm thinking it is the phone stage with the HK. I would need to read up on how to introduce a seperate phone stage with my HK. How would that work?

Any sugesstions on a great phono stage?

I'll check out your suggestion Riglet11.

Is there anything I can add to the HK to imporve it or if I replaced it what would be a step up? Around $2000 is my target budget.  Hoping that could get me some good deals here on audiogon. 


I believe that for $2000 spent in the AG marketplace could replace the HK with a better integrated. The question then becomes wether you get one with an internal phonostage.  If you like the idea of a separate phonostage, which is the way I would go, you could purchase one now and grade the HK later if you choose, after listening to your system with new phonostage.  The added flexibility may prove beneficial down the road..

I once owned a Jolida JD9 and thought it to be a great one in its price range. Phonostage/cartridge compatibility in important. The JD9was very flexible in gain and loading. It can be upgraded (factory or otherwise). The JD9 does not come up for sale on AG very often.

You might start another thread requesting advice on phonostage suggestions. Mention your system and cartridge when you do. 

Good luck!

I just checked, underwoodwally is selling the JD9MKII for $649 on AG. Check out the ad and maybe give him a call. I have no affiliation, however have talked to him and found him helpful. May offer a return policy. 

After further exploration on the HK990, it appears that it has eq and bass management features that are in the digital domain only. As your are using analog input only you are not taking advantage of this, or if you are, you must be redigitalizing (spelling?) your analog signal to do so.  I have noted that your amp is considered very good as an analog 2-channel amplifier. 

So again, i believe you might find yourself very satisfied with your sonics with an improvement in your phonostage. You may later consider a cartridge upgrade also.

Mesch… WOW!

Talk about going above and beyond expectations. Thank you for all you did to help me in my quest. 

I think I will start with research about a phonostage. I looked up the  JD9MKII. I'll see how it matches up with my Scout's JMW-9 Memorial arm and ortofon 2m bronze cartridge.

Many thanks!

You are most welcome!  Keep us posted as to your decisions. 

After a lot of researh and discussion I went with a Herron VPTH-1mm. Not easy to find… but through perseverance I got lucky and purchased a newly built one at a great price. 

I’ve had the Herron VTPH-1mm in my system for about a month and a half. The improvement of the overall sound over the Harman Kardon on board phono stage was immediate and dramatic. (Not that the HK phono stage was bad.)

I’m very happy with this purchase… the cost to sound improvement value ratio is excellent.

Now onto the next step in my search for music listening nirvana.

The PB NSD hit hard but arent very accurate for music listening, and can get bloaty sounding. 
I was thinking about upgrading to the SVS SB13 Ultra.

The SB13 Ultra is a real good sub. It's competition is the Rythmik F15HP.