I would look at upgrading amp and preamp, especially to tubes. Vandys have a lot of potential, and your analog rig is nice too. You can get more out of them. Search the archives for suggestions on what others use w/their Vandys. Cheers,
You should really explore isolation/dampening components for each of your components. Start with your source components first. You will be amazed at how much more performance you can get out of your existing system. I am amazed at just how much of a difference the Symposium line of products have worked for me over the years.
"I do know it's lacking compared to higher end setups I have heard but again, nothing I can enumerate."
You have a serious problem. If you cannot describe what your system is lacking, how can you expect to fix it?
As a first step, you might consider having a pro come in and sonically audit your room. This will at least point out any problems the room my be causing and may help to pinpoint a solution for you. You may be able to do this by engaging the help of a fellow Audiogoner nearby...Where do you live?
I guess I should have been a bit more concise. Other systems I have heard (at various dealers) sound more live, as if the musicians are there. My setup sounds good but not quite as "live". Maybe not as crisp? Make sense?
I'm in the Chicago area, far northwest burbs.
I would sell the Anthem amp and preamp, and look for a VAC Avatar Super integrated amp.
I second Sbank's suggestion. Isolation ( both electrical and physical ) and damping tweaks have done wonders for my systems. Premium power cords ( within reason ), a Porter Port, an Isoclean power bar ( these aren't cheap ), BDR cones, Herbie's Audio Lab footers and tube dampers, Bright Star Isonodes, maple platforms and isolation transformers are all very good bets.
The 2ce's should be able to give you that Live in Your Living Room sensation, no problem. I strongly preferred mine with tube gear. In the Chicago area, you ought to be able to find some different integrateds to try out. I think appropriate tube gear may bring them more to life for you.
I would spend every cent I could on a top notch preamp and go from there as funds allow.
Replacing the Anthem gear seems like a good plan. A tubed integrated is a great suggestion. I assume you must have a phono section in the Anthem preamp. So, if the Anthem is sold, you will need a tuner, a phono preamp, and an integrated with at least 3 inputs to accommodate these components plus your CD player. Your budget is $2000 plus whatever the Anthem stuff brings you.
As an alternative, I would consider finding a vintage tube preamp like an Audio Research SP-6b ($600-700) with an Ayre V-3 or a Rowland Model 1 ($1100). Then find a nice vintage Japanese tuner from Sansui or Kenwood for around $200 and you're done. Nothing in this package will depreciate and everything can be upgraded in turn. There will be extra money for cables, isolation, etc. if you wish to explore them. The downside is no remote. I have found that the combo of tubes, phono section and remote control in one unit is fairly rare. Who knows of any?
I had the same amp wih 2ces, not sigs - the anthem is a good value amp but didnt mate well with Vandies (I had B&K preamp comparable to Anthem pre) The best I've heard the Vandies is with The Jolida 502brc I have now (Tube integrated)and very careful setup following the manual when you get the placement and tilt right you'll know it.....
OK, I really lost it in my post above. Tweaks can do great things but they're really for when you have already done major upgrades. Otherwise they're for when everything should be sounding good but isn't, or for when you have an itch to play.
I *especially* want to apologize for seconding Sbank when his (very good) advice didn't concern tweaks at all. I meant to say I was supporting James1969's post.
I haven't heard the Anthems and I'm not gonna take back what I said about tweaks that worked, but I do want to say that an Audio Space tube integrated did wonderful things for my second system.
Thanks everyone. I kinda had it in my mind that tubes might be a logical next step but wanted to defer to the experts...yooz guyz.
I have a Sutherland Ph-3d phono pre amp.