System upgrade suggestions


Looking to upgrade my modest system that is in a small room(10x12).

I have the following:

Tecnodec w/ RB300
Clearaudio Arum beta S
Levinson ML 1
Michell Dino Phono stage
Quad 405 amp-on long term loan from friend
Linn Tukans
Synergistic Alpha Speaker/ICs
Wadia 23 as transport
Wadia 64.4 DAC
Wadia Glass cable
Raw AC

Suggestions on upgrading my system? The turntable/arm/cart is new, just breaking them in. I like the wadia going straight into the amp and using the digital volume control. Havent tried it into the ML 1.

There aren't many shops that I can demo gear here.

Thanks for your help.
It's hard to know where to start. What do have/not have that you are looking for? Have you given enough attention to tuning the room, including spkr. positioning?

You mention raw AC. What exactly do you mean by that? Why haven't you tried the Wadia hooked to the ML1?
Boy howdy, you have made smart choices. Love the Beta S, likewise Wadia and Linn and Levinson. Whats yo beef? Or are you just looking for next steps. You are going to spend a pant load of money if you want to upgrade a component and feel good about the sonic improvement. So I agree that you might think about your moderate room. Regular shapes set up standing waves that steal souns. Hard surfaces slap and offend and fatigue. Polish your points of contact from sockets (you might do better here, to the plugs, and then the interconnects and their jacks over to the speaker cable posts and connections. If your power is dirty,you can add components to clean it up as well as separate digital source from the rest.

By raw AC, I mean straight in from the wall. Still playing with the speaker positions. I have to compromise with the postitions vs using the room.

Thanks all.
i would suggest to think about other power amp..since you have a small room, quality but low power solid state or tube amp will be considered,,certainly ML series of levinson will be very logical
I'm no expert, but your system sounds pretty good as it is... I think one of the most valuable add-ons, especially in a small room, is some room treatments. I'm looking into some myself and I think that'll be the next best step.

Good luck,

I agree with the above posts. I would concentrate my efforts on room acoustics followed by dedicated AC power lines with up-graded AC outlets. Finally turn to clean power filtration systems, there are many selections out there and you will have to research the topic. Clean AC power does a lot more for ones quality of sound than one realizes.
You could try running the Wadia through the ML. I know all things being equal the less you run a signal through the better but...

Many people find the if you CD player has a digital variable output, it sounds best when they have the CD player set to full and then use the preamp to adjust the volume. Reason being is your CD player operates the volume in the digital domain and by boosting the volume there all your preamp has to do is resist part of the signal, (no gain required) letting more nuances and fine details in the music through.

My best friend has a Wadia 6 and he finds this true with his. In the review on the Linn Genki by UHF I believe they said that the variables output were so bad they could not believe that Linn even put the on (not bashing the Linn, it's a very nice player and I would like to get one, but those variable outputs are awful).

In the end of course it is your ears that must be happy so choose whatever you think sounds better, but it just and idea.

As far as other advice, you never mentioned your cabling, inter-connect, power, speaker... Asuming all of that is up to par with the rest of your system you could look into power conditioning.

It WILL make a world worth of difference. There are many threads on them in the archives, but if you got the money try a Hydra or PS Audio (The hydra is passive (filters) while PS Audio is active (regenerates) ). If you don't have that much you could consider a Monster Power Center (what I end up buying on a limited budget) or a Chang Lightspeed. These are by no means the only good brands out there. There are many more, these are just a few companies I have had good experinces with.

Other than that, nice system and happy listening.
I have a suggestion.... Yes, it is a small room, but you could easily improve your system, and keep the sound by getting a pair of Linn 5140's. The footprint isn't significantly bigger than the stands you must have the Tukans on, and they will really add bass, with very similar sound....

Just my .02 FWIW
From a fellow Tecnodec and Dino owner: The Dino works much better with MC cartridges than with MM cartridges in my experiences (also see Michal Fremers comments in his Stereophile review). I you ever get bored and want to experiment. I ran a Denon Dl103 (sadly enough now dead - my fault) and a Kontrapunkt A on the Tecnodec/Dino with great results.
Oh and for the RB 300: A better counterweight (Expressimo Heavyweight or Michell Tecnoweight) might get you some worthwile improvements for little extra cost.