Hi Sunnyjim, could you possibly elaborate more specifically on what improvements over current system you're seeking in an amplifier upgrade, and what price range you're considering?
Sandstone, I will eleaborate:....Would like smoother highs, wider sound stage, though their are sounds and instruments that occasionally, and briefly appear beyond the speaker.( igot somewhat beter soundstaging with my my former Creek SE 5350 Classic integrated0 I realize that the sometimes edge on the highs are either digital artifacts, or small spots of slap echo attenuation of the highs.
"Perfection" would be a $100,000 upgrade of the system, Not going to happen!!!. Maybe, I just need to move to a somewhat larger and more rectangular space.
I think the the bass could or should be quicker, more taut,and exciting. Many years ago, I owned a speaker that used a the British company KEF's B139 oval driver for the woofer. The bass was extraordinary, you could exactly hear the resonance of the inside of the kick drum from Overature of the Who's opus, "Tommy". Several friends who heard the speakers noticed the same sound, and taut bass
Interestingly, I saw a Wilson Audio ad several month ago in TAS that showed stacks of this driver whose surplus stock was bought up their company to use in one of their speakers; KEF has not used this driver in ANY of its new speaker lines or models probably since the mid 1980's.
I listen to about 75% CD's and 25% LP's, though I have bought some 180g, remastered classic rock LP's. The table is a Rega P3-24 with a Dynavector 10X5 which "at times" sounds better than than some of my CD's.
One thing I have stupidly avoided in trying or buying is a good DAC for the Rega Apollo CD player. Some members on AG have rightly beat me up over this oversight or cheapskate behavior. I am told that the right DAC can make a big improvement in digital playback..... I welcome your comments and advice....and the same of other members. Thank you, Jim
Jim, if you are already using a Bel canto line stage, you may want to match it with a pair of Bel Canto REF1000M monoblocks. The REF1000Ms nmay largely address the issues of brittleness you are experiencing in the treble region, and are one of the most expansive, authoritative, and sweet amps I have ever used in my own system. REF1000M are almost as compact as your Red Dragons, and also produce very little heat. See my PFO review at:
G....You may be right!!! I seriously considered BC's REF and the Non-REF amps before buying the Red Dragon amps......but,both the REFM-1000 and the REF M-500 were too expensive, even used.
But,you might be correct,that the BC's REF amps may solve the edgy factor and other minor problem...... Do you know if there is a synergy between Bel Canto PRe3 and the Reference series??;
I do not believe in, or advocate the theory that same brand separates have a "synergy" designed into them to enhance their performance far above other separates combos.
Nevertheless, I will check out and study your review, and the AG's sales ads under BC Thank you, Jim