What to upgrade if at all

I have a TT system and a budget of $2000 cdn available for upgrades. I like 60s, 70s and 80s rock and pop. I listen to mainly vocal, male and female pop and rock. I also listen to digital: computer, SACD, CD using a Modwright Oppo 95 through my current system and am happy to make no changes to digital system:

I don't have any complaints about the analogue setup but just wonder if I can get more of a 'wow' factor by....upgrading TT, tonearm cable, tonearm, phono,power cords, room treatment? For a 2000 budget, where would you suggest I start?

Avid Diva II SP TT
Nordost Tyr tonearm Cable
SME IV arm with a Benz Micro ACE S cartridge
Allnic 1201 Phono
Modwright LS 100 preamp
Modwright KWI 150SE power amp
Trenner & Friedl ART speakers on
Custom Design FS 104 stands
Usher component rack
JPS Aluminata RCA IC from phono to preamp
Antipodes Reference cable between preamp and power amp
Antipodes Reference speaker cable with Bybee speaker bullets
PS Audio P5 regenerator on Nordost titanium kones
Power cables: JPS Analogue, Power AC, Kaptovator x2 and Black Sand Violet MKIIx2

Thanks in advance for the suggestions,
Happy Listening
Just me, but moving up to the next level cartridge produced huge returns in my system. I think your $2K put towards a new cartridge would do the same for you. You can find used or new cartridges in your $$$ range that are very very good.

I agree that it seems the cart seems to after the most room for improvement. You would have a lot of good options in your budget. There are great Dynavectors for that money. ZYX too (and you may be able to get a trade-in cart from upgraders inspected by ZYX from Mehran at Sorasound).

That said, if you have no room treatments, I'd also look into those.
I see you have an Allnic phonostage. Well, Allnic has a fantastic cartridge out now. They also have stepup transformers that are wonderful with it, from all reports that I've heard.
I agree as to the cartridge upgrade, but be careful of room treatment....most people overdo it.

IIRC, that Allnic phono stage has the Allnic SUTs internally already. Just read a great review of it at Dagogo.
For about $2K you can hire Jim Smith to come to your house and voice your system to your room. His service can make a profound difference. You can also consider buying a Vibraplane isolation platform for your turntable which I think is unsuspended. Barring those two suggestions, I agree with the others that a cartridge upgrade can also be very cost effective.
Lyra Delos or kleos. Great cartridges within your budget
Roscoeiii said,
"IIRC, that Allnic phono stage has the Allnic SUTs internally already. Just read a great review of it at Dagogo."

Great! He's halfway there. It would be a shame not to try that combination.
thank you, everyone for the suggestions.
I will keep a lookout for Lyra Delos/Kleos on the resale market.
Lyra Delos cartridge!
Dear Lleall: There are a lot of land to make improvements in your audio system that can fulfil in a better way your music/sound priorities and you said that the kind of music you like to enjoy is rock/pop that in many ways has high demands from an audio system.

You can change your cartridge for a better one and then you could have a better quality sound but the cartridge signal will be reproduced as good as how that cartridge signal was/is surrounded. IMHO for you really can appreciate in full what any cartridge has to shows you need first rate audio links over your audio system. So, I don't recomend to go to a cartridge change but before improve some links in your audio chanin.

You like rock and even that your speakers are really good are limited on its frequency range and you mated it with tube electronic amplifier that IMHO is not the best way to go. No, I don't want that you change your amp but something that could help a lot to those very good speakers and to your amp too.

If I was you my first move will be to add in full stereo fashion a pair of active subwoofers crossed to 80hz to liberate the speakers/amp from 80hz and down. This sole move will improve the main speakers/amp quality performance level in many ways ( you will be surprised on the kind of improvement. ) and in the other side now you will have a full range audio system with the best bass management you can get and IMHO is in the bass management where reside the foundation on any home audio system. As better that system bass management as better the whole audio system quality performance level.

Here you can read something about:




Regards and enjoy the music,
Hello, everyone and thanks again for the responses.

Rauliruegas, I did consider subwoofers to add full range, but my listening room is quite small and I find the ART speakers have enough bass to pretty much satisfy me. The solid state power amp I have drives the ART very well.
I have been looking at the SVC subwoofers though(direct sales) and would arrange to audition in home. I was thinking of buying one but I gather 2 subwoofers are better.
The only problem is that my listening room is quite small and I wonder if I even need subwoofers or is it one of those if you don't try, you don't know what you are missing?

I also saw that Trenner & Friedl have been working on a version of their diamond tweeters that would be more affordable. I emailed the very nice Peter Trenner and he says they are still working on modifications and are not yet ready to bring to market.

Another thought I have is just to keep saving $$ to upgrade to an Avid Sequel SP, keep my SME IV arm and upgrade my cartridge at the same time.
Dear Lleall: As you said you have to try, a small room is not an obstacle: don't be worried because of that.

The main advantage to add two active subwoofers on true stereo fashion is that your main speakers will performs with higher quality performance because through them will pass frequencies from 80hz an up and this lower " severly " the IMD and THD and you will hear it. In the other side the subs will give you the best music foundation you can get and that no passive speaker can do it .

Anyway, you have the idea.

Regards and enjoy the music,
As an update, 2 months later.
I have purchased a pair of powered SVS cylindrical NSD subwoofers which will arrive sometime this week.

SVS suggested that I try the low-pass at:

'Since the ART speakers list a 44Hz extension I'd set the Low-Pass on each sub to between 45Hz and 60Hz (experiment for best blend) and set the Gain (volume) on each to taste until you get the amount of bass you like.'

As to the Lyra cart, I have read that the Delos may be better than the Kleos? I am still waiting to buy.

Thank you again everyone for the suggestions.
I reread Raoul's link to subwoofers and I see that I should try around 80Hz to integrate my speaker and subwoofers instead. Down the road, I plan to add the Trenner & Friedl supertweeters when they become available. That would be the end of the journey for my speaker search.
Dear Lleall: For what you posted SVS suggested that crossover frequency thinking to handle the main speakers fully: this means with out cut its natural frequency response and this is not what I recomend.

What I recomend is that your main speakers works from 80hz and up liberating it through a crossover from frequencies from 80hz and down and this is IMHO the main reason why add subwoofers to any passive loudspeakers. TO IMPROVE TO LOWER THE MAIN SPEAKERS IMD AND THD and obviously improving the IMD/THD system performance.

That is the first target and second target is to achieve better quality bass management with a third target that is to go deeper on bass with better quality.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I am considering taking the Antipodes reference plunge. The metallurgy in the interconnects look right up my alley! Are the speakers cables as much of and upgrade?

For you, I would suggest as many BMI power cords as you can afford, paricularly on your source gear. I have tried many and there are none better to my ear. The ones I have sold as I have upgraded have been universally held as the best the buyers have ever heard.....
Hello, Budburma:

What does BMI stand for?