Where can I start to improve my sound the most 2ch


I currently have an Arcam AVR300, Cambridge Audio 640C with MIT AVT3 cables going to a pair of Dynaudio 1.3SE's. I also bought a ZU power cable for my Arcam. What should I look to do next to improve my 2 channel audio?

Cables?
Seperate Amp?
New CD Player?

What will make the largest difference?

Thanks!
rkerv
The CD player in your system is where I would start. It does not seem on par with your other components.

I started with a Cambridge Audio 300SE and thought it was great. Then I tried a California Audio Labs CL-15 and the 300SE seemed grainy, lacking dynamics and slow. I now have a Merdian 508.24 and the CAL has moved to system B.

I would also suggest speaker placement and room tweaks if you have not tried those yet. They can dramatically improve your system sound.
Room acoustics.
Concur Room Acoustics

+------------------------------------------------

Realise that you have a surround system.

Then stop playing CD's in two channel, get the contour center and some Audience 52 rears and leave two channel behind.

Put this mantra into your head:

LP's= 2channel
CD's= Multi-channel

The Arcam is one of three or four receivers that can playback multichannel on an extremely high level. Proper set up will give you a wide deep soundstage with a sense of real life, no brightness or harshness and when you get used to all the info being around you, it will reveal much more detail in a subtler way. You should be able to encapsulate yourself in a 360degree soundfield with a very real and defined wide(or small)front stage that defines the space the recording was made. Any obvious surround issues are setup problems not equipment problems. So don't give up easily.

Try to get each speaker to image one to another.

Dynaudio makes for excellent surround system speakers, So your task is simplified by making a wise initial purchase.
Ze Ruuum! Ze akoustiks!
The source equipment, the cd player, is the place to start. A great player with a mediocre amp will sound significantly better than a mediocre player with a great amp.
You first need to filter your AC. That is the first place to start. Once you have the AC filtered, then you will be able to hear what the difference cables/components will do in your system. WIthout the AC filtering, most of the changes will not be significant IMO.

Happy Listening.
Cinematic Systems.....

Realise that you have a surround system.

Then stop playing CD's in two channel, get the contour center and some Audience 52 rears and leave two channel behind.

Put this mantra into your head:

LP's= 2channel
CD's= Multi-channel

What a stupid reply! Not everyone worships at the altar of "multi-channel".

Oz
Free edification from one qualified to give it:

http://firstwatt.com/intro.htm
I actually do have a surround setup... Contour T2.1 and 52se rears-

But again... I would rather listen to two channel music being a recording studio guy. Anyway-

Acoustics is fine in my room. I bought some of Ethans Bass Traps and treated my walls as well.

So the CD player is were to go it sounds like... hmmm

How far would I have to spend in order to get a two channel amp better than the Arcam?

THANKS FOR THE INFO!!!!! YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!
"I would rather listen to two channel music being a recording studio guy."

As a recording studio guy I want you to think about the surround information that every stereo cardioid mic captures and explain to me how you remove the surround information off of your mixes.

Yes... buy a better CD player to run through a noisey AV receivers after thought of an analog preamplifer then use that same preamp to drive an amplifier that cost what the receiver cost.

If I may ask a favor,

If given a chance I can make your 2 channel cd's sound significantly better than the do (it still may not be good enough) now by using DPLII on the Arcam, Especially since you bothered to buy the right speaker system. It will only cost you a bit of your time, so what do you have to lose?

Email me if you're willing to suspend disbelief for a moment and I can talk you through how I setup receiver surround systems to playback 2 channel music.
I also want to say that I have been looking into grabbing a pair of Dynaudio Special 25's.... but I think I need to upgrade the amp to do so... should I??
Cinematic_systems
Stop the advertising and leave it your website. If you want to sell this gentleman private emails are more appropriate.
Amp would be next after the CDP. Think tubes..........
Upgrade the CD player.
Room acoustics is very important. It will make more difference than cd players, wire or any ss electronics. Without good acoustics you're not hearing your system as well as it could sound and this is commonly quite an ear opener. For the money it's a bargain compared to what many of us have in our systems. Bass traps can other room treatment can be made rather inexpensively too. I'm sure many of us here would like to hear what you think after you get some room treatment. Fair warning: Once you start and hear how much better your system sounds it's hard to stop.
A separate amp which is on your todo list is also a great idea.
Don't change CD-player now. Many folks believe that your Cambridge definitely isn't Capitole or Burmeister that's why needs to be changed.
1) The room
2) The CDP

The room is the true source of the music, IMO. It will have an affect on the sound that trumps the contribution of the other components. Take care of it first. Then, once you've powered on, the CDP becomes the key member. The amps, cables & speakers can only work with what they are given. Get the best source you can afford.
Just my two cents.

Good luck,
Howard