Which component to upgrade 1st ?

Hey folks here is my dilemma I have a budget of about 6K for a new component. I currently have Martin Logan Vantage speakers, Audio Research Ref75 amp, Audio Research LS17SE preamp, Rega P6 turntable, and a bluesound node (makes my ears hurt but you have to start somewhere) and a Chord Qutest dac. My wishlist includes Lumin T2, (sell Qutest and node), Audio Research Ref 5 used ( sell LS17SE), used Phono tube dac (currently have Mofi), or used Weiss 502 dac with either a Lumin U2 mini or Bricasti M5. I know start with source first but I can’t wrap my head around which toy first. Thoughts and be kind.



Good suggestion on Node mods. I am curious if you have auditioned and compared any of the offerings from Lumin or Aurender with your modified Node.

Given the OP speakers, I would replace Chord Qutest with a good tube DAC before replacing the Node. I would try either MHDT Orchid or Border Patrol DAC.

A change of speakers will always have a greater positive effect than any electronics. Check out Devore!

You've got the foundation for a very nice system.  I'd be  inclined to experiment with some tube rolling so you can tailor the sound to your liking...both pre and amp tubes. If you do, be sure to give ample burn-in time before you draw any conclusions.

You didn't mention what phone cart you're using, but that's always a good place to research and experiment with to optimize what you already have. 

lalitk, replacing the qutest is a great suggestion. I've looked into tube dacs but have not found one around town to audition. MHDT and Border Patrol recos are appreciated.

Keep the Qutest.  Qutest is best dac under $3k.  Avoid the integrated DAC.  If you want to upgrade your streamer, the Allo USBridge Signature with Shanti Power supply is very good will leave you $5600 for another component.