I prefer LPs and most likely will continue to be an enjoyer of that format however, been streaming a lot with a modest setup. Elac, Discovery w/Roon (Basic) to a Line Magnetic, LM502ca tube/SS switchable DAC and connected with an Aural Symphonics, Digital Statement BNC to Coax cable. Ethernet connection is via two Airport Extremes communicating 15' apart. No noisy router in the room & I use good CAT 8 Ethernet cables on both ends. This is pretty must a $3K setup at retail. So what do I need to spend to improve this rig. To me, it's pretty GD good right now but maybe someone uses a similar setup and what was spent on improving the experience. Obviously sky's the limit on these pieces but say $5K budget? Will adding an S-Booster make a difference. Cable is pretty great and DAC too. Not a lot of Elac users but I find it exceptional. I have an Auralic, Mini too and prefer the Elac with lifelike subscription to a basic Roon package. Seem to both sound the same to me... thoughts?



Nope. I have not spent tens of thousands, but I can easily hear the difference between DACs, AMPs, Headphones, Cartridges, CD players and streamers (oh wait, those last two are sources just like cartridges!). I do have a harder time telling between interconnects unless there is a big difference (build-wise, not just money wise). But do a blind test between similarly priced McIntosh and a Luxman/Pass/Accuphase amp. I would bet you could tell them apart 100% of the time. I'd dare you to tell me you couldn't tell them apart. I know you could. Now I'm not talking which is better sounding, just that they will sound totally different.

The first time I realized not all electrics sound the same happened to me when back in the 1990's when I wanted to buy my first high end CD player. I had a Nak tape deck and figured their CD players would be good too - besides it's all 1's and 0's. Salesman had me listen to a Rotel and the difference was amazing. I kept flipping between them as I couldn't believe it. The Rotel sounded like music and the Nak sounded like any cheap CD player. They were similarly priced also. So yeah, I have to politely disagree with your assumption that even beyond a basic level all electrics sound the same. 

To me, it's pretty GD good right now…

Maybe you should think about stopping stop now?

Yeah, my intention wasn't to get into a parallel spending situation. I don't believe that's a valid formula. But having said that, I do have about the same money invested in my TT/phono pre as I do my DAC/streamer. Interesting how that manifested on its own. My cart however pushes the LP investment higher. Anyway, I have gotten to a place where simple tweaks yield noticeable results. I Like my DAC a ton... there are better I'm sure but this one performs wonderfully. All other components and speakers have great symmetry. Just looking to squeeze the last drop out of my current streaming setup before really contemplating a step up. Like I said, to me, it's very good right now. I think maybe a direct Ethernet connection cutting out the two apple products communicating. A silent HQ modem in the room is prob a solid move. Thoughts?