Next logical upgrade

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  • 10-05-2005, 06:45 AM
    kes4927
    Next logical upgrade
    I currently have Magnepan MG12 speakers, Aragon 2004 Mk II amp, Bottlehead Foreplay 2 tube preamp with upgrades, Rega Planet, Rega Radio, with hodgepodge interconnects (MIT, Transparent Link) and Home Depot 14G halloween cable speaker wire. I am very happy with the sound but am getting the upgrade bug.

    What would have a bigger impact, a DAC, a new preamp, new interconnects or none of the above? Any suggestions welcome.
  • 10-05-2005, 06:51 AM
    markw
    do you have a specific goal in mind?
    ...besides spending money that is. Some of those changes may "change" the sound but without a specific goal, any suggestions are risky.

    ...a subwoofer comes to mind, though.
  • 10-05-2005, 06:58 AM
    kes4927
    Subwoofer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    ...besides spending money that is. Some of those changes may "change" the sound but without a specific goal, any suggestions are risky.

    ...a subwoofer comes to mind, though.

    I do have a Yamaha YST-SW315 that I use for movies with Denon 2802, but it can't keep up with the Maggies for music. I'm happy with the bass for music as it is now.
  • 10-05-2005, 07:13 AM
    dean_martin
    Have you thought about adding a turntable? Lots of vinyl out there new and used. I've read that the Bottlehead phono amp is pretty good, but I also noticed that it's a level 2 kit which keeps me away.

    How about a decent pair of headphones and headphone amp?

    Of course these are additions rather than obvious upgrades, but they would give you more choices.
  • 10-05-2005, 12:47 PM
    Geoffcin
    Magnepan 1.6qr!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kes4927
    I currently have Magnepan MG12 speakers, Aragon 2004 Mk II amp, Bottlehead Foreplay 2 tube preamp with upgrades, Rega Planet, Rega Radio, with hodgepodge interconnects (MIT, Transparent Link) and Home Depot 14G halloween cable speaker wire. I am very happy with the sound but am getting the upgrade bug.

    What would have a bigger impact, a DAC, a new preamp, new interconnects or none of the above? Any suggestions welcome.

    Without question! If you like your 12's your going to love the 1.6s! It's going to take you only hours to sell your 12's on Audiogon.com, and your going to get good resale value from them. Step up to the 1.6.qrs and your never going to regret it.
  • 10-05-2005, 01:40 PM
    topspeed
    I agree with Geoff. The easiest and most cost effective way to change the sound of any system is to change the speakers (not including room treatments). Like Mark said, we have no idea what you don't like about your current rig, but any change to your front end will pale in comparison to the difference new speakers make.
  • 10-05-2005, 03:00 PM
    kes4927
    1.6's too big for room
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    I should have mentioned in my original post that my room is not big enough for the 1.6's. I am new to the audiophile thing and am still very thrilled with the improved sound of my MG12s over my MMGs. The Foreplay was a huge improvement over my Denon 2802, and the Rega Planet was also a very noticeable improvement. And the Aragon was an improvement over my Parasound HCA-800II. I guess I would like to keep the streak going.

    Would a Benchmark or other DAC make a big difference? The Foreplay doesn't have a remote, subwoofer output or HT pass thru so maybe upgrading that would help, but how much would I have to spend to get a significant improvement in sound? Have amps really improved that much since the Aragon was made (mid '90s I think) where I could upgrade that without breaking the bank?

    Or maybe going back to vinyl is the ticket; I still have an old Akai turntable (and records) around but a Planar 2 or 3 and phono preamp would be a treat.

    Sorry for the vague post, I'm not any good at articulating the sound of my system in audiophile terms; it just sounds good to me but I'm sure it can get better.
  • 10-12-2005, 09:12 AM
    amperex
    Nice system.

    The tube type Foreplay preamp can be tuned with different tubes. The Brimar 13D5 often found on ebay are excellent. They are a direct plug-in for 12AU7 & easily outperform other 12AU7 tubes in my amps. The Foreplay also has some factory upgrades available.

    Another option is a tube power amp. However, you are back to tuning with tubes for best sonics. Some consider tube amps a pain. Power hungry MG12s need at least 30 watts RMS power. A Citation V comes to mind & quality rebuilt are available from expert Jim McShane. Cost are approximately $1K. Find him on a google search.

    I do not have your SS amps to compare to on my system. When I went from a Denon HT to tube type amps, I could not believe how much better the music sounded. Even the bass registers was more accurate. I now have all DIY tube amps of a few revisions 'down the road' in the design. My speakers are upgraded ProAc 2.5 Response.