2 Channel Upgrade Help

Phylos

Member
May 27, 2022
3
0
20
1st time poster.
I’ll try to be brief. Dusting off some equipment (vintage?) and want to up my game for digital audio and wow, I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Doing a ton of research but hoping to focus in on what’s important. Also, considering integrating the same space for 5.1 surround.

Current setup:
Integrated Amp: Sansui AU-X911DG - in for servicing and awaiting estimate.
Speakers: Linn Kaber (passive) tri-wired
Components: Harmon Kardon tuner, Sansui CD player (same vintage early 90s)

Audio:
I want to explore streaming and lossless formats for selected music. My music collection is a limited number of CDs and about 140GB worth of MP3s. Looking at doing Roon with either Qobuz or Tidal. Would appreciate any input on streamers, DACs, combos and connections for the amp. Trying to get up to speed, but could use any help on how these components get connected / controlled.

Also, I want to add a sub and wondering about pros/cons of active/passive again with the amp in mind, along with the best connection option.
AV:
I’m thinking about integrating a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver but would like to use the Kabers as my L/R and add a center and satellites (preferably wireless). Any steer on how to do this, gear to look at etc. would be appreciated. Also control of volume of the Sansui, along with the other 3 channels.
I’m pretty open on price ranges, just don’t want to go super high-end. The Sansui is a great amp but obviously pretty old. If the estimate for cleaning or fixing the attenuator and (possible recap) is too high, I’ll be looking at replacement options. Audio is my focus so don’t want to settle on mediocre sound with an AV receiver (or convince me otherwise).
Any inputs appreciated!
 

treesey

Well-known member
May 18, 2015
138
36
18,620
One thing I use that makes 'streaming' easy with old kit is some kind of external DAC and a Chromecast. Any PC can cast to the Chromecast, and the TV can be on but the monitor off. You have a few more boxes, but then you can spend as much on the DAC as you like (for the future) and feed the output to the Sansui.
Obviously you can use the Chromecast to watch stuff as well.

To join the dots, I use an Arcam irDAC... but if you are going to lose the Sansui you'd be better off getting a modern receiver such as Pioneer Marantz or Yamaha that does it all for you if you want the 5.1 music that's available. I'm listening to SACD DSotM 5.1 and it's a different immersive experience. Though I have to say 2.0 still has a lot going for it to my ears :) only because 5.1 seems to push the vocals back a bit too much in the soundstage.
 

treesey

Well-known member
May 18, 2015
138
36
18,620
...and you can get a 5.1/7.2/9.2 receiver plus a decent 2.0 power amp and take the front preouts from one to the other to bring the sound quality up a notch.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
1st time poster.
I’ll try to be brief. Dusting off some equipment (vintage?) and want to up my game for digital audio and wow, I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Doing a ton of research but hoping to focus in on what’s important. Also, considering integrating the same space for 5.1 surround.

Current setup:
Integrated Amp: Sansui AU-X911DG - in for servicing and awaiting estimate.
Speakers: Linn Kaber (passive) tri-wired
Components: Harmon Kardon tuner, Sansui CD player (same vintage early 90s)

Audio:
I want to explore streaming and lossless formats for selected music. My music collection is a limited number of CDs and about 140GB worth of MP3s. Looking at doing Roon with either Qobuz or Tidal. Would appreciate any input on streamers, DACs, combos and connections for the amp. Trying to get up to speed, but could use any help on how these components get connected / controlled.

Also, I want to add a sub and wondering about pros/cons of active/passive again with the amp in mind, along with the best connection option.
AV:
I’m thinking about integrating a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver but would like to use the Kabers as my L/R and add a center and satellites (preferably wireless). Any steer on how to do this, gear to look at etc. would be appreciated. Also control of volume of the Sansui, along with the other 3 channels.
I’m pretty open on price ranges, just don’t want to go super high-end. The Sansui is a great amp but obviously pretty old. If the estimate for cleaning or fixing the attenuator and (possible recap) is too high, I’ll be looking at replacement options. Audio is my focus so don’t want to settle on mediocre sound with an AV receiver (or convince me otherwise).
Any inputs appreciated!
As you have Linn speakers I would look at Linn Sneaky streamer. It's not just a streamer, it has a decent built-in integrated amplifier. Whether the Sneakys amp is better than your Sansui, I doubt it but it gives you a neat all-in-one solution.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nopiano and Al ears

Gray

Well-known member
As you've only got a limited number of CDs it might be an idea to convert them to FLAC files and store them with your mp3s - to play through the streamer.
There's every chance the FLACs could sound better than CDs on your Sansui player.
(So after comparing, you might not need to bother with the CDP in your new setup).
 
As you've only got a limited number of CDs it might be an idea to convert them to FLAC files and store them with your mp3s - to play through the streamer.
There's every chance the FLACs could sound better than CDs on your Sansui player.
(So after comparing, you might not need to bother with the CDP in your new setup).
I for one would disagree with the idea that converting what's on a CD to flac or anything else is going to instantly make it sound better. This is all down to the DAC in use, in my opinion.
If you are used to the sound from a CD through a particular CDP then playing the same as a digital file through a different DAC in not necessarily going to sound better, different yes.
However, it's a good idea to have a choice to actually compare.
 

Gray

Well-known member
I for one would disagree with the idea that converting what's on a CD to flac or anything else is going to instantly make it sound better. This is all down to the DAC in use, in my opinion.
In my opinion too (y)
And that's why I said there's every chance the sound could be better.....perhaps I should have added 'or worse, depending on the DAC you choose'.
(But that still wouldn't satisfy those that believe CD transports / streamers affect sound as much as DACs).
 

Phylos

Member
May 27, 2022
3
0
20
why surround sound ?
Gasolin, that's a secondary consideration, only because I don't have a dedicated listening room. My aim would be to leverage the Sansui and Linns and supplement with an AV receiver for the rest (center channel, hdmi, etc.) I'd prefer not to have to pick up two or more remotes just to watch a show, though, lol.
 

Phylos

Member
May 27, 2022
3
0
20
very true....
Great input all. That's why I've been struggling with the spread in pricing on DACs, along with the streamer. So looking at like a Bluesound Node, I can't believe the internal DAC would be as good as a separate, but maybe try that 1st and see what it sounds like? Or just bite the bullet and get a decent mid range DAC as well. In looking at dozens of recent reviews, people seem to land on the SMSL VMV D120ES or Denfrips Ares 2 pretty often.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS