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Anyone have any ideas on upgrading this old system?

Hans_2049

Member
Apr 16, 2020
11
0
20
Hello all,

I built up a system from used parts in recent years and I am looking for advice on how to take it further, not necessarily only as a one-time overhaul, but also a strategic build up to allow for exciting options in the future.

I am currently using components which I simply cannot find any information on online, and which I don't know how to compare to what's being offered today. I really like the sound I currently have; the old amp however has difficulty warming up properly and doesn't drive the speakers in a stable way, they fade in and out quite a lot; and my wireless solution is very unstable so looking for a new device for streaming. I currently use Tidal with a hi-fi account and focus more on digital streaming than on vinyl these days, but want to keep a nice clear analog path open to really enjoy vinyl in the future with a better turntable.

Amp: Denon DRA-425
Speakers: Jamo Disc Sound D-88-TR
Phono: Akai AP-A2
Wireless DAC: Neet Airstream Pro with Wolfson DAC

I am looking for thoughts on solid, lasting amp upgrades that can be a good backbone for gradually renewing the whole system, that would match or improve the quality of the old Denon. Are there integrated streaming amps that fit the bill, or if it is perhaps wiser to keep the DAC separate (if so which one?) and have a nice purely analogue amp? What could be a next step for speakers? I'd like to take it out of budget into mid-level, but preferably with bang rather than buck. I've been trawling many a review on this site, but curious for advice that is related to the system I currently have..

Hans
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
290
96
18,970
We bought a Yamaha R-N602 stereo receiver a couple of years ago. It's a very nice one box solution for both our analogue and digital needs. The Yamaha R-N803D is even better and has a DAB+ tuner.

We use the R-N602 for listening to our record player, TV, AirPlay etc. It's got a very decent phono MM stage and a good DAC for digital inputs. Currently selling for around £350 in the UK. The R-N803D sells for around £600 and has some extra features.

Other network receivers by Onkyo and Pioneer are available.
 
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Pueblo_Boy

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2013
11
2
18,525
In the end, it's your music source that will determine the ultimate quality of your system. Would be worth it, in the long term, to invest in a good vinyl front end to begin with. You can pick up a second-hand Rega deck - even a P3 or P5 - for around £150 or less, and then upgrade it to super deck quality with a Rage upgrade kit from The Funk Firm. Sure, not the cheapest of upgrades, but you did want bang for buck, and that is what you will get with this upgrade.
 

Hans_2049

Member
Apr 16, 2020
11
0
20
In the end, it's your music source that will determine the ultimate quality of your system. Would be worth it, in the long term, to invest in a good vinyl front end to begin with. You can pick up a second-hand Rega deck - even a P3 or P5 - for around £150 or less, and then upgrade it to super deck quality with a Rage upgrade kit from The Funk Firm. Sure, not the cheapest of upgrades, but you did want bang for buck, and that is what you will get with this upgrade.
Thanks. Incidentally I've done this, got a good condition RP3+Elys2 bundled with the Rega PSU and Fono mk2 stage. I ran across a good deal after already upgrading the rest of the system. Which is now a second-hand Rega Brio, with Rega DAC, and Bluesound Node N100 for Tidal... super happy overall, and when I started playing the RP3, I was truly blown away.. replaying old LPs that I had never heard in such vivid and rich sound.. I must say, I feel no urgency to upgrade the Jamos which, despite what many say online, sounds totally fine, especially now that I've upgraded the AMP and the source..

Thanks for the tip on the upgrade kit.. in terms of value for money improvements in sound how does tone arm+cartridge via Funk Firm compare to platter upgrades such as Groovetracer ? The Rega sub platter, as well as the components holding the arm+anti skate, are in visibly cheap plastic...

I won't be upgrading for a good while, just going to listen and learn for a while...
 

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