Baby Boomer Upgrade Path


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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After many many years it is time to upgrade my HiFi, It all started a long long time ago, but currently here's what i have

Arcam Alpha 7SE (CD)

Rega Planar 3 with new motor upgrade

NAD3020 (yes the original - used as power amp)

Luxman TP-104 Tuner PreAmp

Warfdale Diamond Speakers

Grado 80Si Headphones

OK, the two highest percieved needs are upgrade for the NAD and Upgrade for the CD player - or maybe just an outboard DAC that would add flexibility to connect in my digital music collection.

Nicer speakers would be nice but a lot of hassle with er'in doors so we'll leave as lower priority.

Come one or come all I'd love some input




Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
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The first priority IMO is to upgrade the NAD/Luxma amp combo. Is it your intention to adhere the hi-fi route only or traverse the audio/visual route for future flexibility? Modern amps have so many connectivity options I would opt for a Pionner A/V amp such as VSX-1021. The hi-fi route try Arcam, Rotel and Marantz. If you wish to continue using your t/table go Yamaha - which I've done - as there are one of the few manufacturers still have a phono input as standard e.g. Yamaha RX-V667. The last thing you want is to buy a shiny new amp then spend extra cash for a phono adapter.

As for the Arcam CD player, your suggestion of buying a DAC is logical but personally I'm not that convinced on spending £250 plus for a DAC as I believe the gain in sound quality is minimal but that's my opinion. Again, it does depend on how much stock you put in sound quality against convenience/cost. As you're aware many BluRay players play CD's to a good standard which may surpass your ageing Arcam CD player. Not to mentioned Apple IPOD's and music streaming from your computer.

The latest Audiolab CD players are currently receiving a lot of press for their sound quality and convenience. This may be a better choice rather than buying a stand-alone DAC.

As usual the only solid advice is to go to your nearest hi-fi shop armed with your favourite CDs and listen!!


Well-known member
Firstly, the turntable is absolutely fine and I wouldn't do anything with it in the context of your system. Ultimately, your system is going to be limited by your speakers, so deciding what is going to be acceptable by way of replacement is actually fairly important, BEFORE you buy anything else.

If you are going to be stuck with the Diamonds for the forseeable, I'd start by expanding the functionality of your system by considering either a DAC like the Arcam rDAC or a more modern amp with digital connectivity, like the Onkyo TX8050 or the new version of the NAD C356 with the DAC built in.

If something domestic friendly is going to be essential then I'd seriously consider something like the Onkyo amp, with a pair of compact speakers like the Acoustic Energy Compact 1s or the Q Acoustics 2020i. Then you'll be able to connect the digital output of your Arcam CD player to the TX8050 and use the amp's DAC, you'll gain cleaner amplification and the benefits of streaming capability, and you'll be replacing your Diamonds with something small but significantly more capable. The Onkyo will give you a very good phono stage for your Rega and a surprisingly good headphone output for your Grados.

Hope this is helpful.


lots of good feedback, thanks guys.

This is ONLY Audio/HiFi - Vision system is seperate room - good qu.

Yes the speakers stay - at least for 2 years, most of my "listening" is now headphones.

Just got a new Denon DL-110 catridge, so for now at least, I agree Turntable is good. Forgot to mention that I have a Pro- Ject Phono Box that takes cartridge signal and makes line level so do not need true RIAA phone input on amp.

When I first went to seperate tuner/preamp and using the NAD as a poweramp it made a HUGE difference to my sound so it will be a push to move on from that. Have thought many times about moving on from the NAD but not sure what too. Moving on from the Luxman means adding a tuner AND a pre amp. Going to an integrated amp gives me the willies, although with a DAC built in - had never thought of that.

Like the idea of the seperate DAC to improve Arcam AND bring in computer music

I have 110 or 240 V supplies in the house so UK or USA gear works fine. No one uses power supply frequency for anything anymore (ok 'cept turntable - but that's resolved)

Typically with my electronics I buy last years model and really don't care about new

PLEASE keep the ideas coming, the springs always a good time to buy anything

Ian :cheers:

PS AND a point awary at White Hart Lane - it's a beautiful day :clap:


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