Question Is it worth the upgrade/What?

Zeeman92

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2014
39
6
18,545
I've tried my best to keep this to the point despite having a few queries, any help will be much appreciated, thanks in advance.(y)

For stereo listening my current setup doesn't quite give me the enjoyment I would like. I quite honestly don't understand why Audiolab were so highly rated, either it's subjective, or something in my rig is a weak link, if so what? Ideally, I want something that has decent clarity and is exciting; warm and punchy whist sounding honest. I listen to many different genres which I guess makes upgrade choice somewhat difficult (see below).

Songs like Massive Attack's Angel sound pretty awesome or Santana's debut just to give an idea.

Streaming
Chromecast Audio --> Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus --> Audiolab 8000PX and 8000Q --> Monitor Audio Silver 300.

TT
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB (standard Ortofon 2M Red cart) --> 8000A --> Pre-Power combo.

I stream with either Tidal or Amazon HD. I'm well aware that using a CC probably isn't ideal. Is there likely to be massive gains if I, a. purchased a streamer or b. plugged a PC into the DAC and streamed that way?

I tend to stream more than I use records so am not too bothered about getting a phone stage at the moment.

I loosely have my eyes on the Roksan Caspian M2, or something like a Musical Fidelity M6i, I assume both options will both be a substantial jump?

Acid/Rave
Afrobeat (Original stuff)
Big Band
Blues
Blues Rock
Breakbeat
Classical
Drum N Bass/Various EDM
Folk
Funk
Garage
Grime
Hard Rock
Hip Hop
Heavy Metal - Various Genre Offshoots
Indie
Jazz/Jazz Fusion
Punk/Post Punk
R&B - Original
Rap
Reggae
Rock
Rock N Roll
Ska
Techno
Trance
40s/50s/60s/70s - present
 
Last edited:
I've tried my best to keep this to the point despite having a few queries, any help will be much appreciated, thanks in advance.(y)

For stereo listening my current setup doesn't quite give me the enjoyment I would like. I quite honestly don't understand why Audiolab were so highly rated, either it's subjective, or something in my rig is a weak link, if so what? Ideally, I want something that has decent clarity and is exciting; warm and punchy whist sounding honest. I listen to many different genres which I guess makes upgrade choice somewhat difficult (see below).

Songs like Massive Attack's Angel sound pretty awesome or Santana's debut just to give an idea.

Streaming
Chromecast Audio --> Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus --> Audiolab 8000PX and 8000Q --> Monitor Audio Silver 300.

TT
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB (standard Ortofon 2M Red cart) --> 8000A --> Pre-Power combo.

I stream with either Tidal or Amazon HD. I'm well aware that using a CC probably isn't ideal. Is there likely to be massive gains if I, a. purchased a streamer or b. plugged a PC into the DAC and streamed that way?

I tend to stream more than I use records so am not too bothered about getting a phone stage at the moment.

I loosely have my eyes on the Roksan Caspian M2, or something like a Musical Fidelity M6i, I assume both options will both be a substantial jump?

Acid/Rave
Afrobeat (Original stuff)
Big Band
Blues
Blues Rock
Breakbeat
Classical
Drum N Bass/Various EDM
Folk
Funk
Garage
Grime
Hard Rock
Hip Hop
Heavy Metal - Various Genre Offshoots
Indie
Jazz/Jazz Fusion
Punk/Post Punk
R&B - Original
Rap
Reggae
Rock
Rock N Roll
Ska
Techno
Trance
40s/50s/60s/70s - present
Why do you list a load of genres after your question.
Totally pointless as any decent speakers should handle everything
In fact I can't see exactly what questions you are posing, can you explain.
It would seem to me that source is everything, and it's not an issue with the amp.
 
Last edited:

aversaurus

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2016
229
60
10,870
I don't really understand why you want to change the amp I think you need to change the streamer .
Do you own a cd player if so play it through the DAC and see how a good streamer should sound
 

Zeeman92

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2014
39
6
18,545
I don't really understand why you want to change the amp I think you need to change the streamer .
Do you own a cd player
Not sure tbh, I assumed the amp since some records sound uninteresting. Though that could be that I don't have a dedicated phonostage. No CD player so can't test.

So what's a better option, a decent streamer or a PC plugged into the DAC ?
 

Zeeman92

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2014
39
6
18,545
The chrome cast is your weak link followed by the dacmagic depending what gen it is
I've just found the below article as well as many other articles kind of debunking the idea that an expensive streamer will be a big leap. Maybe the DAC might improve things somewhat but surely other than room improvements, that leads back to the amp for bigger gains?

https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/p0wryr View: https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/p0wryr/high_quality_streamer_vs_chromecast_audio_in/
 

aversaurus

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2016
229
60
10,870
Your best idea is to audition a new amp and see if it makes the difference your looking for .
a change to any one part of your set up will change the sound .the question is will it change to the sound your looking for .
but you need to start somewhere and if can audition some new kit it will save you time and money
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
138
99
170
@Zeeman92 Get a blue sound node 2i and it will cut your box count in half and is better at doing the dac thing as well its a little more energetic and sure foorted

If your don't like, it send it back within the 14-30day returns period. Buy from amazon or some such just make sure they have a good retunes policy you can audition at home then, with your other peaces
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
138
99
170
I've just found the below article as well as many other articles kind of debunking the idea that an expensive streamer will be a big leap. Maybe the DAC might improve things somewhat but surely other than room improvements, that leads back to the amp for bigger gains?

https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/p0wryr View: https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/p0wryr/high_quality_streamer_vs_chromecast_audio_in/

Yep, its a good device that people don't want to believe is of the same quality of as many streamers on the market costing multiple hundreds if not thousands more, there is a reason they now fetch a small fortune on ebay. But they do have their down sides as well.
 

skinnypuppy71

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2021
235
130
970
I think maybe your system is kind of telling you how it is, you say Massive attack and Santana sound pretty awesome, well recorded music, I'd start looking at the recordings before the system, try some well noted mastered material, even if it's not your cuppa, Stevie Ray Vaughan's tin pan alley, Nils Lhofgren, kieth don't go, Anne Bisson September in Montreal and just about anything from pink Floyd from Dark side of the moon and onwards.....see how that goes and if that's not doing it for you then I'd start looking at the system, oh and If you want to change stuff I'd start with the chromecast and 2m red.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WayneKerr

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I've tried my best to keep this to the point despite having a few queries, any help will be much appreciated, thanks in advance.(y)

For stereo listening my current setup doesn't quite give me the enjoyment I would like. I quite honestly don't understand why Audiolab were so highly rated, either it's subjective, or something in my rig is a weak link, if so what? Ideally, I want something that has decent clarity and is exciting; warm and punchy whist sounding honest. I listen to many different genres which I guess makes upgrade choice somewhat difficult (see below).

Songs like Massive Attack's Angel sound pretty awesome or Santana's debut just to give an idea.

Streaming
Chromecast Audio --> Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus --> Audiolab 8000PX and 8000Q --> Monitor Audio Silver 300.

TT
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB (standard Ortofon 2M Red cart) --> 8000A --> Pre-Power combo.

I stream with either Tidal or Amazon HD. I'm well aware that using a CC probably isn't ideal. Is there likely to be massive gains if I, a. purchased a streamer or b. plugged a PC into the DAC and streamed that way?

I tend to stream more than I use records so am not too bothered about getting a phone stage at the moment.

I loosely have my eyes on the Roksan Caspian M2, or something like a Musical Fidelity M6i, I assume both options will both be a substantial jump?

Acid/Rave
Afrobeat (Original stuff)
Big Band
Blues
Blues Rock
Breakbeat
Classical
Drum N Bass/Various EDM
Folk
Funk
Garage
Grime
Hard Rock
Hip Hop
Heavy Metal - Various Genre Offshoots
Indie
Jazz/Jazz Fusion
Punk/Post Punk
R&B - Original
Rap
Reggae
Rock
Rock N Roll
Ska
Techno
Trance
40s/50s/60s/70s - present
Looking at your kit there seems to be imbalance with components: Audiolab and MA Silver are not a good combination; the DacMagic I owned for a short period - didn't like it. What I change? We all have our personal choices. The best advice is to demo. Not major surgery or a wholesale change but I would start with the Audiolabs - the older models really aren't my bag.

Depending on budget I would look at a quality integrated, such as a Arcam, Creek, Roksan and see if that improves matters.

Or if you really want to cut down on box count, suggest you demo a Leema Quasar. It doesn't have a phono stage but as a digital device it should be great, especially with MA Silvers
 
Last edited:

nopiano

Well-known member
I’d expect to prefer a Roksan or Musical Fidelity amp to the Audiolab, but I’m not fait with your speakers. I also prefer a purpose-built streamer to Chromecast plus DAC, or a computer alternative. But if you’ve strong views on the streamer, I’d just suggest trying one at a dealer.

Auditioning a few amp and speaker combos will soon give you an idea how much the presentation you currently enjoy is fine for you, or where it could be bettered.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts