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Question Thinking about upgrading

macaumetal

Active member
May 21, 2020
4
1
25
Hi everybody, I'm new to the forum so I hope I'm not posting in the wrong category.
My name is Gustavo I'm from Argentina and this lockdown (63 days so far...) made me think about my set up.

Currently I have a pair of Paradigm Mini Monitors v7 on Isoacoustics ISO-155, hooked up to a Yamaha AX396, connected to my PC through a Dragonfly Cobalt. I also have a modest Sanyo turntable that I got rewired and restored and an old Technics CD player a friend gave me, but I'm ok with them.

I mostly listen to my ripped FLACs and Tidal. I used to have Roon trial for a couple of months, but now I use MusicBee. Tried Audirvana, JRiver, Foobar, Mediamonkey, Amarra and Plex but none of them managed the library like Roon did and the Tidal integration was heaven to me. I mostly (almost exclusively) listen to Metal.

Anyway, I was thinking if there's something on the setup I could upgrade to get the most of it. Sometimes there's no need to overspend money and that's what I'd like to avoid by asking this community.

What would you recommend to change, the speakers or the stereo amp? Maybe none, honestly, I like what I hear. But since I lack the technical knowledge maybe I'm missing something and I can improve my experience.

Also if you have any suggestion to a Roon alternative, please let me know

Thanks in advance
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
361
136
19,070
Hi everybody, I'm new to the forum so I hope I'm not posting in the wrong category.
My name is Gustavo I'm from Argentina and this lockdown (63 days so far...) made me think about my set up.

Currently I have a pair of Paradigm Mini Monitors v7 on Isoacoustics ISO-155, hooked up to a Yamaha AX396, connected to my PC through a Dragonfly Cobalt. I also have a modest Sanyo turntable that I got rewired and restored and an old Technics CD player a friend gave me, but I'm ok with them.

I mostly listen to my ripped FLACs and Tidal. I used to have Roon trial for a couple of months, but now I use MusicBee. Tried Audirvana, JRiver, Foobar, Mediamonkey, Amarra and Plex but none of them managed the library like Roon did and the Tidal integration was heaven to me. I mostly (almost exclusively) listen to Metal.

Anyway, I was thinking if there's something on the setup I could upgrade to get the most of it. Sometimes there's no need to overspend money and that's what I'd like to avoid by asking this community.

What would you recommend to change, the speakers or the stereo amp? Maybe none, honestly, I like what I hear. But since I lack the technical knowledge maybe I'm missing something and I can improve my experience.

Also if you have any suggestion to a Roon alternative, please let me know

Thanks in advance
Hi and welcome! What's your budget and room size?
 

macaumetal

Active member
May 21, 2020
4
1
25
Hi, thanks for the welcome!

It's a small 3mts x 2.8mts office by 3mts height.

And the budget is kind of tricky, but could be around 700 USD.
Keep in mind here in Argentina a Dragonfly Cobalt is 560 USD and a pair of KEF Q150, 700 so price is something we have to look for very carefully since with the inflation and exchange rates some people are asking for literally a fortune.
 

macaumetal

Active member
May 21, 2020
4
1
25
Welcome to the forum.

For the last couple of days I have been listening to Guns 'n' Roses at Rosario and Buenos Aires in November 2016. You have the best live crowds in music. The atmosphere is fantastic.
We've come to the point of singing EVERY piece of guitar solo, SOmetimes I feel it's too much, but it seems the artists like it, and there's no way a show could be experienced as a mere "listener" here. So the crowd feels the need to be an extra member of the band as if they were on stage.
 
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rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
361
136
19,070
If you like what the Yamaha does in the highs, you could maybe add a subwoofer instead (from what I read, your speakers are good down to 75hz). Amp-wise, I'd look at stuff on the warm side, and defo on the SH market if you can find the stuff in your region - in order of preference: Naim Nait 5i-2, Roksan Kandy K2 (ugly but excellent amp) or Arcam FMJ A19. Even a Nad C326 BEE (or maybe one of the new ones, but I'm not familiar with them). Think is all your gear seems to be on the bright side - the CDP, the Paradigms, and the CDP, that's why I recommend something warmer, expecially for heavy metal, where you need the oomph.
 

macaumetal

Active member
May 21, 2020
4
1
25
If you like what the Yamaha does in the highs, you could maybe add a subwoofer instead (from what I read, your speakers are good down to 75hz). Amp-wise, I'd look at stuff on the warm side, and defo on the SH market if you can find the stuff in your region - in order of preference: Naim Nait 5i-2, Roksan Kandy K2 (ugly but excellent amp) or Arcam FMJ A19. Even a Nad C326 BEE (or maybe one of the new ones, but I'm not familiar with them). Think is all your gear seems to be on the bright side - the CDP, the Paradigms, and the CDP, that's why I recommend something warmer, expecially for heavy metal, where you need the oomph.
Hi, thanks for the reply, I found the Nait on an article from Apr 2020 to be listed as 1980 USD...here it's above 400.000 ARS which would trasnfer to nearly 5000 USD, and my salary is a little above 15% of that, so they're not an option for me right now.
BUT I found that there are some speakers I could afford:
-Klipsch R15m Reference
-Monitor Audio Bronze 2
-Kef Q150
Any thoughts? Sorry to bother with this rookie questions, but as I said I'm starting and wanted to learn
Thanks!
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
361
136
19,070
Hi, thanks for the reply, I found the Nait on an article from Apr 2020 to be listed as 1980 USD...here it's above 400.000 ARS which would trasnfer to nearly 5000 USD, and my salary is a little above 15% of that, so they're not an option for me right now.
BUT I found that there are some speakers I could afford:
-Klipsch R15m Reference
-Monitor Audio Bronze 2
-Kef Q150
Any thoughts? Sorry to bother with this rookie questions, but as I said I'm starting and wanted to learn
Thanks!
Sweet Jesus, that's expensive - but I think that's the current model - the Nait 5si. I was talking about Nait 5i-2 (which is the previous generation and should be much cheaper).

As for the speakers you mentioned, I don't think any of those would be a big improvement, if any. Imo, the weak link in your system is definitely the reciever, a dedicated 2ch amplifier should be a noticeable improvement.

If the Nait 5i-2 is still too expensive, maybe you can find one of the other amps - those should be cheaper still, the Nad being cheaper even if bought new.
 

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