Upgrading Amp Or speakers first ?

arigo saki

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Nov 27, 2021
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Hello
I have a HIFI system - NAD320BEE amp, with Speakers Monitor Audio bronze B4 and sources 1) streamer (Bluesound node 2i) 2) CD NAD541I (need to be fixed) 3) turntable technics SLQ200.
I recently noticed that the sound quality is not so good (as it was in the past) Its more close and Dim and hollow, so i decide to upgrade it.
After shopping a bit I've got more confused when talking to local shops and been told by one shop to bring the amplifier and first to replace the loudspeakers and at another shop been told to upgrade the amplifier first.

Will be appreciated to know which part do you think will have the most impact on sound in my system and will be happy for recommendation for gear - my total budget is about 1000$
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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I'd be starting this by thinking about what might have changed, as it sounds like you weren't unhappy before. Did the sound change suddenly? Are all the speakers' drive units working? If not sure, play something with deep bass and cymbals - you'll be able to tell by listening to each in turn.

If the speakers are still working normally, an audible difference must be coming from somewhere else. Does it sound the same with your the streamer connected to different inputs? If so, it's not a problem with any particular input.

If there is a problem with either speaker or amp, a good dealer should be able to help if you can take both in, and then try mixing and matching with possible replacement parts. Might be worth asking them both why they think the way they do, and seeing which inspires the most confidence in you - or who is most amenable to the mix-and-match approach.
 
Interesting points raised above and I would definitely check your speaker drivers are still working as they should do as it's unlikely to be the amp creating that effect.
If you decide to upgrade anyway then I would always suggest speakers first and ensure they work well in your room.
 
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arigo saki

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Nov 27, 2021
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Thanks friends,
yes i got older in 17 years since i bought it :) (my hearing wasnt change much just around 50y)
My amp and loudspeaker also got old (one tweeter replaced already) my CD eye don't work and maybe amp coils are not at their best ?
So i understand that i should start with changing speakers, any recommendation up to 1000$ ?
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Thanks friends,
yes i got older in 17 years since i bought it :) (my hearing wasnt change much just around 50y)
My amp and loudspeaker also got old (one tweeter replaced already) my CD eye don't work and maybe amp coils are not at their best ?
So i understand that i should start with changing speakers, any recommendation up to 1000$ ?
Well that's the hard part....
There are so many excellent brands: Monitor Audio, Wharfedale, Mission, Dali, Dynaudio, KEF, Quad,
B & W......depending on what is available to you locally. You need to listen to a few and draw up a shortlist of those you like the sound of. Good luck!
 

12th Monkey

Moderator
Aug 31, 2015
1,554
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Thanks friends,
yes i got older in 17 years since i bought it :) (my hearing wasnt change much just around 50y)
My amp and loudspeaker also got old (one tweeter replaced already) my CD eye don't work and maybe amp coils are not at their best ?
So i understand that i should start with changing speakers, any recommendation up to 1000$ ?
You need to do as suggested first - if it turned out there was a problem with the amp, you may well have wasted money in just heading for the speakers. If something has changed for the worse, you really should find out what before parting with any cash.
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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you can get a good pair standmount studio monitors for 1000$

They often have adjustments for the highs if you feel the need to adjust the highs

Mackie MR824

Kali audio LP-8

Adam Audio T8V

More expensive

Dynaudio lyd 5 or BM5 MKII

Eve Audio SC207

Passive speakers

Used pair of Kef LS 50 meta

Polk audio Reseve R200

The new Monitor audio silver 50 g 7 or the old silver 100

Monitor Audio Bronze 200 (floorstand speakers)

Later you could add a power amp
 
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arigo saki

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2021
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Thanks ill look for speakers first, (ill leave the CD for fun will try to fix them by myself)
gasolin from your list does changing from my Bronze B4 to Bronze 200 will be an upgrade ?
Another question Does shelf speakers will do the job like floor speakers or i need to add subwoofer ?
I thought of:
DALI Obrean 5
KEF Q550
Triangle borea BR7
Kliptch R620
Jamo S809
Monitor audio silver 10

 

arigo saki

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2021
25
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Another possible matter regard the Amp:
I can do a trade at zero cost that i buy New Marantz PM6007 and sell my NAD 320BEE and my streamer BLUESOUND NODE 2i (it is also a DAC). For streaming i can use my good old RPI with Roon (only for streaming not as DAC)
Then i will go to shop for speakers What do you think of that ?
 
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rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Another possible matter regard the Amp:
I can do a trade at zero cost that i buy New Marantz PM6007 and sell my NAD 320BEE and my streamer BLUESOUND NODE 2i (it is also a DAC). For streaming i can use my good old RPI with Roon (only for streaming not as DAC)
Then i will go to shop for speakers What do you think of that ?
Do you already have the Roon subscription? Because it's like half your upgrade budget (for lifetime, granted). The Marantz is pretty good, and imo you could really benefit from both a speaker and amp upgrade. But the Node 2i is a pretty decent source, with decent software, so only you can tell if it's worth it.

Are you based in the US? Since you specified your budget in USD. Also, how big is your room and can your speakers be placed away from walls?
 
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arigo saki

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2021
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Do you already have the Roon subscription? Because it's like half your upgrade budget (for lifetime, granted). The Marantz is pretty good, and imo you could really benefit from both a speaker and amp upgrade. But the Node 2i is a pretty decent source, with decent software, so only you can tell if it's worth it.

Are you based in the US? Since you specified your budget in USD. Also, how big is your room and can your speakers be placed away from walls?
Thanks for your answer, I dont have Roon so maybe instead i can use Volumio on RPI for streaming only (as far as i remember its free i had it in the past), does the DAC in MARANTZ better than the BLUESOUND ? P.S. for time been i am in located Tel Aviv. Our room i 4x6 meters
 

rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Thanks for your answer, I dont have Roon so maybe instead i can use Volumio on RPI for streaming only (as far as i remember its free i had it in the past), does the DAC in MARANTZ better than the BLUESOUND ? P.S. for time been i am in located Tel Aviv. Our room i 4x6 meters
I doubt the DAC in the Marantz is better than the Bluesound, but at this level, the differences (besides MQA capability or lackthereof), if any, are marginal at best, so I wouldn't worry about that. If you're used to using Volumio or configuring a rpi etc, then it probably wouldn't be the end of the world. The Bluesound is best for it's ease of use and it's versatility, if you wanna plug a TV into it etc. So getting a Marantz 6007 shouldn't be the worst idea ever.

HOWEVER, try to audition before commiting to a purchase. With that budget, you also have some other options. For instance, you cuold keep the BS and look into getting a Rega Io + Triangle BR03 or Elac Debut 6.2 or Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 + stands (or their floorstander counterparts).

Dali Oberon 5 should also be on your shortlist, and Marantz + Dali is a match made in heaven imo. And if you went for the Marantz and gave up your BS, you could just add a better dac to your rpi at a later date, should you feel the need.
 
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arigo saki

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2021
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I doubt the DAC in the Marantz is better than the Bluesound, but at this level, the differences (besides MQA capability or lackthereof), if any, are marginal at best, so I wouldn't worry about that. If you're used to using Volumio or configuring a rpi etc, then it probably wouldn't be the end of the world. The Bluesound is best for it's ease of use and it's versatility, if you wanna plug a TV into it etc. So getting a Marantz 6007 shouldn't be the worst idea ever.

HOWEVER, try to audition before commiting to a purchase. With that budget, you also have some other options. For instance, you cuold keep the BS and look into getting a Rega Io + Triangle BR03 or Elac Debut 6.2 or Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 + stands (or their floorstander counterparts).

Dali Oberon 5 should also be on your shortlist, and Marantz + Dali is a match made in heaven imo. And if you went for the Marantz and gave up your BS, you could just add a better dac to your rpi at a later date, should you feel the need.
Thanks, very much, according to all of you i will spend my time and money on speakers first !
at the list above i was wonder how much better it will be than my MA Bronze B4 ?
 

Gray

Well-known member
at the list above i was wonder how much better it will be than my MA Bronze B4 ?
Have a good listen to as many models as you can.
I think you will be surprised (if not amazed) at the differences in sound.
You will probably think some sound better, others worse than your MA.
And, whatever you think, there will be others that think the opposite.....so find what you like.
Pick well.
 

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