What is the weakest part in my Hi-Fi setup?

MarcusMaximus

Active member
Nov 17, 2023
14
7
25
Hi all,

I recently bought some new stuff, after the ability the purchase some second-hand speakers from someone.

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering what the weakest/worst part of my setup is. And what I could do as a second step to improve sound quality even more.

My current setup:

- Bluesound Powernode N330
- 2x Dali Zensor 3
- Pro-ject Debut Pro Turntable
- Pro-ject Phono Box S2
- Cables are the default that came with the Pro-ject: Pro-Ject Connect-it E RCA 1,23 m Transparant Hi-Fi
- Second cable from Phono Box to Bluesound is a 39 euro cable from Audioquest.
- I placed my speakers on Dali Cone Spikes.


Any advice is appreciated! :)
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
868
744
2,770
Hi all,

I recently bought some new stuff, after the ability the purchase some second-hand speakers from someone.

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering what the weakest/worst part of my setup is. And what I could do as a second step to improve sound quality even more.

My current setup:

- Bluesound Powernode N330
- 2x Dali Zensor 3
- Pro-ject Debut Pro Turntable
- Pro-ject Phono Box S2
- Cables are the default that came with the Pro-ject: Pro-Ject Connect-it E RCA 1,23 m Transparant Hi-Fi
- Second cable from Phono Box to Bluesound is a 39 euro cable from Audioquest.
- I placed my speakers on Dali Cone Spikes.


Any advice is appreciated! :)
Silly question - do you like the sound you hear coming out of the speaker?
 

MarcusMaximus

Active member
Nov 17, 2023
14
7
25
Why did you buy the Powernode as a matter of interest?
What other sources do you use apart from vinyl?
I bought it because it would be able to directly play hi-fi music. I don't have much experience in the hi-fi world, so I started with some advice in a local Hi-fi store. Afterwards I did some research and found out the Bluesound had some good reviews here on WhatHIFI.

I have a Qobuz subscription, so I liked the fact that Qobuz was running on the Bluesound and could play high quality music to my speakers.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active member
Nov 17, 2023
14
7
25
Silly question - do you like the sound you hear coming out of the speaker?

Good question. I do like it a lot more than what I used to have: Sonos! But I still feel something could be a bit better. But can't really put my finger on it.

Also, I realize it can be a lot better. I did like Sonos actually, until someone told me that a good setup would help me appreciate music a lot more. And he was right. This is such a different experience and I love playing music so much more than before.

But I wonder... how much better can it get :) Hence my question.
 
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Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
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Good question. I do like it a lot more than what I used to have: Sonos! But I still feel something could be a bit better. But can't really put my finger on it.

Also, I realize it can be a lot better. I did like Sonos actually, until someone told me that a good setup would help me appreciate music a lot more. And he was right. This is such a different experience and I love playing music so much more than before.

But I wonder... how much better can it get :) Hence my question.
Yep, I know that feeling well.
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2022
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Live with your new system for a few months and enjoy the music.

If you truly feel there is something missing or something you don't like in the sound after 6 months of listening, find a good dealer and spend some time taking their advice and auditioning the possibilities.

The black hole @Gray refers to is very real, and it may be totally unnecessary for you to get sucked in.
 

Oxfordian

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2021
868
744
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Won't there always be a "weakest part" of any setup??
No, but that also doesn‘t mean it’s perfect either.

When I bought my system 30 months ago it sounded great, really great, my TT sounded just fine as did my CDT. But as time has progressed I have caught the upgrade bug, now this doesn’t mean that I have fallen out of love with what I have it’s just that I wonder what else I can get out of those grooves in the vinyl and can the overall sound be improved.

There is a lot I need to consider before I splash the cash, how far do I want to take it, what funds have I to spend, where do I want to end up, how much or how little do I want to change.

Whilst this is being considered I am still very much enjoying my music.

Everything is a compromise, even if I had an unlimited budget to buy my next hifi system as soon as I got it up and running then something new will come along to tempt me.

Yes systems can have a weak part, if I moved from my small listening room to a much larger space I would probably need to upgrade Amp and Speakers as my small stand-mounts would struggle.
 

Hisold

Active member
Nov 11, 2023
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25
Your setup looks pretty sweet! One area you might consider for improvement could be the default cables that came with the Pro-ject gear. Upgrading those cables might make a noticeable difference in sound quality. Otherwise, your setup seems
 

matthewpianist

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2022
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Won't there always be a "weakest part" of any setup??

You can spend endless time trying to work out where any weaknesses lie, but if it sounds good to you, that time is better spent enjoying the music.

I don't feel there's any weak link in my system, because it all works together very well and even after years and years of chasing my tail with much more expensive equipment, I love how much musical enjoyment it gives me. I quite fancy having a CEOL in the bedroom as well, so when I can I may by the latest N12 version or the Marantz MCR-612 for the lounge simply so that I can do that. I don't anticipate noticing any worthwhile change in performance.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active member
Nov 17, 2023
14
7
25
You can spend endless time trying to work out where any weaknesses lie, but if it sounds good to you, that time is better spent enjoying the music.

I don't feel there's any weak link in my system, because it all works together very well and even after years and years of chasing my tail with much more expensive equipment, I love how much musical enjoyment it gives me. I quite fancy having a CEOL in the bedroom as well, so when I can I may by the latest N12 version or the Marantz MCR-612 for the lounge simply so that I can do that. I don't anticipate noticing any worthwhile change in performance.
Thanks for the reply and advice:)
 

MarcusMaximus

Active member
Nov 17, 2023
14
7
25
Live with your new system for a few months and enjoy the music.

If you truly feel there is something missing or something you don't like in the sound after 6 months of listening, find a good dealer and spend some time taking their advice and auditioning the possibilities.

The black hole @Gray refers to is very real, and it may be totally unnecessary for you to get sucked in.
Good advice! Will do!
 
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WayneKerr

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2022
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Could you eloborate on why you think this is a placebo effect? Ive been curious how good the cables are and if i should change them. You clearly think not :) why?
Purely my opinion, and many others on here too. Cable theory is an emotive subject on any forum, there are believers and non-believers, opinions are entrenched with very little middle ground.

Cable theory has never been proven scientifically. The peddlers and sellers of cable theory rely on pseudo science to justify their products.

In the case of your turntable do you believe Project would intentionally ship their products with deficient cabling resulting in sub-standard performance? Or would you believe Project have years of experience and know exactly what kind of cable will render the best performance from their products?

Many come on here singing the praises of a magic exotic cable they have purchased, how it has transformed their system, but none are willing to take the challenge of a blind test where they should be able to identify this magic cable every time. A simple blind test is the only way to know for certain as it removes the sighted cues from the listener.

I have aftermarket cables, I purchased them as the sleeve colour suits my decor and they are professionally terminated. I did not expect to hear a difference and I didn't.

If people want to spend good money on aftermarket cables, great, go ahead, if you think you hear a difference then good for you, you have golden ears. Personally, I would rather spend my cash on things that really do make a difference :)
 
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