What to Upgrade?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I have had my current system for several years and it has survived a few moves. I am finding that it appears to lack deep Bass and the Bass can seem slow with certain music.. I have a large selection of Music ranging from Classical to Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers, Orbital to Dido, Lisa Stansfield, Diana Krall.. Have over 600 cds..

My current system is Marantz CD-63MKII KI Signature, Arcam Alpha 8 Amplifier, Arcam Alpha 8P Power Amp. These are connected with Audioquest Quartz 3 interconnects and Bi-Wired to Tannoy Revolution R3 speakers with QED Silver Anniversary Cable.

Other components attached are Rega Planner 3 Turntable, Sony ST-SE700 Tuner, Yamaha KX-580 Tape deck. All components in the system are on a dedicated Rack.

I currently have a budget @ £1200 for upgrading... Should I upgrade the speakers, or add a sub-woofer... or should other components be updated.... I hope to have another £1200 next year for further upgrades... would that change your recommendations


Well-known member
I'd ditch the idea of a sub immediately.

In my experience, I'd be tempted to build a system around an amplifier, as this is the new source in the world of digital at this sort of price anyway. If you like the Arcam sound, then an A38 is a pretty damn place to start which you can pick up for under a grand if you shop around. Your £1300 next year could get you a decent set of speakers again especially if buying ex demo; there really are plenty of bargains if you are patient.

Others will give you differening advice about spending less on an amp and spreading it across all components, but since you are upgarding in two steps, I'd make big single jumps and future proof your system.


Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
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Your two options would seem to be new speakers or a sub (perhaps two).

Adding a sub to my system, let the satelites get on without the drag of dealing with the lower frequencies. There is obviously more headroom with the loudness ceiling increasing, but without the associated clipping, although my system is active and I don't know how a sub integrates into a passive system.

Better speakers would give you better frequency response in the lower registers (and all round), but may require more juice from an amplifier, so you might end up needing a better amp to gain the best from them.

Given your requirements, I think you need to visit a shop and get some demo time in.

Also don't overlook room accoustics, which can play havoc with sound, particularly bass! Try moving the speakers around to see if things improve. Accoustic panels can be placed to minimise reflections and are cheaper than £1200.