Most bang for buck upgrade?

So we are all always on here talking about all these expensive items and upgrades, at least most of us are, but I’m curious to the “ so we are all always on here talking about all these expensive items and upgrades, at least most of us are, but I’m curious to see what some of the best upgrades for the least amount of money that some of you have come across in your journey?
Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
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Comments

  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,580
    Pass Labs X1 preamp. Yes, I paid 2 k for it used, BUT it opened up my entire system and took it to a place that I thought was not possible before,
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    Lol. $2k is a lot of buck, but glad it changed everything. I guess if you look at most systems as a whole, that’s not that much to pay for such a huge upgrade.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,580
    That’s the way I see it too, and given that the X1 was 7k new, it is a steal at 2k.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • daddyjtdaddyjt Posts: 1,096
    If you are currently running an AVR, the addition of even a modestly powered separate amplifier is a solid upgrade.
    Too much stuff to keep track of.

    Currently enjoying: Legacy Focus 20/20, McCormack DNA 225, Bill D C1, Oppo 105
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    Agree completely. Did that a while back. And to further that, get a preamp that has HT bypass to upgrade the 2ch listening
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 4,474
    Replacing the tweeters in my SDAs.
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    Drew was just busting me up for double posting on that original post. Sorry about that guys I did not proofread and just hit post

    I hope one day I get to hear these famous SDA’s
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,282
    It might sound absurd, but the Rosso Fiorentino Fiesole. Once I got this speaker it changed what I thought was possible with music reproduction. This speaker and the Volterra continue to have that same impact on clients who hear them in my space and are my best selling products. You can spend multiples and not get close to the reality they present.
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    Weird. I was just texting Drew that he should get those (I think same models) from you
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,282
    The newest version will be at AXPONA so you both will be able to get your ears on them. I'm just hoping I can get the room to work with me. They are quite the investment though.

    Other bangs:

    Douglas Connection Furez IC's
    Wireworld Equinox SC's
    Pangea AC-14se PC's
    PNF Audio cables
    MastersounD BoX
    RD0 tweeters as mentioned above
    Baby Marantz receivers (2215, 2216) - the others are now too expensive and these still play well with modern speakers
    ****AURALiC Aries Mini - still unparalleled on the market. Even though I'm no longer a dealer for them, I wish this product was still available as I still push clients entering the streaming world to find a used one. They're getting harder and harder to find.

    Obviously most I listed are cables but its easier IMO to get a passive product to shine than it is an active one.
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    I am looking forward to hearing them and seeing them as their descriptions on the Rosso website (enclosure materials) is quite interesting

    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    I guess along the lines of Johns thinking, even though it was close to $2k, one of the biggest changes in my system (sans speakers) was the AQ Niagara/Thunder combo. It’s changed so many aspects of sound and even visuals (tv) that it kinda blew my mind.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,083
    In general I'd say 2 things, as far as cost vs audible differences:

    1. Turntable cartridge change
    2. Speakers
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,083
    For me, it was the Boulder amp.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,438
    edited January 7
    For me, since I'm a budget minded DIY'er, speaker crossover upgrades was a big jump. Then the B&K Reference 50 pre/pro I picked up for $100 (thanks to @Tonyb 's lead)
    Home System:
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    1000 Va Dreadnought- w/ WireWorld Mini-Eclipse cables
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    WireWorld Silver Eclipse IC's
    Cambridge Audio Azur 851N - DAC/Streamer
    In The Market For A New Pre...
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    BLE-Design 16mm Power Cables
    Denon DVD 2900

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
    BluDenso - Bluetooth receiver/DAC
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 2,083
    I’ll probably go with the Panamax power conditioner I’m still using. Bought it for half price, open box with no box available, for $150. Never had a power conditioner before that one, and the improvements to both audio and video amazed me.
  • motorstereomotorstereo Posts: 1,336
    How far back can one go? I can remember when a Realistic mpa250 was a huge step forward for me for short money. But for the past couple years upgraditis has steadily become much more expensive. I'm thinking my dreadnaught has to be one my better bang for the buck upgrades over the past few years. A quieter background and the ability to monoblock the sda's are big steps in the right direction.
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,083
    Dang it!!!
    Viking64 wrote: »
    Joey_V wrote: »
    For me, it was the Boulder amp.

    It's "bang for BUCK", not "bang for MORTGAGE". :p
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,654
    OK, I'll try learning how to read...I didn't read the last sentence and thought you were asking for our opine, bang for your buck, on you're audio journey since you have new speakers.

    Mine was when I purchased the Dyn C4's, I needed good power as I already owned the C1's

    The Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks purchase was the biggest bang for the buck. 250watts per channel of Nelson Pass class A power for under $7k. That included purchase, shipping, and refurb. That's at least 1/3 of current market price for that much quality and power. My Dyn's loved me for it too!!
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,705
    I’m sorry but I’m just gonna go ahead and say it here, I called it… 5–6 p.m.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 8,366
    Joey_V wrote: »
    Dang it!!!
    Viking64 wrote: »
    Joey_V wrote: »
    For me, it was the Boulder amp.

    It's "bang for BUCK", not "bang for MORTGAGE". :p

    Yea, I just thought maybe a Boulder amp 2060 could be in my future so I checked them out.

    :o:s

    I don't see one of those in my future upgrades. :'(
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,097
    MIT cables. Every other cable I've tried didn't make music like the MIT's.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • verbverb Posts: 8,185
    For me, gotta be 2 things (of many changes this past year):

    The VTL tube pre-amp. Going from the Rotel 1580 SS pre to the VTL was a major leap for me.

    Of course my SDA SRS's! :smile:

    The extra bit of sweetness for me is all the great deals you can find here on CP. Yeah I'm a little further behind on many of the journey's here, but I'm happy to take your hand-me-downs! :smile:

    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 7,064
    My Parasound A31 brought my HT rig to a whole other Level.
    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • verbverb Posts: 8,185
    audioluvr wrote: »
    For me, since I'm a budget minded DIY'er, speaker crossover upgrades was a big jump. Then the B&K Reference 50 pre/pro I picked up for $100 (thanks to @Tonyb 's lead)

    And, I may say, you have the satisfaction of the DIY! Well done sir! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 485
    DSkip wrote: »
    It might sound absurd, but the Rosso Fiorentino Fiesole. Once I got this speaker it changed what I thought was possible with music reproduction. This speaker and the Volterra continue to have that same impact on clients who hear them in my space and are my best selling products. You can spend multiples and not get close to the reality they present.
    After hearing the Pienza at your place, I'd love to hear the Fiesole or Volterra. Honestly, of all the stuff we listened to the Pienza has haunted me the most. I keep wondering if those were paired with the right subs could they out perform a lot of towers? Or maybe I just need to hear some more Rosso towers?

    As far as my bang for the buck, I've mostly done vinyl the past few years, and I think the phono stage is often overlooked/under appreciated. I honestly believe phonostage upgrades have made more significant changes than cartridge changes or turn table changes in my system. I would image a DAC likely holds the same relevance in the digital chain when you get it right.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,438
    Dave, did you ever get your 1C' s finished????
    Home System:
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    1000 Va Dreadnought- w/ WireWorld Mini-Eclipse cables
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    WireWorld Silver Eclipse IC's
    Cambridge Audio Azur 851N - DAC/Streamer
    In The Market For A New Pre...
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    BLE-Design 16mm Power Cables
    Denon DVD 2900

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
    BluDenso - Bluetooth receiver/DAC
  • verbverb Posts: 8,185
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Dave, did you ever get your 1C' s finished????

    Nope. Look at em everyday while in the basement. But yes, I do plan to finish them! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
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