Very happy with this system. I think the components are well matched and the analogue section is especially well tuned. My tastes are pretty eclectic — I listen to a lot of rock, punk, R&B etc. and it all sounds fantastic. At some point, I'll do some power upgrades? Any suggestions recos would be great.
System edited: System update: I mounted the turntable to the wall really happy with the result. It had a much bigger impact on the sound than I thought it would. I was trying to eliminate foot fall vibrations mostly by mounting it to the brick support wall and was successful in getting rid of pretty much all vibration. The result was increased clarity, better stereo imaging and overall solidity. Probably the least I have spent for the biggest improvement in sound. Looks sweet too!
These are all really interesting suggestions I'll check them out for sure. I think I found a nice heavy duty wall mount for the turntable on ebay. Thanks for responding and let me know what you think of the Mac tweak.
Almost forgot ... try some Totem beaks on your speakers or a five pound weight at different points on top of the speaker. Sounds crazy, but you will be surprised how you can change the presentation of the sound.
I do have a 3 meter AC9SE on my Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista integrated and it has added noticeable bass and cleared up the mids and highs over several other contenders.
I ordered a 3 meter AC14SE ($85) for my dac or transport, but Audio Advisor shipped the regular AC14. Should have the SE next week. I'm currently using a TG Audio HSR-I on the dac and it is quite good there. Just experimenting a little.
The reason I recommended the AC14SE for the Mac mini is because the newer versions (I have the latest version) don't have/need the upgraded power supply (i.e. Mojo Audio) like the older Minis. But I believe they would benefit from an upgraded AC cord. I will keep you posted. I plan on using the Mac Mini feeding my Wyred4Sound Dac2 DSD, but I'm just now getting more into PC audio.
Another couple of low cost things I would recommend you consider is a PowerPort or Maestro AC outlet ($50-$80), some sorbothane pads or hemispheres to decouple your speakers from the stands, and some disks to decouple the speaker stand spikes from the floor. I have a 3/4" block of granite under my Clearaudio Ambient Solo, and the granite sits on sorbothane pads. There are several good ways to isolate your turntable, including building your own Ginko style table isolation with squash balls and butcher block. You might also and to isolate your entire audio table/rack with some spikes or pads.
I have to admit that past a certain point I have trouble hearing a big difference in DACs But I like the idea of warming up the digital sound with the tube output. I'll definitely look to listen to the Line Magnetics. Thanks
I own Harbeth SHL5s and I found the best positioning for my listening room was to pull them out 1/3 of the distance of the room. My room is 21 feet deep so the front of the speakers is about 7 feet out into the room. I don't toe them in and the soundstage is great. I also keep the grills on-seem transparent to me.
I think you have a very nice analog front end. I have an Arcam RDAC and it's fine, but I recently purchased a Line Magnetics 502CA and, with good digital files, it's magical. I use a Bryston BD1 for the digital output to the DAC.
Keithtexas - I can see how cleaner power could help the amp for sure, but not sure I'm with you on the Mac Mini suggestion (it's going USB out to the dac.) Do you have this? Let me know what you thoughts are. Thanks!
Thanks for all the feedback great suggestions to look into.
Bojack, I like the the clearaudio setup a lot. The one thing is that the floating tone arm "wobbles" with vibration, it's much more noticeable than my previous turntables, but easily fixed with proper isolation I imagine. The turntable itself is very solid and convenient to use. The cartridge is very dynamic, with great low end and low mid.
Looks good I think you could make improvements with your DAC depending on how much listening you do through the DAC. Also while Blue Jeans cables sound pretty good for the money there is room for upgrade here also. The amp and speakers are solid though and that is by far the most important part in my opinion.