Latest setup. Just recently upgraded pre-amp from Nagra Classic to HD Preamp. Also, swapped out my Aurender N10 for Auralic G2 with surprising improvement. I am considering upgrading Magico Q5 speakers to Rockport Cygnus. If anyone has any opinions on whether that makes sense, would love to hear your thoughts. Also, any thoughts in general are appreciated. Thanks
I also have a Basis Transcendence turntable and an original Boulder 2007 phono preamp. I am a Roon user running a Roon nucleus plus with a QNAP storage and Tidal and Qobuz subscriptions. Best of all, I listen through the Rockport Cygnus speakers. I have no idea if you’re located anywhere near New York City but I would certainly love to compare the sound. I have listened to Magico speakers but not with the full Nagra front end. Again, bias is involved but in my experience the Rockport’s come close but don’t match the Magico in one regard. The Magico seem to have a little bit more absolute clarity or detail which seems to pinpoint for example specific instruments in an exact location allowing you to hear each clearly and distinctly. That said, I could never make up my mind if that was accurately reflecting the music or if the clarity was the result of something missing, something organic about the whole if that makes sense. The Rockports on the other hand in my room offer all the clarity I need while to my ears have a certain warmth and musicality that seems to be a little closer to what I think the instruments, for example, are supposed to sound like in the real world. I’d be happy to answer any specific questions.
I absolutely love the system (I’m sure I have a subjective bias for such good taste). Let me know if you would like to see a few pictures but my current system consists of the Nagra HD preamp, the Nagra HD Amps, the DCS Vivaldi stack (with the Vivaldi Upsampler running as the network connection).
Good choice of racks :-) However upgrading to Apex footers under the amp stands as well will pay clear and immediate benefits -- and of course using the SiNi balls as well
I would also look into a better isolation system for the speakers -- when I had Q3s the Townshend platforms worked really well. They completely isolate the speaker from the floor and cut out bass transmission via the floor. I have M3s now and the M-pods do the same thing. In either case you get a much cleaner more realistic presentation.
Regarding room treatments use of Synergistic HFTs is recommended -- treating the speaker cabinets alone is worth it but a full room treatment is low cost and very flexible
Finally I'm surprised you don't have any toe in on the Q5s -- unless you are listening really far away I think a bit of toe in will help with integration.
Damcats - that's one dam-fine system with only the best pedigree of gear! Perhaps you've already heard this but the biggest upgrade may not be equipment related .... but room acoustical treatments. I see a few what appear to be absorbers on the centre wall behind the equipment rack. Have you treated other parts of the room too? Have you "shot the room" for freq response and RT30/60 reverb? My system page shows what I did including building DYI diffusers/bass traps and bought (RPG, GIK). Have you considered multiple subwoofers to even out the bass nodes? 2/3 or 4 should make a really good bass response below the Schroeder freq of your room. Enjoy!!!
I love your investment in Nagra audio gear. Don't see them around much, but I know there may be none better for build and quality. I remember my Nagra III tape recorder I used in the 70's for documentary filmmaking sound. Impeccable quality, back before they got into home audio.
Congratulations on this perfect setup. I can not imagine the Rockport Cygnus sounding better. Maybe you are listening to a Tidal Audio Akira loudspeaker? John Atkinson of Stereophile was thrilled. That could be an increase. :)