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Please suggest audio setup upgrade

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Dmitry_Marsh, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Dmitry_Marsh

    Dmitry_Marsh New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Hi folks
    Sorry If I'm asking the same question people ask here hundred times a day...
    I need an advice about improving my audio setup. I use it ONLY FOR MUSIC, not home theater or something. And the music is mostly rock type, not electronic...

    So right now I have:
    laptop as a source (no special sound card or something) of music (FLAC files mostly)
    super old CRAIG 5503 receiver, but works fine. Found this gem (is it?) in the garage a while ago
    a pair of Boston Acoustics VR975

    Is sounds ok for me, but I want to make it better.
    I used to have a pair of Wharfdale Diamond 10.7 with some old crappy soviet receiver and I liked how it sounds more than my current setup does now...

    So what should I improve? Change receiver to something better? Or is it fine and need to think about speakers?
     
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  2. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,411
    Location:
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    If you aren't already using an external DAC with your laptop, then you need to upgrade your main source by getting one. I use a Schiit Modi 2 with mine and it does a good job, plus is affordable.

    I think an integrated amp or receiver upgrade will help make you happier with the Wharfedale speakers, and provide a better platform for comparison of them with the BAs so you can determine which sounds better to you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    TomB19 and Grenadeslio like this.
  3. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    I agree with both of musichal's suggestions. The easiest thing might be an Audioquest Dragonfly dac to use with the laptop - there are several generations, and even the older ones that should be available quite cheap used are likely to be a significant upgrade for you.
     
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  4. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Location:
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  5. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    Messages:
    2,771
    Sony DVP NS900V, original MSRP $1000, can be had now on eBay for around $80. Think of it as a DAC upgrade wrapped in an outstanding CD transport lol. Have a couple of these, all in black, still looking for one in silver.
     

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  6. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,185
    Location:
    arkansas
    I believe Dmitry is using only the BA speakers at this time. And the Wharfedale's are gone.
     
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  7. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    I 2nd the recommendation for an outboard DAC and an integrated amp.
     
  8. Dmitry_Marsh

    Dmitry_Marsh New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Correct, I probably wasn't clear enough - I left Wharfdales in my hometown and there is no way to get it back. I just used it as an example of what was good for my ears)

    So which one is better? Both have the same price...

    I didn't get the idea. Reading specs - it looks like a DVD player made for 5.1 surround, rather than stereo, with low power amp. So how should I use it? As a receiver? or in between laptop and my receiver?
     
  9. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Either one will be a big step up. Which is better? I wouldn't know, I have the Schiit and am happy with it, and RichPA recommends the Dragonfly, and I trust him, so I'd think it's about a coin toss. If you've been using your 3.5mm analog output, then just about any USB DAC will likely be a revelation.
     
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  10. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    Messages:
    2,771
    Its a DVD, SACD, CD player, it's not for streaming, its for playing music, you requested recommendations for improved SQ. It connects to the receiver ditectly, not the laptop, of course you'll need dome CD's if you don't have any lol.
     
  11. Dmitry_Marsh

    Dmitry_Marsh New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Ok, many thanks!
    It's just kinda weird for an amateur like me that a big solid Schiit box has the same quality as a small DF usb dongle... So I would go with Schiit
     

     

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  12. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I always use mine from one chair, and the little chassis sits in an open cabinet beside me. If you move around a lot, using it from different places in the room or home (or even away from home) then I can see the Dragonfly being handier, for sure. So think about where you will want to use one.
     
  13. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    I agree, a coin toss, or what kind of deal you can find.
     
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  14. Dmitry_Marsh

    Dmitry_Marsh New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Ordered a Schiit Modi 3. Will post my experience when receive it
     
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  15. Nightwisher

    Nightwisher Farer In The Goldilocks Zone Subscriber

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    Those Boston Acoustics are nice speakers that I would keep. I have several from the VR series and they compete well with my nicer speakers. My 2 main systems were built around VR40s and VR20s for a long time (now they're on home theater duty). As many speakers I've listened to, those are still among my favorites.

    A DAC is a good upgrade.

    The Craig should be the next upgrade. It looks pretty good (and may compete well with the big dogs), but there can always be some age issues. Best to get it checked out if possible (that's one upgrade if something needs repair) or go for something higher quality. Personally, I've moved on from vintage receivers altogether in my main setups.
     
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  16. Dmitry_Marsh

    Dmitry_Marsh New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    DAC is on the way. So what about the CRAIG? How hi should I look for replacement to actually hear the difference? Would it make sense to change it to some... Onkyo TX-8020? Or I need something better to feel the difference?
     

     

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  17. bandit88

    bandit88 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I would recommend something like the Marantz PM6006. I dont find Onkyos to sound all that good, especially low priced ones. Otherwise check your local craigslist and facebook marketplace if you dont mind used. There are always deals on used stuff that will give you a better bang for your buck.
     
  18. Dmitry_Marsh

    Dmitry_Marsh New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    I don't mind used but I don't know what to look for...
     
  19. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    arkansas
    Most anything 1968 to 1979, with 40 + watts would probably get it done. Lots of good stuff in the 80's but harder to sort through. Pre 75 is warm, after that generally bright.
    Judging from what's here in the house.
     
  20. Nightwisher

    Nightwisher Farer In The Goldilocks Zone Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    That Onkyo is an entry level receiver and may not be much of an upgrade. Something a bit better, like a new Yamaha integrated amplifier, would probably be a more noticeable step up. There are lots of great vintage models that would be a step up as well, but as I said, age is always a factor.
     
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