My system consists of an old dbx DX5 cd player (okay, really old) running straight into a B&K ST140 power amp, which in turn drives Dahlquist DQ8s via biwired Kimber cable (don't recall the type). Because the DX5 has variable outputs, I've been able to get away without a preamp for some time now, however, everything I read seems to say that I'm probably not getting the best sound this way. My question: Do I pick up an integrated amp and use it with the B&K to bi-amp the speakers (integrated for high frequencies, B&K for low) or just go with a preamp? In either case, I'd like to stay at around $500, so any recommendations for a budget integrated that would work as I indicate or budget preamp would also be appreciated.
Unless you have some kind of impedance mismatch with your current setup, adding additional stuff in the signal path can only degrade the signal. (Some people seem to like that). You might get better results by using a modern DAC.
Yeah, that was my original thinking is running the dbx straight into the amp. But I know I've come across another school of thought that this method somehow compromises the sound, I think because of concerns about the quality of the volume pot in cd players with variable outputs. Anyone have any insights into whether this is, in fact, the reason?
Were you happy with sound until someone told you that there was a "problem," or have you been feeling that things are not quite right?
If you are happy, then I'd vote to continue saving and slowly start putting in definitive pieces rather than stopgaps to address a deficiency.
In the long run, you'll end up better served by your gear.
The way digital moves along, I'd say to keep socking away the cash for the day your current player dies, and then sitting down to really think about what's available and how to allocate resources.
Thanks, Buddha. Yeah, I have been unhappy with the sound for a while now. Seems that a new digital source is, in fact, what I really need here. I'll ask for some suggestions in the digital forum.