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rmeyer52
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So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Having made the jump to hi-fi this year with the Arcam Solo and the Paradigm 100 speakers was one of the best decisions that I ever made. I even created a site (www.richshifi.com) so that I could share my experiences with others (Don't worry Steve it is not meant as competition to your site !). So the question then becomes when/how do you know it's time to take it to the next level. For example I am looking at a Jeff Rowland integrated amp for $5900 and wondering..OK for $5900 what am I really going to get? I know it's a great piece of equipment but is the sound going to be THAT much better?

bobedaone
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Great website, Rich! I love the Monitor Series motif. That Rowland amp looks awfully tempting, but...
Here's my advice. You're clearly very pleased with your new system and are exploring lots of new music (thanks for the jazz reviews). I suppose my limited budget makes me practical, but I say, if you love it, hang onto it. I recently replaced my aging Sony receiver with a new Rega Brio and am thrilled with the improvements. I don't see myself needing to upgrade for a very long time.
Your recent plunge into high fidelity has whetted your appetite for sonic accuracy and emotion. As you climb up the ladder, though, returns diminish and it may be difficult to replicate the "WOW" you felt when you first brought home your Solo and Paradigms. In all likelihood, you'd be very pleased with that amplifier, but is it $5900 worth of enjoyment? Your current system in its entirety cost less than that single component. If you find the Arcam lacking, by all means, get the Rowland. More expensive equipment may be objectively "better" but might not move you the same way. Food for thought.

rmeyer52
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Thanks Eric exactly my thinking....

bobedaone
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Take some of that amp money and get yourself a turntable.

JasonVSerinus
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

From my perspective, it's time to upgrade when you want to experience more from your system and you have the means to take the next step. The reason I have upgraded over the years is that I attend two or three or even four live concerts a week, and want to be able to experience at home some of the same thrill and suspension of time and space that I experience with live music making at its best.

You don't, however, have to necessarily upgrade your components as a first step. Even something as simple as changing from stock fuses to audiophile grade fuses in all components can enable them to convey a lot more sonic information. (What is that I smell? Oh, it's DUP boiling over). I've also achieved major improvements by upgrading supports and cables, using the Nordost Thor power distributor, installing a dedicated line, putting the Marigo Signature 3-D Mat V. 2 atop CDs, and adding acoustic resonators, Shakti hallographs, and Shakti stones to the mix.

The downside of all this, besides the financial cost, is that while these upgrades enable you to hear a lot more, with a lot more transparency and vibrancy and fullness, they also better enable you to hear the limitations of your equipment. The saving grace is that when you do eventually upgrade components, you'll be able to hear a lot more of what they can do from the get go.

jason victor serinus

Elk
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Jason is correct, tweaks can be lots of fun and a great way to get more out of your system.

I take a different approach when upgrading components however. I listen to the new equipment first - then later add the tweaks. This way I get two upgrades for the price of one.

Jeff Wong
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

I am also a big fan of going the tweak route before investing in new gear. I like squeezing the most performance out of my existing equipment and exploring its full potential before upgrading; you'd be amazed at how much more resolution your current stuff can still deliver. The justification for spending money on a good tweak is that it will also be usable on the next level of gear when the time comes. Things like power conditioners, power cords, and Shakti stones will not spoil like a carton of milk.

ohfourohnine
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Fundamentally, Rich, your question is like the old one about the cost of owning a yacht - if you have to ask, don't do it.

Colnmary
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

So how do you know it's time to upgrade When you run out of tweaks for your present system.

cyclebrain
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?


Quote:
Having made the jump to hi-fi this year with the Arcam Solo and the Paradigm 100 speakers was one of the best decisions that I ever made. I even created a site (www.richshifi.com) so that I could share my experiences with others (Don't worry Steve it is not meant as competition to your site !). So the question then becomes when/how do you know it's time to take it to the next level. For example I am looking at a Jeff Rowland integrated amp for $5900 and wondering..OK for $5900 what am I really going to get? I know it's a great piece of equipment but is the sound going to be THAT much better?

Your wife told me to tell you "no it won't"

rmeyer52
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

I know that a lot of us like to boast about how good our systems are but last night I happened to listened to two old Impulse CD's "Coleman Hawkins Meets Duke Ellington" and "Ben Webster and his Orchestra". I have to say that my Arcam Solo and Paradigm speakers literally blew me away. The sound was incredible I heard so many things that I had never heard before and the sound was warm and vibrant ! Maybe I'll upgrade in the future but for now my system just sounds too damn good to spend the money to upgrade and sounding good is what it's all about isn't it?

bobedaone
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Re: So how do you know it's time to upgrade?

Yes!

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