You are here

Log in or register to post comments
desertrat
desertrat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: May 23 2013 - 5:15am
Upgrades

I've recently taken to upgrading my system with a new pair of speakers and can't seem stop thinking about what to do next. Considering going to seperate amp and pre-amp--not sure I'll get much bang for the buck upgrading the CD player. Here's what I have:

Vandersteen 3A Signature speakers

Krell KAV 400xi integrated amp

Musical Fidelity A3.2 CD player

My budget would be around 5K. I prefer a laid back, detailed and open sound. I don't have a strong opinion on solid state vs tube or combining the two between an amp and pre-amp. It's a small room, but space for components isn't an issue.

Any advice regarding amp, pre-amps or integrateds and which particular equipment might be a good match for the Vandersteens? They apparently need 100 to 200 watts into 8 ohms.

Thanks!

hcsunshine
hcsunshine's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 13 2011 - 4:06pm
for a cd player...

for a cd player upgrade you could go with the new oppo bdp 105 universal player. it costs $1,200.

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
Aspects

Are there area of relative weakness that you want to improve? I think that would be your starting point

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 3 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
System Choices

I had the Vandersteen 3A speakers in both of my homes for years.I bought the Model 3s in the 1980s, and the factory upgraded them to 3A for me later on.

I recently upgraded to the Treo speakers, and OH MY, what a difference!!!!   Man they are beautiful. This IS NOT a small sonic improvement; it is night and day!

It should also be pointed out, however, that most of the improvement can also be had by upgrading older speakers to the latest 3A SIGNATURE configuration, which now uses most of the same drivers as the Treo (they just started this in January). Talk to Richard for the details.From the serial numbers, he can tell you if your speakers have the newest drivers or not, and how much of an improvement to expect if you want to upgrade.

If yours were made since January, you should already have the upgrade.

In my case, I really needed the smaller footprint of the Treo in my newest home, so I traded in one set of 3As. The 3A was just too wide.

If you are OK with the physical size of the 3A, though, and yours do not have the latest drivers, I would definitely arrange to have your speakers upgraded to the latest configuration. Check with your dealer or Vandersteen on the cost.

The other thing you absolutely should do is get either the OPPO BDP-95 or 105. They are identical sonically, but the 105 has added USB and coaxial digital inputs. Either one will be a HUGE HUGE HUGE improvement to your system!

Your MF player was among the better ones available in 2002, but that is 3 generations ago in terms of the best DAC chips available. You can buy better-sounding ones now for around $400. It is by far the weakest part of your system.

Production has stopped on the 95 (which I have), but you can still get it from Audio Advisor if you hurry, and save a couple hundred bucks.. That will also be a huge sonic upgrade from the player you have, especially using the balanced outputs.

IMO the BDP-95 (or 105) is the best-sounding CD/SACD player you can buy for under $10,000. It is definitely better than the $6000 Ayre C5xe/MP, which I sold after I heard the OPPO. It is SO GOOD that it has turned the CD player market on its head.

Since your Krell puts out 200 WPC and should have very good sound quality, i doubt if there is much to be gained in that department.

I personally use the Audio Research LS-26 preamp and a Bryston 3BSST2 amplifier, and the sound is to die for...lol.

desertrat????...in Baltimore??...did you take a wrong turn somewhere near Barstow?

desertrat
desertrat's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: May 23 2013 - 5:15am
Thanks!

Wow, great information. I really thought the next place to upgrade would be the amp/preamp. Although, the Krell is pretty fantastic.

I actually was very interested in the Treo, just a bit beyond my budget right now. The 3A Signstures are new this month.

I'll look into the Oppo BDP. I don't have a theater system, I'm just into music, and had heard that getting a straight CD player would give me more of an improvement in sound for the money than a something like a 3D player with wi-fi. But it looks like I need to check it out.

And yes, I came to Charm City from Tucson, by way of San Francisco...BTW wasn't Wall of Voodoo from Barstow?

Thanks everyone!

Bill B
Bill B's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm
valid

Usually that's absolutely correct - to steer away from a "home theater" component like the Oppo which is blu-ray, 3d, wi-fi, etc., in favor of a straight CD player.   But I make an exception for the Oppo.  I have the BDP-103 for $500 which suits me, and the 105 for $1k is reportedly even better. And they play SACD, DVD-A.  And also, soon, DSD files, via an upcoming firmware update. 

BTW, I do like having the wi-fi feature, since the Oppo's can then access Gracenote and show your cd info (not to mention playing Pandora, YouTube, etc if you like).  

The only downside for me is that these players load discs a bit slower than a regular cd player.

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 3 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Player

My OPPO BDP-95 takes about 2-3 seconds to load any audio CD and be ready to play.

My old Sony SACD player was much slower.

Like I said, the OPPO BDP-95 SOUNDS BETTER than any CD player I have heard for under $10K. No doubt about it.

Stereophile ranks it A+ in Recommended Components along with the $6000 Ayre and $1500 Sony 5400 (both of which I HAD and SOLD after hearing my BDP-95) and a few others.

I haven't heard the Scarlatti yet, but i don't have the $82,000 anyway.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading