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Thread: upgrade time ?

  1. #1

    upgrade time ?

    I guess I am like most of you and continually buy and sell audio gear . Sometimes I am very happy with my system ( like now ) but feel the need to spend money just for the heck of it . So , I am considering either "upgrading" either my Cary SLP-5 preamp or my Ayon 2S player . Not sure what I am really looking for but maybe a bit more high end extension ? At 65 I am sure my hearing isnt perfect anymore . Should I tube roll the Cary ? Should I tube roll the Ayon with a pair of those super 6H30P DR tubes ? ( $300 each , yikes ! ) Or just be happy my system is great ? Power amps are Conrad Johnson 60 , Bottle Head 300b mono's , First Watt F6 and Nelson Pass 6 wpc single ended jobbies . Speakers are Tekton Enzo 2.7 . I have had 5 pairs of speakers over the last 4 years , I'm not sure I want to go there again... Thx for the help guys ( budget about 7 - 8k )

  2. #2
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Whatís your source(s)?


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  3. #3
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    You might consider a visit to the audiologist if you'd like to check on your hearing as a starting point.

    Past that, I suspect auditioning some different preamps and amps is more likely to change the perceived high frequency response than tube rolling would. But given your current combination of gear, I also think there's a chance you will want to use a different CD player if you switched out your preamp/amp.
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  4. #4
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    What speakers have you had in the last 4 years?

    The suggestion from Neko might be helpful. Having a program in my hearing aids that I use for listening to music was well worth the effort.

    It is kind of reverse engineering but, listening to other systems often reinforces what I clearly like in mine. It may give you some more direction.

    I'm in Wesley Chapel, only 25 minutes from downtown Tampa. Let me know if you want to listen to my choices. It is not a sound you have to want. Just a different sound and approach to our obsessive hobby.
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  5. #5

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by NekoAudio View Post
    You might consider a visit to the audiologist if you'd like to check on your hearing as a starting point.

    Past that, I suspect auditioning some different preamps and amps is more likely to change the perceived high frequency response than tube rolling would. But given your current combination of gear, I also think there's a chance you will want to use a different CD player if you switched out your preamp/amp.
    I had my hearing checked last year and there is some loss at high frequencies , was told it was normal for a 64 year old guy so I'm ok with that . Can you explain why I might have to change out my cd player if I change my pre amp ? Also , between the Cary SLP-05 and the Ayon 2S which one do you believe is the weak link ?

  6. #6
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    Also , between the Cary SLP-05 and the Ayon 2S which one do you believe is the weak link ?
    Another option is to complete the Ultimate Upgrade on your Cary SLP-05. I did this over a year ago on mine and felt it was absolutely worth the money.
    Morgan

    SPEAKERS KEF Blade 2
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  7. #7

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by brad225 View Post
    What speakers have you had in the last 4 years?

    The suggestion from Neko might be helpful. Having a program in my hearing aids that I use for listening to music was well worth the effort.

    It is kind of reverse engineering but, listening to other systems often reinforces what I clearly like in mine. It may give you some more direction.

    I'm in Wesley Chapel, only 25 minutes from downtown Tampa. Let me know if you want to listen to my choices. It is not a sound you have to want. Just a different sound and approach to our obsessive hobby.
    My speakers over the last 4 or so years have been Maggies , Vandersteen , Thiel ( 2 ) and the current ones . I have drifted away from the high powered amps / low efficiency speaker setup that I enjoyed for 30+ years about 5 years ago . Now that I have a smaller room ( 14x20 ) small / medium floor standers work just great . I may take you up on your generous offer in the near future , thanks . The sick thing is I am very happy with the way it is now but have that expensive bug again. I'm even considering building a pair of the Bottlehead Jagr speakers just for the fun of it . Thanks again guys .

  8. #8
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    age 65 and 'high end extension' = LOL !

    at 66 how well I know !

    I can't believe the number of speakers you've owned in the short period period of time. Is it the speaker or your listening room in question ???
    Cheers ! Ö. Dave

  9. #9

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MPW View Post
    Another option is to complete the Ultimate Upgrade on your Cary SLP-05. I did this over a year ago on mine and felt it was absolutely worth the money.
    I would rather not give Cary anymore of my money for reasons I would not rather discuss here. I am glad they did a good job for you and you are happy with it . What were differences after the upgrade ? Quite honestly , if Mike Vansevers was still around I would let him modify my Cary in a heartbeat .

  10. #10

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    age 65 and 'high end extension' = LOL !

    at 66 how well I know !

    I can't believe the number of speakers you've owned in the short period period of time. Is it the speaker or your listening room in question ???
    I started to listen to some low powered systems with high efficiency speakers at the time and was convinced I could duplicate the sound . I started chasing speakers and amps for a bit there . Kinda went crazy buying stuff ….lol . I finally wound up with a pair of $1000 speakers ( on advice of an audiophile friend ) that would rock on 15 wpc . I took all but 4 tubes out of my Cary V12 ( about 17 wpc in full triode mode ) , biased it accordingly and I was stunned . It was liquid , dynamic as hell and that magical midrange was just as musical as heck . Something about low powered amps and high efficiency speakers just does it for me .

  11. #11

    Re: upgrade time ?

    How are your power foundation and cabling? Iíd look at these first.

  12. #12
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    I would rather not give Cary anymore of my money for reasons I would not rather discuss here. I am glad they did a good job for you and you are happy with it . What were differences after the upgrade ? Quite honestly , if Mike Vansevers was still around I would let him modify my Cary in a heartbeat .
    I guess the best way to describe the upgrade was that everything had more life. There was an improved level of refinement to the sound that made it easier to suspend disbelief. I also added a NOS Mullard fat base rectifier tube a few months after the upgrade that elevated performance even further, giving the sound more weight. I hope that helps!
    Morgan

    SPEAKERS KEF Blade 2
    SUBWOOFERS Four DIY Speaker Hardware 12" passive subs driven by Dayton SA1000 amp
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  13. #13

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MPW View Post
    I guess the best way to describe the upgrade was that everything had more life. There was an improved level of refinement to the sound that made it easier to suspend disbelief. I also added a NOS Mullard fat base rectifier tube a few months after the upgrade that elevated performance even further, giving the sound more weight. I hope that helps!
    I have thought really hard about letting them do the upgrade but I have had this piece for a while now and have the bug to get something else ( just for the hell of it I guess ). Thanks again .

  14. #14

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
    How are your power foundation and cabling? I’d look at these first.
    I have a PS power plant premier , my system only draws about 500 watts total so I think I'm good here. I have all kinds of cables …. Cardas , Tara Labs , Audio Quest , Nordost , Zu , Gabriel Gold , LAT and a bunch of cords from Vansevers . I don't have any $10,000 cords or anything , most of them are their midgrade stuff $500 to $3000 . I'll have to say my new rack from Adona made a huge difference , very pleased with it . Thanks for the help . P.S. What's really fun about this hobby is how everything makes a difference , some good some bad.

  15. #15
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    I have thought really hard about letting them do the upgrade but I have had this piece for a while now and have the bug to get something else ( just for the hell of it I guess ). Thanks again .
    I totally understand that impulse!
    Morgan

    SPEAKERS KEF Blade 2
    SUBWOOFERS Four DIY Speaker Hardware 12" passive subs driven by Dayton SA1000 amp
    AMPLIFICATION Pass Labs X250.8, Cary SLP-05 w/Ultimate Upgrade
    DIGITAL Marantz SA-10, Bluesound Node 2, Intel NUC Roon Core
    VINYL EAT C-Sharp, Hana SL, EAT E-Glo S w/LPS, Bob's Devices Sky 20 SUT
    POWER AudioQuest Niagara 5000, two dedicated circuits
    WIRES AudioQuest William Tell, Earth, Leopard, Tornado
    RESONANCE/ISOLATION Nordost Sort Kones, various Herbie's Audio Lab

  16. #16

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Audio Research Ref 6 is a hell of a preamp, and works great with other makers' amps.

  17. #17

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
    Audio Research Ref 6 is a hell of a preamp, and works great with other makers' amps.
    I hadn't really considered the Ref 6 as there are so many options out there . Since you mentioned it I did a bit of looking around and it looks like a really nice upgrade from what I have . I really like the fact that it will play nice with other power amps as I have a few . Appreciate your feed back , the Ref 6 is a really nice piece . Anyone want to take a shot at a my Ayon 2S ? What would be an upgrade for 7-8k ( or less maybe ?). Thanks again guys .

  18. #18
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    Can you explain why I might have to change out my cd player if I change my pre amp ? Also , between the Cary SLP-05 and the Ayon 2S which one do you believe is the weak link ?
    Well, there are times that gear gets matched in ways that some would say complement each other, but others would say mask each other.

    Given the sound character of your preamp and amp choices, it's possible that if you were to initially swap those out then a characteristic of the CD player that was previously complemented/masked in a way that was enjoyable to you would no longer be present. One reaction might be to say the new preamp and/or amp you're trying out is the issue. But a different way to look at it would be to consider that now you're hearing something about the CD player, and that is the issue.

    It is not that any particular component is a weak link. It's just that you've built something towards a particular preference and you may not be able to gain what you're looking for without losing what your preference is, without changing more than one piece of equipment.
    Neko Audio
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  19. #19

    Re: upgrade time ?

    I think you hit it right on the head there. I really want a new preamp and / or cd player but I am afraid an upgrade wont be an upgrade . Everything works together to give the type of sound each person is looking for , this is why I have 4 different power amps . I am still going to look around and read all the threads here and make a decision in the next week or so . Thanks again for the feedback , everyone .

  20. #20

    upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    I have a PS power plant premier , my system only draws about 500 watts total so I think I'm good here. I have all kinds of cables Ö. Cardas , Tara Labs , Audio Quest , Nordost , Zu , Gabriel Gold , LAT and a bunch of cords from Vansevers . I don't have any $10,000 cords or anything , most of them are their midgrade stuff $500 to $3000 . I'll have to say my new rack from Adona made a huge difference , very pleased with it . Thanks for the help . P.S. What's really fun about this hobby is how everything makes a difference , some good some bad.
    Try Shunyata Denali 6000S v2?

    I went from PS Audio P10 to Denali 6000T and found music is more relaxed and coherent. P10 is supposedly better than Premier and 6000S v2 as well over 6000T. Denaliís arenít crazy expensive. AQ Niagara 5000 is also another well-reviewed one in the same range and Iím certain it will provide improvement over Premier, which is pretty long in the tooth now.

  21. #21

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Dang it , I thought I was covered in the power conditioner area . You are correct , after looking around a bit I see what I have is just "ok" but thats about it . I guess I just took the Premier for granted and was only considering component upgrades . Thx , that helps a bunch .

  22. #22

    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    Dang it , I thought I was covered in the power conditioner area . You are correct , after looking around a bit I see what I have is just "ok" but thats about it . I guess I just took the Premier for granted and was only considering component upgrades . Thx , that helps a bunch .
    No problem. Glad to be of help.

  23. #23
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by stereogeek View Post
    Should I tube roll the Cary ? Should I tube roll the Ayon with a pair of those super 6H30P DR tubes ? ( $300 each , yikes ! )
    If you are still using the stock 6SN7s, I would DEFINITELY replace those with your favorite NOS 6SN7. It will make a HUGE improvement.
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  24. #24

    Re: upgrade time ?

    After much hem-hawing around I have decided to go in a completely different direction . I have decided to build a pair of Jager speakers from Bottlehead . They are 94 db and designed to work well with 300b amps . I have heard a few of Doc's creations over the years and have no doubt they will be outstanding . Not only that but it gives me something to build , which I really enjoy . In the near future they are releasing active tubed crossovers for these , should be spectacular. Thanks again for the help and feedback everyone, I really appreciate it .

  25. #25
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    Re: upgrade time ?

    Please post some photos along the way. We’d love to see your progress.
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