I am looking to upgrade - looking for advice

So I am the guy who recently asked if a Rotel 1572 preamp would work with a Parasound A21+ amp. So I was asking because I was thinking of upgrading my current amp which is a Rotel 1552. The rest of my system is Yamaha CD player and project turntable (both approx $400 each), Bluesound Node, and B&W 705 S2 speakers. Right now I primarily stream my music through the node. So I was interested in the next step to improvement and I thought it would be what the amplifier. After reading some of the posts on my original question (would the A21 work well with my Rotel preamp I am now thinking that I need to look at both the preamp and amp. Of course that is you agree with my assessment. Here are a few of the amps I was looking at: A21, Vincent  SP-332, and Bryson 3b3. The preamps that were suggested all look outstanding: Benchmark LA4, Backert Labs Rhumba 1.3 and the Audionet Pre 1 G3. It looks like with these I would need to also get a DAC, not sure about the phono stage. Any advice is appreciated. I am knee to this.


@tjraubacher   No idea what your budget is but could I suggest you look at a used Hegel H390 or even the H590.  Both will give you a beautiful sound, lots of power and a very good Preamp and DAC, all in one package.  Just a thought but one that would work well for you.  IMHO

I am not sure why you are mixing the brands if you plan to upgrade both. Why wouldn't you stick with e.g. Parasound? Or Bryston. Etc. 

You will likely not struck out with 2 different "random" brands for a pre and power amp to find a perfect match. I would pick one component to upgrade to make the jump and try a number of models. Then I would upgrade the other components. Patience is your best friend :)

It depends on where you want to go… how far. Most of us have upgraded our systems over years.


I have a couple rules of thumb. 1. Never upgrade less than 2x or more in investment. This makes it very probable you are going to hear a really big improvement from the upgrade of each component. 2. Each electronic component (function) should be invested at approximately the same level (but you must choose the very best and compatible with your tastes). So, amp = preamp = DAC= phonostage = streamer. At this is point the full upgrade cycle is over… even if it takes couple years or more.

So, if you really want a big upgrade by the time you are done… then shoot for $1K to $1.5 K per function. In your price category I would not shy away from used. When done, your next step would be speakers, effectively starting the cycle over… or ending the cycle… depending what you want to do.


So, step one would be a great preamp. If you have the money, you could do an amp at the same time (or an integrated). Then, spend a lot of time with them… at least a couple hundred hours of listening… then go for a DAC and then a Streamer. I don’t know how invested you are in vinyl… but I would leave that behind. Lots of cost that could better be invested in your core system and streaming. A format with nearly infinite music with almost no cost.

Every component counts… the greater the investment the better it sounds (assuming you do your research).


the greater the investment the better it sounds (assuming you do your research)

absolutely, more $ only yields improvement when all the rules - synergy, weakest link, room, etc. are considered wisely

@ghdprentice ​​​​@grislybutter are spot on. It’s a chain that works together, and the weakest link is what you’ll hear once once the clarity reaches a high level. Patience, synergy, research, and lots of listening when you make changes is your best bet IMO. It’s also good to optimize what you have by isolation and preventing vibration and resonances as much as is feasible, suitable cables and wires, etc.

I don’t buy enough expensive equipment to make any specific recommendations, but I trust the advice above. It’s always subjective and personal, but IMO this is a good time to at least consider taking a step towards tubes to get a taste, and set yourself up for possible future upgrades in that direction if you happen to become enamored like many do.

I like Bryston - currently for bass in my listening room (4BSST) and 5-channel for HT (9BSST). Bulletproof with service and warrantee to match, smooth elegant sound, not the last word in clarity, but then, not the last word in price either.

Owned B off and on since 2004. Works well with bass, Magnepan, and even ESL.

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there….

As @soix so often asks what sonically are you looking to improve ?…..

IF it plays loud enough and can handle the speaker load , amp is the LAST thing i recommend….. i know… big…beefy… heavy… easy sell …

IF you don’t plan on playing records beyond the currently hip fad, as @ghdprentice points out, don’t invest further. IF you do, then you need to focus on transducers - cartridges …. your table will support and reward possibly up to an Ortofon Bronze ( just an example )…. after that work on the other transducers ; speakers….

Finally…i consider a DAC a convertducer… zero or 5 volts into an AC musical waveform. The Node has a servicable DAC but there are many much more musical in the $400-$1K range….

...and remember to channel Joni in the midst of it all....

"....We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look
Behind, from where we came
And go round and round and round, in the circle game..."

...or, on the darker side of the street...from a Velvet, underground...;)

"I'm feeling good, you know I'm gonna work it on out
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling so fine
Until tomorrow, but that's just some other time"....

Audio is just another addiction....coffee, sugar, keyboards....*L*

I would improve your signal sources first before changing components. The Rotel/Parasound gear is competent and capable of revealing sound quality! Look for improvements in your analog and digital gear. At the receiving end the biggest improvement is always the speakers. Maybe you are tired of the B&W 705 S2 sound? All speakers are flawed devices! If budget allows you could move up to a more expensive pair of B&W’s with fewer flaws, like the 800 series.

You could get a new DAC like a Topping D30 and use the Yamaha CD player as a transport. The Project TT is an entry-level product. Even the Pioneer PLX 1000 ($699) is significantly better! Cartridge choice is quite important here, along with the phono stage. An easy recommendation is a Hana SL ($700) mc into a Schiit Mani 2 ($160) plugged into an aux input on the Rotel preamp.

There are a lot of ways to go here and budget and component matching are going to be extremely important. I agree with @jasonbourne71 ​​​​, your speakers may be your limiting step right now. B&W have a strong house sound and that sound, to me, is on the extremely revealing/bright side. Many B&W owners temper this by using a tubey sounding tube amp like a McIntosh. The biggest single contributed to how your system sounds is going to be good speakers. I might spend some time going around and listening to different speakers. Don't just listen for 5 minutes either, listen for as long as they'll let you. Speakers are like TVs at Best buy. They turn the brightness and contrast all the way up on those TVs to make them pop on the wall, but when you get them home you realize this hurts your eyes and adjust the settings. The brightest most detailed speakers will pop in the store but then when you return them home you may realize they are fatiguing. I say all this to say that make sure you have the right speakers before you go spending thousands on electronics that will never fix the problem. 

If you find you do like the speakers then what is your budget? I agree that changing your preamp would be the next step. There are lots of great units on the used market and that's where I'd look to get best bang for buck but first need to know how much you want to spend. 


Speakers are the most flawed devices. Yet offer the biggest improvement when changed. None of them sound exactly like  real instruments and voices! Not even the $200K Wilson Chronosonics. With speakers it is often what you can tolerate over time. We all hear differently and have preferences for different aspects of frequency response, timbre and dynamic range. So the marketplace provides such a variety of speakers - from small shoe boxes to towering monoliths!

I agree with jasonborne on this one. If you stick with your current sources as is, it is very unlikely that a new set of amp/preamp will make big improvements. BTW, I love my A21+ amp.

I’m always amazed how many are devoted to the concept that spending (significantly) more money equals improved SQ. We all tend to agree that SQ is a perceptive concept, not an empirical one. Yet many espouse that the bigger hit to your credit card will automatically result in jaw dropping improvements. I respectfully and adamantly disagree. 

No one can tell you what to buy. Or what to spend to achieve your objectives. Only you can. Heck, most will suggest you buy what they have. Bottom line, your best bet is to try equipment of interest and decide for yourself. But don’t let the price tag be a basis for anticipated improvement. 

Sorry for being a grouch this morning. We ran out of coffee so I’m stuck with decaf. 

What is budget? 

Would you consider an integrated amplifier? 

Vincent makes a tube/SS hybrid integrated that has a DAC onboard. They also make a hybrid preamp that mates with the SP-332. I have owned a Vincent integrated and it sounded wonderful at the price point. Would sound less clinical, not as dry with more air, than the Rotel gear. Great soundstaging.

Another thought, given that streaming is your main source you might think about getting a DAC to pair with the Node. There are threads on this forum that address that option.  If your cd player has digital out the DAC could also serve it.

If you enjoy your B&W speakers keep them. There is much you can do to get more out of them.

Price range for all upgrades? Can't recommend an upgrade without knowing what you are comfortable spending

Everything starts with the source components.  I always attack my weak points first.  I would look into upgrading that streamer first.  Then see if that makes a diffo.  Lots of good streamers also have a decent DAC built in.  

you haven't specified a budget, but without spending a ton i'd go for a good integrated w/dac--the hegel and vincent suggestions above are good ones.

As previously mentioned, consider purchasing used equipment in exceptional condition. You can find high quality audio components on this site and US Audiomart. This approach may afford you the opportunity to upgrade your system beyond what you originally planned. Unfortunately, you will need to figure out which components meet or exceed your expectations before purchasing them online. Most individuals selling used equipment will not accept returns. You may also get lucky and find a local sale. The Music Room routinely receives used equipment and cycles through a lot of inventory. They test and certify every item. The only negative, their prices on used equipment tend to be higher. However, they usually accept returns. Just make sure you verify they will accept a return on the item you’re interested in purchasing. Take your time and don’t rush into anything before you know exactly what you want etc. 

IMHO, I think you would see a more significant improvement by upgrading to a really good dac. Then use the digital out on the Node. Then if you want to go further, get a linear power supply for the Node; you will be surprised at how much improvement that will make. I did that with my Node and am very happy that I did. I know that there are much more expensive, and probably better streamers out there, but most do not support the streaming services that I use (especially Idagio.) and 

I also had good results with what kmcong suggested, Node, power supply upgrade, tube DAC, good cables etc, details in my profile. Moot if you decided on the Hegel route.

Lot's of good advice here, but if you are wedded to vinyl get rid of the project TT. If not, go all in on digital. Really good analogue can be quite expensive.   

OP, you are getting a lot of great advice.  Some a little contrary or advice being made based off assumptions, budget, assuming you don’t like your speakers.

The advice on speakers having the biggest influence is great advice, the place to start is speakers, if you are happy with your speakers, start the upgrade journey with your electronics, if you aren’t, do your speakers first. Synergy is key on anyone’s set up and you want your gear to have the right synergy with your speakers, if they are mismatched, doesn’t matter how good the gear is, you won’t be able to take advantage of what the gear can truly do. 

The second question to answer is are you looking to upgrade in the most economical way, best bang for your buck?  If you are, the recommendations on Integrated units is a great one.  But, there is a big but, some want the flexibility of separates, especially when it comes to the digital chain, the ability to change DAC’s and streamers or both.  With an integrated you are locked into the all in one solution, sure you can get a separate streamer / DAC but you’ll end up paying twice then as integrated units that are true all in 1 solutions for streaming build that into the cost.  If I went with an integrated, I’d likely skip the DAC unless it was a great deal and you still planned on having an external DAC.  

If streaming is your “go to” for listening, it is mine, previous advice given on upgrading the DAC, Streamer and then the Amp / Pre is really good advice, as you move up the chain, upgrading, the quality of the Streamer and DAC becomes much more important, the flaws in your digital chain become more noticeable with Pre and Amps that are more capable.  Meaning, if you upgrade your digital chain your current Pre / Amp combo should allow you to hear the difference, if you then upgrade those components, things will get even better.  Each upgrade will bring you excitement and satisfaction.  Upgrade the Pre / Amp and you may find it really highlights the weak link which is the Node, you’ll then be jonesing to upgrade the Node, like yesterday because things might sound worse to you with the upgraded pre / amp.  Stinks when you upgrade and you find yourself thinking the old set up sounded better.

Going used is also a great way to go, saves you  quite a bit of $$, allows you to get into better gear, if you are smart about what you buy used, low risk, if you don’t like what you bought, you can sell with little to no loss.  

And… don’t forget about synergy is absolutely key, with the BW’s I’d be cautious around some of the brands recommended, especially Benchmark, they make great gear, but the Pre is known for being analytical, very revealing vs say Mac which imparts a warmth, can tame the BW’s.  If you go the integrated route and or pre / amp upgrade path, be sure to start with your speakers and look at gear that can drive the speakers to their full potential and have the sound signature you prefer.  If you think you might upgrade speakers again, also consider an amp that can drive most speakers to their fulll potential, if you don’t, you’ll be pigeon holed into certain speakers because of your amp and or you’ll need to upgrade both your Amp and speakers at the same time. If you really like your BW’s and if you did upgrade your speakers staying in the B&W family, I’d be looking at solid state amplification known for having a warmer, tubey vibe that is known to have great control over speakers throughout the impedance range. Think Pass, Krell, Coda, Mac, Parasound, also think class A.  I’d then look at a Tubed Pre you can get this in separates or some Integrated’s. 

Good Luck, enjoy the research and planning out your upgrade path, it’s all apart of the fun. 


My recommendations for preamps that appear to be in your general price range are as follows:

Audionet PRE 1 G3 - $8,1000. Phono stage adds $1,100. No internal DAC available.

Mola Mola Makua - $12,200. DAC adds $8,500. Phono stage adds $3,000.  The internal DAC option is the same as the famous Tambaqui DAC. The internal phono stage option is the same as the amazing Lupe phono stage component.

When it comes time to purchase a matching amplifier, I would recommend the following:

Audionet AMP1 V2 Stereo amp - $11,150

Molo Mola Perca Stereo amp - $9,850


These are simply the finest sounding products I've heard in this price category, and not by a small margin!  


It’s difficult to make suggestions without a budget and your future plans for upgrading.  Separate preamp and amp offers upgrade flexibility, but an integrated offers better value - saving $ on casework and additional cable.  

TJ, you have received a lot of good advice here so I’m just going to emphasize some of those things I heard that I mostly agree with. For starters, I owned a Debut Carbon (my brother has it now) and it’s a great entry level table. I would recommend a cork mat, like the Music Hall, over the factory felt. It doesn’t sound any better but static electricity is less of an issue.

The Bluesound Node is great (I have two) but adding an outboard DAC is likely your best $ for $ upgrade. Just keep in mind that if you listen to hi-rez tracks for example, Tidal uses MQA to deliver them and you would lose that ability if your new outboard DAC lacks that feature.

Building a system around components that are all at a similar price point is great advice but I would add what I think is a reasonable exception -speakers. I have always stretched the budget to get better speakers. They impact what your ears perceive more than any other component. And the two most important relationships in your setup are those between your amp and speakers and between your speakers and your listening room. Get those right and you are well on your way.

Which brings me to my next point. Spending on upgrades before you have optimized your listening room is putting the cart before the horse. If you feel something is missing, you could start by adjusting speaker placement looking to improve the aspects of the sound that you feel are lacking. Soundstage width and depth as well as bass response can be substantially improved with tweaks to toe-in and distance changes. Playing around with positioning can yield surprising results and helps you to get to know the sound of your system. Move them closer together and then farther apart and listen to what changes. I used to try to have my speakers as far apart as possible to get a wide soundstage but there is a point at which that is detrimental. When you locate that sweet spot you’ll know you are on to something.

It’s helpful to start with a test disc if you have one, to verify things like balance for example. It’s also helpful to use tracks you are very familiar with and to use as many different types of music as you might listen to. All of which is mostly free and only requires patience and time. I use a tape measure to make sure speakers are the same distance from the side walls and from behind. Even if your listening room is asymmetrical optimizing placement yields big rewards.

If after all that you still have the itch, at least you should be able to better identify the specific areas needing improvement. Good luck.  



Thanks everyone for all the good advice. Here is what I am doing:

I have bought upgraded cables ( went from cheap to expensive end of cheap). I am upgrading my streamer to the eversolo dmp a6. I am getting rid of my Rotel preamp and amp (1572/1552). I bought a used Hegel h390. Can’t wait till it all gets here and I can connect it all up. By the way when I was researching connectors to buy I ran across RCA cables for $28K. OMG


Congratulations. It is likely you will enjoy the upgrade with your choice of the Hegel. Not sure the streamer is an upgrade… fingers crossed.

Tell us what you think when it is all assembled.


Typically cabling is chosen after you have had many hours of listening and know what you want from a cable. For instance, most of my interconnects, cables and power cords are $3K ($3 - 5K). I purchased them six months or a year after upgrading my components. I have had a some Nordost Odin 2 in my system for several weeks… they were unbelievable… I had a hard time giving them back. 




Cables aside, my humble prediction is that you will quickly come to the conclusion that the Hegel far outclasses the B&W Speakers and you find THAT is your new priority. 

You got some mixed advice here, and made some mixed decisions.  Thanks to the power of reasoning I think you'll still be happy with the results assuming you don't  blind test when the new gear arrives.

1- Cables/Interconnects don't matter.  As long as they are sufficiently well made you won't hear sonic differences.  The distances involved are too short to require super thick cables or exotic materials so even the basic stuff will work.

2- Dacs/streamers or any digital equipment for that matter should be bought on features not sound quality.  They all sound the same at MATCHED levels.  The minute differences in specs are well below audible levels.  I've tested this myself, and I've read/watched other blind tests that have had similar conclusions.  Personally I would have kept using the Node, its got great features, and a solid app. Hopefully you bought the Eversolo through Amazon and have free returns.  If you don't believe me perform a blind comparison with the Node and see for yourself. The Evesolo outputs 2.6v while the Node is 2v so the Eversolo will be louder by about 2db, so you'll need to make an adjustment there.  I could be wrong on the math, I use a voltage meter, so maybe someone else can let you know what settings to run the Eversolo to match output level of the Node. 

3.  I don't necessarily agree with this, but there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that all amps when played below clipping and having minimal levels of distortion, will sound the same.  So in theory swapping from your Rotel combo to the Hegel will be under most conditions a side grade.  My feeling on amps is that they do make subtle differences in tonality, especially when tubes are involved (probably due to the higher distortion levels).  Also some amps may clip at normal levels if they don't have a decent enough power supply to cope with the impedance dips of demanding speakers.  The Hegel is on paper more powerful so you might notice an improvement at higher volumes.  In my opinion though, its not the way I would have spent money if I was looking to make improvements, I would have stuck w the Rotel Combo a bit longer. 

4.  The biggest difference maker will be the speakers.  I would have put the entire "upgrade" budget into this category.  What to get is entirely subjective but nearly any choice in the 4-5k price range that you probably spent on the Eversolo and Hegel would likely have been a noticeable upgrade over the B&W's.

But like I said, I'm sure you'll be very happy with the results you chose and will post a follow up response justifying your decisions and thanking everyone about how great everyone's advice was (well maybe not mine).  Blind testing and staying as objective as possible is very difficult when you just spent significant money and effort making these decisions.  A true audiophile would never spoil the fun and excitement of new gear with a rational and prudent evaluation. 

Well that was a pretty depressing post. I definitely will not show it to the wife since she is  already going to kill me. 
I guess I am surprised the preamp and amp make that little of a difference. I guess everyone should only spend a &1k on their amp until they are spending big on their speakers. Where is the break point for that.

i guess I have overrated the B&W 705s. I am able to return the H390 if it makes no difference and I know that is a possibility. That is why I got it with that potential. As far as the node is concerned I do believe that is a good product. But since I primarily stream and after I heard Hoffman’s review of the EverSolo I thought the Eversolo would be an improvement on the sound quality. Granted that might have been a mistake and If necessary I could turn around and resell it. It is a hot item so I believe I would be able to sell it. Maybe I take a hit but I don’t think it would be large since I bought it used.

Still kind of surprised that I will not notice an improvement with the Hegel.  Are the 705s that bad. I thought they were pretty good bookshelf speakers. So it sounds like I overrated them and underrated the Rotel pieces. I am at least 45 minutes west of St Louis and there are no stores out my way to be able to listen to different equipment. Maybe there is in St Louis. 
So I will need to determine if the H390 makes a significant enough of a difference to keep. Otherwise I will box it back up and return it. That was 75% of the money I spent.  

Ok I meant to be sobering but not depressing. Maybe realign expectation with reality. I actually disagree with the premise that amplification within its limits all sounds the same, I feel tonal character changes among other differences. Detail, bass, soundstage, treble, but it’s more subtle than people lead on. Hegel makes fantastic gear, but its straight down the fairway neutral so picking it apart from other amps can be difficult but they’ll match well with anything and the 390 can drive literally anything so it’s an item you can keep forever. But the Rotel stuff you have is no slouch either. You’ll see when Hegel arrives and can make your own conclusion on value.

There is also nothing wrong with your B&Ws per se. It’s just not my cup tea, I find the treble a bit hot and at times they can sound artificial compared to other speakers. They may work well in your room and with your music so if you like them, keep them, it’s certainly easier to change gear than speakers. But if you were going to make an upgrade that’s where I’d do it to get the most bang for your buck. I’d even look further up the B&W lineup if you really like their house sound. Please don’t be depressed, but manage expectations and don’t feel compelled to spend a certain amount of money or change everything at once.

It’s digital gear that I have the hardest time justifying. I’ve had a lot of stuff in my system both dacs and streamers, so I’m not talking out of turn. Maybe there’s something out there that will mop the floor with the Node but I haven’t come across it. I did say buy on features and the Eversolo has a really nice display and is a pretty good looking unit. I think it also decodes MQA although Tidal seems to be abandoning its MQA files in favor of flac.

One last thought- you could look to add to your vinyl collection and upgrade the player, arm, needle etc.  Analog sources are much more flawed spec wise and the differences can be apparent, so maybe not to the same extent as speakers but depending upon how much time you spend listening to vinyl it maybe worth investing there as well.  I’m not the guy to ask though, I only stream.  Don’t even have a cd player anymore.  

I have yet to hear a B&W, (and I too coveted and auditioned numerous models of B&W when I was in the early stages of piecing together my first true audiophile grade set up) that were not overly bright and gave me listening fatigue after only a short while. Cancel/send back what you are able and begin again with speakers...both you and your wife will be far more pleased with the results.

On the plus side, with the Hegel, now your amp is the strongest link in your chain. That’s not a bad thing, aside from: at 250Watts, it is a beast, way above the B&Ws’ capacity. I don’t know the B&W 705 S2 and how they sound in your room and how big is your room. If you add 2 subs, maybe it will be a huge step up from your previous rig.

I used to think speakers make the biggest difference, but here is my analogy: speakers emit the sound that you hear, it’s the constant that can’t change. It’s like a car and the driver, the speakers are the car and everything else are the driver, your room, placement, sweet spot, amp, source, cables, etc. My approach is to find a speaker I like and then I "drive" the best and most out of it.


Please do not worry about some of the contradictory advice you got… particularly that from @perkadin. I am sure it is very well intended but is either not correct… or highly dependent.

As far as speakers. It is a rule of thumb that it is best to have speakers of above average cost per electronic component… but the reality is, great electronics will get the very best sound out of your speakers. I have been helping a friend build a system. Recently he ended up with a $13K Streamer / DAC, a $10K preamp and a $10K amp powering $800 KEF stand mountain speakers. Wow… it was simply great sounding. Ridiculous… I suppose… but they sounded amazing. Something I could enjoy and live with for a long time. Since then he got some $15K speakers. Does it sound better… yes, but the KEFs sounded quite amazing.

Most of us anre not rich, we build systems one step at a time. The important thing is to enjoy each step. You made a good step forward… and should feel great about it… like you will after spending time listening to it.



@ghdprentice Maybe I'm misreading but it seems your rule of thumb is literally based around spending a sufficient amount of money per upgrade, and then spreading that money evenly across components until everything is upgraded.  Unless you believe there is a linear relationship between price and performance that is a terrible idea.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I think evaluating audio gear should be based around listening, and the only way to properly do that while managing external influences, such as yourself, is blind testing.    

Rules of thumb are good ways to begin extensive research of professional reviews and auditioning of audio equipment. I listen to equipment inside my circle of interest as well as outside the circle to verify the validity of any generalizations I have made on a search or made from my previous experience. If there are errors in my generalizations, then I start over.

From here I get serious about auditioning and comparing options. In more recent decades I have had the luxury of often auditioning in my home with the rest of my equipment. I have one main system, a high end headphone system, an office system and a “burn in / experimental system (mostly Schiit). So, I am connected to multiple levels of investment.

So, over the last fifty years I have developed my methodology and repeatedly used it for upgrades. None of it is fixed in concrete. Out of this experience I have noticed the end products of my searches have tended to end at some particular configuration. So, this is where I came up with my rules of thumb. And they are just that… starting places that do not replace lots of research and auditioning, but are helpful to guide folks to optimal solutions.

OP, amps and, preamps and integrateds do make a difference. When speakers get more complex and revealing they’re more likely to show the strengths and weaknesses of components,  The H390 has as much power as the A21 power amp and sounds more open and detailed without being bright and it holds together when the nova 300 starts getting grainy. Hegel’s 300 line is really the sweet spot from the company for the consumer. High power, competitive dac and quiet pre amp in a single box 

@ghdprentice There is a reason the masters of wine exam is done entirely blind (applicants are not told what wines they are drinking). Its impossible to not be influenced by what you read or know about a piece of gear or its manufacturer. If you really want to develop your listeners ear and provide real advice rather then encouragement, get a switcher and integrate blind testing into your process.

This video makes some great points -


So I got the H390 and the EverSolo streamer and I have been listening for 2 days. First the EverSolo: it has a nice display and a lot of options. However from a Bluetooth perspective its connectivity to my phone is inferior to my node. The EverSolo might be better through connectivity directly to internet. I don’t know yet since I have not done it. Right now I will continue to use the node. Now to the Hegel H390. Oh boy it is a jewel. At lower volumes, which I have mostly listened to since the wife is home, I can hear more detail and it is really clean. Have mostly been listening to classic because I am working. The sound is warmer than the Rotel which with the B&Ws is a good thing. I finally put on a blues song with a female vocalist and played it a little louder (probably 4 out of 10) and it was sublime. Just a beautiful thing. So much detail and a greater soundstage and so clean.

Another question: for my turntable can I connect the TT to my Rotel preamp (for the phono stage) and then connect my preamp into the H390. That way I can still play my turntable without purchasing a separate phono stage.

Glad to see that you like the Hegel and notice the improvement.  Yes, you should be able to use the Rotel for its phono stage, but you'd have to configure one of the Hegel inputs into its "Home Theater" or fixed level input mode so it operates as an amplifier only. Then control the volume via the Rotel pre.  I'm not sure how to do that, its been a while since Ive owned a Hegel, but it should be in the device menu.  I'd list the Rotel pre/power combo for sale as a pair and then get a dedicated phono stage to clean things up.  

As for the streamer, Wifi is my preferred method, I try not to use bluetooth which limits resolution. But if you are looking to claw back some of your investment, I'd list the Eversolo as well.  I think the Node is good enough on its own and imo has a better app. 

So If I buy a phono stage piece of equipment can that plug in directly to Hegel analog input

So If I buy a phono stage piece of equipment can that plug in directly to Hegel analog input

I know my Project turntable is a weak link. What turntables would you recommend in the $500 - $1000 range