Replaced Everything, New Gears waiting to be installed...

Well, I went for it! I replaced everything this year, purchasing at the top-end of my budget, hoping to stave off upgraditus for a few years. The equipment has been arriving, and the boxes are piling up. This weekend I will put it all together. Can’t wait...

New stuff (most still in boxes):

  • Accuphase E-380 Integrated Amp
  • REL Vintage 98 Subwoofer
  • Thorens TD-1601 Turntable (Walnut)
  • Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
  • Schitt Skoll Phono Preamp
  • Balanced XLR Cables Turntable > Preamp > Integrated
  • Rose HiFi 150b Streamer/DAC (put in service recently)
  • Grant Fidelity B-283 (Vintage) Tube Buffer w/ fresh Mullard Tubes : MAY place in the Tape Monitor Loop to tame the HiFi Rose if needed
  • Paradigm Reference Studio 40 v2 (a personal favorite, bought and put in service recently)
  • Shunyata Research Defender Power Conditioner
  • also replacing all interconnects and speaker cales. Custom made Cardas and Morgami.
  • ... and I crafted a new Rack to hold/house it all.

I thought about bringing it into service piece-by-piece, and thus seeing the incremental difference. But I kind of didn’t want to open the boxes...weird.

Many thanks to the Audiogon community; this forum and the occasional thread greatly informed my ideas and purchases. Will report back.




This really helps minimize the serial break in problem of incremental component upgrades. You get it all done at once.

But since nothing is broke in… try not to draw conclusions before several hundred hours have elapsed.

Congratulations.  Never heard of this before.... go big or go home approach I guess.

Thanks everyone. Wow, exceeding my expectations. As I completed the install Friday night, I realized I had gone hours without food or drink, needed to sit and chill. If it’s going to get better with break-in, then count me in!

The Thorens TD-1601 with the new Nagaoka cart, Schitt Skoll preamp, and all balanced XLRs is a BIG step up. So much more revealing. I will need to re-clean or discard some older/crusty albums. I am having issues with footfalls, now have ordered brackets to wall-mount (I guess it does not end?).

The Accuphase E-380 integrated is so smooth and effortless. The sound is just right for me. And it looks awesome. A legacy piece for me. Wish the remote had a few more features...loundess, tape loop on/off. 1st world problem.

Having an active subwoofer, the REL Classic 98, is another step up from the old passive KLH. Still dialing it in, reading articles about mixing and placement. I really like to high-level inputs, soldered better connections on the wires (bananas and a small spade for ground.

I did install the tube buffer in the tape loop, it adds a nice element to harsh digital tracks through the Rose Hifi 150B.

Still wrapping my head, and ears, around it all, time to enjoy the music again.

Attempting a picture...!Arl4p5TXJ0nUgcRetn8xe83QiOUBGA?e=HJKL8b

thanks... @ellajeanelle @ghdprentice @zlone @skinzy @danmar123 


Wow, that is quite an amazing amount of gear and I'll bet loads of fun to install.

Only comment is that I doubt the tube buffer is going to stick. There is at least a theoretical reason why tubes in an analog stage could be beneficial or to taste, but a tube buffer is just an extra box that adds color without need.  If you want tube, I'd recommend a tube preamp or a DAC with an analog stage that actually uses the tubes.  

Very nice, congrats. I can see the space constraints to the side, but I badly want to move that speaker away from the turntable. :-)

btw I bought that Stones album twice, it was poor recording both times. Not sure what's up with, and if it had a better version

@grislybutter @zlone

I feel you on the closeness of the speakers. I live in a small cabin, and space is constrained. It’s hard to see in the picture, but I have the speakers pulled forward of the rack, where the majority of the sound is coming from the front. And I do get the notion of the side radiation as well. I don’t play too loudly, and the listening position is only about 10 feet away, Reverberations are never too significant.

The speakers are favorites of mine, Paradigm Reference Studio 40 V2, made around 2000. I have two pair, one in another location. I just sourced these this year, in immaculate condition. I bi-wire them, which made a surprising difference.

Those are nice speakers. With the speakers 5 feet apart, 10 feet seems a bit far but only you know how it sounds.

Living in a cabin must be fun!