Advice needed - replacing everything (almost)

Pretty much a newbie here, looking to replace my entire system - everything except the speakers (for now) - Jamo Concert 8's. Was motivated to do this after hearing my neighbor's system (introductory post here), and now I have a conundrum. If I replace the whole system in one fell swoop I have no idea how it will sound until it's up & running. Also, will not know in advance whether or how any individual component will contribute, for better or for worse.

Since this makes listening to anything in the store pretty much irrelevant, and since everyone's stock is depleted anyways due to supply chain issues, I've pretty much resigned myself to buying everything used in the online marketplaces, and possibly make it a continuous journey to buy new (used) components in search of the "perfect" sound.

What I have in mind for the basic layout is: All digital source (Sonos + Roku), DAC, tube preamp, 2 channel solid state power amp. All that said, I need some advice. I've found the following available for sale, as we speak: PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC; Schiit Audio Freya Tube Preamp; PS Audio S300 amp. Does anyone see any glaring red flags about this particular combination of equipment? i.e. Technical incompatibilities?

Any thoughts appreciated... Thanks!
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
So you like your neighbors system? I hate to be the wet blanket but maybe you should be looking at stuff similar to what he bought? I've been down that road of "I don't want the same thing he has" and it's a path paved with disappointment.

Make one change at a time. The question is, what impressed you about his system and what exactly does he have?
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with the above. If you have been at this quest for years, and it was a specific system that really stood out to you - then try to replicate that system. Otherwise you're just going to end up with a six of one, half dozen of another switcharoo. Without knowing what really stood out to you, its hard to weigh in on specifics. You can spend a fortune in this hobby chasing your own tail.
 
Good thought... The neighbor's system is: Schiit Modi Multibit DAC; Schiit Loki Mini+ EQ; Schiit Saga+ preamp; Emotiva amp (don't know the model); JBL Studio 580 speakers. The appeal is the clarity and imaging... spectacular.

I am willing to take some risk, on the assumption that anything I buy will be newer, better technology than what I've got, and is almost (?) sure to be an improvement. And assuming the risk of course, means be willing to be disappointed. Which I am. Part of the reason I ask the question is because I read lots of other posts where folks talk about equipment pairings that work well (e.g. preamp + amp combination, etc). I am completely uneducated about what would make any one pairing better than another, and if I do decide to do it all at once like this, the equipment selection would be somewhat random based on availability, so was looking for some insights on that...
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
If you are financially able, why not buy the PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC; Schiit Audio Freya Tube Preamp; PS Audio S300 amp and move them into and out of your system with the Jamo's?

That way you can hear what each piece does as compared to your current system and decide if you like/need the various parts.

That being said, I really like 6SN7 based pre-amps with solid-state amps and did that for many years. Then I tried a Primaluna integrated and I really love that all-tube sound.

The trick is to enjoy the journey.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Good thought... The neighbor's system is: Schiit Modi Multibit DAC; Schiit Loki Mini+ EQ; Schiit Saga+ preamp; Emotiva amp (don't know the model); JBL Studio 580 speakers. The appeal is the clarity and imaging... spectacular.

I am willing to take some risk, on the assumption that anything I buy will be newer, better technology than what I've got, and is almost (?) sure to be an improvement. And assuming the risk of course, means be willing to be disappointed. Which I am. Part of the reason I ask the question is because I read lots of other posts where folks talk about equipment pairings that work well (e.g. preamp + amp combination, etc). I am completely uneducated about what would make any one pairing better than another, and if I do decide to do it all at once like this, the equipment selection would be somewhat random based on availability, so was looking for some insights on that...
My guess is that you liked your neighbor's speakers better than your own, and that was the major difference between the two systems. I'm not a 'speakers matter most' person, but am a "speakers are the most obvious difference" person.

FWIW, the Saga isn't a 'real' tube preamp. It can be either a passive or switches to a tube buffer as part of an active stage, basically a gooey tone control put over everything which can sound good if you like that but it's kind of a seasoning put over everything.

The Jamos probably like a lot of power but they're going to sound different than those JBLs no matter what.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
I think this is really what you're "hearing". See if your buddy will let you try them out at home.

I agree with this. If you can try them out and like them, start there. And then try replacing one piece of equipment at a time after that.
 
The Jamos probably like a lot of power but they're going to sound different than those JBLs no matter what.
Would like to know more about this. The Jamos don't currently have a lot of power (NAD 3020A - rated at 30W, depending on where you look) but can handle a lot more. How much of a difference will more power make, qualitatively?
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Would like to know more about this. The Jamos don't currently have a lot of power (NAD 3020A - rated at 30W, depending on where you look) but can handle a lot more. How much of a difference will more power make, qualitatively?

Your concert 8s are rated at 4 ohms right? Is that NAD 3020 stable at 4? That could definitely be a problem. Your concert 8s are going to pale in comparison to the JBLs in the dynamics department no matter how much power you pile on them, so be aware of that. It took me a LONG time to figure out I was chasing dynamics in my system but couldn't put my finger on it.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Would like to know more about this. The Jamos don't currently have a lot of power (NAD 3020A - rated at 30W, depending on where you look) but can handle a lot more. How much of a difference will more power make, qualitatively?
Ok that changes my diagnosis a bit. You're feeding what look to me like some very fine gourmet-wanting speakers some fast food there. I don't have first hand experience with those speakers but those look like SEAS Excel drivers and I'm guessing they're a stab by Jamo at a very high end speaker.

Standmounts are picky about amplification, and usually they want power to open up and image out into the room, and to have any sort of impactful macro dynamics. And the better the speaker the more picky. In fact, the better the speaker is, sometimes the worse it sounds if you don't give it what it wants. Its capable of more, but also will reveal shortcomings. Stands will matter as well.

Just going in blind, if somebody offered those two speakers to me, I'd pick yours. But then I'd go about really finding the right amplification and stands for them.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
Another route for a complete system replacement, that some (Steve Guttenberg) don't feel is audiophile enough, is to look at active speakers. Depending on budget, there are now quite a few really good active models out there available from most of the large speaker manufacturers. Some, like my SVS Prime wireless, include streaming; others you can add your own. And most actives have subwoofer outputs if you like bookshelf models but want deeper bass. If you consider actives I would suggest you start here to see some of what is available SoundStage! Simplifi | SoundStageSimplifi.com - Home,
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Yes, 4 ohms, but don't know what "stable" sounds like?

To keep it simple "a bad match". Take the Jamos to your buddies house before you try anything else and compare them to the JBLs. With your 3020a I don't think anything will get a "fair shake" with an in-home demo.
 
Top