Help me upgrade my beginner system!

So I’ve been an entry-level audiophile for a while - I’ve never spent a large amount of money to put together a truly impressive system. Currently, I have the following gear:

- Elac Discovery Music Server
- Technics SL-1700 Turntable w/Pickering XSV300 cartridge
- Peachtree Nova 300 Integrated Amp
- GoldenEar BRX Bookshelf speakers
- NHT SW2P Subwoofer (w/MA-1 amp)

I also have a bunch of gear I inherited from my brother (all from the 1990s) that I will be trading in to a local stereo shop. That’s where I need help. What should I add/replace to improve on my setup? I’m not sure what I’ll get for the traded-in gear, but I suspect I’ll be able to purchase around $2 - $2.5K in new gear.

I’m personally leaning towards a DAC to improve upon the one built into the Peachtree, and maybe a good power conditioner (although I’m currently using my brother’s old Tice Elite AC Conditioner). I’m very hesitant to replace the Elac Discovery because it comes with Roon and works with both Tidal and Qobuz. Anyway, would love to get your thoughts on this!


You never listed the gear from your brother that you are looking to trade in/sell?  I’d ditch the power conditioner as well, I feel that they rob the music of its emotional content.  I’m also a big fan of tubes, so a nice tube integrated amp would be on my list if it were me.

Looking over your system, looks like you did a good job of choosing… looks well thought out. I also think you are correct the DAC probably has the biggest opportunity for improvement.  I recommend looking at a Schiit Yggdrasil. This is in your price range and is comparable to DACs at higher prices.


Spend time working with speaker placement and room treatments. They can be less expensive by using carpets or real purpose built acoustic treatments.

If you added a Yggdrasil, then all your components would be performing at roughly the same level and the next move, should you want to would be raising the whole system to the next level which would be 1. Speakers, 2. Integrated amp, 3. Streamer, 4. Power conditioner. My rule of thumb for this “level uping” is each new component should be no less that 2x an investment 3x is better. While this would could be one component at a time. The resultant system would be very substantially better.

@yogiboy and @elliottbnewcombjr, I actually sent away to have my stylus analyzed under a high-powered microscope. The result was that it’s like new (<100 hours on it)!!