looking to upgrade - identify the weakest link?

I’m a tube and Klipsch guy looking to upgrade. I’m tempted by Cornwall IV, but their size is probably prohibitive (I’m married 😊). To increase soundstage and/or instrument resolution, maybe a tube preamp, or a tube DAC, or roll tubes in integrated amplifier …? How to identify the weakest link? Thanks in advance!

Equipment: Qobuz to ethernet PC Notebook with Audirvana or ethernet Blusound Node (2021) network streamer to Cambridge DacMagic 100 to Schiit Loki Mini+ EQ to Line Magnetic 210-IA 300B SET integrated amplifier to Klipsch Heresy III + Klipsch R-10SW.

Music: 1920-1980 Jazz: Armstrong, be-bop, 1960-80 avant garde jazz. 1950-1980 rock: Classic rock, Zappa, Beefheart, punk, post-punk. Opera: Wagner, Puccini, R. Strauss, Janacek, Bartok. Symphonic: Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg, Mahler, Dvorak. 1950-1980 Afro-beat, Jamaican, Brazilian


@ex-mtairy - What cables are you using, because they are probably your weakest link. 

Good cables will  improve

  • dynamics
  • clarity & details
  • bass extension/depth and texture
  • image and artist placement
  • venue acoustics i.e. echoes and reverberations

Most of your components already do all of that, but the cables prevent them from demonstrating what they can really do.

I have the Node 2 streamer fitted with great interconnects and power cable and it punches way above its modest price point

You can even make cables yourself that outperform many of todays top brands.

For details See: My Audio Alchemy (image99.net)

And to read what others think: https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/duelund-conversion-to-diy-helix-geometry-cabling

Hope you find what you are looking for - Steve

Along with the Fortes' if you are thinking a speaker change I would look at the Volti Razz also. I think it is a much better build.

Consider buying a good turntable, with a good arm, cartridge, and lots of good vinyl.

If you are digital only, that dacmagic is your bottleneck. Look at some of the Denafrips products. But I also like the suggestion to buy a ‘table.