Maybe the Journey is Over?........Well......

My wife hopes that I have my final system, but I am not going to guarantee that! I have recently been busy upgrading. I had Blue Jean Cables for coax and speakers and now I have Audioquest Rocket 33 speaker cables and Audioquest Carbon Coax. I also replaced my Audiolab 6000CDT with a Jay's Audio CDT2 MK3. I then upgraded the CD puck to a Headquarters Qstab. I ordered three more GIK panels this morning to complete their recommendations for acoustic treatments. After those are installed, I am going to keep it the same for a while. It sounds very good now but H590's are coming down in don't look at happy with what you have.........but what if?

My current system:

Hegel H390 amp

Jay's Audio CDT2 MK3 Transport with Qstab

Tyler Acoustics Highland H3.5 speakers

Isoacoustics Gaia II isolators

GIK Acoustics panels as recommended by GIK.

Audioquest Rocket 33 speaker cables

Audioquest Carbon Coax

Pangea Audio Vulcan Amp Stands

Furman PST8 power strip

Four Schuman Generators


Has Hegel's integrated amp have a DAC which is superior to the outboard Dac's you've heard? Curious about that aspect of your journey.

@hilde45 I have not tried other DAC’s other than the DAC’s in a couple of CD players I have owned. I have been told and I have read that the DAC in the Hegel H390 is very good and competes with some expensive models. For that reason, I haven’t been in a rush to try anything else. I may try a few options if I can get them on loan and then the journey will continue......sigh.

Enjoy your system as is for a while or you'll never really know how content you can be with it. All that "what if" can empty your pockets at an alarming pace and not get you any further than where you presently are.

All the best,

@baclagg Very cool. I am not trying to send you down the upgrade path, but as many experienced audiophiles have told and shown me, the source is really critical in making or breaking a system. The Hegel’s all-in-one integrated is very nice, but at $6500 (new), it’s bound to have a good (not great) DAC, streamer, preamp, and amp. Some of those internals may be better than others (I’d expect the amp/preamp are superior) but even if they were all equal, you’re talking about components that are roughly at the $1600 mark, each. If you look for really good components that are separate -- and not ultra-hifi-- you would find yourself probably spending more on at least some of those separates. Especially the DAC.

Of course, nothing sounds better to anyone’s ears but yours.This is just how I’d think about it if I had your system.

How are you finding the GIK suggestions working out in terms of SQ? I also received recommendations from them, just haven't pulled the trigger yet

@smaarch1 I followed what they recommended but I could only afford to do it in stages. I ordered the final stage today. What I have received and installed so far sounds very good. I would highly recommend them! I have an updated picture in the virtual systems if you want to see what I have installed.

Nice setup. I will also be doing it in stages and not sure I will go the whole route as it's my main living space. Likely can't pull off the ceiling panels

Congratulations for the nice room/system  and for  the Schumann generators ...😊

I used 4 S.G. too ...

The sound bloom with them  ...


Congratulations. It is great getting to a point where you are really happy. I tend to spend a year or so upgrading, then just enjoy the music for around 7 years before I upgrade again. Each upgrade has been more substantial than the last, keeping me very happy over the decades.


Enjoy. Nice venue. How about some more photos. It looks nice in the one.

@smaarch1 I had that problem until early this year. She wanted all my equipment out of the living room and luckily we have a couple of extra bedrooms. I sold the furniture in one and moved everything up. Ceiling panels were a big improvement.

I don't want to hijack the discussion, but...

Schuman generators...could someone elaborate on the benefits and where one would get them, please.

All that matters is that you are enjoying the journey, because I have a feeling you are not done with it. More pictures of your room layout would be more telling of what you achieved or not acoustic treatment wise. Sidewalls, ceiling and backwall treatments? Seems like an all out front wall treatment as presented.  As an example, in my house of stereo, the front wall has BY FAR the least amount of treatment of any others. And I started with specific recommendations from GIK.

You know it ain't over till it's over. It's always something.  If it's not one thing, it's something else. [Rosanne Rosanna Danna]

There’s more at play here (pun intended) than which format can beat up the other format. There are lifestyle changes that happen as well. This includes (but not limited to) how much aging knees appreciate the trips to the rack to manipulate physical media.

We also have to understand that physical media -> "unphysical" media has changed, too. In the early days of clunky first gen CD players, we got remote controls, skip buttons and a not-so-easy way to set up a playlist. Now those music services know us well enough to set up a playlist based on what we ate for breakfast.

Music at home is often social. It’s so much easier (and, less risk of catastrophic failure) to share your app with a friend and allow them to edit the night’s playlist. It’s not as reassuring to allow a friend to cue up a record on a turntable who’s stylus is not field replaceable and may cost more than the vehicle your guests drove to the event in, Consuming 1.4 glasses of <insert adult beverage of choice here> is a factor, too.

Emotional connections are difficult/impossible to evaluate objectively. My daily drivers have had a clutch and shift knob since 1983. But, when my wife and I are selecting wine at the store, one with a cork in it, and one with a twist top, we often look at each other for second and give a simultaneous nod to the twist top. As I said, things change. The "serenity?" Or, the "hit?"

I think there’s a strong correlation between how our body progresses and how we view the world. When our standard equipment "hardware" that performed impressively for a vast span of oue lifetimes, becomes "software", it has a effect downstream on how we view things in general. Maybe even our music systems? Just sayin’.

If that internal magnet that drew you to that which used to light up your musical world is pulling you in another direction, then so be it. You had the opportunity to enjoy superb analog in your home for many years. No regrets.

It's always fun and exciting to get new stuff but until a person decides that enough is enough, "upgrading"will continue. I've found that initially not reading anything about whatever hobbies you're into is helpful and then slowly transition back to perusing sites. 


Congratulations on putting together a great system! I to have the H390 and I’m truly enjoying it!


I also have the H390 and the Dac is good, I would in no way call it world class. It is far better than the Schiit Bifrost I have, but nowhere close to the Denifrips Pontus ll that I also have.

@rick_n I’ve got a nice one. Maybe too nice? Sometimes I wake up to silence after the spinning has long

@wlp3 There are many articles out there about Schumann generators. They are devices that generate 7.83hz in the room. Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, generated and excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth's surface and the ionosphere. I have four of them. I have found that they improve the depth of the sound stage and eliminate the glare associated with CD playback.

I used 4 of them at critical locations...Cheap chinese battery one and a USB one ...

As said above by baclagg they made a difference in the blooming of the sound making it more natural ...A better impression of depth is true impression indeed ...For the effect on digital glare i dont know but i believe it...I never had digital glare in my system before trying the S.G.but it makes the sound "aura" more natural for sure ...

I never read any real explanation why they work so well ...

My own explanation but i am no scientist, is that they introduce some dithering effect making clearer the noise/ signal/ratio... I put them near my gear ...

I experimented with cheap 10 bucks one, then i discovered that they dont need to be precisely spot on on the Schumann frequency...The cheap one are not precise and work well ... I deduced that they work more as a dithering effect tool than the precise magical 7.83 effect ... Any low hertz range frequency near 10 hertz will do and his harmonics as some dithering effect ...

But beware : dont experiment with that BEFORE your system is already  relatively  satisfying ... S.G. is not A SOLUTION ... The effect could even not be perceived on bad audio system ...It need some minimal quality synergy already in the system ... S. G. are cherries on a cake not the cake ...But if your system is already good they will make it shine ...

The same is true with ionization of the room ...very subtle but real is cherries on a cake not acoustic or gear solutions ...


RE: replacing H390 with 590.

You don’t mention a DAC so I assume you’re using the 390’s on-board DAC, which is somewhat on the lean side.

I’m not familiar with your speakers. I also own an H390 and Jay’s CDT2MKII. Both my Silverline monitors and Aqua La Voce DAC are on the warm side and I had to swap out ICs and footers in order to tame what was, for me, too forward of a sound, in conjunction with the 390 and Jay’s.

Be aware that the H590 is both more resolving and more neutral than the 390. You might consider purchasing a 590 from a seller that offers a return policy, such as Listen Up! as moving up the Hegel line might prove "too much of a good thing", depending upon your taste.

Just my 2 cents...

BTW, I'd be very curious to know what you think of the QStab.   


@stuartk thank you for the advice on the 590. I will definitely get one to try out before I buy it. My 390 is giving me what I need for now.

The Qstab was a good addition. More bass response and the thing I notice more than anything is that piano notes have a more realistic tone to them. I love it!


You're welcome.

Thanks for the feedback on the QStab. 

I have heard the same thing from others. 

Not sure it would be worth the expense, in my case. 

Well, if you a) have deeper pockets and b) you're sure that you won’t have to start alimony payments anytime soon (i.e., don’t have such worries).... keep the "what if" question perpetually open and keep buying all kinds of things.

@ghdprentice I finally received everything I ordered and I have updated my pictures. I think I'll stay at this level for a while.



Beautiful! I was at first aghast to see a large screen TV front and center… then realized it was an acoustic panel. 

One of the things I now appreciate is having a system / venue that looks coherent and beautiful. Not something that I had enough money to do when I was young… it was the most performance I could afford and butt ugly tended to go with it. It is great fun to also appreciate your system / venue from an aesthetic point of view. You did good.