my peachtree decco experience, your upgrade advice

I have read every comment on the Peachtree Decco posted. I read one post where someone could not hear the difference between the decco and decco 2. So I felt prompted to post. I have listened to the decco for two years. Room is 12 x 20 with 8 foot ceilings. Klipsch forte II 14" from short wall 8 ft spacng between them. Zu speaker cables and power cord.(entry level) I bought 5 tubes off ebay and had them cryoed. I really couldnt hear much difference sonically between the tubes. No immediately noticeable differences. I was looking for a tube that extended bass as my room always seemed a bit bass shy. The only real differences I found were most tubes had nasty turn on noises. ended with an electro harmontix that was quiet with turn on and also quiet tapping on the tube. Most the tubes made noise tapping on them which I felt were good sign harmonics would enter music if tube vibrated during play.

I have thoroughly enjoying owning the decco. It is fantastic one box solution mated to efficient 98db fortes. plays very loud at 10 oclock. 9:30 was enough to get my kids jumping off sofa during movie watching. Home theater and digital TV is perfect with the decco. Does not leave me yearning for surround sounds, center channel, or even a sub. the fortes disappear and image perfectly. Very clear very accurate sound. 2 channel audio with DVD player as transport is just as satisfying. very good listen. not high end audiophile by any means. But extremely good sound for the money. I know what high end audio sounds like I visit my local high fi stores when they demo 50,000$ dedicated 2 channel audio setups. Listening to these setups leaves me yearning to upgrade the sound I have. I wish to move up to a significantly higher level. As close to that 50k sound as I can get on a 2k budget. hehe.

So after two years regular use my decco started having issues. I need to send off for service so I bought a decco 2 so I wouldnt have down time. After owning the decco for two years I was very familiar with my recordings. the new sound of the decco 2 (stock tube) was immediately apparent. These two units have very distinct signatures. The decco2 is a much more refined sound. smoother, slightly better sound stage. and a good bit more detailed. I hear new small sounds that I have not heard before on the decco original. Overall with dedicated listening the decco2 draws you in more. Its a more satisfying sound. Thats the good part of decco2. the bad part is the decco2 has a major short coming. I will lift quote from previous thread "Theres hardly any bass, the highs are much too 'soft' and the mid-range seems over-pronounced" cause that is pretty much exactly what I felt when I first listened compared to decco. There are highs and lows just plain missing from the music. A real shame as otherwise the sound is just glorious. As a result home theater on decco2 really suffers compared to decco. I just cant put my finger exactly why but the decco just sounds way better. clearer presentation which is important for sound affects, and verbal speech. These sounds simply do not need to be softened or rounded or smoothed. Listening to HT with decco2 just has me constantly yearning for the dearly missed decco sound. Music with decco2 is a bigger joy as long as you are listening to new music you havent heard before. It is then you dont really notice the lack of highs and lows. The music itsef just draws you in for a listen.

So now my search for an upgrade begins. At first I hoped maybe the nova would be the guy, but I have found posts on the nova that also describes the thin bass. So I fear the nova would sound just like the decco2 but with more power that my klipsch simply doesnt need. What I want now is that complete accurate sound of the decco with the added detail and better sound stage of the decco2. and then some. most important I want to gain a more holographic presentation. a bigger better sound stage. I hate to move away from this one box solution but I am willing to try for the next step of musical nirvana within my modest budget constraints.

If anyone has some advice on what might work for me let me know. I am currently leaning toward trying an Eastern Electric Dac feeding a Monarchy SM 70. These two budget pieces appear to be giant killers from reading feedback on them.

favorite music = yello
rather than replacing the decco, which is a nifty piece w/ a very good dac, first thing i'd try is adding a heftier power amp to the decco--maybe something like a parasound hca or b&k. it'll definitely change the sonics, perhaps for the better

I have found that subwoofers are the short cut to better bass.... regardless the equipment in place... the room... or the speakers.

Placement and dialing one in is the rest of that story.

Naturally, you can address bass from other avenues. Priamrily sources, amps, and speakers.

But subs remain the shortest path to better bass if only a single move is desired.
I'll agree. I've got a Decco running some Rega RS5's along with a Gallo TR3 sub and it's mid-fi wonderful.

I'm about to swap out the Regas (and maybe the sub?) for some Decware ERR's (if they ever arrive, that is) - it's my attempt at a WAF/design-friendly, full-room sound, single-box system. Decco's been good for me...not the be-all/end-all by any means, but great sound without a lot of fuss.
I will second Loomisjohnson's recommendation. Try using the Decco as a preamp/DAC in front of the power amp of your choice. In my office, I have paired the Decco with a tube amp and it works very well. For use in an HT setup, it might be a bit more challenging because of the Decco's lack of a bypass circuit. How are you integrating the Decco into your HT system now?
interesting post, i am considering a decco2 (or potentially the original) to use with my original klipsch fortes. have you tried to isolate the rolled off aspect of the sound? ie tried the dvd players analog outputs, used a separate power amp, etc?