Next Upgrade?

My system is great, but wonder what the next step up would be.  Right now instruments like a percussion woodblock sound ‘real.’  Generally bass is great, not boomy.  Vocals not as ‘real’ sounding.


My Red listening chair is in an 8’ by 8’ corner of our ‘room’, which is the whole ground floor of our house.  Living, dining, kitchen.  The south narrow 16’ wall at my listening area is two floor-to-ceiling windows.  The long 32’ west wall is 4 double, glass patio doors, with narrow bookshelves between.  The East 32’ wall is another patio door and 3 big windows.  Floor is bare concrete with 8 carpet mats.  Ceiling is 8’, drywall.  It’s not an echo chamber.

As an architect-designed house with views, I don’t want drapes, window treatments, carpeting, or other major changes to the room.


B & O Beolab8000 black ‘pencil’ powered speakers, supposed to be great for vocals

Hsu ULS MkII sealed sub, against west wall 8’ behind my listen chair facing into the room

Paradigm Series 7 sealed 12” sub, facing listening chair, 4’ back (under wood table)

NODE 3rd gen, connected with Ethernet cable to ASOS repeater 28.8k modem

Cables are Blue Jeans LC1


I prefer streamed radio. I like jazz and Paradise Radio MOA Mellow and World music at lower levels, often at night after others have gone to bed.




It might be helpful to draw a sketch or share some photos of the space as the amount of detail is really hard to envision.

There are two challenges I’m seeing with this. One is that your listening chair is towards a corner, subjecting it to reflections and phasing if there are no treatments. Given your taste in interior design, it might be worthwhile looking into a Synergistic Research Black Box, which is a sleek-looking resonator that cleans up the frequency spectrum in similar ways to adding room treatments. They don’t replace the need for treatments to get optimal sound, but they do help a lot, even with treatments. 

The second is your B&O. I think it will be very hard to get the midrange quality with the form factor of the speakers and built-in amplification. That said, perhaps you can keep playing with the positioning of the speakers and your listening chair to improve the room response in your listening position so the right frequencies are hitting your ears better and making for a more pleasing midrange. 

Last, I love the Bluesound Node at its price point, as it is very pleasing tonally, but the quality of its clarity and separation of elements in the sound stage is not the best.

Without really understanding more, I wouldn’t want to give you any other guidance. But before considering replacing anything, I’d encourage you to play with your positioning as this can yield some great results. 

Thx blisshifi.  I have pictures that I thought I could post, but I can’t.  I’ll keep working on it.  I can easily work on placements.  The NODE is a definite upgrade from what I had.  I assume that my room and equipment all have limitations. 

@tcotruvo - while Blue Jeans cables are adequate, they are not going to get you the sound quality you are seeking

I would recommend Zavfino cables for a noticeable improvement

Start with the speaker cables and then get IC’s and then power cables - that way you will be able to hear the improvements as the various cables are introduced.

The Bluesound Node provides stellar performance improvements when fitted with very good IC’s and power cable

I recommend Zavfino cables that use at least UP-OCC copper

They provide significant improvements in

  • dynamics
  • clarity
  • imaging
  • details - i.e. micro venue acoustics
  • realism

Regards - Steve