Products you added to your system in 2021 that made most impact to your music enjoyment

As 2021 comes to an end, just thought it would be cool to share some of the most impactful audio upgrades in your system this year?
Here’s my top 5 list…

1. Pass Labs XP-12: Upgrade path was from Rogue RP-1 to Rogue RP-5 and then to Pass XP-12 that was the final touch. Huge improvements across the board. Mates well with my Rogue ST-100 tube amp.

2. Phono Cartridge: Goldring E3 MM to Hana EL MC. Clarity, presentation, dynamics in spades!

3. Phono Pre: From the built in phono pre in RP-1 and RP-5 to MoFi UltraPhono to Sutherland KC Vibe MkII. Lowered noise floor, increased resolution, dynamics. The KC Vibe MkII is almost double the cost of the MoFi and it’s the one of the few upgrades where an improvement was proportional to the cost difference. At least in my system. Records that seemed noisy become more listenable. A great little phono pre. 

4. Audience AU24sx speaker cables. These speaker cables are a clear window into a recording. Nothing hidden, nothing exaggerated. 

5. Power Cords: Acoustic Zen Gargantua for preamp and amp. Lower noise floor, increased resolution, natural sound, expanded soundstage

Honorable mentions:

1. Acoustic Zen Absolute Copper interconnects. In my opinion the AZ cables don’t get the respect they deserve on these forums anymore, overshadowed by some of the “flavor of the day” newcomers (without going into specifics on brands).

2. Puritan PSM156 power conditioner. 
3. Supra Cat8 Ethernet cable.

4. Lumin U1 Mini

5. MoFi LP#9 Stylus Cleaner. Better than the Onzo ZeroDust although I still use the Onzo between the sides. 


Audience AU24SX XLR interconnect and speaker cables, Audience Front Row USB, Wolf Audio Luna R Digital Server, Esoteric F-05 Integrated Amp.

Lots of great stuff out there but, the winner of the best upgrade to my audio system has been the iFi Zen DAC v2. Period. It solves all my digital audio needs and it makes my HiFiMAN 400i planers sound amazing and “intimate” if you understand what that means in terms of the sound stage.  😎


 Jay's-Audio CDT2-MK3 CD Transport...  I sold my old 47-Labs Flatfish Transport (a great transport by the way !) and replaced it with the CDT2.  The Flatfish used SPDIF output and the CDT2 has that and I2s which is what I chose as the interface to my Denafrips Terminator-Plus DAC.  When I played the same CD I had loaded into my Innuos ZENith/Phoenix music-server/re-clocker on the CDT2, there was very little difference in the sound.  Helped me enjoy spinning disc's again !  

Just got my new Totem Acoustic Forest Signatures broken in (somewhat)

Went with the mahogany finish. (Absolutely Stunning!)

I now have a brand new music collection ☺

The ATC'S I had were exceptional. The Totems are end game for me🍻