Replaced Everything, New Gears waiting to be installed...

Well, I went for it! I replaced everything this year, purchasing at the top-end of my budget, hoping to stave off upgraditus for a few years. The equipment has been arriving, and the boxes are piling up. This weekend I will put it all together. Can’t wait...

New stuff (most still in boxes):

  • Accuphase E-380 Integrated Amp
  • REL Vintage 98 Subwoofer
  • Thorens TD-1601 Turntable (Walnut)
  • Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
  • Schitt Skoll Phono Preamp
  • Balanced XLR Cables Turntable > Preamp > Integrated
  • Rose HiFi 150b Streamer/DAC (put in service recently)
  • Grant Fidelity B-283 (Vintage) Tube Buffer w/ fresh Mullard Tubes : MAY place in the Tape Monitor Loop to tame the HiFi Rose if needed
  • Paradigm Reference Studio 40 v2 (a personal favorite, bought and put in service recently)
  • Shunyata Research Defender Power Conditioner
  • also replacing all interconnects and speaker cales. Custom made Cardas and Morgami.
  • ... and I crafted a new Rack to hold/house it all.

I thought about bringing it into service piece-by-piece, and thus seeing the incremental difference. But I kind of didn’t want to open the boxes...weird.

Many thanks to the Audiogon community; this forum and the occasional thread greatly informed my ideas and purchases. Will report back.



Thanks everyone. Wow, exceeding my expectations. As I completed the install Friday night, I realized I had gone hours without food or drink, needed to sit and chill. If it’s going to get better with break-in, then count me in!

The Thorens TD-1601 with the new Nagaoka cart, Schitt Skoll preamp, and all balanced XLRs is a BIG step up. So much more revealing. I will need to re-clean or discard some older/crusty albums. I am having issues with footfalls, now have ordered brackets to wall-mount (I guess it does not end?).

The Accuphase E-380 integrated is so smooth and effortless. The sound is just right for me. And it looks awesome. A legacy piece for me. Wish the remote had a few more features...loundess, tape loop on/off. 1st world problem.

Having an active subwoofer, the REL Classic 98, is another step up from the old passive KLH. Still dialing it in, reading articles about mixing and placement. I really like to high-level inputs, soldered better connections on the wires (bananas and a small spade for ground.

I did install the tube buffer in the tape loop, it adds a nice element to harsh digital tracks through the Rose Hifi 150B.

Still wrapping my head, and ears, around it all, time to enjoy the music again.

Attempting a picture...!Arl4p5TXJ0nUgcRetn8xe83QiOUBGA?e=HJKL8b

thanks... @ellajeanelle @ghdprentice @zlone @skinzy @danmar123 


Wow, that is quite an amazing amount of gear and I'll bet loads of fun to install.

Only comment is that I doubt the tube buffer is going to stick. There is at least a theoretical reason why tubes in an analog stage could be beneficial or to taste, but a tube buffer is just an extra box that adds color without need.  If you want tube, I'd recommend a tube preamp or a DAC with an analog stage that actually uses the tubes.  

Very nice, congrats. I can see the space constraints to the side, but I badly want to move that speaker away from the turntable. :-)

btw I bought that Stones album twice, it was poor recording both times. Not sure what's up with, and if it had a better version