System bottleneck?

Hi all. My system is made up the following:

Biamp with Parasound a21+ (LF) and Rogue ST 100 dark (HF)

Don Sachs 2 preamp, Marantz SACD 30n, Rega p3 tt,

Legacy Signature SE speakers, pretty good cabling throughout 

It all sounds very good together but if you were looking 

to upgrade where would you start? Just curious what others 

would see as weaker links in this system. 


Thanks for the advice. I have been thinking about a DAC and streamer. I don’t listen to vinyl much so I’m not too concerned about a tt and phono preamp. Also when I stream through HEOS it does sound substantially better than my vinyl does on my rega tt. What sounds close to HEOS is streaming from my phone to Bluetooth. I think HEOS is slightly better because it is using the marantz to do the streaming and not my phone. Anyway, I agree that a streamer and a good DAC would be first things to consider. I will take a look at your system. What preamp and speakers would be a substantial upgrade to your ears?

Currently I own a flagship Aurender W20SE streamer and it is a bargain at $22K.

I can buy a lot of CDs for that kind of bread and it's always in my possession, just saying.

In your shoes, since vinyl is one of your things, I’d sell the Rega right away and upgrade your vinyl setup. Much better phono stage and cartridge too. Stop using Bluetooth for digital.  Once you upgrade the vinyl rig, digital will become less relevant anyway. Add a decent subwoofer(s) to help the Legacy’s below 50 Hz. Take a look at your room too. Lotta glass and bare floors? Not good. As needed, use a rug and maybe some sound panels.  Don’t have to do everything at once, but you have to do everything. Because why not?

Op, yes use the heos app that is controlling the Marantz not involving the phone in the stream. Should get you the best possible results given your setup.  Maybe get an outboard DAC if you have to scratch that itch.

Op… “What preamp and speakers would be a substantial upgrade to your ears?”.


My ears are highly influenced by the last fifty years pursuing high end audio. At first influenced by the ethereal sound of planar speakers… while trying to maintain slam. Then many years of listening to live acoustic music and realizing I was chasing something that wasn’t real… not that this is bad. But it would make electronic music sound better, but make jazz and classical sound worse. So I turned and went the dynamic speaker route and tube electronics. The change and improvement has been profound. My system used to make me enjoy listening to my system (literally) for forty five minutes or so… now I find it hard to pull myself away after a couple hours… I listen three hours a day. It is so musical, if I want to listen to details… they are there for me… so is glorious highly detailed bass. But my system is not a bunch of details with slam.

So, to answer your question. After you put the digital end in place. Go for an audiophile grade tube preamp… Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, or VAC. Buy used… not over 10 - 15 years old. These companies not only capture the first level of musical reproduction.. but layer after layer… layers you are probably not aware of yet. Like rhythm and pace… something that took me decades to identify and realize how important it is. These preamps give your system the magic present in real music as well as including details and bass.


Speakers, I am on my third set of Sonus Faber. I have moved up the product lines after my first purchase of used. I was struck by their unique sound about twenty years ago. Over time I realized it was their uniquely natural sound that matched the real,world… and an exceptional match with Audio Research equipment… how I got to where I am.

You do not have to spend a fortune to do all this. Used equipment can be the best way into the high end. I would read a lot of reviews from The Absolute Sound, Stereophile, and HiFi+ about the equipment produced by the companies I mentioned… contemporary and older… stuff you can afford as well as at their top of the line products. It will paint a picture of companies that know what top level audiophile products should sound like and have consistently manufactured them and advanced the art.