Upgrade decision, power conditioner or music server

I am an old audiophile starting my journey in the 70s. I have been a member since 2010 but this is my first post and ask. However, I have enjoyed your back and fourth for years in the weekly review email and I learned from the experience.  I recently changed some of my account parameters and for some reason my account says member from '23.  I am currently building my end-game system within my economic means for retirement.,  Most of the system was purchased pre-owned.  

The room and shelving look worst than they are.  A photo is in the virtual systems tab. The living room is 20'x12'X8' and vents to the left to a 12'X14'X8' L-shaped dining room and to the right to hall and stair case to the second floor. I listen on the width about 7' from the speakers.  Frequency response if fairly flat and standing wave reinforcements or cancellations are not evident due to venting.  The WAF set-up is mitigated by diligent vibration control tools. Besides my room and WAF shelving in a wall unit, which cannot change, I see the weakest links in my system as my power conditioners and music server.  The budget is $3K plus anything for trade in which will only be about $400 or less for conditioning or $900 for the server.  I can only do one or the other.  

I am looking for assistance in determining the greatest benefit/investment ratio.  For conditioning upgrades I am looking at a preowned Shunyata Denali or Audience AR T3.  For a server upgrade, I am looking at the Aurender N10.  My system is listed below and described on the virtual systems tab. If you see another weak link that you feel better to upgrade than conditioning or the server, let me know. I look forward to any assistance from the community in making this  decision.  

Vivid Audio Giya G3 Series 1 Speakers, Krell KSA 300s Amplifier, Krell KRC HR Preamplifier, with KPE Phono Board, VPI TNT 3.0 Turntable upgraded with current platter/bearing, JM Memorial 12.5 Tone Arm, Benz Micro Ruby Cartridge with SoundSmity Boron Cantilever and Tip,  Audiolab 8000T Tuner, Wired 4 Sound 10th Anniversary DAC, Aurender N100H Server, Shunyata Hydra 6 Conditioner (Pre and Power Amp), Audience AR2 Conditioner (Digital), WyWires Platinum Power Cords, Interconnects, and USB Cable, Audio Art Statement Bi-Wire Speaker Cable. 

Look forward to your comments.  Yes, you can have your fun grilling me on the WAF setup.  I know it is bad.  Perhaps when my wife retires and if we decide to move out of NY with its insane taxes, real estate cost, and general COL, I will get to have a room designed for my system.  Look forward to your assistance.  


Your system and gear seem excellent. I think you will see far greater benefit from speaker setup and acoustic treatment with WAF tolerances of course. Glass and sound waves don’t play nice together. Can you replace the cabinet your gear is stored in between your speakers with a wooden audio rack that will look good and be functional? Can you place an acoustic panel that looks like artwork on the wall between your speakers? Can you place a rug or carpet on the wood floor?

Can you move your speakers into the room more or apart a little further?


Thank you.  No, I cannot do any of your recommendations.  Moving speakers will block flow patterns,  the wall unit is a WAF requirement, the wall unit glass reflections is possible where I can buy a panel and put it in place for serious listing, I never thought of that.  There is no artwork.  Between the speakers is the massive wall unit.  Doors were open for photographs.  For serious listening, doors are closed.  The door for the preamp shelves is left open just a crack.  The Krell IR remote woks well with minimum opening.  

Thanks for the suggestion on the acoustic panel.  

The Shunyata Denali would be much  better than the Hydra 6 you have. Last yearI  upgraded to a Denali (v1) from a Hydra 8 so similar change and it helped everything.

For some additional color, before the Denali I plugged the amp into the wall directly because the H8 wasn't helping at all so I was happily surprised when I tried putting the power amp through the Denali as well and found it to be a nice improvement. I have a 12 Amp power amp and the draw didn't bother the Denali at all.

Enjoy the very nice system!

With the Denali everything became more natural sounding and dynamic in my system with a quieter background. No negatives noted.

CALL MIKE at Tweek Geeks and order a 30-day trial on the QSA Jitter Conditioner red or red/black plug.  Plug that into the end of your conditioner to the wall outlet.  What have you got to lose?  It makes a big difference.  I purchased the silver one with really good results on my system.  You may not need tp upgrade any of your components!!!

ddrave44 and Willgolf

Thank you.  I am a firm believer in clean power and I am siding on moving to the Denali vs improving the server to the Aurender N10.  However, reviews also indicate a big difference in the N10 vs the N100H.  

Thank you.


I will look into the QSA Jitter Conditioner.  Thanks for the recommendation.  

I ended up with an Everest and Aurender N20. I understand that the Everest is the same topology as the Denali, but I had six components that required isolation. Also, realize that the Shunyata NR cables are designed to work with the Denali. I found that the Shunyata power components were the most significant addition to my system. Juan @blisshifi gets Aurender’s in trade. This is how I purchased my N20. I’m not well versed in the differences between the N20 and N10, but I can say that the Aurender made my DAC shine and lifted my digital almost to the same level as my analog. My main contribution here is to suggest looking at NR cables in tandem with the Denali.  My cable purchase started with venom and then through a series of comparisons and returns I emptied my bank account.

Consider deep panels in colors to match your wall paint next to the speaker on the right.

Personally I'd go with a Furman for power conditioning, a little in room acoustics, and the rest on the streamer.

@jsalerno277 In case you’re not aware, the Aurender N10 is pretty much discontinued at this point. There are a few sources online that discuss how the newer Aurender N200 is sonically better than the N10, despite its retail price being $2K less than the N10. Should you want to discuss in detail, feel free to PM me as I’m an authorized Aurender dealer and I’ll be happy to help. 


My hat is off to you. I am an old guy also and there is no way I would be changing albums on that beautiful turntable in a place that low and recessed. I would be seeing the chiropractor after each record change.


As to your question. Each choice will likely give you a sonic improvement. However I think you will get the largest by moving up the Aurender line. The N10 is a great sounding streamer… each step up makes a significant difference. I think there could be a lot of discussion on whether the N200 or N10. I own a N100 and W20SE and heard the N10. 

I would go with the Denali. Likely to give you a sonic improvement as well.


Personally I would devote a significant budget for gifts to the wife to get her to give you the wall for your system. Could be the best $10K you ever spent. Fortunately my partner is into home theater. So I was able to buy her some really expensive component, and then she really could not complain when I wanted to buy something. Flexibility can normally be purchased.


Changing albums is a challenge.  My wife only hears noise.  At least my son understands and comments on clarity approaching reality.  System setup is non negotiable no matter what expense is invested on her , unless in retirement we move out of the NYC suburbs to a more retirement friendly state and I get a dedicated room.   N200 new would be over budget than preowned N10.  It is published to out perform the N10.  I really enjoyed your response.  


Thank you.  Would love the N200 but it puts me over budget to a preowned N10.  

Your equipment is great,  so I’d probably go with a streamer, but for $3000, I don’t think you are going to get much better than what you already have. Both the N20 and the N200 are way above your price range. I have the AR6 power conditioner and I sometimes think it is an expensive 15 amp breaker, but the Hydra6 might be a good trade in on another power conditioner like the Denali.

All the best.

but for $3000, I don’t think you are going to get much better than what you already have.


Nice equipment!

Unusual fat funny looking speakers.

The huge cabinet filling the entire space between the speakers and being right up to them likely kills all sense of depth. Unfortunately you are missing out on the key 3D effects that such excellent system should provide.


And being in N-Y city, you would probably benefit more with a power conditioner upgrade.


Yes.  Depth is not optimal but all Vivid’s are known for their holographic effects and I still get depth and palpable imaging. The speakers are known to be forgiving of room placement.  I am not doing them justice but it’s the best I can do. Thanks.   

Lots and Curiousjim.  
I have a deal in writing from a dealer.  My N100H for a preowned N10.  $3k.  Reviews say N10 much better. Still personally siding with improving conditioner to preowned Denali based on feedback I have received. 


Room with L-dinning room and hall venting actually does not affect frequency response.  Speaker technology makes them not room sensitive.  Depth is reduced by wall units but still perceptible.  My goal is determining best ROI for general sound improvement.  Besides room technology improvements in power conditioning and music server make these current weak links.  I cannot do much with room.  Thanks for your feedback. 

PS Baylinor.  
 I forgot to add speakers are like me at 68…unusual, fat, and funny looking.
Go on the Vivid website to see other angles.  Really an intelligent design.  Also like me in old age. Design of drivers  and cabinet to cancel rear waves, reflection, and vibration for clarity.   No parallel surfaces.  


J Salerno, 

Just to pile-on in favor of the Denali, I'd note that digital continues to improve and change. The Denali will improve the system you have and whatever digital front end you choose. Kind of like getting the foundation in place before choosing the furniture.

(I'm only confident about this because I have a Denali v1 and saw what it did.)

power conditioner should be very first thought in your head ..if you dont have good power you dont have good sound no matter how good the equipment

Only tackling power conditioning.  I’ve run Furman 15i Elite, followed by Decware ZLC, very nice, followed by Puritan 156 products, even better.  I’ve settled on all of the Puritan products and experienced big improvements.  Done.

Thank you all for your feedback.  I will go with my original gut feel and the consensus of the group in improving power conditioning to a pre owned Shunyata Denali or Audience Adept Response T4 or TS0X rather than improving the server.  Clean power = Clear sound.  The T4 will be over budget but I may go for it.  
Thanks  again for your assistance.  

I know it’s been a while but I would like to thank all that recommended clean power over improvements to the DAC/Server.  I just installed a preowned Shunyata Denali V1.  I use WyWires Platinum Power Cords throughout.  No change there. Shout out to Ryan T at The Music Room Audio.  As always delivered on time, well packaged, and in excellent condition as described.  Compared to my Hydra, the most prominent changes are accurate timber, improved dynamics, and improved image density.  There is a high frequency glaze or scrim around performers and instruments that has been removed.  This has lowered background noise, made images more three dimensional, locked in on accurate timber, and improved leading edge, micro dynamics, and macro dynamics.  These changes over the Hydra are substantial.  The biggest change is that I am sitting here trying to stay in analytical mode to articulate the changes to you but keep getting forced out of that mode and getting lost in the performance. At that is biggest compliment I can give to this piece of gear.  Thank all for guiding me to cleaner power   Now to save my pennies for my last improvement for my retirement system … a better DAC   



So glad to hear that you got these great results with the Denali v1. It really is a remarkable conditioner. I hope you get lost in lots of performances with it in your system!