Which Would You Choose?

My System

NAD M12 Preamp with HDMI/BluOs modules

Parasound Halo JC5 Amp

Arcam DV79 DVD/CD

Sonus Faber Olympica III speakers

Sunfire HRS 10 subs X 2

Audioquest NRG Z2 power cords

Silnote Morpheus Reference Series II XLR

Audioquest Pearl 48 HDMI cables

Audioquest Greyhound sub cables

Aircom S8 cooling unit for amp

Monster Power HTS 3600 MKII

Mogami 2921 speaker wire/bi wired


You all know the desire to improve your sound. Thinking of switching amps again.

Rotel Michi S5


Music Fidelity M8s-500s



Neither. I would take the JC 5 over either one. Not sure why you think either of these would be an improvement. 

I auditioned the S5 against a Luxman M10x. The Luxman was clearly better, as it should be for $20K. However, the Michi was very impressive for its price. It's definitely a great value in this crazy, high-end world. However, depending on your listening preferences, don't rule out a McIntosh MC462. The S5 is slightly more detailed, but the McIntosh presents as warmer and more real with a tremendous bottom end. 

What specific improvements are you looking for over the JC5?  Also, I’d consider upgrading the Monster 3600 that can’t be doing you any favors sonically.

Naturally, upgrades in components should yield improvements in sound. This is a complex subject. I could go on forever. Before you go that route, I would suggest improvements in all of your cabling. There are currently several high-tech sources that have "finally" discovered the sonic benefits of using 7n's OCC solid core copper wire, with silver plating, as the main ingredient in all of the cables offered, Including highly shielded power cord construction. Personally, I use custom made cables utilizing this material and construction, however I have recently come across a manufactured source that I would buy in a heartbeat if I didn't already have what I have. I suggest contacting DECAWARE in E.PEORIA, IL. Talk to STEVE DECERT about all of his current OCC cable designs. This person is truly an audio design genius, so you can ask him anything. BE CAREFUL though !! "All of his component designs are incredibly addicting, including speakers. His company is one of those hidden gems in the HIGH END audio business.

You speakers are in an entirely different class to the rest of your equipment and you probably need to think of upgrading almost everything not just a power amp.  Actually IMHO your power amp is the last thing you need to replace.





I must admit, @mazian is correct. Your Olympica are capable of way better sound. But they need to be feed with electronics a couple levels up.

I used to own Olympica 3s for many years. I supplied them with a $18K DAC / CD player, Audio Research 5SE preamp, and Pass 350 amp. While a great combo, if I had switched to a ARC Ref 75, they would have sounded better.


Ideally a preamp like a used Audio Research 5ish, Amp like Audio Research Ref 75, or Pass 250 would kick your system up a level or two.


Rotel and MoFi is midfield stuff… your speakers are way better than that.

I would start by getting an audiophile preamp. Look to Audio Research, Presto, Conrad Johnson, or VAC. I would look to spend around $8K.

Given your speakers an appropriate allocation would be Streamer, DAC, preamp, amp each cost (carefullly chosen and synergistic) = ~$8K. This will get you the very best sound out of the Olympica.

Tube amps too weak on the bass drivers the Hegel has a class leading

4000 damping factor which is far better then. The competition by a large margin,

giving far better control and slam to all drivers.  And the Hegel H600 

has a excellent preamp section to complement the Dual mono amplifier section 

and a very good dac section even better streamer that has tidal but will have Roon to add very soon with QObuz and other software upgrades. Substantially better then any previous product far closer to their best separates. I am considering this for myself.

To answer the question you posed, I own the Michi S5 and I have been very satisfied with the performance.  As someone said, it's probably not going to compete with an amp three times the price, but that should be no surprise. I recently was looking to upgrade, and auditioned against Macintosh amps and preferred the Michi over the Macs and Classe. I also listened to Boulder as well, which certainly was better but of course at  about three times the price. In my case, i thought I could do better by keeping the michi and spending the available money elsewhere. I find the Michi gives you abundant power, and pairs well with SF. So, I think the S5 offers a lot of performance for the money.

I have not heard the MoFi. I don't have the ability to review components, I have not heard, at least with any hope of offering a helpful opinion. As with most buying decisions, I think it comes down to getting the best performance for the money you have to spend. Obviously, if money is no object, upgrade everything. 

Be careful what you ask for on this site. OP is thinking of switching amp and some recommendations given are you need to upgrade EVERYTHING LOL.

Thanks all for your input. 

If I change my preamp my choice would be a Bryston BR 20. 



Be careful what you ask for on this site. OP is thinking of switching amp and some recommendations given are you need to upgrade EVERYTHING LOL.

Yes, it’s true. And it’s the same old timers who seem unaware of the fun many audiophiles are having who are mixing and matching less than the top of the line brands and models to piece together that jigsaw puzzle of components to find synergistic magic and their own audio fun.



I'm glad that you found out about OCC single Crystal a lot of these companies like transparent MIT are using ofc still which is junk and charging crazy amounts of money for it but there's something even better than the round OCC and that's rectangular flat OCC, Neotech makes it, check out their website and look for rectangular cable the silver one is called the Amazon and the copper one is called the Sahara I upgraded my whole system with it and it blows away my round OCC that I was using from Harmonic Technology.

axpert, I just wanted to make a correction for you, OCC single crystal copper is 6n's not 7n's, The silver OCC is 7n's.


The Michi Gear is definitely not mid-fi, I guess you haven't heard it, I have and it's phenomenal sounding, The monoblocks sound incredible and even the integrated the X5 which is around 12,000 Canadian is incredible sounding Dave definitely up to their game that's for sure.

axpert, I just wanted to make a correction for you, OCC single crystal copper is 6n's not 7n's, The silver OCC is 7n's.


@jetter you cannot seriously tell us that anything under 10K is not junk

Absolutely I do think so.

Without doing much thinking, a new Pass xa25 is about $5K.  A set of the new Clayton Shaw Caladan speakers are around $3.5K.  Quicksilver mid monos are $2K a pair as are their preamps.  There are the Schiit products mostly in the $2K and under range.  These are new prices, about half for used.  Many, many others.  In my world these are not junk.

That said, what I tried to put across is that those of us with less expensive systems are having a ton of fun owning and listening to our systems.  And someone asks for a little help with his system which he probably is proud of and some pompous ____ tells him he needs a whole new system.  Not cool.  



yep…. especially IF you get a nice monoblock pair with SHORT speaker cables… As noted the Quicksilvers can astound ….. 

Have fun, enjoy the music and the journey 

I own the Michi 8 mono blocks and couldn’t be happier. Read the Fremer review in one of the magazines. He compared it to his ($170,000/pair) darTZeel NHB-468s

Rotel Michi M8 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com



I was being sarcastic. My entire system (one and only, I don't have a .kitchen, garage, den, outhouse, etc. #2 system) cost 5K.




Ha, you were waaay too subtle, went right over my head.  

My system is also modest and I love it. 

All good.


@jetter I guess it's in the eye of the reader, when I write/read 10K, it's obscene to me not subtle :)

But as you say it's about happiness and I am pleased with my sound too

We shouldn't call someone's system or components junk; many of us have financial or spousal constraints......and can have really fun and enjoyable systems without dropping $100,000 or more.

However I do agree that the OPs speakers are not the limiting factor, and that maybe the amp upgrade he's looking at may not bring the sonic upgrade he is looking for.

I'd dump the Monster HTS, and you didn't mention how your power looks (other than the HTS). If you have not done so I'd look at pulling 2 dedicated circuits if it's feasible (about $500, but use good cable) and 2 high quality receptacles like Furutech GTX-D(G Gold) or GTX-D(R Rhodium), or Oyaide R1. Plug your amp directly into the receptacle, and you can connect the signal components into a nice audio quality power strip/surge protector. The power upgrade will pay large dividends weather you keep your current amp, or decide to upgrade it. 

Low cost system well embedded can pass the minimal acoustic satisfaction threshold ...

I know it because i know how to do it ...

"Better" upgrade does not always means huge improvement especially if WITHOUT ANY UPGRADES you are able to control the signal/noise electrrical ratio of the room/system/house, the resonance/vibrations problem and the room acoustic with what you already have ...

People who advise to upgrade BEFORE embeddings controls implementation invite others to throw off their money...

I dont need upgrade with my 700 bucks system synergetical and well embedded ...

The BACCH filters will be my only upgrade ...Because it is an acoustic revolution ...😊

As Jetter said advising to upgrade all parts, supposed to be junks , BEFORE trying to improve the mechanical,electrical and acoustical working conditions is the wrong advice ...

The fun part of this hobby is studying and experimenting to improve hugely the end results with low cost expanse if the system is synergetical to begin with ... If it is, it is enough for experimenting ...

Be creative with what you have FIRST and give your money to your wife or children ...

By the way there was NO COMPARISON at all between the three different systems i created ( 2 speakerrs based one and an headphone one )  by controlling the mechanical,electrical and acoustical working dimension  BEFORE and AFTER ...

We must learn what to do before upgrading pursuing passively an illusion, read about acoustics which is way more than just room acoustic ...


Another proposing upgrades instead of studying and experimenting and learning what to do ...😉

It is like most people in this hobby know nothing save buying ...

Dont change your amplifier now save if you feel it is not synergetical at all ...

OP listen first  to someone who know about speakers :


@soix and @jeffreyw already recommended what I was going to say. I believe your best bang-for-buck upgrade may be a power conditioner.

Like you, I have a more mostest system. I dropped an AudioQuest Niagara 5000 w/ Tornado power cable into the system, and I was rewarded with better everything. Part of me was expecting no change at all, or a slight change only that wouldn’t justify the price. After that result I had, I picked up some AQ Hurricane power cables and also put a Niagara 1200 on my TV system. I was pleased with the results. I’ve played with a handful of sub 1k power conditioners and some sub 1k power cables and haven’t been impressed with the results. Another power conditioner that seems to be getting ubiquitously good results is Puritan, which is under 2k USD.

I would suggest comparing your Monster conditioner against a standard power strip to start. If you’re not hearing a difference, or if it’s just a slight difference, I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised with a dramatic improvement with a Puritan or Niagara.

And, if your results aren’t dramatic like mine were, then sure, put the money into a different component. I can’t speak to your power amp, but I’d think the NAD could be improved upon. My vote would be to consider the Holo Audio Spring or May DAC/pre’s.

This thread is a great example of people either not reading or reading but not caring and provide their input even if it's ridiculous and not helpful. I'd sooner ask my deaf neighbor for his opinion than some of you people. 

It seems that if in fairness to those seeking an opinion, those rendering an opinion should give the basis for the opinion. If you believe a component is "midfield" whatever that is, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Obviously, if you have no significant experience, actually listening to that component, that affects the credibility of the opinion. I don't have the ability to judge equipment that I've never heard but perhaps others do

@roadcykler this is anonymous, random driveby commenting forum, maybe you are expecting too much?

I have thought of upgrading my power conditioner many times.

I live rural in the mountains of Colorado on a cul de sac. The closest house to us is 1/4 of a mile away. The power is supplied to our home by our own transformer.

I have looked at many power conditioners, just never changed due to our unique situation of power supply.

I agree with @erik_squires ​​​​@mahgister that you should invest in your room. Even canvas art work strategically placed can improve acoustics. 

The Michi S5 is a stellar amp and better than than any Hegel or MF.

Hegels are noisy (loud hiss) and their damping claims are absolute horse manure.

MF is not the brand in once was. These days they employ inexcusably cheap parts in all their products. Rotel also uses cheap parts but not in their Michi series.

Michi may not quite be in the same tier as TOTL Luxman, Esoteric, Boulder, Gryphon et al., but dollar for dollar, it’s a better value.

I say all this as someone who has no emotional investment in their products. I don’t own any of their gear. I merely respect the engineering and performance, maybe more so than those aforementioned brands because of what Michi manages to accomplish for reasonable money.

Regarding the S5 against Parasound, it’s no contest. Parasound, similar to MF, is not the brand it once was. Other than bling factor, many of their current products are measurably proven regressions over previous generations. The JC5 for example, is a noisy amp for its price point, relatively speaking, and noisier than the first gen A21 believe it or not. Other than bling factor and raw power numbers, most of their products have not improved any. Again, these comments are not emotionally driven, or even subjectively driven. If tomorrow they are to launch a provably amazing product at an amazing price, I would not hesitate to purchase that item. Brand loyalty is a waste in this hobby and doesn’t often lead to audio nirvana.

Lastly, I know a guy who switched from a Coda No.8 to the Michi S5 and didn’t have any regrets. The Coda is already a class above most of the options mentioned upthread (Hegel, please…🤣). So take that for what it’s worth.



I couldn’t believe how nice my Michi 8 are in build quality and sound quality. I imagine the stereo version Michi S5 is also in that class.


Looking at used Audioquest Niagara 5000.

A speaker upgrade I agree with but like what I have.


Furman Elite 15 DMi

Bought this to replace my old Monster 3600 MKII. Got the Furman new for $362 on Amazon.
Because we live rural and have our own transformer to supply power to our house I thought this was good enough. I looked at many options costing up to $6K used.

Our voltage is pretty steady at 120-122 monitoring it with the Monster unit. The Furman confirmed this. Rarely it will be 119.

The Furman improved my TV picture and helped dynamics for the stereo. I like that it displays the voltage and the amps being used. Everything is plugged into the Furman and the highest amp draw was 4.2 while streaming music.

My system isn't on a dedicated circuit but it is the only thing on that circuit. I believe this helps.

Happy with the Furman.

Also changed speaker wires to Canare 4S11 bi wire.