What would you upgrade?

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Clave
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What would you upgrade?

Post by Clave » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:49 am

Given the following components and a budget of $3,000, what would you do?

Here's what I'm using right now . . .

BC 3 Despina II
BC 24
BC 509 DAC
FLT Phono with basic power supply
BC 606 power bar with 6x sillycone filter

I'll leave speakers out of the equation for now because that gets complicated.

My inclination is to update or replace the amp, but I'm open to other possibilities.

Thoughts?

Thanks.

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bobneill
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What to do next

Post by bobneill » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:12 am

I'd love to chime in here but the speakers are a major and inseparable consideration when thinking about an amp change....

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Clave
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Post by Clave » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:01 pm

Speakers are Focus Audio FS78SE. 8 ohms, 86db sensitivity. The BC24 handles them OK, but some more bass control wouldn't hurt.

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Double D
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Post by Double D » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:08 pm

I think in your case, doing work on either the pre or the power amp will yield some of the desired results. Remember, your BC3 Despina can be pushed all the way up to a full 3000 .. so, you have lots of wiggle room here.
A friend of mine who had a tarted up 21.1 (that was closer to a BC3 Galatea in reality) along with a BC28 (my fave of the old guard BC amps BTW.. ) moved up to a BC3000 and the change with his stock BC28 was noticeable, and wonderful.
He then sent his BC28 in for an update as well, and it too made a major difference in control and focus, but still retained much of the original BC28's "tone".
Talk to Gilbert... give him the serial number of your BC3DespinaII and see what he can do for you within the constraints of your budget. You might be surprised how close you can get to a full 3000 sonically, and then deal with the amp.
I've always been a big fan of getting the signal "right" up front.. and if you have to, compromise a bit on the downstream components. Having the best speaker/amp combo in the world will mean nothing if you don't handle the signal upstream correctly first.
:wink:

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Post by masluck » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:08 pm

Hi Clave,

I agree with Double D - take the 3 gees and dump the whole enchilada into the BC3 Despina. The trick with BC electronics is the magic worked in the power supplies. I didn't originally purchase the big boys toys (BC3000, 200 series amps, whatever that crazy pre-amp Double D has is called, etc.), I bought the BC21 and the BC26. I did my BC21 and made it a BC21-L2 and that was a major upgrade in the overall presentation and staging. The amp came next: BC26 to BC26/206-NST, again a big improvement. I then found a used BC3000 MkII and had Gil But take it GZpz SE status - again, huge improvement in refinement and soundstage. I found when I did the GZpz upgrade, bass control got better too, so you can have your cake and eat it to by giving him your budget, scheduling it and getting it back. Break in is a biatch - no lie (my preamp has taking close to 6 months to hit its stride, but now it is just crazy good). I hope that helps!!

Mark

Jtnicolosi
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Post by Jtnicolosi » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:58 pm

These guys make valid points, and frankly any upgrade within the BC family is truly an upgrade, so be confident you can't go wrong no matter what you decide.

I upgraded from a FLT with Biggie PS to a BCLi'l703 and the improvement was monumental. Upgrading the phono stage was one of the most significant changes I've ever made (to my ears of course).

Good luck!

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Double D
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Post by Double D » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Mea Culpa ! I missed the bit where the OP indicated he had the FLT with basic power supply.. :oops:
Given that little tidbit maybe putting some $$ into a phono upgrade would be wise, although you don't want to outpace your table and cartridge so much that it shows the weakness there.. remember, it's all about balance.
Nevertheless, money put into "core components" (I'm thinking pre/power amps here) is always wise, as when you are ready down the road to make other changes, you will still be well served, and will readily hear what changes you make outside of the main parts of your rig. 8)

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bobneill
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Upgrading

Post by bobneill » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:20 pm

My sense of this system is that it's a bit on the soft side. You can start putting more backbone into it with a better preamp but I'd look hard at that BC24 too. It wants to be a BC1022.

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Clave
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Post by Clave » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:17 pm

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I'm well aware that any BC upgrade is actually an upgrade and that it's largely a power supply thing. Phono stage power supply upgrade is on my bucket list but low priority because most of my listening is digital. Upgrading the pre-amp would give me a better version of what I have already. I do feel like the amp is the weak link at the moment in terms of bass control and "drive," though it's an awesome amplifier in most respects.

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Post by masluck » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:37 pm

Hi Clave,

What 6922's or variants are you running in the BC24 currently? Have you swapped them lately - they could be getting a little long in the tooth. The Matsushita 7DJ8 have some kick butt bass (at least in my system and in my preamp) and are not expensive if you wanted NOS types. I am unsure what they would do in the amp, although Nikki (and others) liked the new Genelex 6922's as well in their hybrid amps. Any way look at it (i.e. maybe KQ supply for the BC24) could bring you home. I know changing the power amp architecture (i.e. moving from tubes to NST, for example) would most assuredly cut into your budget. Good luck and enjoy the fact that you have options - this is BC land after all!!!

Mark

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Clave
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Post by Clave » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:54 pm

Mark,

Recently replaced all the tubes. I have a pair of the Genalex, which I've tried in both the pre amp and the amp. To me it sounds warmer and smoother than the 6922EH, plus expands the soundstage. In my system, it did not tighten the bass, though others have reported that it did. I'm going to try the Matsushita 7DJ8, just for kicks. You are certainly right that adding on to the BC24 would be more cost efficient than getting a new amp, so that's food for thought. Meanwhile, I'm all talk until my apartment sells and I have the dough. :)

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Post by Ice Man » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:28 am

Clave,

My two cents is to upgrade the amp to a BC1022. It will give you the slam that you are missing from your speakers, give you a much quieter background, and overall, extract a great deal more from your other equipment. My sense is that your system is already very good and that the BC1022 will take it to another level.

I think your budget for this upgrade is within range, but I honestly do not know about specific pricing. I have heard the new series of amps: NSL, NSP and the BC1022. I feel the BC1022 is just a killer piece and would best fit your criteria. In addition, if your current budget permits, I would consider adding a new X01e filter, with outlets tailored to high current pieces (amps)-- it will bring out even more goodness from your BC1022.

I think if you do this, the next upgrade should be your preamp. But, with a new BC1022, I think you will be very happy for a very long time.

Best of luck with your upgrade.

IM

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