this is it. i'm done.
well, this is it, the final system. there is no way i can afford to improve on what i have now, but i've enjoyed getting here.
my first system was a cambridge audio 640 cdp and amp with wharfedale 9.1 speakers, it was ok, and much better then the denon mini system it replaced, but didn't really give what i wanted - i was expecting too much from budget kit.
next up was a roksan kandy cdp and amp with dynaudio audience 42 speakers, about twice what the c.a. kit cost and a useful upgrade, but still didn't really fulfill me.
next, i changed the speakers for dynaudio focus 110, this was much more like it and i really enjoyed this system. unfortunately i took a primare i30 home on demo, and this showed what my 110s could really do. i was pretty set on getting one, and pairing with a roksan caspian cdp, but decided to take a home dem of a moon i3rs and for me, this painted the i30 in a bad light. the moon was so much more natural sounding, that i decided to go with it.
then i took a step backwards. i sold my kandy cdp and amp, and bought a mac mini and a c.a. dacmagic, it really didn't go well with the moon amp and dyn's. the brightness of the kandy cdp was just what the amp and speakers needed, and the dm just made everything far too warm. so i swapped it for a beresford dac, and while it wasn't as good as the kandy cdp, it was a better fit then the dacmagic.
next up was the change to atc speakers. after the difficult to control bass of the 110s, the scm19s were a revelation. totally neutral, very low distortion, revealing and dynamic. i also went back to a dacmagic, as i had no need of a leaner source.
i changed the moon for a atc sia2-150 because while the moon sounds very natural and has a lovely organic sort of sound, i did sometimes want more punch and power. the atc amp provides this in spades, as well as everything else that i liked about the moon. it matches the atc speakers superbly.
the final piece in the jigsaw is the chord qbd76 dac. this doesn't sound like any other source i've heard. play some processed pop through it, and it sounds good, it sounds right. it won't hide a poor recording, but it doesn't make a song and dance about it. but, play something well recorded and wow! piano in particular is amazing, there is a warmth and body to piano notes that i've never heard before. anything that is well recorded, the dac seems to open up a whole new bag of tricks, and it's here that it doesn't just leave the dacmagic for dust, it sounds totally different, rich in the bass and yet vibrant and full of life.
i may try some interconnects, just out of interest, and my local shop will let me try mains products so i might give some of them a go, again though, just out of interest - i have no desire to change anything.