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Hi all


Just wondering what would be the next best step for my audio set-up,


I currently have a NAD C315BEE, which is 40w, an audio gd DAC and Dali Lektor 2 bookshelf speakers.

For sources I have a Rega Planar 2 and an old MacBook.


I’m very happy with my sound but wondering if I could make it better with the addition of better gear.


I was thinking a small sealed sub or maybe a new amp. Can you guys offer advice on which way next? My budget is about $1000



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It really depends on what you want.:)


General improvement: your sources are pretty reasonable so I'd suggest an amp, preferably used but not too old.


More bass: the speakers are 3dB down at 49 Hz so a sub will help. It should be either quite efficient or self-powered as the amp may be marginal for power if you play it loud.

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I guess I want to know what the possibilities are as it relates to good sound on a budget. 


My ears were good enough to appreciate the jump to a nad amp and nice speakers from an all in one sharp system. But I’m not sure they’re good enough to appreciate further enhancements.


Thanks for your recommendation, could you advise if any amps that might fit the bill?


I listen to blues and soul primarily. 

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30 minutes ago, burnside9 said:

I guess I want to know what the possibilities are as it relates to good sound on a budget. 

The general guideline is to upgrade 'up the chain' (towards the source) if you want an increase in the overall quality of the sound and speakers and room if you want to change the character of the sound.


My ears were good enough to appreciate the jump to a nad amp and nice speakers from an all in one sharp system. But I’m not sure they’re good enough to appreciate further enhancements.

Adding a sub would give a substantial change in the character of the sound and will be easily noticeable.


Thanks for your recommendation, could you advise if any amps that might fit the bill?

NAD amps are generally good value for the money (smooth sounding and reasonably powerful) so your full budget would probably be needed to get a real upgrade out of a new amp. I'd recommend at least 100 watts to get any more real loudness and used to get a quality jump. Sorry, I have no recommendations in that area but there will be some along shortly who can help. 


I listen to blues and soul primarily. 

That shouldn't make *much* difference unless you like to listen quite loud. If you are OK with moderate volumes then I think a sub would be a good bet. (Sorry, I can't help with specifics there either.:sad:)



Edited by GregWormald
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Are your speakers on heavy stands at around ear height? Using stands and careful positioning can make  a big difference compared to leaving them on an actual bookshelf (or the floor).


I’d agree a sub could be an excellent  upgrade if you like the character of the speakers and you want deeper bass and more volume. Having said that I personally lean toward floorstanders in the first case to get more bass without having to spend money on stands (generalization warning ⚠️😉).


Secondly I wonder what cartridge you have on the Rega? If you’re a big vinyl listener this could be an area for an upgrade (it probably comes with a Rega Carbon which is great for the money). 

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There are some very good valve and solid state amps kicking around in the classified software for $2000 which I know is twice your budget but your Mac book is good or can be with good audio software etc and the Rega is great and the addition of a better cart is a great idea if required and or interconnect and speaker cables to and from the amps maybe beneficial. If you can stretch your budget it will be beneficial. So your sources are good so the amps is next in line. then cables then a speaker upgrade.  As others says playing with speaker positioning and basic room optimisation will also benefit the overall sound, enjoy it and have fun.


Don't stress its just music...


amps to consider about  $2000 








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Your NAD amp is quite good in the genre of the classic 3020 models and should be able to drive better used $1000 speakers like Kef Ls50, Lenehans, Jamo Concert 8, Whatmough 202, Proac studio 1 or 100, Sonus Faber Minima etc, check reviews of them and keep an eye out here and in Gumtree.

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