“In the day”, I would buy a separate pre-amp, power amp, tuner. This provided a single item upgrade solution.
(For awhile that was also my approach to home theater as well. Now I use a Denon with three outboard Onkyo power amps).
For my stereo, I use an integrated amp (separate pre-amp did not seem to provide additional flexibility), no longer use a tuner (have one but it is boxed and set aside). ROCK, DAC, Streamer are all separate units. I could trade-upgrade any components if desired.
If one had space restrictions (and/or budgetary) a single component solution would have a great deal of merit.
Turntables all but vanished but then have had a strong resurgence. Pre-amps and tuners appear to have become rarities, integrated amps seem to be the new standard.
I’m a multi box kind of guy.
My whole audio system is:
Power conditioner (one socket)
Power filter (two socket)
Transformer (three socket, for 110v gear)
Phono stage and power supply
Reel to Reel Tape Player
Dolby B/C Decoder
MicroRendu and power supply
Power Amps (2)
Active bass speakers (2)
So 22 boxes in all.
I live by myself mainly.
That’s an enviable and clearly carefully chosen series of “22 boxes”.
My audio system is seven boxes and a pair of speakers. The video system is seven boxes and a lot of speakers.
We have many TVs. TVs are arguable the least expensive items to buy today except for OLED.
A turntable and phono stage would be nice to have as well as a power conditioner. It would be interesting to again have an open reel deck and play tapes (if viable) from my past. I have several VHS decks but they are set aside at this time.
Again, your system sounds great.
I guess it all depends how big you want to go. A single box solution such as an Auralic Polaris is going to have compromises but it sounds great if that is all you need.
Although many countries are involved here, available space seems to be a common factor, perhaps more so than finances.
Other minor influences include the opinion of the person who you “share” the space with
I do not have that particular issue. We do have a problem as to where to take the system next. There are only so many “boxes” from which we can audibly benefit. And it is easy today to find endless gadgets.
Do you not like how it sounds now?
I decided I was spending too much money and time on boxes so went down to a single box. But I had to keep a CD player as my wife won’t do anything but press play. Even on tracks she hates she just waits for them to finish.
No, I do not like how my system sounds. If we play super hi-rez files and some SACDs, it sounds good. Most of the time, it sounds to me like the world’s most expensive SONOS.
Although we met at a hospital, our interests soon became building electronics and taking photographs. And even at night after watching something like Bosch (genre), she wants to listen to music interviews and/or performances.
She is lyrics oriented. I am melody oriented. Last night we watched a young Swedish (?) flutist comment on Ian Anderson’s (Jethro Tull) performances (he is self taught). The young woman had trouble with his abandon and theatrical nature. It was fun to watch her attempt to make an intellectual process of something artistic.
So, back to the topic, if more boxes…or less boxes…would result in better sound, sign me up. I do not think the problem is just the room although that is a factor.
Perhaps you need a change of speaker type. Horns, active, open baffle just something to shake it up.
The midrange is “honky”.
Maybe someone makes a mega-buck, de-honkifying box that has tubes and weighs 175 lbs. You could sell me that and swamp land in Florida.
I’ve got a nice bridge over a brook in New York available.
You’re not going to take advantage of me.
But for the sake of argument…how much?