Next upgrade to computer stereo system?
Feb 10, 2014 at 6:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10


New Head-Fier
Feb 10, 2014
Hi all,
I am using the following setup and wondering if anyone has suggestions for my next upgrade - I am looking for what will provide the best bang for the buck (highest % improvement in sound to $ cost ratio)
foobar2000 >
HRT Music Streamer II (DAC) >
Harmon Kardon HK 3490 >
Polk Audio RTi4 + Polk Audio PSW10
Not looking to upgrade headphones but have Grado SR80i for home use and Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear for on-the-go.
Feb 10, 2014 at 7:23 PM Post #2 of 10
Subwoofer?  HiRez music?  What are you using for playback software on your PC?  And headphones, if you like to listen that way...!

Feb 10, 2014 at 7:57 PM Post #3 of 10
Oh sorry I have a Polk Audio PSW10 sub.  Not really looking to upgrade that right now since I live in an apt building.
Source is foobar2000 w/ ASIO4ALL and mostly FLAC and high bitrate MP3.
Not looking to upgrade headphones at this stage either but have Grado SR80i for home use and Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear for on-the-go.
Feb 10, 2014 at 8:40 PM Post #4 of 10
Get rid of the PSW10. It's a very basic, lowest budget, entry level sub. You can greatly improve over the sound of it, more than upgrading anything else. Get an Outlaw M8 or HSU STF-1 8" sub. Much better sound quality. Even though you live in an apartment building, you will benefit from not hearing one note wonder sub sounds.

I see you have the 3490. Do you like the DAC in the HRT Music Streamer II a lot better? I always wondered how good the DAC in the 3490 is. I have the HK 3390 (no DAC).
Feb 10, 2014 at 8:54 PM Post #5 of 10
Thanks for the input.
I use the Music Streamer as a means of getting audio from USB to RCA.  It sounds great but not sure what the difference would be with the 3490 DAC.
Feb 11, 2014 at 1:27 AM Post #8 of 10
Your amp is good, improving your speakers would help alot.
If your budget is $300 or under, I would look at Ascend CBM-170SE.
$500 or under I would look at Swan D2.1SE.
$1000 or under I would look at NHT Classic Three or Ascend Sierra 1.
$1500 or under I would look at Revel Performa 3 M105, Ascend Sierra 2, or KEF LS50.
$10k or under I would look at Joseph Audio Pulsars, or Dynaudio C1 II (used you can find either of these for probably $3-4k).
Unlimited budget I would look at Raidho D1 :D
Feb 11, 2014 at 7:15 AM Post #9 of 10
Thanks guys, really appreciate the recs.  I would be willing to spend enough on each piece of gear to make a somewhat significant jump up.
So for my next sub I would look at spending $200-250
Next set of bookshelf speakers $300-350
I take it that upgrading DAC would not yield high returns?

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