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Hi guys, I would really appreciate your input on this.


My current gear:

-Ascend Sierra speakers

-Rythmik F12SE subwoofer

-Denon AVR2809 receiver

-HRT MusicStreamer+ DAC

-MacBook Pro


What I'd like to improve:

-Soundstage three-dimensionality (mostly depth, width is ok)


Do you think adding an external amp such as an Emotiva XPA-2 (or any other amp) will help me improve that particular area?

Or will my money be better spent in another component? Pre/Pro? Upgrade DAC?


Thanks in advance for your help.




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I'd be looking first at speaker set up. Audio Physics' web site has quite a lot of detail on speaker set up which you can look up.


Also try out either Amarra or Pure Vinyl software - both have demos that you can download to try out. Might help improve the soundstaging (especially Pure Vinyl in my experience) - and both are a big step up from vanillaItunes.


And if you really want to spend more money, i'd look at new speakers before anything else.


Hope that helps ! Enjoy !




[br]Mac Mini > Lio-8 > Graaf Gm-20 > Stax ESL-F83x[br]Ipod / Wadia Dock / Wadia 830 > ULN-2 > Krell KAV400xi > B&W 805

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Thanks guys for your help.

I will experiment with speaker positioning a bit, maybe that will help. Too bad room treatments are soooo ugly.

I did try both Amarra and PV, and while both are good, PV provided me with a larger soundstage. Still have to try Play.

A parasound dealer is close by. Perhaps they will lend me an amp....


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Santiago, what are you doing for the electrical side of things? I agree with others on the amp but after reading your thoughts about visuals hate to say that acoustic treatment certainly helped in this department. I also highly recommend Alan Maher's products as well. I'm getting significantly better 3D imaging and the soundstage has gotten bigger, and voices and instruments float in the air much more prominently than prior to his products. The bang for the buck his designs provide is simply ridiculous in my opinion compared to many other upgrades and tweaks around. The last question is are your speakers decoupled from the floor with spikes?


david is hear[br]http://www.tuniverse.tv

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I think the biggest factor in soundstaging is room acoustics and speaker placement. Speaker placement being number one. Try using the Cardas Audio placement calculator. The more you move speakers out from the front wall, the deeper the stage. But you need to find that spot away from the front wall, and side walls, that gives great bass and dynamics, along with space away from the front wall that will give you a nice illusion of depth and space. Cardas placement math can remove a lot of the guessing and get you really close to ideal. If you're room is reasonably rectangular. Any maybe Cardas won't work for your room but there are other methods. It would help if you provided specifics, pictures etc of your room.


For acoustics that help with staging, do the free stuff first. Get rid of anything between the speakers and the front wall. If you have a TV or furniture between the speakers, get rid of it. If you have an audio rack, move it to the side wall. After that, you may want to look at room treatment products. But that's another subject all together.


After placement and acoustics, like has already been suggested, I'd say a synergistic matching amp for your speakers is going to help you out a lot. As would good, clean AC from the wall.


Those would be my top 4 things to tackle. If you can address these things and not just in a half-assed way, you won't be complaining about staging or much else either. You can have a holographic 3D wall of sound if you set your mind to it. If you haven't heard that in your adventures to date, it will be pretty shocking when you do hear it. If you've already heard it, and want it in your home, you pretty much have to put in some significant effort and some cash. And if you do it, you'll also improve the overall resolution, frequency response and dynamics as well, which IMO are way more important than staging.




Dedicated 240V balanced power, Torus RM20-BAL. Mac Mini/Ayre QB-9. LSA Group Signature integrated. Eminent Tech LFT8B speakers. Real Trap and GIK bass traps.

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