I have a question, or a request for advice, about approaches to upgrading in the case where money
is definitely a constraint. I’ve been a Puccini + Paganini clock owner for about 8 years, and my
efforts to squeeze more performance from the system are now down to minor but absorbing games such as playing around with cables. (The other elements of the system are Equi-Tech balanced power supply, which made a very large difference to sound quality; Benchmark HPA-4 as a pre-amp and headphone amp; and Bryston 4B “cubed” power amp.)
I don’t stream music, I listen to CDs and SACDs. And that is the problem: the lowest cost dCS equipment for playing SACDs is Rossini dac + Rossini transport (OK, so I suppose a Bartok dac could be
substituted), and the Rossini combo is close to a factor of 3 more than the cost of the Puccini. A little steep, for me anyway. A friend of mine has a Rossini dac + second hand Paganini transport and that seems to work well. However, transport quality does seem to make a difference (I wish I knew why): a brief listen at a local dealer showed that a Vivaldi transport into a Rossini dac was rather better sounding than a Rossini transport. But now I’m drifting beyond my price range, as usual…
What experience do Forum members have of unusual, and lower cost, combinations of dac and transport? And, for any ex-Paganini owners out there, would it be worth getting a s/h Paganini transport and dac, or is the performance now too far behind current equipment for it to be worthwhile? I want to keep the ability to play SACDs, which is quite a constraint. As an aside, I should say that I have copied all of my CD and SACD collection to hard disk, but from reading around it seems that it’s necessary to pay about as much for a music server that sounds really good as for a transport. And, anyway, I don’t want listening to music to become just another exercise in operating computers - I do quite enough of that at work.
I look forward to hearing other members’ suggestions and experiences.