Audio Systems/Home Audio Upgrade


Hello, have a question on upgrading my home system.  I've entered into the audiophile world and the confusing realm of possibilities.
Anyway,  I am currently Chiro C500 5 channel solid state amp, by Kinergetics Research from the mid 90's. I am only using it as a 2 channel system with a passive pre, volume control.   I use with with a pair of good custom built passive studio monitors with Focal drivers/Morel tweeter.  My CD player is an older Sony dvd/sacd player model DVP-9000ES.  I have not yet tried a good vinyl set up as none of my music is on vinyl.  

Just wondering what your advice would be as far as best upgrade at this point to create more realism of a live performance. Im pretty much debating between a top modded cd player or preowned 2 channel tube amp.  I am also open to speakers but not sure how much it would improve without spending big $$$. The markup on some of these transducers seems insane.  Anyway,  Im focusing more on vocals such as artists like Sarch Mclachlan and classical like andrea bocelli.  I really love warm, lush vocals. Any advice is greatly appreciated.   

Thanks for your help

Hi Chris,

First of all - you need to realize that terms such as "lush, warm, realism" mean absolutely nothing to anybody but the person perceiving the sound. None of these things are measurable, or quantifiable, so from an engineering standpoint, I cannot help you there.

Be very wary when looking into "audiophile" products. Much of this is marketed to folks that have more money than sense, and are willing to spend it because a so-called expert says it delivers sound that is "spacious, airy, focused," or whatever non-objective description they can pull from a thesaurus. There are people who specifically prey on the ignorance of consumers looking for an ultimate system, and you will end up paying through the nose for items that actually have no effect on the actual, measurable sound waves that travel from speakers to ears.

My honest advice (an a professional audio engineer of over 25 years) is to run away from the term "audiophile" as it means nothing. The only online forum I'd trust is
DO NOT buy cabling from companies like Monster, AudioQuest, or others found in the premium cable section in retail stores. These brands are typically nothing more than Chinese made products that have been marked up to ridiculously high profit margins.

What I would recommend for your actual system is not what a lot of the audiophile world believes in (for reasons I'll never know). Get yourself a good graphic EQ. It's what is used to help set up and "tune" broadcast and recoding facility listening rooms. Anybody who dismisses this tool as something that interferes with the "purity" of the sound is a fool. Another thing is to look into getting your listening environment acoustically treated. Acoustic treatments and a good EQ can make a modest system sound amazing.

Let me know if you need more info. I hope this helps.

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Wayne Tapia


Home Theater Audio Cabling (from HDMI to speaker cable). I WILL REJECT ALL CAR AUDIO QUESTIONS - I am not a car audio guy.


I am a Certified Audio Engineer that also works in the A/V cabling industry. I would like to dispel the myths and outright lies about the cables that connect your home theater systems together. Here's a hint - many of you have been misled out of hundreds of dollars for cabling systems.


Audio Recording Technology Institute Vancouver Film School

Past/Present Clients
Post Magic Studios Khaos Studios Glass Forest Entertainment Funkbuddha Productions The Capital Playhouse Art In Music Global Music Project University of Washington Belle and Wissel

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