Well, this is not the best photo on the planet, but it will give you an idea of the new gear I was gifted by my family for my recent birthday.
It was a tad sad to retire my NAD 7140, but after 27 years of loyal service, it is time to send it to our friends at Len Wallis for some surgery before giving it to one of my children to use for another few years...
You might remember my ramblings about reference systems...
Finally, when all was considered, I went for a NAD C326BEE integrated amp with an external phono stage NAD PP3i, recently released.
I am using only the preamp section at the moment to drive the Bryston 3B (can't change that...) and it proves to be a winning combination.
It is particularly spectacular in the bass department, both on vinyl and on CD and Blu Ray (see reviews on my latest listening sessions in the "Music" page)
I want to try to use the amp section to drive the SATs and the 3B to drive my SWS subs separately.
The C326BEE has a very convenient set of features to do so, as it has a removable connection between the preamp and the amp section (a feature I have enjoyed on the 7140) and an additional preamp output labeled SUB that I will use to connect the Bryston. And the added bonus of a remote control!
I am a very happy man...and it might well be that this will last me a very long time indeed.
Obviously, if I were to come into an unexpected large amount of money before my ears become too old to enjoy the difference, I would certainly go for a Bryston preamp, but with my current setup, I can enjoy a great leap in performance and listening pleasure at a fraction of the price.
The addition of a Samsung Blu Ray player BD-C6099 has also made a great difference on CDs and Blu Ray discs. It does not seem to do much better than my DVD/SACD Pioneer on regular DVDs though, but I probably need to do more listening on this.
Overall, this system is very homogeneous and provides me with a beautiful tool to enjoy all the musical landscapes that are in my library.