Entry Level Upgrade

csa1972

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I currently use chromecast audio - fx audio tube amp - allo volt + - Boston acoustics BA 26. Finding the output a little bright fatiguing. What component should I upgrade.. Budget upto 50k with some flexibility.. Will appreciate inputs from forum members (Am based in Mumbai)
 

argho

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Speaker upgrade always makes the most difference.

However, I have no experience with tube amps, or Boston Acoustics.
So could be comletely the wrong advice.
 

DB1989

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I currently use chromecast audio - fx audio tube amp - allo volt + - Boston acoustics BA 26. Finding the output a little bright fatiguing. What component should I upgrade.. Budget upto 50k with some flexibility.. Will appreciate inputs from forum members (Am based in Mumbai)
The culprit is in the source and amp i.e. Chromecast audio and allo volt respectively it seems, the two components I'm not familiar with. The BA A26 is definitely not it. In fact, they are one of the smoothest and affable bookshelfs that I've come across at any price point (i thought they were too polite and smooth the first time i installed them in my setup but that was when i was coming from horn loaded speakers).

Coming to solutions, in my humble opinion, what you need is a nicer amp first and then source.

Amongst warm amps that i can vouch for, any Marantz entry level integrated/AVR is a good contender (PM6007 or PM5005 w/DAC).

While many may also recommend class D, since you are coming from an Allo Volt which is also Class D, and already having some in my setup such as SMSL DA8S, Crown XLS1502, FX D502, a thumb rule in the budget Class D segment according to me is that while these amps are good for most with adequate power and good/great detail retrieval, their midrange sounds a little thin/lacks body (budget only because I've heard some higher end Class D amps and they sounded full bodied - again full bodied amps can also be on the brighter side but thats a whole 'nother story). This is probably the characteristic that is contributing towards the perceived harsh/fatiguing sound.

To give a real life exemplar, plenty who've heard the Klipsch RP600M through the Crown XLS 1502 and SMSL DA8S in my setup has observed that its bright/fatiguing whereas no such suggestions have been made while driven by the Marantz PM6006 or SR6013.

For source, get an allo digione signature (with a PM6007 = 10k + 36K) OR Allo Boss 2 Player (in case you get the Marantz 5005 since it does not have a DAC = 8k + 22k) and you can call it a day.

You'll be taken aback by the sympathetic character that is inherent to the BA A26 - these and the KEF Q350 are probably the two speakers I'll never part ways with.
 
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raghupb

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I currently use chromecast audio - fx audio tube amp - allo volt + - Boston acoustics BA 26. Finding the output a little bright fatiguing. What component should I upgrade.. Budget upto 50k with some flexibility.. Will appreciate inputs from forum members (Am based in Mumbai)
I'd start here. Allo Volt+ can be a bit bright. Try an entry level Marantz as suggested above by @DB1989
Cheers,
Raghu
 

Yogesh

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Your first stop should be DAC. Are you using DAC in CCA? Or is there a DAC component in Fx Audio? Good starter level DAC options are Topping E30 & Schiit Modi 3.0.

Than as suggested by others, go for the Amp upgrade. Two excellent starter level amps are 1. Marantz PM 5005 and 2. DD Amp by @Aniket

For Marantz you could get in touch with FM @HiFiAudioFan . DD Amps by Aniket are above very highly and punch way above their weight.
 

spirovious

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If you intend to change speakers, then warm sounding speakers like wharfedale, Quads, Q acoustics can be a good choice.
 

DB1989

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If you intend to change speakers, then warm sounding speakers like wharfedale, Quads, Q acoustics can be a good choice.
Quad not so much for the options that are available i.e. S series. Can be very very unforgiving, especially with the chain that the OP has.

Q Acoustics (3000i series and M20 HD) have pretty much the same sound siqnature as BA.

Wharfedale (ever so slightly warmer).

However, as @Yogesh mentioned, it could very well be the DAC or the Amp. Considering that the CCA is using it's internal DAC, it's a good idea to pass it on through optical out to a decent DAC or an integrated with one.
 

amrutmhatre90

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Very well said by FMs, change the amp and DAC.

Marantz 5005 and 6007 are very good amps which are slightly towards warmer side.
DD amps or O&B amps are neutral and powerfull, bang for the buck, you could use your existing FX audio Tube with these if it is a pre amplifier.

A DAC also makes a huge difference, but would suggest go step by step. Get a amp and then DAC.
 

csa1972

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@argho : will keep in mind for future upgrade
@DB1989 : gratified to hear your feedback on BA26
@Yogesh : yes i am using the inbuilt dac in CCA
@spirovious : wharfedale I would definitely want to audition
@amrutmhatre90 : noted the sequence
@raghupb : tks mate

I will likely substitute the Amp & dac .. the 6007 looks well within the budget I had in mind
 

raghupb

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@argho : will keep in mind for future upgrade
@DB1989 : gratified to hear your feedback on BA26
@Yogesh : yes i am using the inbuilt dac in CCA
@spirovious : wharfedale I would definitely want to audition
@amrutmhatre90 : noted the sequence
@raghupb : tks mate

I will likely substitute the Amp & dac .. the 6007 looks well within the budget I had in mind
Don't ever sell the CCA. It is a very nice device to have around. Let it keep playing until it dies a natural death ;)
Cheers,
Raghu
 

ajuvignesh

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I currently use chromecast audio - fx audio tube amp - allo volt + - Boston acoustics BA 26. Finding the output a little bright fatiguing. What component should I upgrade.. Budget upto 50k with some flexibility.. Will appreciate inputs from forum members (Am based in Mumbai)
Have you turned on 'HiFi' option on Chromecast audio? If not, turn it on and see the difference.
 

viveshsahu

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I currently use chromecast audio - fx audio tube amp - allo volt + - Boston acoustics BA 26. Finding the output a little bright fatiguing. What component should I upgrade.. Budget upto 50k with some flexibility.. Will appreciate inputs from forum members (Am based in Mumbai)
At 50k the best thing you could get is wharfedale 12.1 + norge 2060 amp + allo digione player as streamer. The total cost will be around 55k but you will get a super sounding system on a budget.

Also note that the allo digione player is a streamer only. You need a external dac for it. You can go for topping E30 dac but it will add12k to the total budget. Or you can go for allo boss player which has line out that can be fed into amp. It will sound a way better than chromecast audio but not as good as digione + topping e30.
 
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argho

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I can only see the option to adjust bass and treble...


Full Dynamic range​

Chromecast Audio supports Full Dynamic range output. This provides premium and professional audio equipment such as Hi-Fi audio systems, AV receivers, and monitor style speakers with the highest quality sound output.
When connecting your Chromecast Audio to such sound systems using 3.5 mm or RCA analog cable, you can turn on Chromecast Audio’s Full Dynamic Range option:
  1. Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi or linked to the same account as your Chromecast.
  2. Open the Google Home app
    Google Home app
    .
  3. Tap your device.
  4. At the top right corner of the screen, tap Settings
    3uhhfG9ARO7pb7U1yCLvT0Z8vqE7B1G3k_nMINRoBMFjAPiJHAJCrej3UOr31W4RPsw=h36
    and then
    Audio.
  5. Turn on Full Dynamic range.
 

csa1972

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Basis the feedback received, I got the marantz 6007 (from hifimart) which was delivered last week. It has replaced the allo volt+ and fx audio tube preamp. It sounds so much more smoother . The bostons seem to have opened out and I am hearing better bass as well. Exactly what I was looking for, so thank you all for the suggestions. It has worked really well and I still have 12 k left over from my original 50k budget.
 

csa1972

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Basis the feedback received, I got the marantz 6007 (from hifimart) which was delivered last week. It has replaced the allo volt+ and fx audio tube preamp. It sounds so much more smoother . The bostons seem to have opened out and I am hearing better bass as well. Exactly what I was looking for, so thank you all for the suggestions. It has worked really well and I still have 12 k left over from my original 50k budget.
This set up is working fine for me. But I have the 12 k left over from my original budget. Just saw the downtick in price for the elac debut 6.2 (32k) and qacoustics 3030i (35k).. Would it be a reasonable speaker upgrade to sell the Boston A26 and replace with the debut 6.2 or 3030i ? Or would be better off saving and spending later on something else ?.. The chromecast has to remain in the setup coz it is convenient for the missus too.. Happy to hear feedback from FMs.
 
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