Streamer or Integrated Amp?

Hi, What would give me the largest improvement in 2 channel stereo sound - upgrading my integrated amp or streamer? The reason I ask is I recently added my turntable to my chain and was surprised how much fuller and detailed the sound is compared to streaming with my Bluesound node2. If I could get as good or close to the sound quality with a streamer, I would prefer that since it is so much more convenient than vinyl. Hearing the improvement by changing my source makes me wonder if upgrading my streamer (source) would provide more improvement than upgrading my Peachtree 225se with a Supernait 3. I’d like to do both but my budget will allow upgrading only one at the moment. Thoughts?

Yes. Save longer and do both upgrades together in 18 months from now.

I’m in a great minority here. I’m just not a fan of one-at-time box swapping. Set your target. Define your budget. Be patient.


Hmm, The SN3 amp is around $4,500 and good Naim streamer $3,500. Why not upgrade one now and the other in 18 months. Meanwhile, enjoying a better sounding stereo. If I can audition both now and buy the second later, why wait? Also, if upgrading my bluesound streamer does not improve sound substantially, then why even upgrade the streamer at all. I’d be saving for 18 months for nothing. I’m just trying to get some suggestions for which component would provide the largest improvement in sound - 1. The source (streamer) or 2. Amp ?

Does your turntable have a moving magnet cartridge? I’d think that the SN3, with its built-in mm phono stage (if you can use it), would provide quite an uplift from the start.

There is no way that a Naim ND streamer/player, with the SN3, won’t run circles around the Node2. But doing the Naim player first, and running it into the Peachtree, seems destined to not let you appreciate with the Naim player can do. So I’d start with the SN3.

Have you considered ‘gently used’ Naim? There likely arent very many used SN3’s yet, but watch out for a used or ex-dem ND player (ND5XS2 or NDX2). People do buy them and then upgrade. These can be great values.

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And…your speakers?

Yes, moving magnet. Speakers are Harbeth PS3ESDs. I also have the Sutherland PH3D phono pre but I suspect SN3 built-in phono stage might be even better?

If you think you want an SN3, I’d get it. It’ll be the foundation; it’ll drive the speakers just fine, the phone stage should work out for you, and when you’re ready you can improve your music streaming significantly.

I enjoyed the SN2 for many years.

Is your Harbeth the latest P3ESR XD?

I just bought them and they are new.

No idea, but you can use each and decide which sounds better to you.

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