Considering simplifying my system... talk me down (or whatever)

I few weeks ago, I turned eighty.  I don't know how that happened to me, but it did, so I suppose I've officially entered Geezerhood.  Although I'm now ancient, I am anything but deaf.  I have been gifted with extraordinary hearing throughout my life and it continues to this day... I love music (my wife is a professional pianist), and I have enjoyed my current system for several years.

That said, I have been considering simplifying my system by selling my current line stage preamp, phono preamp, and power amplifier (Sonic Frontiers SFL-2, Sonic Frontiers SFP, and Audio Research VT-100, respectively), and replacing the three with a single integrated amp.  

To my ears, this system is extraordinary.  These pieces drive what may be among the best Klipschorns on the planet: 1972 K-horns, modified with Martinelli tractrix mid horns with TAD2001 drivers, JBL 2404 tweeters, and Al Klappenberger's extreme slope networks (20db/octave).  I'll be keeping these until I need some nursing home money (!)

The last time I visited the Klipsch factory (in Hope, Arkansas!), they were using a Cayin something-or-other in their listening room... it was glorious, I think one of those would do quite nicely for me.

Perhaps there is no logic at all to this "simplifying" idea.  I've just been thinking that sooner or later we will find ourselves in a different living situation and perhaps simpler might be better.  So, I'm leaving it  to the brain trust here to talk me down.

Have a nice weekend, y'all
I recently simplified (somewhat) my system.  I’m 62 and decided that simplifying was something that just made sense.  I’m still thrilled with the sound of my system and don’t regret my decision.
Don't do it man, hang in there till your hand is forced and maybe just maybe that will never happen. Congrats on turning 80 and enjoy your time. Enjoy the music
I retired a couple of years ago and have started building up my system, it's what I do with my spare time.  Maybe just changing the system will inspire you. 
Happy belated birthday! 
This might fit the bill nicely......
LTA is certainly showing it off a lot capital audio fest. And with some nice speakers! Doubtful your are near Maryland with the have a nice weekend y'all 😉

Love the two things every audiophile has—phenomenal hearing and a great sounding system!
I would recommend simplifying and trying A few different types of tube integrateds over time. Maybe rolling tubes after you find something you really like.  Check out Leben integrateds.  
Congrats on a new phase sir.
Yeah I’m with others to resist the temptation to change since you love your system so much the way it is now.  There’s a very good chance you won’t like it quite as much if you downsize.  And, really, what are you actually getting by “downsizing?”  To save a square foot of space, a pair of interconnects, and maybe a few tubes?  Really? Is it really worth the risk just for that?

As for Cayin, you need to be careful there.  They get great reviews, but there was one model that literally had a fatal flaw until they redesigned it — can’t remember model but something to watch out for.  FWIW. 
Well I wouldn't do it.But if you're determined,audition a few integrateds before you sell your current equipment.Consider something with a good headphone stage and inputs for a simpler source much later on.Happy Birthday!
If you're happy don't break up the band.
That said there's some truly amazing integrateds out there at all price points from Nad to Hegel to T&A to Soulution. Since you already have an Audio Research Amp maybe their new VSi75, although I don't believe it has a phono stage.
If I make it to eighty with good ears nobody's changing nothing I listen to. Unless I upgrade.

You may have someone close that wants to pick up where you left off. They may even feel you around them when they listen to it . That is of course your system lives longer than you . 
Long may you ride 

Look at it this way- from what you have to something like say a Prima Luna integrated isn't really simplifying. Its really an upgrade.
Simplifying is the way to go!

Integrated tubes may be in your future. I suggest you try out:
  • Rogue
  • Audio Research
  • Luxman’s tube integrateds

On the solid state side:
  • Ayre
  • Luxman

Accuphase is releasing a new integrated in the next few months with the new E800, 50 watts pure class A 8 ohm, 100 watts 4 ohm and 1000 damping factor. 

Accuphase doubles power down to 1 ohm. 
Buy a PASS labs INT-250 integrated amp and a Schiit Mani (phone preamp, extremely small box).

You will be stunned by the sound that comes out of the PASS Labs amps.
Find yourself an old McIntosh integrated lure a good Denon integrated but if you got money to spend I will suggest you buy a pass lab integrated
I looked into my crystal ball...the message I continued to receive was it's not time for you to simplify your glorious system.
Enjoy the music...
pinkyboy (the OP)-

I have considered doing the same in terms of simplification, and I am also getting on in years, but still have great hearing. My system is tube-based with an Esoteric digital front end and Wilson speakers. I have thought about replacing the ARC amp/preamp with either an Esoteric F-07 integrated amplifier (less inexpensive) or as someone suggested, the new Accuphase E800 integrated (expensive).

The challenge is that my system sounds incredibly good, and could I just sell off everything at a loss, and, for example, listen to only streamed content with very good headphones? I do not think it is a good idea.

My recommendation is to keep your system until either hearing starts to fail and/or other life events change for you. Good luck!
1st Happy 80th birthday.
As many others have stated just enjoy what you have why mess with a good thing if your system checks all your senses.  But if you decide you want to try something do it in your own home and don't sell your current gear until you are 110% satisfied and that smile on your face glows from ear to ear.

Happy Birthday!! Sometimes we get an itch. Sometimes we need to scratch that itch. It sounds like you have an itch! Scratch away!!!
I won’t attempt to talk you down because at 69 years of age I did just that 3 weeks ago. I went from the three box Cambridge Audio CXA series to a Naim Uniti Star and replaced my KEF LS50s with ProAc Response DT8. Kept my TT and phono preamp. I’m done. My terrible hearing didn’t warrant this change but I had an itch that needed scratching!
I won’t attempt to talk you down because at 69 years of age I did just that 3 weeks ago. I went from the three box Cambridge Audio CXA series to a Naim Uniti Star and replaced my KEF LS50s with ProAc Response DT8. Kept my TT and phono preamp. I’m done. My terrible hearing didn’t warrant this change but I had an itch that needed scratching!
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"Love the one you’re with." After my recent, ill-conceived attempt at "downsizing", I realized that not only was it foolish, it was damn unpleasant psychologically and financially.

Moral of my story: I’m going back to my multiple black boxes of tube electronics.

One change I am making is what Elizabeth suggested: a small, basic second system for our bedroom where I can escape while my wife is watching TV or a movie.
I am grateful for those of you who have so kindly responded... there is much to think about here.  If any of you are really bored sometime, you might like to see my little DIY Klipschorn "improvement project."  Photos here:

Thanks again,

Very nice DIY stuff there "pinkyboy." Is there some explanation of what's happening in these pics?...very clean workspace...I'm envious! recently, did you do these mods and rebuilds of the Khorns ? Well done.....Why are you looking to simplify the number of components ? One power switch vs. three ? Warm up time ? Better SQ ? If you are happy, why change anything ? However, knowing there is better, maybe scratch the itch........even at 80, this hobby is a merry-go-round. I would say that a single integrated, can give you superior musical involvement, but try them, in the house, first, before you sell anything....Enjoy ! MrD.
Congrats to the good hearing after years as a music lover! If you like your system you don't have to change anything but if you want to, or think a smaller system would suit you better in the long run thete are a lot of pretty serious integrated amps, some with built-in dacs. I just heard Absolare at a small show/demo and they were really good but expensive and quite large. I am thinking about a Hegel and just saw that their H390 just won an Eisa award. Both of these are strong amps and might not suit your Klipschorns but my point is that there are a lot of exciting products out there.

If you ever want smaller speakers I also heard Dutch&Dutch active speakers. Like a whole system in the speakers. 
I was never a fan of Sonic Frontiers and was glad to see that you didnt have one of their amps. Considering your speakers, I would be very tempted to go all tube. Dont be afraid to get more than flea power! I am very impressed with the Resolution Audio int. amp for S.S. Perhaps a tube line stage preamp with a built in phono stage. If you like your Khorns you might find it difficult living with a different speaker,


Want to really simplify? Use a streamer with a DAC. The high res files are stunning.
A system made of three things and an IPad.  KISS. 
Music Server. 
That’s all. 
Full confession I just did this. I don’t miss records. You very well may and this was right for me. 

I went from bi-ammped separates, outboard DAC to a Peachtree  Nova 300 with built-in everything including a killer DAC and i absolutely love it! Best sound ive ever had and gobs of clean power.

While my bi-amped tube separates still sound better, I will say, that given enough break-in time, the Peachtree Nova is a damn good unit. I've got the 150. Clean power, runs nice and cool,  good-looking, small footprint, excellent remote, and more features than I'll likely ever need.  My Nova took at least 350 hours of run-in time before it started to make music.  I almost gave up on it.  :)
As mentioned Luxman, Accuphase or the Asthetix Mimas integrated where you can add a DAC and Phono Stage.  I heard the Asthetix amps  (not the Mimas) at RMAF and they sounded very nice.
I worked in the moving and storage business in Atlanta for years, half the time as the GM for a smaller company, and the other half as Senior VP of sales and marketing for a large premium service oriented company. There are 6 million people in the area, some with 50 million dollar houses. There are celebrities, corporate state-to-state relocations, well-to-do people who have too much stuff, art collectors, etc. We moved people in the Witness Relocation program, lions for Zoo Atlanta, multi-million dollar art collections, and your next door neighbor. I am about to turn 59 and realize that I have too much stuff. If you don't downsize your system, then definitely downsize everything else. My first real pair of speakers were Cornwalls back around 1980. I now have KEF Reference 3's that I want to sell and have advertised. I'm going to find some decent bookshelf speakers and use my subs. If I move to a different place, then I won't have to carry as much. So in my old ranch house with 14 rooms, do I really need 8 systems? It's nice to have music everywhere, running on SONOS, but I need to take my own advice and go leaner and meaner. Lighter weight is better. Good luck.
I’m 40 so I don’t know how much value my comments may have.  Another member asked what’s your goal in simplifying.  Less boxes, cables? Lower cost? What about budget?
I’m all in favor of simple.  My dad has an awesome system but it’s very complicated. I remember how awesome it sounded and how impossible it was to work.  Perhaps there was some strategy in there to ward off his kids from the system.  
Now, as a dad of 4 little ones I want them (and my wife) to enjoy music too.  To me, that means they can actually make it work.  
I like wsrrsw’s comments.  
3 recommendations I have along these lines: Gold Note IS 1000. You can find these used on AGon for $3k. It has all you could want in one box.  Second one is a Vinnie DiRossi LIO, it’s modular.  You can add and subtract capabilities as you wish.  Fully loaded can get quite high, $10k. Splitting the difference I would recommend a Naim supernait 3 which has a phone stage within the integrated amp, $4500.

Keep enjoying the music and the hobby.

It's great to be happy with what you have, but why not make the changes you will eventually need NOW, when you can take your time and create ANOTHER great system?

I'm in the process of simplifying my system and it's going very well, without any loss of sound quality. I found a great deal on an integrated Esoteric F-05. Luxman makes an equally good product. One less expensive power cord and interconnect also makes this cost effective. 

I also got rid of my headphone amplifier after I learned that you can connect your headphones to the second pair of speaker taps. No danger of "blowing them up" - speakers are speakers - I just lower the volume a bit. I ended up with a few extra bucks in my pocket.
When I first read your post I thought, yea good idea. But after reading some of the other posts, I think you might want to wait a while or at least slow it down. The last thing you want to do now is give up something that you spent so much time perfecting and enjoying. I'll bet some of your items have sentimental value to you also. Congratulations on turning 80.
If there were reasons that mandated it, yes and only then.
Been there, done that @66. Thankfully I did not sell off the big rig in my attempt. 

Hi pinkyboy, I would downsize everything including the speakers. A pair of Harbeth P3ESR, a Simaudio ACE + a Qobuz subscription should keep your ears happy for years!

Give Line Magnetic amps a shot.......they r wonderful.  Their SET amps make great partners to high efficiency speakers.  I own the 518ia w devore 0/93 and it is magical.
I hope when I am 80 that I have ur hearing and affinity for great music.
I have simplified I had amp and preamp and phono preamp sold them for a good amount of money and bought  me a pass labs and it is fantastic
I just turned 60 and for the first time in 30 plus years, I have no CJ tube preamp. I recently got a Luxman Class A integrated amp. I love it. It even has a nice phono preamp section. My wife can use it (and the remote).
One thing I have gleaned is that there are two kinds of high end audio companies - those who invest heavily in research and development (think Wilson Audio, Ayre, Spectral) and those who invest primarily in marketing. The latter get touted all over the internet and in magazines, the former make really, really good equipment!  I am certainly not a fan of Prima Luna, (or Magico) - If you listen, you likely will not be either.

Depends on what you mean by simplifying/downsizing.

There are plenty of integrated amps that your back doctor doesn't want you trying to pick up (or perhaps he does...).

There are plenty of separates that I can carry with one hand.

Horses for courses.


Thank you for mentioning that Luxman.  It may very well wind up on my short audio bucket list!  And, after reading through this thread a second time, I may rethink a few things.  :)  IE: maybe four, large, heavy and hot black boxes full of tubes is something I really can do without after all.  :)

To OP, I'm eager to learn of your decision. Best of luck.  
@cat345....Really ? A turbo designed set of Klipschorns, replaced by the Harbeths you recommended ? You need to listen to a pair of properly set up, properly driven Khorns. However, to each his / her own. Enjoy ! MrD.
Happy Birthday!
I loath the idea of any audiophile having to downgrade his/her system. You’ve reached a point where you’re satisfied with your system. How often does that happen? Please keep your system and continue to enjoy it until your situation changes. 
A change in your situation could put you in close quarters with others who may not appreciate your music. At such time, invest in a quality set of Stax over-ear headphones; not as pleasing but still enjoyable. 
If you have a wicked sense of humour, as I like to think I do, then ... in those beautiful speakers. 
Good listening. 
@mrdecibel, I am well aware that Klipschorns are giants and can blow away little Harbeths any day but still, there are things that small speakers can do (imaging, tonality) that large speakers cannot reproduce as well. That could be an interesting change for pinkyboy.
@cat345 :  Thank you for your reply.  When I first put Klipschorns in my home about three decades ago, I was certainly disappointed in the imaging although, overall, the sound was quite wonderful.  My second pair (just a mere 20 years ago!) was no better.  But with my current pair, the imaging is absolutely superb: the soundstage is broad and the "placement" of voices and instruments is excellent.  I never knew that the venerable "K-horns" could sound like these. 

I attribute the improvement to ALK's extreme slope networks (120 db/octave).  Sure, the tractrix mid horn and the TAD drivers certainly do their part, but I'm crediting the networks with the heavy lifting.   
I am genuinely grateful to each one who has taken the time to thoughtfully post here.  You have jump-started my thought processes, and prodded me back to the listening room.  Yep, this is one really good sounding system.