Starting from scratch and say $5000

my original post (written, edited, then lost to the cloud) was: "Will I regret selling my McIntosh gear"  I will let it remain in the netherworld and rephrase as above. Truth is I bought an MC2155, C33, and XRT 18 speakers about 15 years ago but because of moves and family stuff, never got a chance to deploy them until this last fall when we became an empty nesters (not the speakers; bad surrounds). Lugging the heavy McIntosh amp told me I needed to sell it because I expect to be moving again soon and it is just too much of a beast that I'm also afraid to damage. But now that it is playing I am enjoying it, even driving mediocre 90s Acoustic Research AR208 speakers I had previously dismissed until hearing them with the MC power. Anyway. contemplating a completely new system to be financed with the sale of the Mc gear and even though I know this is an absolutely unanswerable newbie question, I need the therapy of talking about it to get any sort of orientation in the hundreds of brands and technologies of today. So here goes: I would like to put together a pre+amp+speakers somewhere around $7000 and have no idea where to start.

thanks in advance and apologies for such a vague question. details can follow

ps I like the sound signature of the mc but don't really know anything better; curious about class D. used is fine but not so much vintage unless it is still a value/performance contender. I like diy and projects but hitting 60 next year and starting to value my time in early (unplanned) retirement 


Streamer: Used Lumin U1 Mini ($1200)

DAC: R2R Ladder Schumann ($1400)

Integrated: Muzishare X7 KT88 Tube ($1500)

Speakers: KLH Model 5 ($2500) or many others...

Total: $6600. 

Remaining $400 buy better tubes or phono deck.

so I recall that @ghdprentice said that there is no point in buying monoblocks under (I forgot exactly) 5K? So that's why an integrated makes sense. Plus you can have monoblocks in integrated such as Musical Fidelity

that's reason enough for me @grislybutter . 1 reason I had the monos in mind was in case I stuck with more traditional i.e. heavy amps. The class D M700 pair mentioned above in thread piqued my interest.


just for amusement purposes, is there any reason to play with diy class D modules? or speaker kits? I get the impression one can save money and get pretty good but that is at the expense of time obviously and while i have diy'd my way through everything in life, not sure I really want to spend it tinkering when one can get polished and aesthetically pleasing results for somewhat reasonable prices. I have noticed the surrounds on the old ARs looking a little dry and crispy and blowing alot more air these days. I guess surround repair makes more sense than driver replacement but there's that.

Have you taken a look at Buchardt's offerings? Their speakers and their integrated amp have been well-reviewed and are well-liked in the audio community. The S400 bookshelf speakers are supposed to have the warmer tone you prefer (while still offering up good bass for a bookshelf speaker). The amp's built-in room correction is supposed to be very effective and may help if you find yourself with a less-than-ideal room in the future. The amp is a little over $2500 USD and the speakers are about $2200. Prices include shipping from Denmark. There's also a trial period to audition them.

the Buchardt passive speakers got rave reviews from a lot of audiophile youtubers. They often keep them around for reference. Best looking speaker stands