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 


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

Look at these QLN monitors in great shape and at a nice discount from new.  QLN speakers sound very natural and maybe with a slight touch of warmth that you seem to like.  Pair them with the Yamaha integrated I mentioned earlier and you’d have a very nice sounding setup with the sound characteristics you’re looking for.

Given the additional information:

I would look into the latest Bluesound Node as a streamer. $600. Start with the built in DAC and once familiar with the new system consider adding an outboard DAC.






Post removed