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 


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.






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lots of really good help/info here; thanks. I might have to spend some more time in the speaker section of the forum because it looks like the surrounds on the old ARs are definitely failing, so maybe I should stick with the consensus and start with some speakers that go well enough with the Mc gear and then go from there when the downsizing gets more official. Still like the idea of "start from scratch" though because it will force me to decide on inputs, etc. 

I guess it is a silly question in the amps/pre-amps area, but how many people really use the active speaker route? seems ok short term and good for people minimizing gear, but bit of a tradeoff in flexibility and long term issues