System assembled; only a final decision about speakers remains

Thanks to many posters on this forum, I have nearly completed assembling an audio system.

Because I started off my questions on this forum regarding speakers, I’m posting my outcomes here. I’ve not finalized speaker choice. While I took "Speakers first" to heart and attempted to do things that way,  slow production times and the virus prompted me to research and purchase in multiple areas. I wound up getting everything but speakers first.

I am enjoying my system with some loaners at the moment (review to come), and then (if the cosmos allows) I will seek synergy between this system and speakers. My hope is that the speakers ordered (Salk SS6M) turn out to be keepers, but they'll have a 30 day trial period. No idea when I will receive them. Oh, and I need to do some additional thinking about power and wiring, etc. And furniture.

So, to the various posters who chimed in with suggestions and information (I took extensive notes and you are now part of my informal library), here’s what I assembled:

  • SALK SS 6M — these are being built (well, after the shutdown is lifted) and then I’ll TRY them for 30 days to see if they work. Others are being considered. Opinions are welcome.
  • Sub: REL 328
  • QS Linestage
  • QS 60 Monos amp
  • CD transport: Cambridge CXC
  • Streamer: Bluesound Node 2i
  • DAC IT (peachtree) — older; just to tide me over
  • DAC ORCHID — this is my keeper


  • Toslink: for CD player
  • Coaxial digital: Analysis Plus Digital Crystal & Audioquest Forest
  • Interconnects RCA: Analysis Plus Copper Oval
  • Power for sources and amps: Pangea Audio AC 14 & 9 SE MKII
  • Speaker cables: Analysis Plus Oval 12


  • Conditioner: Panamax 1500

@atmasphere Thanks for your post and I'm copying a bunch of this into notes. I moved from a Salk 83 db speaker up to a 90db speaker after a conversation with Jim. The cost of the speaker went up, but my required amplifier power went down — and so did the cost. I thought I'd be safe with 60watts tube. At this point, I'll just have to try the 90db speaker and hope Jim was being conservative. Otherwise, it will go back and I'll keep in mind that figure of 93 db and the other good details about the 4 ohms, double woofer, and various ways of tackling the math.
@dill  D'oh! Newbie mistake. I shall channel Professor Housman and conduct a shrouding.
^^^ Good move!

I can tell you, btw, that Professor Kingsfield (as played by John Houseman in "The Paper Chase") was a softie compared to some real-life law professors :-)


-- Al

I thought coax was better than toslink. I have tried it myself and in my system it holds true going into the same DAC from my Oppo 205. I have to try the amp straight into the wall when I get a chance. If I like it I will put a whole house surge protector on my breaker box. I use the Furman Stable Power Regulator-SPR 20, but I will still try the wall outlet for the amp. 
@hshifi I read recently that even with a whole house protector, one should retain something for protection at the wall outlet. Maybe you're just doing an experiment?