Hello tvrgeek. I wanted to get a look at your system to see where you are coming from. No luck there. There are some holes in your arguments. But first, I read the paper and my interpretation is the author is for balanced connections. He made the comment that SE, RCA connections should have gone away decades ago.
I agree that older audio gear electrical and grounding methods needs to be looked at closely for both safety and S/N issues. I can recall as a kid in the 1960s getting zapped when touching the metal frame of my grandfather's b&w TV. Yes, I was barefoot on a concrete floor. It was a pretty strong shock. Newer Tube gear made on the US and EU seem to be good and I think most top brand SS gear going back decades is good. I stick to the well known brands after having bad experiences decades ago with newcomers or flash in the pan brands that were not so well made on the inside. Caveat Emptor is always the case.
The author expounds a lot on house wiring. I can agree with him. I found in the late 1980's my ARC SP-6b could tolerate no dimmers in the house at all. They all had to go. My newer ARC gear years later I found, did a much better job at rejecting noise. I wired in my own dedicated power lines for my stereo. (I'm a licensed professional engineer but also am experienced at wiring houses.) One thing that annoyed me is whoever wired my house mixed the White wires and ground wires on the ground busses. I know it doesn't matter but I like things looking nice and neat. I cleaned them up as best I could.
The author also made a very good point that everyone should take note: Don't operate your audio gear on a separate ground rod. You can have multiple ground rods but they must all be tied together as one, back to the main breaker panel.
Redbook CDs have limitations as compared to the master tape. That doesn't mean that converting to hi res is pointless. It's more about the filters and the skill of the engineer than the technical matters. CDs have less limitations than LP's. And yet Vinyl sounded better for many years. I was convinced CDs were inferior until I got my new DAC and CD Transport a couple of years ago. That opened my eyes to digital music. Today I can enjoy both sources equally. They each have their own characteristics but it is more of a flavor rather than a deficit or advantage. Vinyl was considered an inferior source well into the 1980s. Ironically, CDs seemed to elevate the status of vinyl back in the 80s and 90s. What was better than vinyl, you ask? R2R master tapes. The hardcore audiophiles back in the day would listen to nothing else. I think vinyl sounds great. Shows what I know.
Comparing how things sound at a hifi shop is a no go. Even the most high end boutique stores have one goal: Move product. They don't have the time or interest to dial a system in to within a 1/4" when everything is likely to me moved the next day or next week. Even at my favorite audio store in Michigan decades ago, Harry would pull the Magenpans away from the wall and roughly position them if you wanted to hear that system. It always sounded great but imagine if the room didn't have all the other gear stacked up in there and the panels were dialed in precise. Secondly, audio stores have dirty power and lots of EMI from lights, other businesses and all the other gear operating in the room/rooms. I begged the owner of a store to just buy a couple of FMCs to isolate his ethernet optically. He is demonstrating DCS and Chord DACs. They sound so lackluster when he is streaming with them and I know it is due to noisy ethernet. Sure, high end gear should not be affected by noise coming in. And apples shouldn't start rotting when they fall off the tree. In the real world we have to isolate and protect our precious, tiny little signals from our tonearms, our streamers and our preamps from the harsh and cruel disruptors of RFI, EMI and even mechanical vibration.