Responses from bojack

Your Top 5 Sax Players?
WoodsColtraneAdderlyYoungJoe HendersonJosh Redman and Chris Potter: way underated who will be greats. 
Cary SLI-80 Speakers Recommendation
You also owe it to yourself to try to audition the Spendor Classic series (SP 2/3, 1/2, etc.) If you like a nice smooth sound, this might be a great combination. 
Best live album you've ever heard?
Absolutely. They got this one so right -- spacious, dynamic, tonally balanced. I think this ranks right on up there. 
Best live album you've ever heard?
I agree w/the previous Alice In Chains fans. It's depressing as you can get, but phew, depressing music has rarely sounded better on CD. Two thumbs way up. 
Cable auditions - Hard Work?
Point well taken, Jafox, and OK, I may have oversimplified and generalized an important part of our hobby. I think I was simply dismayed that there are those of us out there who are getting hung up on the system link that I feel is perhaps the lea... 
Best digital cable to audition?
I recently tried the Triad Acoustics Golden Pinnacle series and was very impressed. They have a patented EAM (Electron Alignment Matrix) technology (I know it sounds hoaky) that separates the frequencies into "designated carrier constructs." Whate... 
California Audio Labs CL-5 repair?
Man, I feel your pain. I've had THREE (count 'em) bad CALs and finally said to heck with them. My advice is to toss it in your trash bin like I did my last one and move on to a company that's still in business. 
Cable auditions - Hard Work?
If you are spending hours comparing cables, something is not right w/the rest of your system. Folks, the cables biz is a scam, and the sooner audiophiles learn this, the more money we'll have for what we value most: music. 
B&W 703 - How to tame the highs?
Very simple. Get rid of them! 
upgrade advice for budget-minded beginner
A good rule of thumb to follow when upgrading is to listen to the system in your room before you buy (if possible). I would also say that speakers determine the huge majority of what you hear, w/preamp, source, and amp coming in second, third, and... 
Tubes for Cary SLA70 Signature
I suppose the first question to ask is whether you were satisfied w/the tubes you are replacing. The second issue is tonal balance, as each brand supposedly has a different one. In researching tubes on Audioasylum and other sites denizened by tube... 
I'm FINALLY finished: new 2-channel system
You definitely did the right thing. I work around HT systems every day and continue to enjoy my 2-channel tube-based system more w/music and movies. My opinion is that if you get 2 channels tonally right along w/a good video monitor, movie soundtr... 
Humming sound from my speakers
From what you describe, this isn't a ground loop, as a "crackling sound" is not a ground loop symptom. The problem is likely your preamp's output. I would sub another preamp into the system and see if you get the same effect. 
i want better sounding speakers
A great combination in my experience is NAD electronics and Paradigm speakers. You can never go wrong either w/a pair of used Vandersteen 1Cs or 2Cs or a pair of used PSB Stratuses. Always home demo before you buy! 
REL Stampede subwoofer
I should hope not! I like to think of REL as a company above naming one of their fine products Stampede. Just a joke -- in all seriousness, no.