Responses from kats

Jolida Reliability
I've had a 502brc going on three years with no problems besides tube replacement. The unit sounds great with the current EH 6550 tubes but not totally happy with the EH reliabilty. I am looking at retubing with a quad of SED 6550 or Gold Lion KT88... 
recommendations for tube dampers???
So Zaikesman, would you care to name some names as far as the SS gear you hinted at? Sorry, don't mean to hijack this thread but I am always very interested in tube-like SS gear I should listen to. Have not used tube dampers yet but this thread ha... 
Best speakers for about $2000 a pair
Exactly Donjr, every now and then a post comes up that makes you go hmmmm?! Especially when there is a negative comment about a product. Makes you question the veracity of the OP. 
Vandersteen vs. JBL rock music etc.
Hey Hooch, how is the search going? Probably the only place to hear Vandersteens in our neck of the woods is Quintessence Audio on Dempster. Nobody else carries them AFAIK. 
Adcom 555 Mk 2 Questions
Moo, I've had a mkII for about 15 years without any problems whatsoever. When it was my only system I ran it 24/7. At idle it runs just slightly above room temp, but the longer/louder you push it the hotter it gets. Never really gets too hot to to... 
Your Favourite Remix Albums/CDs
Check out remasters of Elton John's 'Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy' and 'Madman Across the Water'. Both from Rocket Records back in '95(?). Cap Fan was remastered by the original engineer and it sounds great! The soundstage/image/ins... 
Mahavishnu Orchestra fans...?
Chazro, great recommendations - thanks! Saw CAB in Chicago a few years back and they smoked! It was Brunel, Donati, and McAlpine all in fine form. Good to know fusion is still alive. 
Help with a total system upgrade.
If you haven't messed around with room treatments yet I would look into that first. As others have said, your gear is pretty good already and you admit it might take quite a bit of $$$ to truly upgrade. Straighten out your room first then look at ... 
Who is your overall favorite guitarist?
Two of my favorites for rock/metal not mentioned so far (I think, because I only went through about half of the posts!) are Micheal Schenker and Tony McAlpine.Most of my other favs (along with every guitar player in history I think!) have been men... 
best artists in the last 15 years
Even though his catalogue is very short I have to say my personal favorite is Jeff Buckley (just makes it with 'Grace' in 1994). Wish he was still around!RadioheadRyan AdamsWilcoBen HarperJack JohnsonShinsDeath CabNickel Creek/Chris ThileNeko Case 
What's next for the ultimate sound quality?
Gleb, great job on the speaks! You definitely need some better amplification to get them to shine. IMO there aren't any mass market "receivers" out there that can beat a decent integrated or preamp/amp combo - just my opininon. Tubes certainly are... 
help me choose speakers..Totem B&W KEF Dali
The best thing to do is bring the speakers home for audition as long as possible with your present system. Most shops will oblige but you might have to leave credit card info - just be very careful otherwise you might own them! ; >) 
$600 +/- Bookshelfs w/ Holographic Soundstage
Ethan, I think your new plan sounds like a winner. I saved up some cash and was trying to decide my next upgrade until I became interested in room acoustics. After some research, learning, and less than $100 for rigid fiberglass panels my very mod... 
$600 +/- Bookshelfs w/ Holographic Soundstage
Since nobody has mentioned room treatments yet that would be my suggestion. Soix touched on placement and that is very important though not so easy in a small room. I have had some of the best listening moments recently after installing treatments... 
Looking for good repair shop in Chicago
A dealer friend from the Northside sends most of his stuff to Deltronics, he says they do good work. I have never had anything repaired at Stereo Exchange but I drop in occasionally and they always have some great vintage gear. Nice guys too.