Responses from kjo

Who makes great active preamps ? Tube or solid state or hybrid.
First Sound, Joule Electra (out of business so only available used obviously).  
Joule Electra preamps and amps. What is your impression?
I have owned the Joule LAP 150 II, paired with VZN 100's, for 8 years. Speakers are Merlin VSM MMX. The sound is rich, warm, fast, detailed, immediate. Preamp, including phono stage, is very quiet. Amps have slight hum that is not noticeable as so... 
"Good tube Integrated Amps"
Ars Sonum Filarmonia. Very musical. I use it with Merlins and the pairing is very special. Well within your price range on the used market.  
Where can I get my Audio Aero Capitole CDP repaired
Sedonix used to be a distributor and On A Higher Note as well previously I think. DTS Audio in Canada may be able to help too. Peter at Pbn Audio helped others with this player - he is a terrific guy to deal with. I have this player and think it i... 
Single ended RCA preamp short list
Joule Electra and First Sound. 
Outdoor Speakers
Thank you all for your responses. I will research each of them and appreciate the headstart you have given me. 
iRiver and dbPoweramp connectivity
Thank you for your replies. i will try both suggestions. 
Where do I start with... "artist"?
Check out the ratings at allmusic for the mjq. Concorde is a great album but allmusic will rate them all and their ratings for the mjq are right on IMHO. 
New Speaker for Under 5K
Merlin. Vsm mx used or tsm new. 
What is the best loudspeaker for a small room?
Merlins should work - you will have excellent detail resolution and bass will not be lacking in a room that size. 
what is the best amp you've ever heard
Joule Electra vzn 100 
Which companies deserve a star for Christmas
Bobby at Merlin and Jud at Joule Elektra. 
Thoughts from Joule preamp owners?
I have owned the LAP 150 MkII for about 4+ years now. I like it very much. It is detailed and precise but not so detailed that the music is lost. There is an unforced, natural clarity to the music with it in the chain. I use it with Merlin VSM MX'... 
LAP-150 MkII - How good is the phono stage
I have the LAP-150 MkII. I love it. I use it with a VPI Scoutmaster and a Benz Wood M. Full bass, rich midrange, non-fatiguing highs, quiet background, highly musical sound. Very accurate and detailed but not so hyper-detailed that you notice the ... 
Merlin VSM/MMe with Berning ZH-270
I also use the Berning ZH 270 with VSM speakers (MX version). I found that the Berning benefited from the use of a preamplifier. My source is the AA Capitole. The insertion of a preamplifier (Joule or First Sound) in the chain significantly improv...