Responses from njcardave

DAC upgrade
Bryston BDA-3.     Aqua Acoustics LaScala  
What would you do?
I put a Backert Labs Rhythm 1.3 preamp in my system and was amazed at the difference it made in my bass. Much tighter. I am using a solid state McIntosh MC-462 amp.  
Tube preamp match with Solid Stare amp
I have a Backert Labs Rhythm 1.3 with a McIntosh MC-462.   
Better DAC then DA1 module in McIntosh C49 without braking the bank.
I owned a Bryston BDA-3 and can say that it is a great sounding DAC. A good deal if you can find one on the preowned market.   
Optical Phono Cartridges
I have the entry level DS E1 cartridge on my vintage Kenwood KD-650 turntable. I am very pleased with the quality of sound. Please try to find a dealer so that you can audition this cartridge setup.   
USED pre-amp + amplifier combo for B&W 802 Matrix series 3 around or under 2000?
Check out some Bryston equipment.  
TRAVELING TO JAPAN! Recommendations for shops for cartridges?
Look for DS Audio optical cartridges. I have the entry level DS E1. FANTASTIC.  
Sopra 2 Amp Recommendation
I have Sopra 2’s connected to a McIntosh MC462, Backert Labs Rhythm 1.4 preamp, Lumin U1 with XP1 power supply, & Aqua LaScala DAC. My system is in a dedicated media room. The secret is in treating the room.   
Hidden Gems in Pre-Owned Solid State Power Amplifiers?
McIntosh MC-352.  
Top vintage receivers vs. modern high-end equipment
I have a Pioneer SX1010 connected to Pair of Pioneer HPM-100 speakers. I listen to this for background music playing Pandora through an old iPhone. I can have this setup playing all day at a moderate level without any listening fatigue. There is s... 
Audioquest Firebird Zero
I have my Sopra 2's hooked up with William Tell Zero cables. I am very happy with the combination. I'm sure that my McIntosh C47 preamp and MC462 amp have something to do with the sound quality as well.  
Good CDTransport (player) without DAC?
McIntosh MCT450 
The best looking speakers
Focal Sopra 2 or 3. The finish and style are only secondary to their fantastic sound. I own a pair of the Sopra 2's.  
Whitney Houston. Don't forget when she sold millions of copies of her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  
Shout out your favorite Audio dealer!!
Stuart's Audio in Westfield NJ. Stu is a great guy to deal with. Have been doing business there for many years.