Responses from surfmuz

Pontus ii and Hi Res
Pontus is not MQA capable DAC. If you want fully unfold MQA you need MQA enabled DAC or use onboard Node DAC. Optimal solution is to switch to Qobus and forget about High res limitations forever.   
Apple Music vs Tidal for SQ
Unfortunately we don’t have proper reference Apple Music capable streamer yet to fairly compare Tidal or other streaming services to Apple Music.  
McIntosh Announces Mc451 Dual Mono Power Amplifier
The only thing about Mac I don’t care for is the green light thing- a little much. Certainly, sound signature is on the first place and I really don’t care about colors, but colors matching. Green with blue!? What a funny combo:)  
Recommendations for good sounding streamer
@soix Uh, no.  Just…no.  It’s complete shite. There’s a reason they don’t make them anymore.  RIP Chromecast Audio. Can you mention that reason, and why it’s “complete shite” for streaming non Hi-Res files? Google's official reason when they d... 
Recommendations for good sounding streamer
You don’t need $$-$$$ expensive streamer to stream Spotify. Get something like a Google Audio Chromecast, connect it to your DAC with optical Toslink to Mini Digital cable and use it as a streamer from your phone or tablet.   
Flat Screen Television behind speakers
One of my fellows audiophile, who invested in his listening room close to $80K (equipment excluded) told me that TV installed on a certain level behind his speakers in his room actually enhances mids and makes stage wider and more holographic.   
Do Costly XLR Cables Make A Difference?
If the signal path fully balanced through all of your components that kind of cable upgrade probably makes sense.   
Do speaker cables really make a difference ?
If your system decent enough, you even will hear improvement from cleaning terminals of your speaker cables not only from upgrading them.   
Turntable question; Does Audio Technica make any good turntables?
In my opinion price range of $500-$1000 would be entry level TT price and brand choice shouldn’t be main criteria to look at. If you really tight on your budget range, my suggestion is to concentrate on proper TT setup, arm and cart alignments. Re... 
Do I need a streamer?
Dedicated streamer is about Audio only however computer has lot more different tasks purposes and to perform those tasks computer has lots of extra circuits with negative ER influence on each other so Audio outcome suffering at the end.   
Aurender N20 Streamer & Holo May DAC vs Analog
It’s worth to develop and upgrade both sources. I have to admit that some albums  are sounds much, much better from analog branch of my system, however some other albums are amazingly better from two of my digital branches. Depends on lots of fact... 
Streamer/DAC - Where is the value?
Definitely try to go separates road. Besides better SQ it will give you more flexibility in the future. Consider Qobuz, cause Tidal with their MQA kind a limits you to MQA enabled DACs (only if highest res of Tidal important for you). Your budget ... 
Pass Then vs. Pass Now
Coda S5.5 could be strong alternative in class A contenders. Threshold is gone, and while Nelson Pass, founder of Threshold, has been producing amplifiers under his own name for some years now, other former Threshold employees are also designing a... 
What cables to use.
Optical cable will outperform hdmi in long distance application. I have 30ft long hdmi cable connecting my main TV with smaller TV in my tool room in my basement and the quality is pretty low. When I tried 5ft hdmi connection just to check differe... 
CD player suggestions...
Cambridge Audio CXU is strong contender in your price range, if you can find one. Plays lots of disc types including SACD, equipped with digital outputs in case you want to use it with outboard DAC and pure audio mode which disables all circuits o...