Responses from ursus13

Phono Preamp Recs under $200 for My System
If you can stretch to $300 I am having great luck with the Sota Pyxi (and a Hana ML)  
Solid State Phono Stages
Ayre is releasing their brand new phono pre in Q3. That should be on anyone’s list.  
Buying Used Equipment on the Internet
I’m relatively new to this as well. I’ve been in the hobby about five years. My entire system was bought used, except my Lumin U1 Mini. I mostly use USAudioMart. I have only had good experiences. Suggestions: Read the buying guidelines/faq on... 
Downsizing: Separates>Integrated --PSAudio>Pass Labs
Ayre AX-5 Twenty. You should join the Vandersteen owners forum.  
Do speaker cables really make a difference ?
Not trying to be snarky, but genuinely curious, for anyone who might know the answer why: Spending time in recording studios, ADR stages, and theatrical mixing stages, there are no exotic high-end cables being used (that I’ve seen.) No cables fro... 
Before I order the Magnepan 1.7s...
Vandersteen. Speakers that look like Herman Miller designed mid century modern furniture. World class sound. Start by checking out the Treos. 
Are there any bookshelf speakers that sound good on a bookshelf?
Vandersteen VLR CT. Had a pair for about two years now and really like them. (Paired with Ayre integrated.) They are especially good at low to mid volume listening (about 85dB and below.) Room is 20x14. In fact, I plan to go Vandersteen when I ste... 
Lumin D2 or U1 Mini
U1 Mini. More flexibility. Autonomous streamer allows you to upgrade or change out your DAC, or change out your streamer. (I run a U1 Mini and really like it. Interface is very good via iPad.) 
Want to get into Streaming
Tidal. Lumin U1 Mini. Shiit Yggy. Pocket $6k. Enjoy. 
Are manufacturer AC cables good enough?
Contact Ayre and ask them directly. They respond very quickly and are happy to answer questions. 
Looking for best streamer without DAC under $3500
+1 for Lumin U1 Mini. 
Are there any Tool fans here?
Tool is far more progressive and psychedelic in genre than "metal." Especially the further you go in their catalog.I just saw Tool here in Los Angeles. Took my 4 year old (how's that for "destroying minds and spirits, etc.?") Her first live concer... 
$1300-1500 DAC
Used Schiit Yggdrasil. Hands down. 
Vandersteen Kento Specs Released
Vandersteen official link (with photo and full specs):https://vandersteen.com/products/?dir=kento-carbon 
Speaker recommendation thread (Organised by tiers of price)
Anyone not mentioning the Vandersteen VLR CTs for the $1-5K range are insane. These speakers are really special.