Responses from wspohn

Turntable Cartridge upgrade question.
I run three systems with turntables and one is a less sophisticated one that I wanted a lower priced MC cartridge in so I installed a Goldring Eroica LX and have been quite pleased with it.  That might be a good way to see if heading into MC will ... 
Finally...subwoofer that's aesthetically pleasing!
I actually dislike the look of those.  I use a pair of Hsu VTF-15H MK2 subs ($2500 and a faux rosewood finish that is quite nice) and have no complaints.  They are only used in the home theatre section of my system as my main speakers are 3 dB dow... 
Where to go next with the turntable
Is the bass adequate when using a digital source? The reason I ask is that I had the opportunity to audition a couple of power amps in my main system. One was an older  Lexicon, another was a fairly expensive Chord, and I threw in an older Jeff R... 
B&W 805 D4: which 5 channel power amp should I go with (home theater): Parasound or Rotel
I currently use an Ascom 7605 but have also used ATI and was quite happy too.  
Your greatest high end audio purchase!!!
Best was a phono stage - a John Curl Vendetta that sounds better than anything else I have listened to (except a Herron VTPH-2 which was pretty much a tie). Second best was a Sugano made Koetsu Urushi. Third best were speakers - Wilson Maxx 2 (w... 
Lowest priced MC thats better than a Premium MM?
I run MC in three systems ranging from Koetsu Urushi, through vintage Lyra Clavis to a modern Goldring Eroica LX. I recommend the latter as a  c. $1,000 option for you.  
Ripping CDs
While ripping CDs takes time, it needn't be tedious. I ripped my entire CD library (4000*) over a month or so by doing it with my laptop in the evenings while watching TV. Painless. Put them all on NAS and you are set to go once you have software... 
Best Options For A Tubed Preamp - $2500 Or Less, Preferably Used To Maximize Value
I'll second (or third?) the Conrad Johnson Suggestion.  I run solid state in a couple of systems but my primary system runs a Premier 14 preamp and a Premier 11a power amp.  
Martin Logan vs. Everything
The only answer to the dilemma of "what's best" is to have at least three main systems! Indeed - and that's how many I have, as I am reluctant to dispose of gear that I really enjoy. One of my systems is based on original Martin Logan CLS, and... 
Anyone has a reference system where amplification is SS ?
Sure - my old reference system had a Classe DR7 preamp feeding two bridged Classe DR3 VHC monos, running mids and highs, two mono PSE V running bass, in Vandersteen 4a speakers.  Liked it so much that is remains my second system   
Have you asked yourself this question?
Analogue requires more careful set up and if you have high end gear you would probably do as I do and avoid spinning vinyl in combination with drinking, as one slip can tank a possibly very expensive cartridge. I have more than 4,000 LPs and I ha... 
Dream Amps I Could Not Afford 20 Years Ago Now Undesirable
After hearing one, I lusted after the Classe DR3 VHC for some years.  Eventually, over time I acquired three of them (that's just over 2% of the total production).  I have them in two systems, but run a tube amp in my main system.  
I have one main system and also 2 1/2 other systems consisting mostly of gear that used to be in my main system.  The main system has been static for several years and I see no prospect of needing to make any changes. Wilson Maxx2, CJ Premier 14 ... 
Speakers 10 years old or older that can compete with todays best,
There are a lot of older speakers that can compete with many new speakers today. Within their obvious limits, a pair of Quad 57s can run with many of the best (I use original Martin Logan CLS and they are fantastic for non bass heavy material). ... 
At what price is one considered an Audiophile.
If you are really just about the music and not the gear, you can get a streaming system and a really good pair of wireless headphones for under $2K.