Responses from zd542

Are Revel and Paradigm Stuck?
My opinion is that if the designer is really good, they don't have to keep upgrading the models so often. Also, some types of speakers are more difficult to design than others. That should be factored in as well. 
Cartridge breakin ......how long?
"11-17-15: InnaZd542, good cables , they can change dramaticaly for the better after 100-200 hours. I consider cables components."I agree with you on that. Some cables take even longer than 200 hours to break in. The OP was asking about a phono ca... 
why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable
"11-16-15: SchubertZd542, model numbers are kept by educated intelligent worker bees who don't drink kool-aid ."My uncle Vinny told me its the serial numbers you really have to worry about. 
Cartridge breakin ......how long?
Break in makes a huge difference with phono carts. They break in a lot more than any other component. I would give it somewhere between 50 and 100 hours. 
compact tube amp and in wall speaker
"I would need to balance the cost of the zu''s with hopefully a less expensive amp because of their high efficiency, although I need to check impedance at lower frequency of zu's. "Good thing you posted that. Its actually just the opposite. Even t... 
Looking for a USB Headphone amplifier
The new Ayre Codex would be my first choice. If that's too much, the Oppo looks like a very good choice. 
Are DACs superior to top-graded regular CD Players
Overall, I would agree with George. My advice would be to just listen to everything within your budget and pick what sounds best, regardless of design. 
MC Cartridges Under $1,000
I have a regular Scout with a DV 20X2 low output version. I'm very happy with it and would definitely buy it again. If you look around, you may be able to get a better price than full list. There's a lot of DV dealers, and some of them will compet... 
What's a contender to an Audio Reference 5 SE?
"It is a pitty that openness and reality is missing in the world of audio. And that is a shame!"Bo, you're not helping any. lol. You make a good case to look at something else, so what is it? The OP is asking, if not the ARC, then what? Naim maybe? 
Preamp for 3D imagination\transparency\control
Given how unique your gear is, you'll need to confirm any choice with an actual demo, but here's few preamps that may be worth looking at. Ayre K1, ARC Reference, high end Aesthetix, CAT, VTL 7.5 and BAT models that use the 6H30's. 
Be honest please
"11-15-15: John421Just don't get were people comment about all the thousand of dollars,some hundreds of thousands on what they spend on audio equipment and some pompous a...s make rude remarks on what I spend on vintage gear!"But why make all the ... 
why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable
"11-16-15: NonoisePot meet kettle."You have no idea, of course, but you just outsmarted yourself and don't realize it. lol. If anyone can see it, don't tell him. Lets see if he can figure it out on his own. 
Shipping damage
As long as your dealer is somewhat reputable and willing to process the claim, you should have no problems. 
why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable
"Oh, and there's a world of difference between a socialist, and a democratic socialist."A drone is a drone. Who keeps track of model numbers? 
Shipping damage
It depends on who the shipper is.