The Kinky is Chinese but it gets great reviews and looks like a solid build. Quite a bit of Chinese gear does look nice though, and I would agree that most of it is cheaply built.
I think that the Kinky, the Belles Aria and the Ayre Ax-7e are my top choices today.
I was really digging into the W4S Sti-1000 lastnight too and was considering that.
I’ve been getting some Hegel recommendations too, I’m just not sure what is what with regards to the Hegels. It seems like they all have on board dacs which is something ai don’t need since I just purchased a gungir multibit. I suppose if I found a good Hegel with a nice dac, I could sell the gungir and put that $ towards a Hegel.
I do like Parasound as well. I had a ZDac back in the day and thought it was a really nice little dac.
Another option I am kicking around is a Schiit Freya +. I’d buy a schiit amp and have a full pile of Schiit gear but I hate that the vidar is half size.
I also was think about a Rogue Cronus Magnum MkI and going with tubes but then I will buy $500 in tubes to be happy and will wonder about reliability.
I should have jumped on that Ayre when I had the chance but just wasn’t there yet when it was suggested earlier in this thread.
It’s too bad about the modded Anthem that I purchased had some funky gain stuff going on with the Xlr inputs otherwise that would have satisfied me. In retrospect, I should have tried a passive attenuator to turn down the gain but I guess I would have felt like that was a band aid as well.
Anyhow, I enjoy the process of researching all of the possibilities and appreciate all the input and advice! Keep the guidance coming if you’d like 😁