ISO advice for completing first hi-fi system
Hello! I'm new to this forum and I need some advice for completing my first hi-fi system, primarily amp advice...test driving locally isn't an option so I have to rely on reviews and opinions. I’ll be listening to vinyl and some lossless digital music on my computer...a variety of stuff like the White Stripes, Amy Winehouse, Elliott Smith, Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and some hip-hop and old delta blues. Anyway, this is what I’ve got so far:
Pro-Ject Carbon Debut Esprit turntable (with a 2M red cartridge, acrylic platform and speed control) http://www.project-audio.com/main.php?prod=debutcarbonespritdc&cat=turntables&lang=en $600 (I live in a Victorian apartment with wood floors and I’m putting everything on a record cabinet instead of an audio rack so I have limited space. The turntable has anti-vibration feet but do I need better feet and/or an isolation platform?)
Monitor Audio’s new Silver 2 speakers http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/silver/silver-2/#/specification ($1150) on Atacama Nexus 6i stands with black gold fill and Herbie’s sticky big fat dots and cone/spike decoupling gliders $475
I want a good looking black integrated tube amp with exposed tubes and 40+ watts (recommended for my speakers). I'm leaning towards the new Cayin CS-55A http://www.brookfieldaudio.com.au/shop/cayin-cs-55a-integrated-amplifier/ ($1900) that has a built-in phono stage, 32-bit DAC, and headphone output. It won the “best amplifier 2000Euro and over” award in Germany but I haven’t found any reviews on how it sounds so I’m a little leery, but it would save on space and I don’t plan on upgrading this system (ever?) so buying a separate phono stage and DAC isn’t necessary. I'm also drawn to the Mystere ia11 (yay autio bias) http://www.upscaleaudio.com/mystere-ia11-integrated-amplifier/ ($2000) but it's pentode instead of ultralinear so it has less of the classic tube sound that I love but maybe it's more suitable for my musical tastes? Some reviews say that speaker matching for this amp is extra critical and I really don't have a good enough grasp on that subject. I'm open to other suggestions of course. I don't have a set budget but I want the price to make sense in regards to my other equipment.
I also need decent speaker and IC cables. I’ve done some research and I do believe they affect the sound somewhat but I don’t think I have to spend much to get good results. I can probably figure this out on my own but ANY product advice you can give me would be so appreciated!
Faith (Yes there ARE female audiophiles)