My system sounds great.

Over the past year my system has undergone a huge change and in the process my listening pleasure has increased tremendously. I attribute this to the synergy of the new components, however some singular changes have earn praise for their own merit.

Gone.....Classe 5, Classe 150, Well Tempered Record Player, Highly modded Thorens TD 160, Matrix Mini I v2, AKG 701Q, Matrix M-stage.

In........Audible Illusions M3a, Rogue M120's, Thorens TD 850 highly modded, Michell Tecnoarm, Benchmark HDR, Hifiman 400.

The difference is not so night to day that a listener would easily notice but a serious listener could easily hear the increase resolution and over all improvement. My playback system went from good to very good and on that note it brings an increasing bigger smile to my face.

Now the dog that wags the tail is the work I put into the Thorens TD 850. The new motor, carbon fiber boards and Michell arm provides the music a great jumping off point for everything else down stream. My trust worthy Benz Glider with Soundsmith ruby upgrade never sounded better. Add new vinyl pressings that serve up music that far exceeds what was offered in vinyl's heyday provides sweet, sweet music to my ears.

The Benchmark HDR is a honest product that gives a very clear and dynamic conversion to digital files. Add to that a great headphone amp and wowza!!!!!! Finally, Hifiman has created a product that, IMO, give the average Joe and opportunity to hear state of the art sound for small change. This is a product that everyone must own. You just shouldn't get this good sound so cheap. The more these burn in the better they sound and that is saying something because out of the box they raise the bar pretty high.

Anyway, as of today I am really happy with the choices and work I have done. Wise shopping on my part means that I actually spent very little to go a long distance.

I know that in the past I maynhave listed individually each of my changes but I feel that it is time to reflect more on the totality and the success rather than each component. So, if I bored you with a rehash, my apologies. To make your time worth it, here is something new. Go out and get the vinyl copies of Paul' s archive version of Venus and Mars and James Taylor's new album. Both sound incredible. The former kicks the ars out of any copy before it!!!!!!!!!
Not boring at all. What you've accomplished with vinyl, I've accomplished with digital (CD, not PC or streaming) and it was all well worth it.

I hardly spend any time now here on A'gon (compared to what I used to) and went on to another hobby collecting Laguiole pocket knives. Now my eyes are being rewarded along with my sense of touch (two overlooked and under appreciated senses long overdue for my attention). :-)

All the best,
Tubes rule! It took me many years to find that out!
Thanks for the feedback. Here is some of what makes up the rest of the chain. AcousTech Ph1, modded Maggie MG3a's, 2 M&K 150 subs, PSB Gold i's, and a Crown XlS 150. I all the speakers in a hybrid configuration, with the PSB inboard, down in volume and with HP at 60 Hz, with great results. It give the Maggies a bit more liveliness and punch, as well as more headroom for rockin nights.

Headphone listening has become a major enjoyment. The Hifiman and Benchmark are a great combination.

I also agree that tubes are great but in the end and on my limited budget, my almost 40 year search for the perfect turntable has landed me here. It is a nice place to be and may keep me more than happy for a while.
nonoise ...

I checked out the Laguiole pocket knives on Ebay ... the most expensive first. I see what you like about them. Beautifully graceful with wonderful craftsmanship.
Yogi boy, I had the same experience as you. Luckily it didn't take a lot of time to figure out tubes were the ticket.
Tubes are great and I still have them when listening to headphone (I have 2 Bottlehead headphone amps).

I ran tubes for about a decade, first CJ gear (including a 17LS2 Premier preamp,which I thought was amazing), then Rogue gear, which I liked even more than the CJ gear. I am now ecstatic over my Pass gear (XP10, XP15 and X150.8)

There's more than one road to sonic bliss

A good Pinot noir is pleasant too
I missed your reply so I wanted to let you know if you want to see some really nice ones this site has the best to offer from 14 different blacksmiths, all dedicated to the laguiiole tradition.

All the best,
Thanks, Nonoise ... nice site.