If you are just into CD's, I probably get a CDP with analog volume control and connect it directly into a medium powered triode amp connected to some small(er) floor standing speakers dynamic speakers with efficiencies in the 90's and a relatively flat impedence curve. That could produce high quality sound with minimum visual distraction.
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You'll see I mentioned my turntable and phono stage. I would like to keep them but really only listen to vinyl about 3% of the time. That thought has crossed my mind, I figure by selling my current player, my preamp, my phono preamp, and turntable, I could afford a really great player with money left over for some great cables or something. I would of course hang onto my 50 or so records so I would always have the option of jumping back in. Thanks.
Here you go Jond, it even has a nice built in phono stage.
Jeff Rowland Concentra II w/ phono
I've considered simplifying myself sometimes. Something like this would tempt me.
BTW, I have no affiliation with the seller, of course.
The Rowland equipment is tuby smooth and grainless but without any bloat, there is no Solid state edge, but it isn't overly warm (aka CJ) or dark (Cary). It's a excellent compromise, plus the fit and finish are amazing, not to mention how cool the volumn control is on the Rowland (0.5dB increments!!!)
The meridian gear is also excellent but if you like tubes you will prefer the Rowland equipment to the exactness of the Meridian.
I love my Rowland Preamp!
Well, it's (Rowland Concentra II) a great SS integrated, with lots more power, to give you more speaker options. It is not etched or too smooth. I would say it leans towards the warm side. Somewhat tubey sounding, but not nearly as fleshed out as a SET tube amp, IMHO. Then again, you won't find that in any integrated except for a Cary 300B SEI(LX20) (as far as I know, there may be more SET integrated options I'm not aware of).
The Cary would be an integrated that will give you SET amp sound (20 wpc) and a headphone jack, but no phono.
The Rowland would give you 7.5 times more power, which will open up your options for many more speaker choices, and a very nice phono stage as well.
Well guys I've really thought about this and I've decided that I have a great system and in fact the new condo is 1/3rd smaller but the actual living room that will house the system is in fact a bit larger than the room it's in now. So it makes sense to plop this system in the room and see what happens. I've also decided a sea change in approach, a stop to the continuous gear shuffling and more concentration on what I have now. I think the next step is an integrate whole system cable and power setup from a single manufacturer. I've decided on Nordost, starting with a Red Dawn interconnect from cd player to preamp, next will be another Red Dawn from preamp to power amp. For speaker cables I'm probably sticking with very good and cost effective tri-wire speaker cables from Alon. I will go with the new Nordost power cables, if I can afford to Vishnu's, if not then the Shiva. I think this could take my system to the next level. I like the thought of an integrated, comprehensive cable/power system. Any thoughts?