Streamer: Used Lumin U1 Mini ($1200)
DAC: R2R Ladder Schumann ($1400)
Integrated: Muzishare X7 KT88 Tube ($1500)
Speakers: KLH Model 5 ($2500) or many others...
Remaining $400 buy better tubes or phono deck.
so I recall that @ghdprentice said that there is no point in buying monoblocks under (I forgot exactly) 5K? So that's why an integrated makes sense. Plus you can have monoblocks in integrated such as Musical Fidelity
that's reason enough for me @grislybutter . 1 reason I had the monos in mind was in case I stuck with more traditional i.e. heavy amps. The class D M700 pair mentioned above in thread piqued my interest.
just for amusement purposes, is there any reason to play with diy class D modules? or speaker kits? I get the impression one can save money and get pretty good but that is at the expense of time obviously and while i have diy'd my way through everything in life, not sure I really want to spend it tinkering when one can get polished and aesthetically pleasing results for somewhat reasonable prices. I have noticed the surrounds on the old ARs looking a little dry and crispy and blowing alot more air these days. I guess surround repair makes more sense than driver replacement but there's that.
Have you taken a look at Buchardt's offerings? Their speakers and their integrated amp have been well-reviewed and are well-liked in the audio community. The S400 bookshelf speakers are supposed to have the warmer tone you prefer (while still offering up good bass for a bookshelf speaker). The amp's built-in room correction is supposed to be very effective and may help if you find yourself with a less-than-ideal room in the future. The amp is a little over $2500 USD and the speakers are about $2200. Prices include shipping from Denmark. There's also a trial period to audition them.