Responses from curtdr

Cable elevators
@invalid  believe what you want, do whatever you want, however you want to spend your time and attention.  if you spend your money or time or attention or all three on "risers," then of course you will "hear" a "difference" or you'd have to admit ... 
Cable elevators
Risers do not improve the sound.  No way, no how.  Big scam.   
New cd player
Marantz m60  ... not too pricey, excellent reviews, solid build, classy looking...  and @chayro +1   "don't assume a new player will sound better..."     I have an old Sony that sounds excellent, as do my old JVC 3-disc players...  Denon makes a... 
Help this old rookie with speakers
If you're intrigued by the La Scala, then consider the Heresy IV (which Andrew Robinson called "pocket La Scalas") or the Forte IV.   The Forte probably have more "scale" closer to the La Scala, but it's going to depend on your room size.    
Can you have too much speaker presence?
Yes, too much can be an issue, definitely. I keep mentioning them, but that’s OK because they are timeless classics: the Epi 100 are 21" tall and about 10x10 side and back. They are big enough to sound beautiful and full, and small enough to be su... 
My Heresy IV at 168 hours w/ a change of tubes.
I agree with the OP and Huff’s and Robinson’s reviews overall. I am frequently taken aback by how fresh and lively and new all my supposedly-familiar music now sounds with the H4. As a bonus, they retain their dynamism at low volumes. And man do t... 
DAC Under $3000
Well, let me throw in another possibility, kill two birds one stone thing:  Marantz Ruby SACD player w DAC... brings everything to DSD.  In addition to its CD/SACD functionality, there are inputs for coax, optical, and USB... so just select the in... 
What speaker could safely be ordered without hearing it first?
Polk R-700 from Crutchfield... if you don’t like ’em, you can send ’em back! Yes, they have easy return policy.  
What speaker could safely be ordered without hearing it first?
Human Speakers model 81 DK ... aprox $1250 / pair  
When Will the DAC Singularity Be Reached?
@othercrazycanuck +1 THIS: I used to be on the equipment ferris wheel, going around and around and around. Maybe equipment roulette is more fitting? This DAC, that DAC, this cartridge, that cartridge, amps, etc. Never quite happy. Once I learn... 
Heresy IV vs Zu DW6/Soul mk2
@fatdaddy2  +1  And with the Forte IV  there would be no sub needed which might help the OP as well.  But, those low-slung Heresy IV are really cool as decor, too... but then so are the Forte.   
Heavy duty amp stand, Sonic benefits?
no benefit for the amp, other than maybe not knocking down your stand and breaking the amp. benefit for you might be some enjoyment of a nice piece of furniture...?    
When Will the DAC Singularity Be Reached?
Yes. Basic high-quality dacs are already here. and I'm with the Canuck and w @nonoise with his Technics suggestion.  
Heresy IV vs Zu DW6/Soul mk2
I can't speak for the Zu, but I have the Heresy IV and have not found them to be fatiguing at all.  It's hard for me to think how another speaker, other than another Klipsch Heritage like the Forte IV, could sound better for live presentation.   ... 
Is simpler better?
@barts  point(s) well-taken... as a long time educator it has been fun to watch methodological and ideological pendulums swing back and forth.  What is evident, though, is more programs, more tasks, more responsibilities, and more fine-grained les...