Responses from ghdprentice

Looks for Headphone Tube Amp
My experience is portable are generally not nearly as good as desktop, I have tried a few.  I definitely include my own A&K Ultimate SP1000 (~ $3.5K) with attached extra amp. It is good, but not nearly as good as a similar desktop equipment. 
Auralic Aries
The noise in the Aries G2 is having a high noise floor… not a sssssh coming out of the speakers. Just in case someone thought that was what I was talking about. 
Portability of Tube Amps
Tubes used to be in warheads to… probably still are in Russia. 
Vinyl guy seeking recommendation for a top level cd player
I agree and completely disagree with Millercarbon. Digital will never approach vinyl for him, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. Look at his system. But for the rest of us simple maniacal audiophiles that is absolutely not true. Over the... 
Looks for Headphone Tube Amp
You have opportunities to get substantial improvements from upgrading the amp, DAC, and streamer (source). About fifteen years ago I bought a decent set of headphones for my iPod… then did incremental upgrades (each a step up) to my system….  7 di... 
Linn LP12 Turntable Upgrades - Superb new Stack Audio UK - Alto range
Thanks for your comments. I am owner of a new Linn LP12 Akurate… and will be upgrading components over the next couple years. I love the table with the Koetsu Rosewood Signature cartridge. 
Bookshelf/Small Speakers
I am a bog fan of Totem. They have several ones of small speakers. And in addition to nice punchy natural sound the look absolutely beautiful. If downsizing… upsizing in appearance can be a good way to go.I have a set of Mites with a small matchin... 
What is the sound level of Your Listening Room?
I have to completely disagree with you guys on price not being a good indicator of sound quality. In general, price is a  good indicator at the component level and at the system level,  given an equal time and effort invested in system component s... 
Best dac under $2500 - comparing build quality and technologies
One way to evaluate multiple components of the same kind is to read professional reviews and go listen to those that you are able to find on demo. You want to get yourself calibrated to the world of professional reviews. Then when you read a revie... 
Looking for preamp which is good at BOTH single-ended AND balanced output
While no absolute guarantee, the higher the quality preamp the better both are likely to be and also the less the difference is likely to be. 
New Speakers $10K -$20K
Congradulations. I’ll be interested in hearing your observations. Always zero or two subs.  
Audio Engineering Society and cables
@thynamei I will admit, it is hard for me to understand how there can still be a controversy after all these decades. I got my first high quality interconnect about 45 years ago. I had relatively cheap equipment and it just pass more of the poor s... 
Auralic Aries
@rfnoisewell compared with a PC the Auralic is definitely a step up. 
Auralic Aries
@mgrif104I never directly compared the N100 with the Aries G2 on my large system (the Aurender N100 was on my headphone system, which is also very revealing). I inferred that it would win… it is very impressive for its cost. I was so impressed I d... 
Looks for Headphone Tube Amp
I’d have a look at Schiit, the Vali 2 although the Valhalla is above your budget, but depending on your DAC and streamer may be worth considering.