Responses from lkern

Is there an SACD that can play cds well?
Globalquest...For the good of the order, could you mention who did the upgrade of your friends SCD-1? I have heard from other sources that such an upgrade does, indeed, improve CD playback. 
DVD players that make good transports
You might consider staying with CD transports alone. I have a Theta Data II "feeding" a GenVa and it is a terrific combo for music. There are Theta IIs for sale used and would not disappoint you musically. 
Magnan Signature ics - The Ultimate
Correct on the gain. It can be up to 3db and many systems cannot handle that. However, you can use as suggested between amp and pre and then add Magnan Vi with no gain problems and it has excellent characteristics mirroring the Sigs. 
REGA Planet comparisons
Rega Jupiter...DAC and Transport...Just try it and you'll hear it. It is excellent on vocals and jazz and doesn't hurt the classical either. 
Best Way to Set up Vandersteens
If you don't have the manuel supplied by Vandersteen, just call Vandersteen company and either Richard or his wife will answer the phone (really) and set you straight. 
Best Amp for LS3/5A 15ohm?
I have heard them played wonderfully with Exposure amps. An amp should tell a speaker what to do, and a good speaker should be able to do it. Exposure DR4 will make those speakers do what they are suppose to do. It is not always the case, but Brit... 
Cardas Golden Cros vs. Cardas Golden Ref
Thanks. I suspect that the GRef is the one to audition in my system. I want to protect the very sonic qualities you mention...especially that, to me, essential quality of musicality which is made up many factors. Ironically, the Cardas people also... 
Help! Forte, Linn, Magnepan. NOT RIGHT?
It is the Forte. Your asking them to do too much with the gear you have in place. The Linn is okay, and the K9 is fine...of course, down the line you will want to move up and it gets better. The older Linn tables are tough to keep working at optim... 
Vandersteen 2ce vs. Meadowlark Kestrel
Agree. Vandys are excellent and they get even better with better electronics. They tend to be more on the classical side and excellent on jazz vocals, but not big on "boogie" factor. If you have a problem and you call Vandersteen's operation, it w... 
Linn Majik-Vanderteen 1c match-up?
I agree with Gemini. I have had Linn and they don't boogie. I have also had Vandersteens from the 1 to 3A Sigs. They are nice but they need an amp that will drive them to their best and they still remain mellow...laid back. 
Cardas Golden Cros vs. Cardas Golden Ref
Khrys... I am exploring both these cables. How is the Reference in terms of dynamics, cutting the RF, and musicality? 
Best solid-state amp made anywhere
Exposure DR4 or 16 Monos. They take control of your speakers and lets them do what they were designed to do. They have great musicality, resolution without the edge, and dynamic refinement to make the listener get involved.