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Responses from onhwy61

Learning To Listen
Audio magazine are a source of information and entertainment.  Good writers can entertain a reader with their descriptions of what they hear, but at the same time, don't take what they say too seriously.  It's similar to sports commentators. 
Jerry Garcia’s McIntosh amp
His rig changed overtime, but for a long time he played a Fender Twin Reverb with the preamp outs into a McIntosh 2300 amp.  He used various MXR, Boss and Mutron effect pedals. 
If you had access to a time machine, what concerts would you go back to see?
1913 Paris, France for the premier of "The Rite Of Spring".  Early 1930s Mississippi -- I'd track down performances by Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and Henry Sloan.11/7/40 -- the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, ND to see the Duke Ellington Orchestra.... 
Open House With Audio Components
Why do an open house at all?  They don't really help sell your house, but are actually a marketing tool for the broker to collect names of potential customers.  That said, there are other really good reasons why you should disassemble your system ... 
Is a separate phono preamp worthwhile?
Wait until you go to a moving coil.  The McIntosh MM inputs are considered quite good. 
DAC/w Volume control + Power amp or DAC + Integrated?
The Hegel and Devialet will sound somewhat different than the LTA Ultra.  The Spatials are reported to work quite well with moderate power, say 20 to 50 watt, tube amplifiers.  I would suspect that the LTA would be a very good match.  There are ad... 
Here is all my gear. What's the best combo?
I am not familiar with all the equipment you've listed, but the IMF paired with the Pioneer are vintage gold. 
How do I play YouTube music from my IMac thru my Conrad-Johnson amps?
Doug, I assume you have a preamp, if so you can go directly from the iMac's audio out to an unused preamp input.  You'll need a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable.  This is not sonically the ideal solution, but it's dirt cheap, $15, and it will work. 
DAC/w Volume control + Power amp or DAC + Integrated?
Get the LTA Ultra integrated and match it with the Chord D/A.  It gives you the most flexibility and no compromise in sound quality. 
Anyone else treated poorly by AVA?
If I understand this correctly, the OP, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that has disrupted electronic supply chains, orders a custom built preamp from a small, niche manufacturer.  Multiple delays ensue and the OP eventually asks for and rec... 
Need advice concerning audio cabinet shelves
The negative reaction to glass shelving is overstated.  I speculate that it comes from hearing cheap racks with thin glass sheets.  Thick glass, at least 1/2 inch, makes for a fine rack material if used with rubber, cork or sorbothane isolation.  ... 
SQ vs. Music
Questions do arise and there are times when you have to listen for sound quality.  For instance, is the subwoofer on, are the channels reversed, should I change the volume, etc.  It probably adds up to 1 or 2 percent of the total listening time. 
Rung in lobe and stapes
Some audiophile are struggling in their journey and others are enjoying listening to well produced music.  To quote Clint -- man's got to know his limitations. 
B&W 801D trouble
Has this happened before?  If so, you might want to reconsider your listening habits.  That or keep a batch of replacement tweeters in your closet. 
Embarrassed....Audio furniture help
Ditch the whole cadenza thing and get console audio system.  Wrensilva makes modern tech ones.  The downside is price and you won't be able to place a TV on the top surface.