Responses from rello

Best small speakers?
If 5K is your budget the Wilson Benesch ARC. I had them with the Rogue gear. Terrific speaker, extrememly well made with fine fit and finish, coherent but detailed 
Most stylish CD player .
Marantz SA-7. The quality of the casework draws me in before listening to it. Its impressive without being trendy or overly styled. I do not think there is a machine (especially for the price) that surpasses it for its attention to detail. 
Favorite poorly-recorded albums
Ry Cooder Bop Till You Drop. Early digital...great music... 
Preamp for Plinius SA-103
I used a Aesthetix Claypso signature with a Plinius sa-50 MkIII. Really nice. Still have the Plinius but using an Atlas for primary amp. The aesthetix has 2 gain settings. I used the default lower setting. 
Can I connect my iPhone to my Ayre integrated amp
I recommend the HRT Istreamer. Great improvement in sound rather than the iphone dac/mini to rca cord. Cheaper solution if you do not want to go with the Wadia/dac route. I stream Sirius and other channels. 
Garland Jeffreys / "The King of In Between"
I would second Escape artist. I am really glad you started this thread becase I forgot I have this LP from 1981. It is really good and a must R&R album. Amazon has the CD. 
pre-amp with phono section
I have Aesthetix calypso sig and rhea...really good. So I would consider the Janus as an option though I have not heard it. 
Which speakers?
For a second system you might want to consider a pair of powered speakers like the Audioengine 5. I find find them to be very good for that role and with just a cd player you are all set. 
I NEED YOUR HELP with a turntable purchase
I have been using Avid TTs Volvere and now Sequel SP since 06. If I had your $$'s Id be looking at an Avid Acutus Reference. Add SME V and one of the many high end cartridges and you would have one of the best setups available. No one combines the... 
Why no heated gear?
Herron Audio does this 
I have the Vivid v1.5. They are the most musically engaging speakers I have owned. They involve me into the listening like no other speaker. I have owned Proac, B&W, Magnepan, Thiel, Focal, and Wilson Benesch speakers (listened to many others)... 
Weght limit for SolidSteel shelf/cones?
I had a bat vk-75se (90-100 lbs) on the top of a 5.2 and the shelf did not flex at all. Just use it and don't worry. 
to SACD or not
Marantz SA-7. I had the same dilemma 3 years ago and do not regret it. 
LP12 with Linn Silver T-cable or Nordost Frey,Tyr
The Nordost tonearm cables are great. I have the Tyr (AVID). But for the LP 12 I would recommend the Audioquest Leopard. I used one when I had my LP12 and it was terrific. More flexible than the Nordost (better for the lP12 suspension). Also liked... 
Budget speaker $600 or under recommendations
Magnepan MMG. Buy direct from Magepan 599. In my opinion nothing can touch them at this price. Placement needs to be a consideration. I would call them.