Responses from uberdine

Direct Drive
I haven't heard it yet but Stereophile raved about the Pioneer PLX-1000. Add an Ortofon 2m Blue (the Red has terrible inner groove distortion) and you've got change from $1000. Although you'll need a phono stage as well. The Yaqin MS-12b (~$300) c... 
Audiophile metal albums
Kyuss: Welcome to Sky ValleyAnd the Circus Leaves Town...Fugazi:In on the Kill TakerQuicksand:SlipShellac: At Action Park 
Friend needs advice for $8,000 system
Friend needs advice for $8,000 system
Wow. Thanks for the help all. tomic601, goheelz and phcollie, that's pretty much what I'm thinking, a mixture of all your recommendations. Thanks! 
Friend needs advice for $8,000 system
Sorry I should have mentioned the Magnepans are non-negotiable, so a $5,000 budget for everything else. Cheers! 
What is the best solid state amplifier you have ever heard?
The Exposure IV by John Farlowe ticked every box. Rich, fast, beautiful sound. Simple (but not simplistic) circuit with mosfet outputs and two superb, hand-wound transformers. 
NAD C 275 Bee
It should work fine but, for not much more money you could get a Rega Brio which has a better transformer and sounds better in my opinion. You'll get a more powerful, musical, golden sound, rather than the NAD's musical, lovely, but slightly dry s... 
Plinius 8200 mk2, really low volume!!
That's pretty much exactly the system I would suggest for friends who aren't audiophiles and don't want to spend a million dollars. 
If you like Schubert...
Agreed. Fabulous music. I have vinyl copies of his trios with the Menuhin siblings and Maurice Gendron on EMI and they are likewise superb. 
DAC for 2016 MacBook Pro
The Peachtree Dac*iTx would be inside your budget. It got excellent reviews. (Although you may have to get one second-hand, not sure if it's still in production) Schiit seems to have a lot of fans as well. I almost bought a Peachtree but found a v... 
Channel Imbalance at low volumes
I had a Rega Brio with this problem and assumed it was the volume pot. Had a new pot put in and it didn't fix it. God knows what the problem was but, presumably, there are many things that can cause channel imbalance at low levels. Maybe get a dec... 
Problem connecting Rega Dac to Macbook 2008
Every new OSX build is different. Can you check it with a friend's laptop using a previous build, Yosemite or Mavericks etc? That will tell you if El Capitan is the problem. 
Problem connecting Rega Dac to Macbook 2008
The issue could very well be El Capitan, notorious for usb audio problems and still unfixed by Apple in Sierra. Google "forum el capitan audio problems" and you'll find a ton of unhappy customers. A couple of weeks ago I bought a new laptop runnin... 
Current speaker threads are boring
The Green Mountain Audio guy has posted some great stuff about crossovers and time-alignment as well. Not sure that I agree with him on everything, but it’s fascinating to hear an intelligent designer talk about something that I personally know bu... 
Current speaker threads are boring
Ralph is also an audiophile: I'm glad that he posts here and talks about engineering. I wish more of them would. Good to see Eric from Tekton is getting amongst it too, despite the minefield.