Responses from yage

I'm considering used Vandersteen Quatro
@jetson - I think your wife will probably have an issue. The Vandersteens are bigger and will look more physically imposing than the Totems. My wife doesn't care too much because the stereo is down in the basement. Is there no other room you can u... 
Universal Players vs. Dedicated CD/SACD Players
People seem to really like the Schiit DACs, especially the multibit versions. The Bifrost might be a good fit.http://www.schiit.com 
In need of amp upgrade suggestions
Might want to look at BorderPatrol (http://www.borderpatrol.net). I heard them at Capital AudioFest 2013 and felt they were incredibly good. Gary Dews offers both singled-ended and push/pull designs from his shop in the Washington, DC metro area. 
I'm considering used Vandersteen Quatro
I would actually audition the Vandersteen 2Ce Sig II’s before you move up the line to the newer speakers (e.g. Treo). It should be a relatively easy load to drive, much easier than the 3A Sig (which I own). The 2Ce Sig II’s dig fairly deep into th... 
Universal Players vs. Dedicated CD/SACD Players
I have an Oppo BDP-103 and use an Ayre C-5xeMP for music. I tried the Oppo with music, but it sounds flatter and less dynamic than the Ayre. Not terrible, but not terribly exciting either. 
newbie DAC question
Well, if there's any truth to the conventional wisdom, then it seems that coax is the better interface, which they basically say exhibits less jitter. Personally, I haven't had to use either as I like my one-box universal player. 
newbie DAC question
@kremrik - Blue Jeans is a solid choice. You won't go wrong there.And yes, I think a DAC connected to your CD player would make a noticeable difference in your system. 
newbie DAC question
You've got a good setup there. I think you'd be able to notice differences if sources were swapped. I've heard the Schiit Bifrost Multibit, but only in a headphone environment. It certainly has the clarity you seek, though it costs twice as much a... 
Audio stores in N. Virginia?
I really like Gifted Listener Audio - bought a lot of my stuff from there. I've also been to Evolution A/V in Tysons Corner.There's also Command Performance A/V in Falls Church. I've met some of the guys from there at the Capital AudioFest and the... 
AudioQuest NightHawk Headphones vs LIVE MUSIC ???
That's the best review I've read of the AQ NightHawk. After listening to them myself, I have to agree that the sonic signature is not for everyone, myself included.I think that AQ has a decent set of cans on their hands. However, the price tag sug... 
Merrill VERITAS monoblock amplifiers
I've only heard the Merrill VERITAS at a show (Capital Audio Fest) so it wasn't under the best of conditions. Having said that, I think there are at least two more choices for slim-proportioned class D monoblocks that you might want to consider:An...