To Doug Schneider,
Bravo! I love to see this kind of reporting. Entry-level hi-fi excites because of the challenge and the rewards. Little is different than matching $20k components; you are just playing at a much lower price point.
No doubt, you will hear from lots of folks who suggest different ways to assemble this system -- and I am one of them. In my experience, getting bookshelf speakers or studio monitors out of direct or near contact with the shelf (or desk) and on to IsoAcoustics stands makes a big difference in image, clarity, and perceived bass extension, whether close or farther away. You would be surprised by the difference you hear even at low volumes if you are not already familiar with these $100 stands. Even to an average listener, let alone a seasoned one, it’s not subtle. (To stay under $1k, you could back off on the speaker cables a bit.) It’s certainly worth a try. Enjoy!
We’re on the same wavelength -- I was already planning to try IsoAcoustics stands as part of this journey. I’ve heard them demoed many times at shows and been impressed enough to want to try them. But I’m not going to do that before I get a turntable in, which is definitely my next step. But maybe after. Thanks for reading and please don’t hesitate to suggest anything else. . . . Doug Schneider