I am reaching the end of my audiophile journey starting in the mid seventies and have developed my endgame system within my means for retirement. I know, the room and WAF wall unit is a weak link. No comments please, However, those two aspects are not bad. L-Shape dining room (left) and hall (right) vent standing waves so frequency response is smooth. Speakers were chosen because they are known to not be room dependent. System shelving deficiencies are mitigated by diligent vibration reduction tools. Amplification in combination with speakers produce excellent micro and macro dynamics. Bass is excellent to lets say 29 Hz. Nothing at 20Hz. Timber excellent. Besides some depth reduction due to wall unit, imaging is dense and three dimensional, and staging excellent with air around each performer and instrument. Power conditioning and server are weakest links in my opinion if you forget the room and WAF set-up. Note: Krells are driven to Orange CT ever 10 years for re-capping and calibration. Twice so far. VPI serviced and polished when upgraded with current bearing and platter and bearing in 2018.
'70s: Pioneer SX 828 Receiver, Thorens TD 160 Turntable with Stanton 681 and Shure V-15 cartridges, Large Advent Speakers, Advent cassette deck.
"80s: Amber Series 70 power amp Amber Preamp, DCM Time Windows, Pyramid Sequerra T1 Ribbon Tweaters, JBL Sub-woofer (model ?), Thrones TD 160 with Dynavector Ruby Cartridge, Dynavector Phone Stage, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, NAD Tuner.
Note: The Pioneer and DCMs are still making music in a second home in VT. Sound good for their vintage. Seems like those old Pioneers are rugged and go on forever. Cleaning of volume and balance controls seems like all that is needed. The DCMs have rubber woofer surrounds and the durometer is still feels good to the calibrated finger test.
'90s: Krell KSA 300s, Krell KRC HR with KPE Phono-board, Apogee Cepheus 6 Ribbon Hybrid Speakers, Sunfire True Subwoofer, VPI TNT 3.0 turntable with JM 12.5 tone arm, Benz Ruby Cartridge, Audiolab 8000T Tuner, Sonic Frontiers Processor 3 DAC and Iris Transport then traded for Linn Unidisc 1.1 player. This system served me from 1997 to 2019. My period of no change and two at NYU.
2019 to 2023 - Build to current retirement system. Still the same Krells. VPIs, Benz and Audiolab.