To Jeff Fritz,
Congrats on your adventure! I think it’s great someone who knows what is possible on the bleeding edge is willing to jump into the audio food chain where most of us actually live. I find more satisfaction when trying to achieve something great on a budget -- it requires much more from you than simply having a large pile of $$$ and writing the check. That applies to audio or wine or myriad other hobbies.
One suggestion -- listen to the Chord Hugo 2. Shocking how good it can be as the center of a home system for less than $2500. By far the best sanely priced digital I’ve heard -- so I’ve two on order. From a value perspective, the $500 Chord Mojo is even more impressive and still very good in absolute terms. Rob Watts has managed to crack the digital nut using FPGAs at a very cost effective price point.
Looking forward to reading about your audio journey.