Actually, hello from Pontiac! My name is John, I'm 44, work in skilled trades after years in the music biz. Longtime lurker, doing research for years before starting to piece together a decent setup. My Dad had/has a pretty nice stereo, so I guess I got the bug from him. I'm sad to say I destroyed his beloved Fisher 500-B when I was a toddler, inserting coins into the cabinet vents while it was plugged in. He gave me the non-working chassis years later, and I ended up pulling all the tubes (Telefunken, Amperex Bugle Boys, etc!) I could use in my guitar amps, and selling the rest for parts. I didn't have room, need, or budget to see about getting it fixed. Dad replaced the Fisher with a Quadraflex, along with his Technics SL1200mkII, Yamaha cassette deck, vintage Altec Lansing speakers. Some day, I will suck it up and purchase a 500-B to correct my idiot move, but for now, I'm really happy with my evolving starter system. I can't get over how nice it is to listen to music again! Mild tinnitus and crap stereos had me pretty turned off for years. One of my closest friends has some really nice gear, and as a housewarming present, he gave me a pair of TAD 803sd's and a Space Tech Labs QA001 tube preamp he wasn't using anymore. I borrowed a crap JVC from another pal, hooked everything up, and quickly heard the limitations of the receiver. So I found a really nice Pioneer SX-780 locally. I did a lot of reading on here, made the purchase, and I was blown away at how great it sounds! My friend has dual tube monoblocks, etc., but he was floored at the tones. So much so, he proceeded to give me a pair of Klipsch RF-15's he had in storage, as well as a DAC (that ended up being fried, so nevermind), so he could come over for beers and music when the wife and kid are interfering with his listening.. But the Klipsch speakers really fill my listening room. I listen at high enough volumes that I was pushing the SX-780 to get hot, so I looked into my options, and lurked a bunch here... I'm selling the 780 to a friend who will use it for low-volume or headphone listening, and I'm in the process of buying an SX-850. I'm very excited to hear everything together.. The tube preamp needs a servicing; the stock tubes have many hours on them, and we were surprised at how much better the sound was going direct from source into the Aux input, bypassing the pre. Also, the gain pot is intermittent on the right channel when adjusted. Next step is a decent turntable. I was so impressed with the vintage Pioneer receiver, I'm looking at their various direct drive offerings. Also a decent DAC. My friend really likes his Schiit. I'm open to suggestions. Long intro, short...thanks for all the useful info here, and thanks for having me!