Hello Everyone...this is my first post on these forums. I truly appreciate all the information you share, and hope you can help me out. I am a technical person I have always been into music, and electronics but higher end audio is something new for me. I don't have much listening experience on higher end gear, and dont really have places near me to test things out. For this reason I am basing much of my opinion on reviews (official) and real world opinions. I know everyone's opinion is subjective, however there is generally common ground with quality gear. I am hoping you guys can help me out with my initial "plunge" ... Here is my situation: I have a budget of about 1000$ - I want to start slow and cheap so I can learn what I like without wasting money. I prefer to go separates because I like to customize, and would like to start with basic quality components (preamp, power amp), then tack on later I prefer USA made, or boutique made. In other words no China factory stuff. I am really into the Schiit stuff, based on the value for the money and reviews. I already have speakers, turntable, and Mani phono pre-amp all hooked up to an old Realistic SS receiver Ive had for years. I am looking to do some core upgrades for now. I would like a DAC to mess with high res audio. But I dont need one initially (see point 2) All of the above is flexible to some degree Option 1: Based on all of this, and based on a few months of obsessive research I set my heart on Schiit Vidar, and Saga combo. Just simple affordable quality components. It fits. Option 2: Lately I have been thinking to go vintage (cheap) on the power amp (adcom 535/545/555, or hafler 120/200) to save some money initially then add a Saga or maybe even the Freya. I understand the maintenance required for old gear, but accept it (I am pretty technical). This option could leave room for a Schiit entry DAC. I figure it would sound great, get me started, and I can upgrade down the road when my budget frees up again. Option 3: Here is the monkey wrench ... In my local ads I found a Rogue Audio Cronus (55wpc non Magnum) for 800$. I am going to check it out, and I may be able to work the price. This integrated amp has solid reviews, and I bet it sounds great. This will be for a small room, so I am sure it will be powerful enough. It is not a separate but I could always use it as a preamp in the future. I also figure for 800$ i could always get at least 75% of my money back out of it if I wanted to dump it. I am a little skeptical about no tone controls, and the different sound tubes will bring. I admire that on the Freya/Saga I can switch off the tubes, and would love if the Rogue had this. I like that the Rogue can be upgraded to magnum version. This seems to be a good deal for my first plunge, but wonder if I am better off with a Freya based system. Anyway that's my situation. I would love to hear your opinions.