How did I evolve to this system?
Makes sense, and thank you for sharing, but I was more interested in how/why you went from the stock or modified 5As to the S100.
Great. I look forward to helping
Did I update and bypass the caps?
No perceivable shortcomings? No two steps forward, but one step back?
Conflicts? I'd rather say some of my stated needs engage in healthy competition. But thats how we'll get to a robust and balanced solution. Besides seems like the most efficient way for all the fine folks here to understand where I wanna go with this. C'mon buck up! We can do this!
I'm not quite sure I follow...
In any event, you mentioned budget, fit it all on the board
, diminishing returns
, etc... In the same post, you also say that you are after "improve the definition, detail, openess, spaciousness and imaging without damaging the listenability, body and smoothness....picking up the sweetness, body, tone and texture but avoiding the closed-in, lack of detail, lack of dynamics..."
That is a pretty damn tall order
And just when I thought you had asked for it all, you deliver the coup d'etat! "I would like to find the most-leveraging improved passive components to achieve this"
I hate to say it, but the parts that yield the greatest application specific delta (what you are asking for), will neither be cheap, nor fit on your board. Further, such a golden recipe is unlikely to come from the speculation and debate of hobbyist on an audio forum. No expert would be 100%.
The solution is simple. You are merely trying to please yourself. You alone will know when you are there. Much R&D would get you there, but it would be expensive. I believe you would consider this a waste of money. I consider it buying an education. I think we can both agree this course of action is prohibitively expensive. I am here to decrease the price of your education. If you let me.
Budget I would say less than $500 unless someone is really persuasive re: the next big leap is just another hundred away...
I'd say that is a healthy outlook, and budget. Even though we do not know much about the XO yet.
How did I arrive at my Strawdog Obsessive review of posts just like this one, going back to 2005. And put through my particular screens: looking for where the diminishing return curve flattens; avoiding anything called etched or detailed or fatiguing; trying to triangulate from many opinions something that conforms to how I hear; knowing that striving for the nth degree of detail or transparency often works at odds to musical and satisfying (as my journey with electrostats and solid state taught me well); not needing the BEST! as there is no best, only what works with my ears and my system.
Armchair quarterbacking will waste your money faster than... I find most audio forums contain 50+% misinformation. Much less being able to derive diminishing returns, etc... "The best" is application specific, and subjective....what could go wrong?
Measure the Inductors? Hey you didnt even tell me I needed inductors yet!
One of a few early observations. Any cored inductor working above 300Hz, and definitely above 500Hz, are working against everything "you" are attempting to do. I do not want to put the cart before the horse, but it was an opportunity to kill to birds with one stone.
Can I measure them? No advanced weapons here, but do have a good Fluke VOM and an ammeter.
You could, but not with a VOM.
Hate to be without the big spendors. TX is so far away!
You are going to have to sacrifice somewhere
BTW, all dry paper caps contain wax. And, I would not recommend the M-resist for your application.
If you would still like my recommendation, and you are drawing up a schematic... Use a small neo magnet to check all your current resistors for magnetic end caps. Also check your BP hardware.