FWIW. I think you are both right.......there's 101 ways to skin a cat.
It's providing the OP with possible choices, which is not a bad thing.
Steady Cno, leave my glorious cross siamese out of it.......
I have to agree.....it's giving me the evil eye.
It's a she, and a real witch when she is in the mood........
At the moment she is curled up on Mrs DDC's lap looking like butter wouldn't melt.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
My Uncle used to have one. When in a manic mood, she would race round the house before flying up the curtains and where she woud stage a "sit in."
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
To the OP
Don't expect anything you buy to beat your headphone set up. It almost certainly won't.
I'd take the x10 out and see where you are.
I would investigate the Concept 20s, although actives may be closer to what you like (just saying ) the power amp you suggest might give better control of your current speakers. But I'd definitely do it bit by bit.
TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, -AVI ADM40, DM5 in 4.0,/Sonos ZP90,, Sky using Sonos for On Demand, PS4, Sony BDP S570 thru a Yamaha RXV3067.
HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM9 RSS + AVI SUB
Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3
IPad Air for Sonos & Spotify / AKG K551
She was 'dumped' and came to us at about 4 weeks, we had to bottle feed her for a while, even getting up at 4.00 am to do so. Very bright but very difficult when she does not get her own way.
Doesn't climb fortunately but has plenty of ways to show her disaproval, particularly if not the centre of attention. Mmmmmmm...... ironic..
DDC, he doesn't need a power amp, the MF integrated is fine - at 100w + per channel it should drive most things!
Selling the buffer plus what he's budgeted for should provide some very nice speakers indeed, and probably better than the actives you mention.
The idea is to help people, not stroke your ego, DDC.
I feel you are thinking along the same lines as me AL, however the OP appears to be under the misaprehension that he would need to add a power amplifier to 'maximise SQ'.
This is not the way to go about it in my 'umble opinion and can sometimes have a detrimental effect if you get it wrong, hence I concentrated on the speaker angle.
He should also sell the buffer to recoup funds unless he is sure it is beneficial to the system as a whole.
Origin Live Aurora Gold+Illustrious Mk2 arm+Zyx R100-02/Stello CDT200+Stello DA220 dac/Tom Evans Groove Anniversary phono amp/Tom Evans Vibe preamp/Linear A power amp/Acoustic Zen Adagios/Chord cables/Oppo 105EU.
The point is, the OP is comparing his system to his headphones. He could spend 2k and still be disappointed.
Interestingly, if I was feeling mischievious, I could point out that the clarity and immediacy of active speakers would actually get him much closer to his headphones than any price comparable passive setup.
This is not a dig, but a simple observation that both headphones and active speakers share a certain 'presentational' characteristic.
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