Like the rest of you, my system has been subjected to all sorts of permutations throughout the decades. I would say only in the last few years did I start to make progress in the right direction when I began to concentrate on synergy rather than cost.
I have simplified the system to the nth degree & kept away from mainstream manufacturers. I feel now I am reaping the rewards. My current setup has evolved over many years, and I can finally say I am now listening to the music, rather than the system.
I have an analogue & digital front end. The analogue consists of my own Salvation Turntable + the Teminator air tonearm. I use the flagship Goldring cartridge into the digital Puffin phono stage. The big advantage of this is the optical output....you will see why in a moment.
The digital side of the system is a Topping D90 DAC/A90 Discrete preamp. I mainly stream nowadays using Amazon Music UHD and invested in a Wiim Pro streamer for this sole purpose.I can feed the streamer directly from my tablet via WiFi, and it all works reliably with no fuss. It also sounds better than my vinyl rig, which I rarely use nowadays.
The nice thing about the Wiim, apart from being a streamer, is it has an optical input as well as a SPDIF Coax output. This allows me to use my turntable directly from the Puffin phono stage keeping in the digital which does not convert back to analogue until it reaches the DAC. But before it does this, it passes through what I consider is the Piece de Resistance of my whole system....
.....my Digital to digital converter. This takes the form of an Audio-GD Di20. what this device does is it takes the SPDIF output from the Wiim, and modifies the digital stream by removing any interference from the mains and de-jittering & reclocking the signal, effectively cleaning it up before it enters the DAC. This has the effect of making the DAC sound like a much more expensive unit, adding depth & dynamics plus widening, de-cluttering and focussing the soundstage.
Finally, we come to the loudspeakers! You can read my about my long speaker journey on how I arrived HERE. Basically I am using Focal Shape Twin Studio Monitors coupled with 2 pairs of Dayton baffle-less UM18's in clamshell arrangement.
I chose the Focal Twins because of their detail, sweet treble & slam. Being active they have built in High Pass Filters which allow a seamless integration with the subs. I keep the baffle-less sub arrangement because they are not influenced by the room, and give clean controlled bass from 60hz down to the low 20's.
I have altered the stand arrangement since my speaker blog by doing away with the metal framework and using wooden blocks to couple the woofers to the floor and support the Twins: Speaker Stand Mod
In this way, the UM18 chassis are acting as speaker stands. The Twins are decoupled from the subs using a set of anti-vibration rubber bobbins. The whole arrangement is compact and works surprisingly well.
The UM18's are powered by a pair of Behringer NX6000D's. I have had this arrangement for years.
A summary flowchart below: