Hi all, Long time lurker, first time poster seeking advice on my long-term plan to create my perfect system. I'm seeking advice on optimising my upgrade path. I'm starting to drown with the number of variations and available options, and the more I read the less certain I am! Too long, didn't read version: Should I buy a DAC, a streamer, new speakers, the Oppo-205, or something else as my next step? Budget up to £2.5k. I currently own: Arcam AVR850 MA Bronze 2 bookshelves - front pair and centre only. BK P12-300SB sub These are being supplied by HDMI from my PC graphics card (Radeon 7570). (No intermediate DAC or dedicated streaming or disc players as yet). I stream Tidal from the PC. Current balance of listening is 70% music, 30% film. Music is typically the full range of rock from the dynamism of FlorenceATM, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Genesis to the aggression of Metallica, Linkin Park, System of a Down, to the subtlety and blues-based stuff of Rolling Stones, Clapton, Led Zepp. Also enjoy some drum & bass such as Chase & Status and Plan B, and some Hip-hop. I think you get the picture. I'm not unhappy with the setup, but I'm very aware the MA Bronze 2 are probably the biggest constraint on really lifting the music - it currently sounds inhibited in the upper mid-range - Thom Yorke's and Matt Bellamy's vocals in particular sound constrained. The plan is that eventually the Bronze 2s will become surround speakers. I spent yesterday afternoon with the guys at Nintronics in Welwyn GC yesterday, and they were exceptionally helpful. Prior to my visit I was thinking purely that a major floor-standing speaker upgrade would be the first priority. During the discussion I demo'd a few pairs, and they mentioned in my current setup a standalone DAC would give me a significant improvement. They've got a good price on the Chord 2qute at the moment, but it's not MQA-compatible. However the Oppo-205 is (was?) MQA compatible, and also provides the benefits of a 4k disc player, which I would otherwise need to buy separately. This then led me down the rabbit hole of dedicated music streamers, such as the Bluesound Vault 2. My first question is - would what would be a better upgrade path for the long-term plan of an optimal music and film experience? 1) Dedicated standalone DAC 2) Music streamer 3) Integrated solution such as the Oppo-205 4) A blend of the above? Please do make recommendations about brand and models, taking into account my comments below about speaker preferences. PS - should I make MQA compatibility an essential requirement?) What's really tricky to judge for me is the potential uplift in quality vs the Arcam 850. Is there really that much to be gained from bypassing its own DACs for stereo music? I'm going to ask the chaps at Nintronics for a home demo, but in the meantime your advice will be very welcome. If I did go down the DAC or streamer route how would I go about implementing multi-channel audio through the 850, as those I've seen are primarily analogue L&R stereo out? Moving on to speakers, I trialled a pair of B&Ws (I think it was the 704 s2), Dali Opticon 6 and Sonus Faber 3.0. All hooked up to their demo Arcam 850, with Dirac off. After tuning in with my own Bronze 2s, we moved on to demoing speakers. I discovered that I dislike the brittle harshness of the metal-based tweeters in the B&Ws (I think that's probably a function of the type of music I listen to), so we quickly moved onto softer tweeter delivery of the Dalis and Sonus. I really enjoyed the Faber 3.0s, but would need more time with them and the Dalis to really understand if there's enough of an improvement to justify the price differential. So my final question for now is can anyone help narrow the field of speakers for me to trial going forward, and what might you recommend in the £1200-£3000 range? We didn't get time to trial bookshelves, and I'm sure there's lots of advice and opinion on the rest of the forum so I won't ask here, but do feel free to proffer an opinion if you think a 2.1 setup with bookshelves would offer any improvements. Bit of a long one, so thanks for persevering this far and I look forward to reading your thoughts.