This post is mainly a foray into the cyber equivalent of thinking out loud as to what could work and what would be an unmitigated disaster. For the avoidance of doubt, I'm at the stage of getting as much info together and then heading off for demos. Constructive thoughts and observations are welcome. Having started looking for new speakers, I've decided a slight diversion ( ) is needed to sort out the amp department first - 2 channel stereo. Preferred total budget is GBP £3,000 all in (i.e. 1x integ amp or 1x pre + 1x power). Current amp is a fully integrated Rotel RA-1572 (including on-board DAC) with Q Acoustics Concept 20 speakers (on the list to upgrade later). Sources are both digital and analogue. The majority of listening is to rock music ranging from melodic (e.g. Floyd, Genesis, Porcupine Tree) to heavy, even the odd piece of metal (e.g. Metallica / Evanescence) but pop-rock and classical also make appearances. Another integrated is a possibility but I'm open to a two box pre/power amp combo. For features, some are definite requirements (for me) whilst some would be preferred (aka a nice bonus). In no particular order: - tone controls (definite) - 2x speaker posts for 2 spkr sets or bi-wiring (preferred) - A/B spkr switch (definite with 2x spkr posts) - headphone socket (definite) - 2x optical inputs (definite) - 2x coaxial inputs (must have at least 1; 2 strongly preferred) - USB asynch (not critical) - 1x HDMI (strongly preferred but not critical) - 2x analogue inputs or 3 if including phono stage (definite) - onboard phono stage (not at all critical) Integrated amps still in the running: Parasound Halo HINT 6; NAD M32 Masters. I've read enough to know the M32 beats the HINT 6 hands down for features BUT, a general consensus seems to have formed that, relatively, the HINT 6 delivers to a higher level sonically. Pre-amps still in the running: Parasound Halo P6; NAD C 658. The P6 is pretty much the same as the HINT 6 sans the power unit. BUT, as a pre, it gives greater flexibility for potential future changes and leaves the door open for a non-Parasound power amp that may or may not out-perform the Halo A23+ power amp which, on paper is the natural pairing for the P6. The NAD is once again feature rich but I've seen reports that the sonic delivery tends to clinical, even harsh on occasions. The PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell would have been a real contender but I really need that second optical in as well as tone controls. Power amps still in the running: Parasound NewClassic 275 v.2 (90W); NewClassic 2125 v.2 (150W); PS Audio Stellar S300 (140W). I haven't found much feedback for the NewClassic amps but the write-ups for the Stellar S300 are hugely positive. There is a decent consumer review where the user compared the A23+ with the Stellar S300 and s/he indicated the Stellar edged the A23+ for scale. Unlike the A23+, the Stellar and the NewClassics have 2 sets of spkr posts. Budget wise, the Stellar S300 is just about doable with the P6. If the NAD C 658 (pre) could be made to "sing" by the Stellar S300, the boatload of features would make the NAD hard to resist (notwithstanding one or two known software issues). I don't mind re-opening the door to possible alternatives so long as they provide the features I'm looking for. If you're able to offer any info / insight, great. If not, no problem - thanks for reading. In any case, happy listening all.