I didn't exactly go for speaker shopping, but I felt like checking the local HiFi dealers for interesting stuff. One shop had a demo Devialet 120 on display. I asked him if he'd be willing to lend me the system for a few days to check it out. So off I went with a large, black Devialet box, containing the 120 DAC/pre-amp/amp, the wonderfully stylish remote control, and a pair of white gloves for handling the shiny Devialet 120.
At home, all I needed to do was to connect the speakers and my beloved Aurender N100H to its USB port and I turned the shiny, metal pizza box on.
What a marvellous experience that was. A fantastic, clear, resolving, pleasant sound emanated from my speakers. I was hooked!
The next day, I went to the dealer's place and bought the Devialet 120. Off went my clunky system consisting of a separate DAC, pre-amp with a separate power supply, and the 25 kg power amp! I am left now with a sleek two-box setup and a sound that is much more revealing than my old system!
So al in all, from curious window shopping to replacement of a complicated system that never quite delivered the sound stage I was looking for! Quite some success!