I spent perhaps a total of ten hours in my apartment this weekend, and for about eight of those, I was asleep. So, unfortunately, I didn't have the time to make any real comparisons. I faced no problems, however, in disconnecting the Arcam Solo and bringing the A3.5 units into my little system. It was an easy-breezy piece of Key Lime pie. I didn't even feel bad about it; the Musical Fidelity pieces are so attractive, I couldn't wait to get them going. Though the setup required merely sticking the AC cords into the appropriate sockets, making the simple connection between the integrated and CD player, and hooking up the speakers black to black, red to red I felt some small amount of pride for getting it all done without a hitch. Anyone could do it, really.
Funny thing about carting a $1600 amplifier down these New York City streets during the evening rush: People just don't give a crap; they'll run you over. No problem. In fact, I was almost shown to that great, big listening room in the sky by an SUV (with Jersey plates, of course) just outside Herald Square. And try getting a $1600 CD player through the PATH station turnstiles; there's no special "Hi-Fi Entrance" down there. You're left to your own devices. I employed the lift and twirl method, but only after realizing that the push and shove method wasn't going to work.
I don't enjoy feeling like an ignoranus, but that's exactly how I feel after spending a day at the Convention Center during CES. The word "hate" keeps coming to mind. As in: "I hate it." But I don't think I really hate it. As I told JI, during one of my many pouts, I'm sure the experience is good for something. I just don't know what it's good for.