I have recently decided to begin upgrading to stereo components around the entry level audiophile range, and move away from home theater stuff. I need help, as I had no idea until I began recently researching modern amps, preamps, integrateds, etc, just how huge the selection there is available.
Currently, I have the following:
Harman Kardon AVR 235 A/V receiver
Front L&R channels:
50 Watts per channel
@ <0.07% THD, 20Hz–20kHz into 8 ohms
Harman Kardon FL 8385 CD Changer
Klipsch KG 5.5 Floorstanding Speakers
frequency response 34Hz-20kHz±3dB
power handling 100 watts maximum continuous (500 watts peak)
sensitivity 98dB @ 1watt/1meter
nominal impedance 8 ohms
tweeter K-85-K 1" (2.54cm) Polymer dome compression driver
high frequency horn 90°x60° Tractrix® Horn
woofer Two K-1023-K 10" (25.4cm) Injected Carbon Graphite cones
Bass reflex via front-mounted port
Grado Labs SR325 Headphones
I use the receiver strictly for stereo music playback with my HK CD changer, or I play .flac or .mp3 files via input to the receiver from my computer sound cards optical digital output.
I want to keep my Klipsch speakers for now, along with my Grado cans, which I love. OTOH, I have not been particularly happy with the two HK components. Although the sound is not totally bad, it is a tad too bright, and it is fatiguing to listen over long periods of time. My room acoustics are not ideal either, with hardwood floors and drywall throughout. The listening rooms dimensions are 14'x13', with speaker placement along and near the corners of the 13' wall. At present, I cannot afford any of the acoustic treatments I see on the various internet sites.
From what I have seen so far, I think I would favor the warm, rich, clear sound of tube components. My Klipsch speakers are highly efficient at 8 ohms, so I should not need higher power, but I don't want to lose bass response either. I have not had much experience listening to higher end audio, but I really loved the sound of a friends McIntosh receiver (late 70's vintage), and another friends 60's vintage tubed HH Scott receiver, both systems paired with matching speaker pairs of the same brands respectively. Those experiences are why I believe I should really consider tube amps.
Would someone please be so kind as to suggest components that would allow me to play CD, CD-R, and digital music files based upon what I stated above? I suppose I could do without the ability to directly play back the digital files, but a CD player is a must have. Oh yeah, my budget is up to $3000, but I want to get as much as I can for the best possible price under that ceiling. Thanks.