Amps and pre amps to improve on VMPS RM40 system

I have VMPS RM 40 speakers with a wadia 21 cd player, Classe cav-150 multi channel power amp. Interconnects are Audio Magic and speaker cables are Home grown audio.
When I listen to music which represents just a vocal, or just 1 instrument the system sounds great. Once the music gets more complex i.e. classical symphony or full on Led Zeppelin, the sound just becomes a cacaphony. Messy, unclear, no separation left, harsh, metalic and unpleasant. I want to upgrade my system but don't know where to start. Should I get a pre amp (tube or ss) should I get a better power amp. I don't want to change the speakers nor the cd player. I am tempted to get a BAT VK30SE pre amp and Conrad Johnson 12 power amp. Anybody with any thoughts?
I wonder if this is the CDs? My Led Zeppelin CDs are all horribly mastered, and much of the classical I have bought isn't that good either.

Do you currently have no pre-amp? If so, you could be seeing a mismatch between CD player and amp that would be helped by a preamp.
Gotta try the Pass X-25- or X-350 with these speakers.

They are a must!
I know that Brian Cheney uses a Plinius Amp I am not sure which one. You could call him and find out what his recommendations are very customer friendly or head over to the audio circle website and check the VMPS threads
or harmonic discord. Good Luck

I am sure a dedicated pre and 2 Ch Amp (plenty of choices) would improve sonic presentation from the RM40s. HOwever, before that I hop your RM40 has mid-panel upgrade and you have taken time to fine-tune RM40s (bass by removing/adding mass/putty, hi/mids tweaking using pots back of speakers)?..

Do call Brian-he will offer solid advice :)

Oh yeah RM40s are very revealing-once I started using them I had to discard couple of poor CD recordings! ... :)

Brian currently uses the AMPzilla 2000 amps and has retired the Plinius.

His current thinking is that the AMPzilla 2K is the best amp (top to bottom) he has heard with his RM40.
First question is do you have a source other than the CDP?

If not, suggest you look into the Spectron Musician II amp
with it's digital input and remote volume control. Use your Wadia as a tranport and pump 500 watt/ch into your
speakers. Cost $4000. retail.
You have good components.Led zepplin cd are compressed and do not do sound well with hi end components.You need good softare when you are in this hobby or else you will not reach full pontential of your components.
Wow, our systems are close. I think my VMPS RM 40 are amaizing. Only 1 problem, crap in, crap out. Some CD's are just not made very well. Some of my favorite CD's now collect dust because of poor record quality. However, some of my CDs that had been collecting dust the past 15 years are now played often. Some of the old stuff has been re-mastered and sometimes that helps.

I feel you should invest your $$$ with a mod from Great Northern Sound on your Wadia 21 and forget about the pre-amp.

Having the right balanced connects, speaker cables, and fine tuning the RM 40s makes a huge differance.

I don't know about your amp, I use an Audio Research and I think it sounds great, although I know it can be improved.

I think for the $$$, we have a pretty good system.

I used several amps with my RM40's, with various results, they are as follows, in order of preference(your mileage may vary..)

1. Antique Sound Labs "Hurricane" - incredible, in ALL parameters. Quick, liquid, phenomenal dynamics, imaging, etc., also tends to let some poorer recordings lose some of their harshness & "bite" do to the smoothness of reproduction.

2. Llanno "Trinity" 400s Very good, incredible bass, not quite as "muscial" as the Hurricanes.

3. Spectron Musician II -- Could never get this amp to sound relaxed and musical. Great detail, imaging, but again, too sterile and edgy.

All three were used with my Audio Aero Capitole 24/192 run "direct", with Analysis Plus Crystal Oval. Had PLENTY of gain with all three.

Bottom line, IMO, tubes with the RM40 are a "match made in heaven".

You should at least audition a big tube amp/s before making your final decision.

Best of luck!