Audiophilia Newbie Looking to Expand System

Hello Everyone,

I am a newbie to Sterephile equipment and I wanted to get advice on some possible Speakers and maybe an amp or receiver. Here is the equipment I have so far:

Pioneer PL-514 modified with some insulation upgrades and a Shure V-15 3 with Ed Saunders Needle.

Pioneer BDP-51FD Blu-Ray player (it has 4 Wolfson DAC's)

Sony STR-DA1E 5.1 Channel Receive running 2 Pansonic bookshelfs in stereo and a center and 2 rear surround Sony's (All horrid speakers).

Polk Audio RM1000W 10" subwoofer (no amp yet).

DH Labs Silver BL-1 (Silver over copper)
Zu Audio Oxyfuel
HomeGrown Audio Super Silver (Pure silver)
BlueJeansCable Belden with Canare connectors.

I am debating whether to just leave the 5.1 Channel Receiver and get a good stereo amp for the Turntable that I can also run a SACD transport on. I would love to get a Tube amp but unfortunately all of them seem to be stratospheric in price. My price range is in the $100-$200 range I want something used that's not been outsourced to a developing country (AKA Made in Europe, USA, or Japan).

I have seen many B&K receivers sell in this range and I really like the Onkyo TX-NR5000E although I have yet to see one used anywhere. Another option is a Marantz SR 8000 or 9000. So these might be an option but I don't know how much of a sound difference they would give.

As far as speakers go I have seen many on craigslist for the $100-200 range, especially Polk Audio. Any recommendations as far as speakers? I want them to be aesthetically pleasing as well as for them to sound good.

Any advice you can give this newbie would be great. I have been reading Good Sound by Laura Dearbourne and it has really been an eye opener for me! Thank you all in advance and I am very much looking forward to all your replies.
I would go with 2 channel seperates rather than staying with 5.1 system, you will get much better sound when properly setup and also get more for your money. Multi channel requires more speakers, more amps, more cables etc, all which is more money.

I would also recommend you hold off on upgrading or expanding your system, save your money. Once you get a little more money saved you could enlarge your budget to maybe the 500 dollar range. You will have more options in this range.

If you can go with Tubes, go with Tubes! I love tubes myself, I always felt your gear should look at least as good as it sounds and tubes look cool.

Always remember that you get what you pay for.
Don't always buy something because it's cheaper, in the long run it usually cost more.
Alway remember the big picture.
I wouldn't be to concerned about outsourced gear, Americans make junk just as easy as anyone. Be more concered about how the gear sounds to your ears. Most high end company have their entry level gear made in some emerging third world country.
I agree with above-go for two channel system. However, I recommend an integrated amp rather than separates. I like NAD but many like Cambridge too. Good used pieces can be found for $200 on Agon, ebay and CL.

Some Polk speakers are considered good buys, although I have little experience with this speaker. IMO, I would look for a used Klipsch speaker from the classic series (I think). Check out the kg4 and Heresy, both can be found used. They are very efficient and can be powered with 20 watts-and will play loud and clean. Plus they can be upgrade3d with new drivers and x-overs down th road. If you are into small speakers, look for paradigm, energy or usher. But you will need more power and stands for them. Good luck.
I agree with the the posters above. You’re at the stage of system development where it is advisable to spend every additional dollar on quality rather than features. A simple, synergistically chosen - two speakers, integrated amp & source - combo is how I would go.
Perhaps I should clarify my requirements. This system is for my dad and he doesn't have much space and lives in an apartment with people below and above him. Therefore, a high wattage system is not needed. High fidelity is much more important. However, I know that underpowering speakers is often worse than slightly overpowering them and causes unwanted distortion, etc... So of course I understand that speaker matching is quite important. Perhaps for him slim free standing tall speakers similar to the Beolab Penta's would be the best choice? He wants something that also looks great and has a design element to it.

Now onto the important bits: Active vs. Passive speakers (getting a pre-amp and connecting to active speakers vs. buying a new receiver and connecting to passive ones). Tube amp vs. Hybrid vs. Electronic (obviously in my price range only the latter would be viable?) Given my price range which would give me the highest fidelity?

When searching for something on Craigslist or Ebay, I can't simply put "Audiophile" so I wanted your advice on companies and their specific Speakers (to start off with) and Amplifier/Receivers/Pre-amps (to follow up with). The Receivers I have liked I mentioned some of the higher end Onkyo's and Marantz from about 10 years ago that are in my price range now but may have been even around $2000 when new. I would really like something from the 90s-00s as I love 90s and early 00s designs!

In regards to price, I wasn't thinking of buying anything new at all, more like used gems. Some examples are: I bought a Pioneer BDP-51FD in Mint condition for $80 Including shipping (IE around $50, was $600 new), Super Silver HGA cables for $50 (Were $230 new). You can even buy a receiver that was $2000 new just 10 years ago that was Made in Japan and now costs $200 on eBay or Craigslist. B&K is a great example of this... Just like you can buy a used Loewe TV for $100 that cost $3500 new 10 years ago and still beats out many modern sets in terms of contrast, colour, and definitely black levels. I guess I am looking for the audio equivalent of this in terms of a Receiver OR Amplifier and Speakers.

In regards to dismissing things made in third world countries, it's more a matter of principle than of quality or anything else. I wrote my MA dissertation on this subject and I would prefer not to support jobs being outsourced, on top of this I really respect companies that don't outsource as it costs them 10-15 times more for Labour costs and they focus on helping their local community vs. making a big profit. This is why I don't like Rotel, a lot of modern Cambridge Audio, NAD, some newer Arcam, etc... I would say from my experience of looking at where things are made, even today at least 80% of the very high end audiophile equipment is still made in the developed world.

I recently had email communications with Mark from Antipodes Audio. A company I very much admire and respect and he was telling me that when he started the company they outsourced to Asia (he didn't specify the country but I am guessing it was China) and by the third batch they were sending him inferior sterling silver instead of pure silver. Anyway he decided to support his local community vs. just turning a profit and now everything from the unbleached cotton, to the cable stock, is done by local firms and everything is hand assembled in his own workshop. I would rather support him than any company that outsources because I respect him and his decision instead of the corporate American mentality of gaining bigger profits. Just my two cents.

Plus if you notice many of the companies that did outsource lost a lot of their "High End" respect, Nakamichi is a great example of this and I don't think that Arcam, Cambridge, NAD and many others are what they used to be, not to mention Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo and others which have gone from mid-fi to low-fi in my opinion. I believe the quality does go down and the products even look cheaper a lot of times. There is an LCD company that just moved production back to the Bay Area and one of their motivations was the fact that from China they had a 30% defective product rate, now they only have a 5% one...
I was thinking of maybe getting a tube amp but can't afford anything in my price range. The only thing I found in teh $100-$200 range is a Hybrid Tube amp by Luxman such as the LV-103 and LV-105. Are these worth the money or is there something better out there for the price?
So I've decided to upgrade my speakers first and upgrade my receiver/amp/preamp later. So I am debating between two options: passive speakers directly to receiver or active speakers via a preamp. I want to get The speakers I have been seeing in my price range so far include:

Mirage M-790's

JBL Northridge E90's or 100's

ADS L1290 or L1590 (If I can find them in my price range)

Polk Audio Towers

Paradigm Export Bipolar

B&O Penta (Built in amplifier). For these speakers or Active ones, I would get a pre-amp. Has anyone any experience with the DavidYeeAudio Tube Preamps or Amps? How about something like the Luxman LV-103 or 105 Hybrids? They seem pretty inexpensive but I'm not sure how the sound quality is on them... Supposedly they are handmade by him in Canada.

Please help me narrow down the list to see what the best would be within my budget. I could also get Spica TC-50s or something similar but I prefer Towers... If you have any that should be removed from the list or any other ones I should be searching for to add to the list please let me know. I am looking for the best sound quality possible within my budget but also with a decent design (I prefer Black speakers that look sleek, not old looking brown 70s style ones). I prefer Speakers from the 80s-90s or perhaps the early 00s at the latest. Thank you!
Well it looks like my needs have changed... Unfortunately my dad does not have room for towers or bookshelf's at all in his small living room. Therefore, he wants speakers he can hang up on the wall that will look sleek and flat.

Some of the ones I have been thinking of were the B&O Beovox/Beolab - 3000/4500/5000 series or the Morel SP1's.

Can anyone comment on either of these and please suggest more as both of these are hard to come by.

Thank you!