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For $1,500 used you can get a pair of Merlin TSM-MM's and have speakers that will last you through another couple rounds of source and amp upgrades.
The Rotel pieces may not be the ultimate electronics but they're damn good for the money and putting the bulk of your budget into a really great pair of speakers, like the Merlins or others, and upgrading the electronics later if you get the itch is better than doing the reverse, in my experience.
Thanks, guys! There is so much gear out there-- it can really be overwhelming. I hadn't heard of the Merlins. I will look into them. Do you think the NAD C320bee provides more bang for the buck than the Rotel RA1062? Any thoughts on direct-order speaker quality (Axiom, Onix) as opposed to brick-and-mortar brands?
Well if you can get Merlins for 1500 that would be quite the score.
If you dont want to spend all the money and since you mentioned internet direct brands, far and away the best pair out there are the Ascend 340SEs. Its a 30 day trial in your home deal so you risk shipping one way and nothing else. ascendacoustics.com