Buy new amp or new speakers for more power

I need to add more power to my setup. My currnet setup has an Audio Refinement Multi 5 and a pair of Spendor S8. For rock, it's decent but with classical, it needs quite a bit more power. Other than that, I really like the sound of my system - warm like tube but has dynamics and bass like ss.

I have two options:

1. Buy a 3 three way speakers so that I can bi-amp using my 5 channel amp. Or

2. Get rid of my 5 channel amp and buy a more powerful 2 channel amp with at least 200w per channel.

What would you recommend?
You have presented a great question here......I recently debated what to do myself with sound quality and getting to hear what I want to hear from my system. I have a set of Sonus Faber Grand Pianos (love them!) But I said to myself "somethign is missing" I thought about getting a larger amp in 2 channel from the company that made my surround amp (Rotel) or getting a larger surround amp from Rotel, or starting fresh. I went with starting fresh, and ended up using 2 Classe CA101's is a mono configuration. What this did was provide me with enough power, current and controll to roll into the volume knob with out distorting. With less than 5 hrs on the amps, I started to hear details and such that I had not experienced ever before. I am a huge fan of buying a quality 2 channel or even better (if your budget or wife will allow) 2 mono amps. A set of Classe 101's will run you approx 3000 to 3200 bucks, and It will out perform a 2 channel amp rated at 2x300 from the same company. A set of mono's will give you a much greater reduction in noise, a huge increase in controll, and in many instances 2 smaller amps will save you money over 1 large one.
If you like your speakers, get more amp. You'll always be able to use a better/more powerful amp.

If you like your amp, get more efficient speakers.

I had some Hales speakers and they needed more power, so I got some big monoblocks. Then I sold the speakers for reasons unrelated to their performance.

When I replaced the speakers later, I got more efficient speakers (not because I needed more efficient speakers -- I just like the Aerial 9's, and it happens that they were much more efficient) so I now rarely use a fraction of the amps' capability.

All said and done, replace your weakest link.

A good sub will provide the heft you are looking for and take the load off of the amp you now own, just another option to think about.

I would not consider using the amp to 'bi-amp' your speakers. I don't think that is going to do what you seem to want to accomplish.

I don't think the amp is up to the job! There are a lot of good used 200 wpc amps available on AudiogoN that would do a much better job driving your speakers.

You did not mention a budget so it is difficult to make recommendations. I saw a B&K ST 140 for about $300 or there was a Pair of Wolcott 200 watt monoblocks for around $5000, not to mention 100s of other amps in between.

A little more info would help.

Nrchy: I am not sure why you think the Multi 5 is not up to the task. Anyway, my budget would be about 2 - 3k range for a used amp or I could purchase a three way speakers.
I think bi-amp would increase power and to give music more focus and clarity.
Hi Andy2,

Your speakers are rated at 89 dB efficiency and your amp at 125 watts per channel. Okay, let's play with the numbers a bit...

Your two speakers would put out 95 dB at one meter with 1 watt per channel, or 115 dB with 100 watts (easier to do the math in my head with 100 watts than with 125 watts). Well, not quite - let's assume 2 dB of power compression, bringing us down to 113 watts at 1 meter.

Now back at 4 meters (about 12 feet - a reasonable listening distance) the sound pressure level will have fallen off by 12 dB (6 dB per doubling of distance) under anechoic conditions, bringing us down to 101 dB. But wait - we're in a semi-reverberant room, so we can expect about 4 dB of contribution from the room's reverberant sound field. This will bring us back up to 105 dB at the listening position.

Are you getting clean peak sound pressure levels in the 105 dB ballpark with classical music? It doesn't sound like it to me from your description - 105 dB is quite loud.

By any chance, do you have a Radio Shack sound pressure level meter? If so, some measurements might be useful in determining where the problem lies. If you are getting peaks in the 105 dB ballpark at the listening position with demanding classical passages, then I'd say your amp is delivering as advertised. If not, then I'd suspect it's delivering less than its rated power when trying to reproduce a broadband signal.

If this is the case, and given that you like the Spendors quite a bit, I'd say that improved amplification would probably make the most sense.

Best of luck to you!