First system advice, new to hobby...

Looking to put together my first system in the next year. Will primarily be for 2 channel music but would not mind leaving the door open to multichannel. I listen to all types of music...classic rock, jazz, blues, folk, and classical as well as a lot of live concert recordings when done well. My current listening room is my sunken living room (carpeted) which is 14' wide x 17' long x 10' high and the left side of the room is open into the dining room and kitchen (I realize, not ideal). My initial thoughts are to get a decent pair of speakers first which I can temporarily power with an NAD receiver that my friend will loan me until I can save up for a good integrated or separates. Budget is fairly flexible but would like to keep it around $8000. Here is the current list of components I have listened to or am interested in:

Speakers: Golden Ear Triton 1 or 2, Spendor D7, Focal Aria 948 or 936, Wharfedale Jade 7, Revel Performa3 F206, PSB Imagine T2, Tekton Enzo XL, Monitor Audio Silver 8, KEF Q900

Amplification: LSA Statement (used), Accuphase E-450 (used), Luxman L-550AX (used), VAC Avatar SE, Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP, Ayre AX-7e, Zen Torii mk4, Parasound Halo, Rogue Cronus Magnum 2

Most likely use Oppo BDP 105D as source and would like to find a decent turntable down the road.

Looking for opinions and/or advice from those familiar with the above components or with components I should also be looking at. Right now my first choice is probably the Triton 1s with the Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP though that is on the very high end of my budget. Thanks for your time and advice.


Hello Paul, welcome to the forum.

The best advice I could give you would be to try and listen to as many speaker/amp combinations as possible. When auditioning speakers, note what amplifier is driving them.

Many times the choice of speaker may limit your amplifier choices.
Next to the speaker/room interactions, the speaker/amp interactions are the most critical.

I think you are best to look at an integrated amp, as that will stretch your dollar further. Once you decide on a speaker, then you'll have a better idea of what type of amp you will need to drive them.

Happy hunting,
Thanks for the reply John. Definitely looking forward to doing some critical listening soon. 
Speakers first is a classical approach. It will work.
However, since you are not quite sure what you are looking for, you might first want to figure out whether you want tube amp, transistor or hybrid, or it doesn't really matter. Some speakers will sound good with any of them, some won't. Within this amp first approach I would listen to Vac Avatar and Vac Sigma to begin with, then Rogue tube and hybrid, then Accuphase.
NAD receiver won't give you a gateway into the high end audio.
Thanks for the reply. Definitely leaning towards tubes, or at least hybrid. The NAD receiver is only a temporary placeholder for the eventual purchase of a decent integrated as I may not be able to drop eight grand all at once. It would be a higher end receiver (probably a T787) as my friend is a dealer for them. Any thoughts on the Primaluna Dialogue stuff? Review well and there are new and used ones in my area...
No I haven't heard Primaluna. I believe, that if you want tubes you will most likely want VAC, it is among the best tube designs, but many here really like both Rogue and Primaluna as well.
Yeah, VAC and LAMM are top level.
I am also a VAC fan, great stuff. I have owned the Avatar Super, 160i and currently a 160iSE.

I have heard some of the older PrimaLuna gear (Prologue 2?) and it sounded pretty good for what it was, a less expensive tube integrated alternative.

I have heard that the PrimaLuna  Dialogue Premium HP is a serious piece of equipment, but I haven't had the opportunity to listen to one yet.
I'm sure it is a great piece of kit, and the option to switch to triode mode and/or EL34 tubes could be a lot of fun.
Is there a particular VAC model that I might look for in the $2k - $4k price range? New/used? The 160i looks awesome but seems a little out of my reach.
I saw Avatar SE here a few days ago for I think $3200. It sold quickly. Some pieces show up rarely and go quickly, that might've been one of them.
It sort of depends on your speaker choice. As inna mentions, an Avatar SE did just sell for around $3K. Then thee is the Avatar Super, which usually sells for a few hundred more.
The Super has more power than the SE, but the SE has the ability to switch to triode mode, while the Super doesn't offer that feature. Triode mode is a bit sweeter, but with about half the power.
So if your speakers can be driven with 20-30 wpc, the SE may be the best choice. If the require more power, the Super would be my reco.