The Primare A30.1 is an integrated amp, why would you not use it's preamp?
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I know your confusion, I'm pretty much in the same boat, want to upgrade to better components, but don't know were to start. Our budget's sound about the same. I don't know if I want to go with a new receiver, a wide screen HDTV, or go to seperate components. During my research one of the companies I was directed to was Outlaw Audio. The have a pre/pro and amp combo sale going on right now that might be what your looking for. I've never heard it myself, but have read some pretty good review's about their products. You can look in the review section of A-gon for reviews of the model 950 preamp, and just type in outlaw in the discussion forums for some of their power amps. Good luck.
I think you'd get further, faster, getting some speakers more suitable for two channel audio right away and driving them with your current receiver. I don't know what kind of decor or WAF you have to deal with, but I wouldn't rule out trying some new speakers alongside the DefTechs to use with two-channel music.
Also I honestly wouldn't expect a jump in performance with the Marantz monos - they're entry level and there's not a BIG reason to expect them to significantly best your pioneer amps. Much better would be nOrh LeAmps/IRD MB100s.
I know,, nOrh has a cult and all that. I'm not saying "replace your system with nOrh stuff". But those LeAmps SLAUGHTER the Marantz and can be had for the same price.
jm (very) ho - ymmv.
Since you have a CD player and a DVD player you could split your systems. One system for 2 channel and the other for HT. Since you have another room this might work. You will need speakers that sound good with 2 channel music and for a starter you could pick up some used monitors in the $200-$400 range such as these:
NHT Super One
B&W 601 S2
To make the best of these speakers you would need decent speaker stands and you would be giving up bass response for the time being. The only other pieces you would need would be a good integrated amplifier or pre/amp combination, another set of speaker cables and some type of shelf to hold the equipment. The Primare 30.1 appears to be a good entry level (to high-end) integrated that could also be used as a 2 channel pre-amp later. I was looking at Primare myself, but there was no dealer in my area so I went with something else. If you want something very inexpensive and used you could look at these integrated amps:
Arcam Diva A65
With these choices, I think you could put together a completely separate 2 channel system for music listening and stay close to you budget. The system would not have a lot of power or deep bass response, but could be quite enjoyable. This would give you a start and could be upgraded in pieces. I think this would be a good option since it seems like your HT system is pretty well set and is enjoyable for you. Also, as you are finding out, upgrading your HT system to work better for 2 channel with the equipment you have is problematic.
Audiophanatik, you may have heard the phrase 'less is more'. You may have a classic case in point.
Have you considered selling all of your HT equipment (except for the receiver) and starting over with a excellent 2-channel music system that also plays excellent 2-channel HT?
For example, suppose you purchased:
Odyssey Stratos 2-channel amp. $1k odysseyaudio.com
Primare P30 pre/pro. used $1800
Von SCHWEIKERT VR-4 Gen III full range speakers used $2k.
And I believe the VR-4's go down to 16Hz, therefore, you would not need a sub.
Sony DVP s9000es DVD/SACD/CD player. $600 used.
... and sold what you currently have (we all do that at some point) you would probably break even dollar-wise.
However, your sonics would probably improve substantially. Not to mention less cabling, clutter.
And you would be in a prime position for a much improved HT if you decided you still need to expand the 2-channel. And you may not feel that need.
Just thought I'd throw another log onto the fire.