Good starter speaker


I am currently planning out a 2 channel system and I already purchased a used Rogue preamp.  The audio visual store that I like to deal with has a trade up program for speakers as long as the trade up is twice as much as the original purchase, which I’m fine with.  I am trying to keep the budget as low as possible at this point.  Here are the speaker brands that they carry:

Aerial Acoustics, Audio Engine, B&W, Emotiva, KEF, Klipsch Heritage, Klipsch, Linn, Martin Logan, Paradigm, Paradigm Persona, PSB, Soundcast, Spendor, SVS, Terra, Totem Acoustics, Totem Element.

Where would be a good place to start knowing that a year later I can upgrade without losing my initial investment?  Also, any suggestions concerning a powered amp in the 700-1500 range would be appreciated.


You have a nice selection at that dealer. Set up an appointment and have them play your favorite music (you bring your discs) though their entry level models. That should get you started. Then see if they’ll let you home audition a couple of your favorites. Take your time.
I would recommend you to skip the entry level speakers and go right to the next level up, as they will give you more liquid smooth sound with transparent highs (pleasant treble). Among the ones you mentioned, my favorite are the spendor, but then that could depend on the type of music you mostly play. 

The previous poster gave you real good advice about auditioning them yourself and going slow, because in the end, you and only you got to like the speakers in your room, so while it's good to ask here and also read reviews of the pros, let your ears be the final judge.

I would shy away from Klipsch - the bright top never was my thing. Also, the Audio Engine speakers are powered so you couldn't put your pre-amp to use. The power section is not bad with toroidal transformer giving it smooth sound, but not powerful.

On the power amps, I would like the sound of B&K ST-140 off ebay used for far below your budget - around $300 shipped, and they will give you quite enjoyment for a long time to come.

Go slow and audition as many speakers as you can before buying. I also like Dali Zensor speakers, is you live near a dealer...

Hope this helps and welcome to this gloriously fun hobby - just don't waste too much money and become a hoarder like some of us here including myself. I wished I had skipped the entry level stuff and went straight to good high mid-fi gears like the ones I mentioned, and saved myself money and effort.

Also, I wish I had stopped there, instead of going to true hifi gears, because honestly I get 90 some % enjoyment out of my $1000 system compared to my $63,000 main system. Please don't answer every upgrade bug you get with a new gear, but just get a decent high level mid-fi to start with, and enjoy the music for a long time before upgrading, and your bank account will thank you...

Find a Vandersteen dealer. Definitely worth your while.
Go to your dealer and listen to power amps and speakers in combination. What is budget for speakers?
Thank you all for the great advise.  I’ll definitely go there and listen to different setups to see what I like.  I guess I am looking at 2k or so for speakers at this point and then in a year trade them in.  
This might save you a lot of time and money.  Offer $900 for these speakers...

Then buy this amp...

This will be an outstanding sounding pairing with your Rogue preamp and will likely cost you less than 2 grand for both amp and speakers (both being sold by very reputable sellers BTW).  These are two very highly regarded manufacturers, so if/when you feel the need to upgrade you can likely sell the amp and/or speakers at very little loss.  The amp, by the way, can be significantly upgraded by the designer to a reference level amp if you like the sound (See  Full retail for both these pieces was about $5200 when new.  Good luck even approaching this level of sound at your dealer for under $2k.  Just an option, and best of luck. 
I will agree on the amplifier. SMc Audio does great upgrades to McCormack products.
I have never listened to Joseph Audio products, so I can't vouch for their performance, but I know people who love them- like soix.
I would pair the DNA 125 with a pair of Vandy's. (Yes, I know, I am fixated on Vandy's).
But, if the OP has a chance to audtion them, I think he'll see what I mean.
A used pair of 1's or 2's is definitely in your price range. Heck, a new pair of VLR's are in you price range. Don't let the small size fool you.
Soix and gdnrbob, thank you for your input.  I am really excited about putting together my system  and input like this is really helpful!
You are most welcome.
I would also like to mention a very good audio dealer named John Rutan.
Audioconnection is his audiogon name and his store. I recommend him because he knows stereo and he is an up front guy who won't try to sell you anything. Even if you are not near the NYC area, he can give you some excellent advice, as he knows just about all the brands out there.

As this is your entry into high fidelity, I urge you to find dealers who can advise you and let you listen to equipment. It can be a long process, but I assure you, you will be a better consumer if you do.
I recommend Vandersteens as well if you have the right room.