Your speakers are indeed much too good to use a CA amp. I would suggest you get a Classe CAP-101 or CAP-150 for now. They will sound great in comparison.
Sorry to hear about you getting off on the wrong foot. I think that you will find that that vast majority of people involved in this hobby will do their best to try and help.
I have a bunch of questions;
Do you have the option of getting a refund for you CA 540 or is a store credit the only option?
If a store credit is your only option, what other brands does this dealer carry? Is there anything on demo or preowned?
What was it that made you think it was a bad purchase?
How big is your room? what kind of music do you like, and how loud do you tend to listen? Is CD the only source?
What made things go down hill with this dealer?
Rob thank you for your help.
I can't get a refund, however I am entitle for a store credit. my dealer carry Classe, Krell, Rotel, NAD, Music Hall, YBA, Jolida, McCormack, Shanling, Creek, Conrad Johnson, Cayin Audio,
NAD C372 integrated (refurbished) 699
Music Hall A25.2 integrated amplifier 479
Jolida JD-302B tube integrated amplifier 850
Shanling A 3000 dual mono solid state integrated amp with tube input stage, 200 watts-per-channel $1,695 New
When I was there at the Dealer they walked me over the one that can be good for the Focal that I have, this includes the CA 840A that they recommended, and a Rotel RX-1052. However I only have 400 left in the budget and they have the CA 540R V2 on sale for 399. Therefore I asked the salesman if that will be good? And his respond was that it will be fine driving my speakers. When I brought it home I let it burn in for a good 100 hrs or so. I thought that it was lack in the bass department and the mid-range. Then I called up my dealer and said that I may have second doubt about it and was thinking if they can take it back. They upset and kind of yell at me about making bad decision. And told me that I can return and make another purchase and that is it.
I have a 12 x 14 room or so, I listen to music at a medium level, I listen to rock, modern jazz, female voice, and electrica/techno music. And my source is a MAC laptop.
While I am thinking of it; Do the speakers have 100 hours on them yet? If they don't- this could be your problem. Also- speaker placement would be another thread I would start seperately. At the very least- put some bass intensive music on and walk around your room. Does it sound good anywhere in the room?
Your choices are limited. I would arrange to take a couple of amps home or at least one at a time and listen.
Out of everything listed, the Jolida excites me the most, but your problem is bass, and that is probably the single biggest limiation with this amp. The NAD on the other hand, will command those woofers with authority, but may not be quite as convincing through the midrange on up.
Your choice is going to represent a compromise (all of our choices do) so you really need to listen for yourself and decide.
Another idea- if they have any demo power ampliifers- you could run your mac mini straight into the amp and control volume, etc from the PC. Or possibly add an inexpensive Axiom passive preamp for external control.
Your dealer should welcome taking something home for a listen.
Let us know, and dont hesitate to tell them you are asking for advice on the Internet if the discussion should begin to go south. That might put a little fear into them. This is an extraordinarily powerful community and our members are obliged to hear about poor dealers that should be avoided. (as long as they are truly poor dealers)
You didn't state why the CA 540 is "a bad mistake." Do you feel it is underpowered?
If you're going to replace the CA 540, I would choose the demo NAD C372 from the products you listed that your dealer has available. You'll have more power than before and the ability to add a subwoofer.
But, the speaker/room will dominate the sound of your system.
Thank you everyone for your comments, it really help me alot. I will go to the dealer and ask if I can take any of the amp home for a demo. The dealer is not a bad dealer, I think they are unhappy because I go there to much and ask too much questions and didn't buy anything. They may feel that everything they said doesn't mean anything to me. But I respect everyone comments and advices, and am very happy for the help because I don't know any better.
In a room that is 12x14, the Profile 918 is perfectly sized (you did a great job there) and you should have very good bass extension and weight.
I also feel the Jolida 302B would probably be the best choice from the list and (I have to disagree with Robr45) that you should have excellent bass with this amp. I have heard the 302B a couple times with different speakers in larger rooms, and I had a 202B for a while in my house on my Focal 926s, and those Jolidas will put out excellent bass as long as the volume doesn't go too high. But it sounds like you don't listen loudly anyway and with a 12x14 room, you shouldn't run out of any power to get satisfying volume levels either.
Plus, down the road you can get a fancy set of tubes for this amp and make it sound even better for little more money! That tube amp with your 918s should sound excellent. It gets my vote and might be what you are looking for.
Very nice speakers. They are very efficient but also very revealing. So, while the Cambridge receiver may be able to drive them to relatively high volumes, the speakers are able to translate to your ears the fact that you are using a budget HT receiver lacking the nuance and detail of better electronics. In fact, the Cambridge 540A integrated amp would probably provide noticeably better 2 channel sound than the 540R you are currently using because the 540A has many fewer circuits to color and clutter up the sound.
I agree with the previous posts and for the amps you list, the Jolida would be my first pick and then the NAD. But I would try them both since you never really know what will sound best until you have listened to the whole system together including your computer source. Another thought, you may also want to try the Cambridge 640A, 740A and/or the Rotel RA-1062. Those will be within your budget and are all decent sounding little high current amps.
You might also want to spring for slightly better speaker wires. 12 gauge wire from Blue jeans cable dot com, or bulk stranded or solid core wire from Audioquest would provide a relatively low cost improvement over what you are currently using.