The volume of your listening room has gone from 960 cu. ft to 11040. In other words, well over a 10X increase!!! I would bet that you will need/want more power in your amplifier, esp. since most B&Ws require watts and current. For $3K you might want to consider a new amplifier (maybe even run it from the pre-outs). You can get a lot of amp for way less than $3K. For those $, maybe even a used high powere, high end integrated like a Rowland or a Gryphon or a DK for quite a bit less.
What Swampwalker said, with Vecteur, SimAudio and Bryston as more good solid-state amps to consider.
A good Dac or CD player. Your player is the week link in your system. SOurce is the most important part of a system. Junk in junk out.
Before you spend more money on more watts, figure out whether you really need more watts. You might not, especially since you say that "loud" is not your concern.
I think you should upgrade your speakers; that will give you the biggest sonic improvement for your dollar.
Thanks for your responses...just to clarify - I am wanting to replace my system with a new one and my total budget is $3000. I am new to this audiophile world and appreciate the wisdom of those with more experience.
So far I'm thinking about the Music Hall CD-25.2 with the Exposure 2010S Integrated and the Paradigm Reference Studio/60 v.3 speakers (OR the B&W 603 s3's). This system could be had for $3000 I think.
I am also curious if anyone has any experience with the Arcam Solo. The simplicity of a single component is attractive. I'd be looking at the Amphion Helium bookshelf speakers to compliment that unit, possibly. Though I'd probably need to keep the Tannoy TD12 sub to beef up the lower end.
So what do you all think ? Am I on the right track ?
I know that all this virtual system designing is no substitute for real world auditioning. I have some limitations in terms of audio dealers here in my town.
I understand that you need to have some idea about what you might be spending on electronics in order to know how much you have to spend on speakers. Nevertheless,I strongly recommend that you settle on speakers first, because the differences there are vast, compared to the differences further upstream. As evidence of this, consider that some speakers can mask the differences between amps and CD players, whereas no decent electronics can ever mask the differences between speakers. One of the advantages of this approach is that you might find that you do not need new electronics and, if you do, you can select the electronics that fit well with the speakers. Speaking of electronics, I do not think that it is worth your money to move from a 50 [or 65?] watt amp to a 75 watt amp. As long as you are paying for a change, you should at least step up to 100 watts which could be helpful in your new larger room, unless you choose efficient speakers [which takes us back to the point of choosing speakers first]. I would not buy a component that combines long living parts [amp, pre-amp, tuner] with parts that have a shorter life [mechanical parts of tape and CD and DVD players]. I am a dealer, so I will not make comments on this forum on the brands you are considering or not considering.
Memeboy is giving you great advice. You want a new system, but you don't need a new system. You need new speakers, and depending on what speakers you get, you might also need a new amp (which could be just a power amp if your current integrated has external couplers).
Stop *reading* and start listening, to speakers in particular. And while the selection in your area may not be wide, you are probably better off choosing from what you have available (and can listen to) than buying something online based on someone else's recommendation.
You would want better than the Music Hall player. Its going to make a huge difference to your system. Dont scrimp on the source . Go to a dealer and listen to speakers you like. Then have him play a few different cd player. The better the source the better that same pair of speakers will sound.
Good advice! Thanks Memeboy, Pabelson and Mapleleafs3. I'll do some auditioning of speakers and once those are chosen and in my home, I'll then take the next step with the CD player and/or amp. First things first. And I hear ya, Memeboy, regarding the all-in-one component....that's a good thing to keep in mind.
So, can a really good set of stand-mounted mini-monitors / bookshelf speakers fill a large space with clear, clean sound ? I've heard both sides of that one. Of course this is assuming the source and power is clear and clean to start with. What's puzzling to me, is that the professional reviewers sometimes use very low wattage power to drive some of these small speakers to very favorable results (to their ears, of course).
Yes, that is puzzling to me too. It is fine to drive a Klipschorn with a weak amp, although I have seen and heard even those speakers eat up most of the power from 150 watt amps in a large, dead room, but it is absurd to think you will get loud volume in a large room without clipping from a tiny amp driving ineffient speakers. I am not saying you cannot get good sound. For example, I am using a one watt amp to drive inefficient (82dB) LS3/5A speakers in my study. It sounds great, but it will NOT play loudly without clipping. Actually, it will not play loudly at all (82dB is the max on peaks). But in a small quiet space it works just fine for the purpose of listening to music while writing Audiogon responses. For a large space, whether 50 or 60 watts will be enough really depends on the speakers you choose.
YES, there are stand mounted "bookshelf" speakers that can fill a large space [mine is 20'x38'x10'] with clean clear sound. It is harder to do, however, with mini monitors. Even though I love some mini monitors, I think you ought to be looking at bookshelf sized, standmounted speakers, unless you add a subwoofer and reduce the bass going to the main speakers. If you get the right speakers, I think you will be surprised at how good your electronics can sound, and you will also find out if you need more power.
I bought a (used) pair of Dynaudio Contour1.3SE's and WOW !!! what a difference good speakers can make. In fact they are quite revealing. They seem to be about the same in terms of effiency as my old Tannoys but so much clearer and more dynamic. In addition to the obvious increase in hearing new things in the same music as before, I am beginning to more clearly hear the limits of my current components. I have a hunch that these Dynaudios can sound even better with upgraded components.
So I've begun to audition new amps/cdp's as time permits. I like the sound of Classe and Primare but want to hear more. Other suggetions so far include Plinius 8100, Simaudio i3, and Creek 5350se. I've heard the Jolida hybrids, which I like, and the NAD stuff, which I don't care for... too dry.
And as far as the CD player, I'm thinking it'll be the third step in the process. Still researching that one.
I bought a (used) BelCanto eVo2i integrated along with an Arcam FMJ-cd23 and I am in audio bliss. Now I know what they mean when they talk about 'transparency' and 'uncolored' and all those seemingly abstract terms. What a wonderful experience listening to the actual music and not the strain / limitations of lesser components. Clear. Clean. WOW ! Perhaps a little tweaking with cables..... really, that's it. No, really. Was I just now crossing my fingers ? Well, not intentionally, anyway.
Thanks to all of you for your valuable advice and feedback.
I have obtained a goal I've had for more than 10 years ! Now I can listen to those classical cd's without wincing. What a difference ! Ah-h-h-h-h ...... the music !
Wow! Dynaudio, Bel Canto, and Arcam. Well done Jeff. Don't you love it when a plan comes together? Enjoy your new system and don't sweat the cables. After all---ahhhh....the music!