How big of a difference do amps make?

There are probably plenty of threads on this subject so dont be looking for those who went from ss to tube amps.
Current system:
Thor TA-1000
Merlin TSM-MMM
H/K Citation 16
cheap cdp
Im looking to upgrade amps to Thor 30's with maybe Marantz 8004 cdp.
Just curious what to expect... Thanks Jayson
I decided to get rid of some of my other gear (sony 5400 and Focal 918's) to save for speakers. I just got the Merlins and I have a good lead on a pair of Thor 30's that I dont want to lose. So i planned on trying to find a stepping stone source in the 600 dollar range to save for the amps.
I am sure others may have traveled a similar path. So i am looking to hear their experience going from ss to tubes.
The Thor preamp made a HUGE impact on me so if the amps follow suite....i think im in for a treat.
McPherson, Sounds like a good plan, getting a tubed amp for your Merlins. I've not heard the Thor so I can't comment further about that but it has a good reputation. I also agree with getting the 8004, it has gotten high marks as well. In fact I was thinking of getting one for backup. I have a lot of hybrid cd's and would like to hear what SACD has to offer.

FWIW I've had three 'watershed' moments in audio. My change from a SS pre to a tubed pre, my change from ss amps to tubed amps, and finding my present speakers.

Good luck. I too think you are in for a treat. :-)
Some amps make a big difference to your bank account, but do
very little to improve the sound. It is really important to pick the right amp for your speakers, so in that view, it can make a hugh difference. Dont confuse this with spending more money to get a "better" amp, because it could be a waste of money if the amps are not right for your speakers.
Hopefully you have a good dealer that has sorted through allot of combinations to find systems that work well.( a tall order, i know :)
I agree with Schubert. Tube amp with SS pre is better than SS amp with tube pre. I tried it. All tubes is the best. I have Lipinski L707 speakers and they sound great with my Linn Classik, but not nearly the same as my Cary tube set up.