Just Starting..Budgeting up to 1K for next upgrade

Last august I realized that my stereo just wasn't performing in an acceptable way. I had an Ipod connected to Yamaha Natural sound best buy RX 5.1 model- Some Bose 301s from 1996 and a Yamaha DVD/CD player.

So i decided to make a move to vinyl..figured I'd start from the source and build out. I bought a rega P2. But I couldn't enjoy it on those beat up speakers so I hastily bought a pair of used Epos ELS 3 for $400. I say hastily because i didn't do much leg work just wanted to replace the old speakers. That said, I am pretty happy with the ELS 3.

So now I've budgeted up to 1K for a new amp (or possibly a different upgrade, if it will make my system sound better). I am slowing accepting that 1K puts you in the budget catagory, but its still a hefty hunk of scratch on my budget- I have a couple months to do some good research and don't want to make any impulse purchase.

So I'm debating staying in the REGA family for simplicity sake but would love some input as to other amps in this price range.. I am of the mind that a two channel amp is better then an equally priced multichannel, and I have no desire for surround sound for video.but again I'm new to this and overwhelmed by all the information. I like pure, clean sound and intend to primarily play vinyl on the system.

Aside from good sound I also love good value and want to plug it all in and say damn that sounds good, as opposed to damn..gotta start saving again.

Any advice on how to best spend this 1K would be greatly appreciated.

Updated: I wrote Epos 3, Meant EPOS 11s
Take a look at the Primaluna Int Tube Amps. Great sound with low hassle factor. Used for around $900 here. Vinyl on this is heaven.
get a rega mira and enjoy the good built-in phono pre. there was one for sale on here last I checked. you'll be hard pressed to do better for the $650 or so they run used.
Maybe consider some used separates to get you to the next level. There was a Dyna PAT4 that sold last week for 95.00, and there is a Hafler amp for sale for 250.00. Then, save a little more and get a decent preamp, then later, get a decent DAC, and then later yet, upgrade the amp, but before you upgrade the amp, get a really good, and they don't necessarily need to be really expensive, pair of speakers. It doesn't make much sense, IMO, to spend a lot on an amp only to later change speakers, because your new amp might not be capable of adequately driving the speakers. To me, that makes sense for the long term if you can't plop down a lot of money at one time, and your goal is to have a reasonably priced high end system.
Grinell beat me to it. The PrimaLuna integrated w/ phono option is a killer bargain and it's in your budget.
all are good solution, consider cambridge 540 int./cd/phono/ with an oppo enty level dvd player...just one man's opinion, they really sound good for the money
I'm thinking that I would upgrade the speakers, much more bang for the buck there...

get you some totem arro or forest
Whats the thought there: Do great speakers on a bad amp beat decent speakers on a decent amp? I've heard a lot of differing opinions on that. If I dropped 900 on a pair of speakers and kept my yamaha I'd hear more of a difference then if I bought a something like a Rega Mira 3.
I think your epos speakers are good, I would change the amp! I worked my way up the integrated chain owning:Rotel,Arcam,Rega,and Bryston. Bryston is my favorite, but I really loved the sound of my Rega Brio.(if you don't need a remote or a ton of power!) I think a used Mira would be a great choice too. Sometimes you can find Bryston-B60's here on A'gon for about $1000, and have at least 10 years of warranty left.(great amp!) I have also heard my friends PrimaLuna, which is what I would buy if I was getting into tubes. Good Luck!
cambridge 640 int
GReat speakers on a "bad" amp is a recipe for sonic disaster. I would rather you go for the best integrated amp you can find in your budget, and then go from there. However, if your ipod is playing compressed files, you are quickly going to reach (maybe already have) the limit of improvement you can make w that source.
Yeah. The Ipod is out regulated to downstairs on a little dock. After the amp I'll start worry about a cd player.
thanks for all the input
I also support upgrading the amp first - your speakers are good, especially in the context of a stsrting system. I think you should take a look at the Musical Fidelity range of amps. The A300 would match well with your Epos speakers and has a terrific MM/MC phono stage. Second hand they go for around $800 and with 150 w/ch into 8 ohms, they will drive most any speaker you may upgrade to in the future.
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Thanks for all the help. Went and picked up a mira 3 last weekend- next stop new cd player