My advice is to consider the subwoofer before settling on the main speakers. For best results, they should be designed as a system. I always suggest M&K sat/sub systems.
See the article on bass management here: http://www.mkprofessional.com/bass_mgmt.htm
If your budget could swing it, I would advise using active speakers. Active speakers provide advantages and are usually cost effective from a system perspective. The M&K MPS-1611P is less expensive than their reference model.
If not, then the MPS-2510 with your own amp would make an excellent system. The ATI AT300X multichannel amp should do just fine. http://www.ati-amp.com/at3000.html
BTW, your 8 foot listening distance is perfect for a monitor setup.
Forget subs and rears just focus on 2 channel. Look at TAS recommended speakers for a place to start also check the 6 moons site. You can double your purchasing power by buying used on Audiogon. Also chek Audio Asylum archive for user comments and reviews. Are you looking for tubes or SS ? How will speaker efficiency match amp's rated power? Integrated amp is the way to go on a budget. Remember to check number of inputs. Good used tuners are fairly cheap, add it later.
You'll need better amplification,sources,wires, and a whole lot more to bring out the best from the spks. you're considering. You'll be on the merry-go-round. You'll be spending $$$. I personally would buy either a used mid/high quality int. amp or better yet, afordable seperates. A whole new level of musical enjoyment. You'd have money left over to buy an affordable spk. which would sound just fine w/your better amplification. Good Luck!
To answer your questions, "Is it realistic to think that I could find a pair of used Electra Be's for that budget" My answer would be if your willing to wait, every now and than on Audiogon, you will find amazing deals, another idea is with Audiogon you have the option of putting in a free wanted add. You also asked where to go from a Yamaha, you have to kind of make a decision of whether you want to go to hi-fi stereo or go to a movie processor. With movie processors, I am not to familiar with them but I would say to get a decent music/ movie processor, you would be looking at a Lexicon or Krell, which could get expensive. Ironically enough, I have heard some Sony's, Denon's Etc.. sound even greater. If you go to Hi-Fi, than you have to think Integrated or Seperates, Tubes or Solid States. All those fun choices. My choices for budget starters are Classe (47.5 pre with 201 amp), Bryston (BP-25 with similar amp)and Musical Fidelity (A-5 integrated) are good starters. The good news about the Jm Labs, is I hear they dont require a lot of power, so you wouldnt need a massive 500 wat amp. I hope this helps.
Thanks for the suggestions, so far it looks like the first step is to uprade my amp set up then just wait for a good deal on audiogon for the speakers. I ask for advice because I really do not want to go on a merry-go-round. I just got out of a Merry-go-round that lasted two years in golf equipment and hope to find some good building blocks advice here for my sound equipment. Musicaudio, I definetely see hi-fi as my priority and its sounds like for my budget and to keep things a little more simple Solid State Integrated or Seperate set-up is recommended. What are the main trade-offs between the two options? Again thanks for all of your help.
I know what you mean by the Merry Go Round. I started the same way you did about 7 years ago. I started with a $600 B&K set up and I have evolved up through the ranks to a B&W/McIntosh set up. I would say through the years I have lost a little money with wheeling and dealing on Audiogon but as many people will tell you on here that sound is a matter of opinion and taste, so demoing and sampling equipment is sort of a must. Anyway back to your question. Integrated vs seperates, The general opinion is when you chose an Integrated, you tend to lose a little and I mean little sound quality vs seperates. I personally have heard some great Integrated's and if your operating on a budget, an integrated might be the way to go. Some recommendations not only from me but (Stereophile and The Absolute Sound) Under 2K, Ayre AX7e, Musical Fidelity A5, Krell 400 XI, Sim Audio I3 Under 1k Naim 5i got some great reviews and some by NAD and Rotel. I hope this helps.
Please!, trust me on this one. Find a System Audio Loudspeaker dealer and order a pair of 1530's, or any of their 1500 series. This tiny speakers do not have the right to sound so well!
I own a pair of JM Labs Electra 937 Be's and was never so impressed when I auditioned them for purchase than when I heard the SA 1530's. Add a reasonably priced tube integrated like Cayin or Antique Sound Labs, hook on tour peripheral sources of choice and enter the Hi Fi world with a lot of money in your pockets and a sound you can brag about. Check this link and good luck.
http://www.system-audio.dk/_en-GB/products/floor standing speakers/SA1530
If you are interested in using a 2 channel/HT combo system then you cannot do better than Meridian for your pre/processor. My evolution included:
1.B&K ref 30 and 50
2.Outlaw 1050, I think.
I have since separated my systems, but the meridian mated with a MAC amp was stellar. It was bettered by the Meridian with a Cary amp. I also used it with a rotel amp and it was quite good. My advice is spend some money on your front so THEN you can really benefit from good speakers. Great speakers with your current amp would be like driving a ferrari on 85 octace. To appreciate a fine machine you need to feed it right. For quality budget amps for combo systems, look into rotel and outlaw. Great deals can be had on the now defunct Proceed amps. The best advice I can give is spend what you can in your budget, because once you start this path, you upgrade and can spend a forutne. Do it right first if possible and be contented. My 2 cents.
If you are looking to stay under $2K for 2 channel speakers suggest trying Paradigm Studio 60s (floorstanders) - they list for $1600 and are B class rated in the rags. Would still upgrade some of your other stuff but you wouldn't be disappointed with these
Follow-up on my Paradigm comment - have used 3 different intergrateds with the Studio 60s and all meshed fine - Consonance B2000X , Portal Panache - both of these are 100Wpc - Quest for Sound carries Consonance and you can pick up a demo Portal Panache via Joe Abrams (advertises on Audiogon , but also can be reached from portalaudio web site) - mine is a demo, and NAD C370 (there are newer models) but if you are starting out NAD is a good bang for the bucket choice, personally think it;s better than Rotel.
Agree, NAD is good sound, but I've heard rumors of quality control problems of late.
Drmoles, I surely would like to audition the System Audio speakers although the Electra's have provided me with an experience ulinke I ever had. Whe I listened to them is as if they are not even there. The music was coming from an incredibly well formatted stage. It was not in my face fot about a foot separation yet it filled the room. I auditioned other speakers in the same rooms and not even close. Anyways, how do you find a dealer for these speakers? Their website does not have a dealer finder.
I know this is taking a step back but what is a good Pre-Amp/Amp combo if I also want to have the ability to do some 7.1 although the movie sound would not be the priority.
Does anyone know a good audio store to audition these speakers/amp set-ups in Miami, FL. I currently visit Sound Advice and Sound Components(Wilson Audio/B&W dealer)
I would be great to find a showroom that sells used equipment.
It sounds like you really like the Electra's, so why not just get them. The amount of money your going to spend on evaluating other speakers which you may or may not like will cost you in the end. No offense to Drmoles, but just because he likes the System Audio's, doesn't mean your going to like them. A reason why Drmoles might like these speakers might have to do with something simple such as room size or associated gear. At a dealer, you could think that they are the greatest speakers in the world and bring them home and because of room size or gear, it could sound horrible. Some dealers, with a credit card, will actually let you bring home gear to demo in your own place with your own equipment. I know a few in New Jersey, but unfortunately not in FLA. I personally have never heard the Electra line but a guy who I trust and respect basically was telling me that the 937's BE Electra's are a really great speaker and they easily beat out B&W 802's, which is the speakers I have and I like the 802's, so I might try the 937's eventually.
In Hollywood there is a little hi end store called hollywood sound. He deals in a lot of used gear. He is a featured dealer here on AG. His name is Larry and he is very knowledgable and helpful. I have delt with him on very low end items in the past and he spent a great deal of time with me for very little in his pocket. Based on that I feel he is a very honest guy who will try to steer you in the right direction. He has tons of used speakers and is a distributor for sevral lines.
If you are hooked on those that you found at sound advice(just don't like that place since tweeter took them over)then use their one year same as cash and go for the extra and get what you think you want. Remember one good thing about SA is thirty days no questions asked returns. So take em home and then decide if they are what you want.
Fernandoea ; I started out as you are now . I had an Onkyo receiver with the Electra 906's . When I went to a 'midfi' 5 channel amp and pre/pro the result was as if I had taken a blanket off of my speakers ! The 'real' watts of a seperate amp or integrated will sound much better than the 'stated' watts of a receiver (they lie)! This setup was purchased new and was quite expensive . I soon learned that used is the way to play ! What you will like , is a path and can not be dictated by some else . In home auditions are the only way . If you find a complete set up that you like , in a store , there will be a 50/50 chance that it will sound the same when you get it home . Room accoustics matter .
By experimenting , I have found that I prefer soft dome (silk) tweeters over metal (Electra's have aluminum). I have also found that I prefer the sound of tube amplification over SS . And that price does not necesarily equate to a better component or sound . As with your golf , it is a 'custom' fit only for you .
Good luck and enjoy the ride .
That maybe true.
I'm not sure either way as I'm new to this hobby.
I just bought a C325BEE and am happy for only $360.
It comes with a 2 year warranty.