Money well spent on Amp or Speakers

Hey Everyone,

This is my first post on Audiogon so please bare with me. I currently have a very simple stereo setup:
2 B&W xt8 speakers
1 B&W PV1 sub
1 Rotel RC-1550 Preamp
1 Rotel RB-1552 Amp

Everything was selected due to the slim design and that they fit snugly under/near my TV Cabinet. The room with the gear is rather small at roughly 350 sqft and it is mainly used for TV and light CD playback. I just feel that the current setup is missing a lot of mid-range and the disconnect can be audibly noticed in the gap in-between when the speakers seems to fade away and the sup kicks in. I would like to keep everything as simple as possible and wanted to get the communities feedback as to what component in the chain should/could be replaced for the best sonic improvement? I would only want to upgrade 1 component at this time and am leaning towards a tube based amp. Any thoughts/suggestions?
I'm not familiar with Rotel products, but I'd suspect that they are a solid product. I would probably look to upgrade the speakers, but really think your problem may be more related to subwoofer integration than any specific component. I "cheat" and have a receiver with Audyssey built in that does a great job of calibration.

Your speakers are spec'd such that they should easily have enough range to blend with a subwoofer without leaving a "hole" in the sound. I wouldn't expect a new amp or pre-amp to correct this.

You could consider going to a receiver with Audyssey, but I don't know how much of a step down that might be from your seperates.

How much time have you spent integrating the subwoofer?
selected due to the slim design and that they fit snugly under/near my TV Cabinet

Maybe you have taken the "fit snugly" idea too far and have your speakers tucked away. Make a test with them pulled way out into the room.

I agree with Metralla. Try moving the sub as well. Have you played with the crossover settings and volume on the sub? Try setting it lower, ie move from 80hz to 40. I would bet that your best results would be eliminating the sub, finding the best location for the speakers and then hooking the sub up to the second set of pre-outs if there are two sets of outputs. Then, slowly bring up the volume on the sub while running it full range. You won't have a gap at all and just have to avoid too much overlap.

A tube amp won't help your problem.
What is your goal? If you want to listen to 2 channel music then your thinking tubes is good but that doesn't exactly fit with your speakers. In the end you will likely end up having to replace everything but speakers first would be the way to go. Listen, listen, listen to a lot of different makes and models.
I'd replace the Rotel amps with a used Manley Stingray.
If you don't poke it you can always resell it here and not lose much if any money.The stingray puts out 45 "tube" watts and sounds great.they can be had for about $1300.
IMO, put your resources toward speakers. Get on on the sonic signature you like and then optimize electronics from there, I mean later on of course when you have some funds. Then, stay the heck off this site and others otherwise your pocketbook will take a hit. :)
Thanks for the response everyone. The gear seems to handle TV decently, but I was honestly really disappointed when doing CD playback. I have moved gear around, but am a little limited in terms of placement due to the room layout. Here's some more info:

Actual Room Footage: 306ft
TV Area = 195.5ft
Kitchen Area = 110.5ft

My gear is being feed directly from:
Samsung BD-P1600 Bluray player (connected via RCA)
Motorola DCX3400 Comcast Box (connected via RCA)

Room info:
Floor is carpeted (nylon?) with another medium sized wool carpet on top
Window Drapes 75% the right side of the room
Kitchen on the left side of the room (roughly 36% of the room)
5.5ft long leather Sofa 4.5ft directly away from the front of the speakers
XT8 Speakers separated 5.5ft from each other and angled 25% towards the center. Unfortunately they are only 0.5ft away from the wall. It will look very cluttered if I move them too far away from the wall.
PV1 is situated on the right corner of the wall angled 25% towards the center on front of the right speaker.

Current PV1 settings:
The PV1 does have phase shift and is set to the standard setting "+" (0 degrees), the crossover point at 80hz (sometimes 60hz), bass extension at max, and volume at 1/2 or so. Overall it sounds like it's working properly.
The B&W's won't like tubes.

Flip the phase switch and see if bass improves. You may be 'out of phase'. There is no 'standard setting'....only what works.

Turn the sub OFF until main speakers are adjusted correctly. Than add the sub back into the mix. In general, keep the sub out of corners.
I have a Samsung BD-1600 player, get something else for CD playback. Mine's a pain in the butt and if you can't use the HDMI connection I would look for something else.
You really need to play with speaker placement and sub placement and settings before you consider buying anything IMO. If the problem is the room/placement, nothing will fix the problems. You'll just throw more money into a never ending problem.

I've been there once or twice. I'm more of us than care to admit it here have too.