New blood needs your Amp/system advice, please.

Greetings, Fellow Enthusiasts. This is my debut post on any sort of hi-fi forum. Excited to begin tapping into some of your knowledge/expertise.

I am slowly trying to piece together a clean, simple and very musical two channel experience. Cut my 'Seperates' teeth on a Rotel system about nine years ago... good entry level gear. My pre-amp recently died and I started a pupae phase of more critical listening and put together a few new pieces.

current system:

power plant: PS Audio PS-600

pre-amp: Audio Research LS3

cd: Naim CD5i

amp: Rotel RB 981 {120 wpc}

speakers: Paradigm Studio 100's V3.

speaker cables: Transparent "The Wave"

interconnects: Interlink "The Link" 200

The system sounds okay with vocals, guitar and horns etc. but is fairly flat and muddy in much of the mid-lower ends. It's seems obvious that these speakers are severely underpowered. Is this likely what I am hearing? What steps should I take to attain more balance in this system? How much power would be enough?

What Amps would you recommend?

Got a great deal on most of this gear and am still auditioning. Am not really married to any of it and am willing to consider replacing to gain a more musical enjoyment.

Thanks in advance for your time on this.

Cheers! Timothy
Rogue Zeus. 200 wpc tube.

Good luck.
The amp is pretty warm sounding, but Rotel is generally a good match for Paradigm. The speakers are very sensitive, so power, in and of itself, is probably not a very large issue. You don't mention your room or room treatment, but this can often yeild very large results for very little money and seems to deal with a lot of lower midrange/upper bass problems. Full range speakers often excite room modes, particularly in smaller or evenly dimensioned rooms. The amp may be a bit warm as well. I would think McCormack or similar may be the ticket here.
Before blaming amp, place some DIY room treatment at first reflection points to see if that clears up muddiness & lower-mids. If DIY room treatment makes it better, later on you can add name-brand room treatment which is generally more effective & better-looking, but tres expensive.

Also, did system sound better with AR preamp. My feeling is system may need active preamp & may need the extra oomph not available with passive volume control or no preamp.
IME the more power the better for this speaker.If you want to keep the speakers I would suggest 350wpc or better.You need a high current amplifier. Something like the Empirical Audio 585 Adcom..or just the basic one to start.One of the big Aragon amplifiers should work well also. The speakers need to be out from the rear wall maybe 3 to 5 ft if possible. If not the amplifier and speaker's time to trade in the speakers. Room modes aside the speakers can be wooly all by themselves regardless of any help from a room. Just trying to save you the time of playing with sound panels. Find yourself a sealed speaker or one that has a smooth rolloff below 50 Hz without the 50 hz hump. You'll know that you've found it,when you hear it..the muddiness will be gone.

Good luck
350W/C is not the answer. Experiment with placement. If that doesn`t work, look for new spkrs. Home audition seems mandatory in your case.
I think you need to upgrade to a high current power amp,an older Krell perhaps.The speakers could stay for now,but you need a better amp.Your line stage is great,I got an ARC LS3B too paired with a Mark Levinson 27.5 in my second system,and it rocks,IMO.
Best of luck

Just for laughs try some different interconnects I had monster m1000 and boomy bass which I always put down as room node changed to straight wire and problem was gone might work did for me
The interconnects and speaker cables are the weakest components in your system. For interconnects, try the Transparent Music Link Plus, which can be purchased used for about $150 per 1m pair. For speaker cables, try the Transparent Music Wave Plus, which can be purchased used for about $250 per 8ft pair. In both cases, look for the current MM version or one version prior.

The speakers have good sensitivity, so power should not be an issue. Great CD player, good pre and power amps.

Above all, enjoy the music and not the sound.
its not only more power you need you need an amp with high current,i would look for a few older krell amps like maybee a ksa 100(100 wpc @ 8 ohms) or a krell ksa 150(150 wpc @ 8 ohms)both these amps have more than enough power & have a very strong bass response.

you might want to try a different preamp also,the arc is no doubt a great pre but ive found that running a pre that does not have tone controls to be a hinderance especially in the mid & lower bass response.

It would seem you don't really like what the Rotel is doing...and I would argue its not really a function of pwer ratings....find an amp that is perhaps less warm..
For a new blood I must commend you on your great hearing!
You have accurately described what this speaker does on a frequency plot chart.There's a 2.5 Ohm load around 104 Hz. Also there's a huge boost in the upper bass output. The upper/mid treble also has a boost. The woofers and tweeters/midrange appear to be wired out of phase. No amount of room treaments or cabling will change it. You can help out the bass with a higher current amplifier...if you want to keep the speakers.Here you can read it for yourself Measurements .We audiophiles sometimes live in denial and find any means to bandaid a problem. My theory ..get rid of what's causing the problem and move on.
I need you to come over and ear tweak my system when you have time. ;-)

If you want to try something on the cheap, check out my NAD 2600 that's for sale. It sounds like a good fit for your power needs. Lots of good current and punch.
And we wonder why it is so hard to get new people excited about the hobby.
Start auditioning gear.
It doesn't cost anything but your time.
If one or more amps don't wake up the speakers then...
I used to have an LS-3 like yourself & ran it with a Classe CA 200 amp (the model w/the heatsinks on both sides). It was a great match & those amps can be had very reasonably. good luck & have fun.
I certainly don't want anyone to feel I'm picking on their speakers.There are plenty of speakers that cost more and have worse horrific measurments than the Paradigm 100v3.One of my favorite planars(Magnepans) measures like crapola. It's panels are inverted out of phase also.Soliloquys drivers are not in phase either. As well as some Sonus Fabers,Dynaudio and Vienna Acoustic models. Speaking of which the Vienna Acoustic Mahler has a horrific suckout between 800Hz and 2.4Khz..I'm talking -12dB. This is where a good portion of the human voice lies as well as many unamplified instruments.The Hz's and the dB's of Real Music.The Proac 3.8 and Magnepan 3.6R have 50Hz humps you could sit on..this may make them difficult to set up in certain rooms.It will give you a perception of more bass that really isn't in the actual recording...If you like it... roll with it.

The point is the measurements may help you in figuring out what sound you can live with in your room. And it may give you a head start on what you need to do to help the speakers along.You must decide what parts of the music are most important to you. Some just like a lot of volume..regardless if it makes all the instruments sound ridiculous or unnatural. Listening to different implementations of speakers/equipment in your room is the only way to know for sure what's right for you.

Good Luck
My apologies for not getting back to this discussion any sooner. Much obliged for all the great insight. Quite surprised by the myriad of responses.

Want to spend some time researching some of the different options you have suggested - probably graduating from smaller tasks like tweaking and connection/cabling to the more involved scenarios like equipment swapping.

I'm certain I will have more specific questions in a day or so when I am finished with my immediate travels. Cheers,
Since interconnects were mentioned, I strongly recommend Oritek X-2.