newbie seeking stereo system advice

hello - i have recently began to purchase my first decent stereo system, actually to me this would be a great stereo system as i have been accustomed to junk hand me downs from best buy and the like.

so i purchased a roksan kandy integrated amp and a pair of axiom m60 speakers and i have been pleased with the result.

now i am looking to take a "next step", i am looking to get a little more power (in my terms, that means i would not have to make the amp work as hard to get the volume level where i want it) i do not know if this is an accurate assessment

finally to my question(s), would bi amping be a logical next step? if so, could anybody recommend an good used amp to look out for, unfortunately, i need to stay around the $400 range

thanks in advance for any suggestions and bearing with me through i am sure are rather too general or ridiculous questions

From my experience, unless you're biamping with an electronic crossover (and bypassing the passive crossovers built into your speakers), it's a better investment to improve the quality of your source or amplifier. And if you need to buy an electronic crossover, two more pairs of interconnects and a power amp, you're not going to be able to get any quality for $400. My own inclination would be to save some more money and spend $1000 or so on a higher quality amplifier or speakers or disc/record player. I have my own preferences, of course, but that's another matter. Regards,

Agree that biamping is not the way to go.
If you like what you have, I would suggest sticking with it for awhile, and avoid the "tiny step upgrade path".
Also avoid buying slightly better cables, Cables can be a big money pit for little gain until you have a great system.
Save your money for a really great source component, Lp or CD or CD/SACD.
Then actually I would go with a powerline conditioner???
start that way to move up. (just my $0.02) others may have other suggestions.
Sean, Elizabeth must have a crystal ball and witnessed all the audio upgrade mistakes I've made.

If you're happy with the overall sound you currently have, then an amplifier upgrade might be helpful. But Elizabeth's advice to avoid the tiny step upgrade bug is pretty damn valuable. I wish I'd known this four years ago.

Have fun and happy listening!
Get an active sub, this will give you the volume you desire. You can keep the integrated and you will be bi-amped, you should be able to find a good sub in your price range here on audiogon. This is dependent on your integrated pre outs to feed the sub, it does have a way to split the pre from the amp I hope?

I've been coming to this site for over two days now and Elizabeth's suggestion is by far the wisest advice I have ever seen posted here. I'm impressed.

You really sell yourself short when making those little upgrades. In the long run you will be much happier saving for a while and making a relatively big step. Save for an Adcom, Aragon, or Krell. On the used market you can get some real deals and you will be amazed how much better things can/will sound.
Bi-amping is not so simple and should not be an option for a while/ever. A nice sub with a built in crossover will let your amp work a lot less and improve the bass. You need to either have pre-amp outs on the roksan or use a sub with a nice built in crossover that will take speaker level in, split the signal to the subs and speakers and have volume and phase controls to allow for good blending.
Look at Velodyne or REL to give you a good idea of what you need.
You didn't mention what you're using for a source. IME it's the most important component, and upgrading should normally begin there.

With a better source you may (should) find that you get more clarity without extreme volume levels.
wow - i did not expect to get so much advice this fast, i really appreciate everyone taking time out to respond. my source is a cheapy pioneer 5 disc dvd player. being new to all this stuff, i always figured that a cd player plays a cd all one in the same. but now i will look in the direction of a new cd player, any suggestions here? i like and agree with the suggestion to avoid the "tiny upgrade path", so i will save a get a nice cd player.

thanks again in advance, all of you guys have been a real help to me

Hi Sean:

In your price range, either used or new on sale, a couple of good bets are the NAD C541i and the Cambridge D500 SE, both of which have been very well rated in various audio mags (for what that's worth). Also, you could try to find a dealer who will let you borrow for an in-home audition.

Most people recommending the Cambridge also suggest a power cord upgrade. The Signal Cable or Absolute Power Cord, both available here at Audiogon, are great bargains.

I got the upgrade bug a year ago and agree that the source is most important. With that philosophy I started with a good redbook CD player (Njoe Tjoeb 4000 with 24/192 upsampler). After auditioning many players, I decided this was a giant killer for $1,000 with Siemens NOS tubes included from Upscale Audio. Check out their website at . Good luck and happy listening.
Another cdp to consider (used) in your range would be a Rega Planet. The Rega would certainly give you a different sound than your pioneer--richer, warmer, fuller. And if you don't like it, you should be able to resell if for roughly the same amount. Don't get me wrong, I also like the other suggestions (in fact I own the cambridge mentioned above), but maybe you're in the mood for something a little on the "different" side? The Rega would qualify.

Welcome to the endless audio journey to find musical perfection. I have completly changed my system over the last two years via this site. One thing that I learned is that I will never buy a piece of new audio gear again. I have purchased demo or slightly used equipment and have saved 40% off of retail. I would recommend having a upgrade game plan and purchase the best equipment for the buck you can find. If you do make an upgrade make it count. It doesn't make sense to upgrade from a $500 Cd player to a $700 player. If you do an amp upgrade, think of it terms of the next speakers and front end you may be shooting for. This is an addictive hobby and I started my quest in 1976. I have always let the the music be the objective and never the hardware. Enjoy the journey.