Please Critique my Setup and Recommend Upgrade(s)

As a lifelong musician and former recording / pro audio engineer, this is my first foray into the world of HiFi and I could really use some advice and direction.  Last week I bought the following setup for a dedicated listening room that is essentially a 13x13 square room on three sides with the area behind me extending back another 25 or so feet.  There is a partial backwall about four feet wide but it is mostly open air behind me.  Ceilings are 9' and I have GIK bass traps in all corners, early reflection points on the side walls, and panels overhead between speakers and listening position.  Speakers are about 2 1/2 feet from back wall, 6 ft. apart, slightly toed in on cheap stands weighted down by cinder blocks.

1. 2017 VPI Scout Prime turntable with Ortofon Bronze
2. 2017 Rega Brio Integrated 50wpc Amp and Phono Stage
3. ELAC Uni-Fi UB5 Speakers

So far this setup certainly sounds good, but it isn't blowing me away either.  At lower volumes the soundstage feels a little small and two-dimensional.  At louder volumes the sound seems to fill the room more, thereby enhancing the soundstage and making the music feel more natural as opposed to coming from directly in front of me.  The stereo imaging is okay, but I expected a little more stereo separation.  Also, perhaps the speakers are still breaking in, but the ELACs don't seem to do the best job of presenting the music in a cohesive manner.  It sounds like the frequency bands are a little disjointed.    

Should I stick with the ELACs but consider a higher end integrated amp that can feed them a little more power like a Parasound Halo?  Or should I nix the ELACs and invest in some more efficient and higher end loudspeakers,e.g. Devore, ATC, ProAc, etc...?  Would I still get an audible improvement with these nicer and more efficient speakers if I stick with the Rega Brio, or do these high end speakers warrant a truly high end amp?  I ask because I likely can't upgrade both speakers and amp at the same time.    

I also considered the KEF LS50, but it seems like they are similar to the ELACs in that they are rather inefficient and need a powerful amp.  


Welcome to the hobby.  You're questions parallel many I had about 18 months ago when I got back into it.  I think I've learned a few things, so here are my two cents:

1.  Take your time.  The reality is that getting good/great sound, in your room, is a multi-variate challenge and, unless you just want to throw a bunch of money at the problem and rapid-fire switch out components, it's important to try X and then consider result Y.  Trying X, taking into account break-in time, can require weeks or months.  And don't try to install more than one component at a time, or you won't know what the cause of the result you're listening to is.  Basic scientific method.  It is also common for flaws to emerge over a long time and multiple types of music.  So there is very rarely (but sometimes!) a singular "aha" moment.

2.  In general, people overemphasize hardware over software, by which I mean the set-up/calibration aspects of high-end audio, not music.  Hey, we're (mostly) guys.  So, big boxes with shiny knobs and flashing lights that can make a room go BOOM get everyone's attention.  But put great equipment, or mismatched equipment, in the wrong space and it sounds . . .  not good.  Imagine a Stradivarius in a phone booth, or a subway stop.  Just not going to work out.  Also, as seems obvious, manufacturers, and to an extent hifi magazines and websites, are in the business of advertising to "move the iron."  Set up and calibration just isn't that lucrative a line of business.  As someone else recommended, get hold of Jim Smith's book Get Better Sound.  And read it carefully.  It will be an education about the the importance of set-up and calibration.  This will also set you in the direction of room treatments and digital sound processing (for lower frequencies -- to defeat standing waves).  Many of Smith's suggestions cost nothing, or nearly so.  

3.  Sound is subjective.  Those who've recommended focusing on finding great speakers have an excellent point, for the simple reason that inferior speakers can become a step-limiting function that prevent you from hearing the effect of equipment changes/improvements up the sonic chain.  How could you possibly hear if a McIntosh or ARC amp was awesome if it was hooked up to poor speakers?  But you MUST listen to the speakers before you buy, or buy with an adequate right to return for a refund (30 days minimum, 60 days better -- remember break-in period plus trying different music types and volumes takes a LOT of time to do honestly).  Or, buy used speakers that are well-regarded and easy to resell for more or less what you paid, so you're only risking shipping charges and a bit of hassle running to USPS or UPS to try them out.  And, to be clear, you will make mistakes regardless.  So deep breaths and don't sweat it too much.  It's a hobby, not a living.  If the money really stresses you out, seriously consider another hobby.  It's supposed to be fun.  And also, you'll have to accept ahead of time that your tastes will refine/evolve over time.  So your perfect (and expensive) system of 2017 isn't likely to be equally satisfying by 2019.  Plus, the new stuff will be so shiny, with pretty lights.  :-)

4.  In general, used and reputable equipment in excellent condition is probably the best value.  Like the automobile market, buying used means you don't pay the 20 - 30% premium for just driving the equipment off the dealer's lot.  You'd be surprised how much awesome used stuff turns up.  But this means you have to be patient in scouring the websites and waiting for the right thing, plus if they're not "right" you'll have to re-sell and it's a bit of a pain.  But worth it.  There are several aggregation websites, like hifisharkdotcom that make this easier.  You can even set up search agents.  And remember the cardinal rule of buying on the internet:  buy the seller, not the product.  If you can't trust the seller (based on reviews and references), move on.

5.  If feasible in your area, join an audio club and go to a meeting or two to check it out.  Most members are knowledgable and generous.  They'll talk to you endlessly, they'll lend you equipment, they'll come over to your room to set stuff up and critique it.  Hell, they'd probably help re-level your house if you asked'em.

6.  I could recommend specific brands/models, but honestly without knowing your tastes and being in the room with you to hear the synergy, I'd be pulling recommendations out of . . . thin air.  My own humble opinion is that highly specific equipment recommendations over the internet are largely a waste of time.  There are surely great brands and models -- and many have been mentioned.  Maybe specific recommendations are a starting point, but nothing substitutes for empirical experience in your room, with your own ears.

Enjoy the journey.  And update us on how it's coming!

Cheers, Alex
You will be well served to evaluate some new loudspeakers keeping in mind the amount of space that they will have to fill. 
It is really often underappreciated what your choice of preamplifier and amplifier(s) can have in a system. There can be a terrific synergy between them and your loudspeakers or often times not.  Spec's are a starting point only, so let your ears be the final judge. 
I'd suggest following the advice of hglaser above... emphasis on point number 1! That being said .. did an audio dealer let you walk out the door with a $4,000 turntable and a $400 pair of speakers? You've chosen good components, but at three different levels of performance. The best systems I've had, and heard, are well-matched.. not necessarily the most expensive. Just curious if someone tried to help you choose a good "system".
if you diligently search the web there is a  good amount of info on the tekton line.  read it all carefully.  the info that I gathered helped me to make a very informed decision.  Take the money you save and then upgrade your cartridge.  You just can't go wrong on the Double Impacts unless you have a very small room.  Love these speakers more all the time.  Single best purchase in my 40+ yrs of audio.
I recommend auditioning PMC speakers if you can.  They are top notch and very efficient.  Depending on the model they should work well with a 40 Watt amp.  I had a pair of TB2i's I was happy with, but then "the bug" bit me and I upgraded to something I had heard at an audio show.  I have mixed feelings about it now.....