System setup

I am new to high end home audio and Audiogon. I am ready to purchase a high end system and would love to do so through Audiogon but, honestly, I don't think I'd be able to set up all the equipment properly to optimize performance. I'm not comfortable asking my local high end audio store(s) to do it, or even pay them to do it, because I wouldn't be buying the equipment from them. Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.
First off, Statusnine -- need more information. There are folks on this site with years of experience and good advise.

The most important question, before getting to the answers below -- what's your overall budget.

Starter questions for you:
1. solid state or tube amps??
2. integrated amp?? (tube or SS)
3. CD player -- must it be a single player, i.e., CD or a universal player (CD & DVD + other formats). Interested in SACD?
4. Do you wish to have a turntable??
5. Speakers -- wall mount, floor standers, large, small? This is somewhat crucial because you wouldn't want large overwhelming speakers in a small room. What is the size of the room you plan on setting the gear up in??

Also, if you give us an idea of your location someone might be willing to come over and help you get things set up.
The system would be for audio but also video. The room is approx. 25 ft x 22 ft, ceilings 10 feet. It's a family room, not a dedicated listening room (yet!) Budget is $15,000-20,000 for the audio side. Currently I'm looking at the following:

Speakers: B&W 803D or 802D with HTM3S or HTM3D for center channel.Probably holding on rears or sub right now for monetary reasons but also considering just running straight stereo sound with movies instead of surround.I do find though, that the center channel is really helpful for dialogue.

Amplification: Would prefer separates but may go with integrated for budget reasons; considering the following:

Classe SSP 300 and CA-5200; alternatively CA-3200 and could later add 2 channel amp for rear surround.

Mcintosh MX120 surround processor with MC205 or MA 6500 Integrated amp.

Rotel RSP 1069 processor and RMB-1095 5 channel x 200W amp.

I've never heard a tube amp or preamp, SS sounds pretty good to me. Haven't been able to hear Mcintosh with B&W but heard Mcintosh with Infinity speakers and sounded terrific.

SOURCES: Would prefer integrated CD/DVD player; Will need BluRay player as well but Idon't know if Blu Ray's are only separate right now. No turntable.

Other general questions: struggling with whether or not to sink bigger $$ into speakers or amplification/pre-amp etc. even whether or not to choose speakers first then amps or vice versa. There seems to be a lot of healthy debate on this website about this. Any other amps that I should be looking at? These seem to be the only high end brands in my area. I'm in the Cleveland by the way.

Thanks so much for your help.
DOn't know if it matters to the audio side or not but the screen will be 60 inch Pioneer Elite PRO 150FD. Thanks again.
My room is almost exactly that size, I'm setup on the 25ft wall. If your going to use this as a multi system (HT/music combo}...go with speakers that are fairly easy to drive, and will play loud.

One suggestion, VMPS speakers fit the bill....lots of others out there also. I don't use a screen by choice...I do shoot around, 100" picture on a white wall though...seems about the right size for my room, At 17' viewing distance. (60" may be a little small...depending?)

Good luck,

You really should have someone professional set it up if you don't have a clue.
You will never use it if it doesn't work properly. To save some money, you may want to buy it used locally if that person will help you?
You could buy just some of it on audiogon to save money and get the rest from a dealer? Talk to a local dealer who has installers. I'm sure they have a rate to correct other people's problems. It happens a lot.
Finally, try play it again sam. They are local and sell only used. They can help.
For some really good Cavaliers seats, I'd drive up from Pittsburgh?
If you have the time to spend, using a local audiophile and paying him for his time, and a very good idea...Elevick may have made you a good offer?

I am not in the setup biz myself (just a hobby), but....I did spend a couple of days setting up a complete HT setup for my wifes Doctor a few months back....she (and hubby) were blown away with the results. I charged them $25 an hour, some of that cost ($100) was research.... finding components that fit their wants and needs, at good prices...$500 total.

Good luck,

Thanks everyone for your responses. Elevick, CAVS tix are no problem. I don't know where to start to find a high end audio installer here in Cleveland so I may take you up on your offer once purchases are made. I have thought about purchasing some of the stuff from local dealer which may be a good compromise.