upgrade help

got a mix of equipment some bought, some given to me.
now trying to figure out how to upgrade my system. my
main concern is getting the best sound for 2 channel
stereo but i want to be able to use my system for ht
5.1 also.

sonus faber grand piano home (front)
Sonus faber concertino home(rear)
sonus faber solo home (center)
audiolab 8000s (i use as a amp for my ht setup and as an
integrated for two channel stereo)
marantz sr7500
rega planet cd player
MIT interconnects.

I'm thinking about upgrading my integrated amp to try
and get more power to drive my speakers but don't
really know how much that'll help or if that is my biggest weakness.

listen to mostly classical and jazz. looking to spend around 2000 and willing to buy used. as i'm a newbie
any advice would help.

I'm no expert...by a long shot, but I've been around some pretty knowledgeable people. If I can help, I'll give it a shot.

1) How is your HT setup? Tell us a little more about it.
2) Whats the size of your room? What's in it? Is it treated or untreated...acoustically that is?
3) Tell us about your speaker layout and placement.
4) Other than the extra power, how is the amp your using? Could the quality be better? With a Sonus Faber setup as yours, more power might not be the first thing you should go after. Not saying they can't handle it....but I'm sure pulling the highest quality sound out of the speaker was at the top of the manufactors list when they were designed.
5) Are you more concerned with Music or Movies? If music is your main focus, then start with the overall quality if you want to upgrade. Better amps are more ofter higher quality, ie better parts, than higher wattage. If you enjoy blowing up things with movies, then get the most power 2G's can afford.

I've always been taught that you should take the time to get the most out of your overall system before you start to fork out money on an upgrade. There's always that chance that you may not have needed to upgrade after all. I'm sure more than one audiophile has built one of their best, favorite owned system, but didn't realize it until after they upgraded.

Happy listening.
1)I'm not concerned about the ht part of it but I have my center and rears powered by the marantz and fronts powered by my audiolab.

2)small room untreated. just a rental apartment with concrete walls and carpeted floor.

3)just have my speaker set up in a typical 5.1 set up

4)i'm looking for higher quality detailed sound for my 2ch listening.

5)main focus is definitely music. want to try the get the best musical sound from my speakers. wondering if a 1 or 2000 dollar upgrade will bring me significant increase in detail and musicality.

i know a lot of it is subjective, but thought I'd get your opinions.

OK...thats a start.

1) Since HT isn't a priority, then there really isnt a need for too much attention in this area. However, IMO 5.1 music isn't as bad as some people think. The key is to have it setup properly, and have all six speakers working as one. It's a real eye opener. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

2) Small is relative. Are we talking 10x12 small or 15x23 small? The carpeting on the floor is ideal. However, you might wanna do something about those concrete walls. You'd suprised as to how much of your detail and focus is being destroyed by concrete walls. Just as with concrete floors, they're reflective. This can really make the sound screwey. As a suggetion, some people use artificial plants along the walls and in corners, to help with the reflection breakup. Some use area rugs on the walls...yep area rugs, to help absorb those harsh reflections. Some people use book cases with books and CD to help breakup those frequencies. IMO I would make this my next priority. Now granted, it is an apartment, so I wouldn't make this a renovation project. But I guarentee this is part of the problem with your detail.

3) Typical is another relative word. How close are your speakers to the walls? Considering your dealing with concrete walls, this is another think you need to look at. Speakers too close to the walls in general can cause issues, but concrete walls just add more problems. I got really good tips from rivesaudio.com on speaker placement. Check it out. Another suggestion would be to try setting up your two channel system diagonally in the room. I gave it a shot about a year ago and it helped to tame quite a few of my reflection issues.

4) Your sound quality and detail will come sooner that you think once you tackle those acoustic issues. Once those have been addressed, then you'll have a better idea of what your lacking in the quality area. Detail can been helped even without the upgraded amp. See #'s 1 and 2 above.

5) It's great that you are sticking to your main focus. To get the most from your speakers, you really wanna look into what's suggested above. You may not WANT to, but you'll spend far more money than you have to if you don't. Speaker placement is another big issue. Google rives audio and take a look at some of the pdf docs they have online. They will really help...a lot. Believe it or not, there is a science behind speaker placement. If it isn't done correctly then you'll never get to where your wanna be. But you always have to keep in mind what works for you. If exact placement isn't ideal, then you may need to consider some compromises. But in order to get to where you wanna go, you gotta start somewhere. Spending 2G's or even 5, for that matter, on an amp this early in the game, IMO wouldn't be the best move for you. Your system will do nothing but play what your lacking...even louder. The amp can add the detail and musicality your looking for, but only if some of those other factors have been tended to. Believe it or not, based on what you've said previosly, your listening to more room than system.

And you just never know, you might not need that huge amp anyway. You just never know. However, if it were me, I would wanna find out BEFORE I spend 2G's.

Like I said before, I'm no expert. But I have been in the same position as you to some degree. If I can help to keep your from making my mistakes then they weren't all for not. Just one mans opinion, but ask around!

Happy listening.
How is the project progressing? Any improvements?