what do I change or upgrade?

I listen to a lot of choral music. When turned up, the sound is somewhat smeared and veiled. I am using Spendor S8e speakers, a Lector CDP 7T mark II, an LFD Mistral LE amp and audience interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords. I want more clarity and presence when the volume is turned up to decent levels ( NOT ear splitting)I'm not concerned with deeper bass levels...Please advise.
Assuming no distortion from clipping. A three way generally will get you
better midrange clarity. As you turn it up the room reflected energy plays a
greater role - the ideal driver size for midrange is around 3 inches or so. The
problem with an 8 inch driver is that they beam (less off axis energy as you
go higher in frequency). Since 50% of what you hear is reflected then it
becomes a problem as you turn up the volume. The bass is omnidirectional
so you hear lots of bass. The dome tweeter is highly dispersive so you hear
the highs. The midrange beaming means you lose a fair portion of the
midrange energy compared to the rest. The midrange therefore sounds
distant or recessed compared to the rest. One option is to move closer to the
speakers and listen near-field. Another is to consider different speakers.

If you like vocals - try panels. If you want to stick to two ways then ATC SCM
20 will give you good vocals (it has a large dome on the woofer which
improves midrange dispersion and gets a more even room loading - it will
sound the same at all volume levels) If you don't like the precision of ATC
then Harbeth are delicious sounding (warm) and have an excellent midrange.
ATC will play louder more cleanly though.
Try toeing your speakers in such that they are pointing directly at you. If the problem is beaming or reflections, this should cure it.

If it doesn't, my take on your problem is that it is your CD player. The Lector is too soft and warm for your system. I would suggest you try something like an Audio Aero, Rega or Cayin.

Clarity and presence at high(er) volumes is one of the hallmarks of high quality equipment and equipment interface (synergy). You've got some good stuff but I don't know if its that good, or synergistic. If I had to guess which component might be a problem it would be the Spendor's. These are excellent speakers but I'm not at all sure that they do what you want at high levels. (Thats why lots of folks pay big bucks for speakers with SOTA drivers - they 'can' sound great at high SPL's).

Actually my first guess though is that even though the volume is not "ear splitting" you may simply be overdriving your room (you didn't mention its size or sound pressure levels you consider less than ear splitting. Assuming of course that your software and sources are capable and your expectations are reasonable.

Probably didn't help much............
What tubes are you presently using in your Lector? A quality matched pair of NOS tubes(ie: Telefunken or Siemens ECC801S, Valvo 6201) will make a MAJOR difference in your presentation. Those mentioned will provide exactly the flavor you are seeking(and will also make the bass more accurate). The builder of your CDP is a veteran tube roller BTW. Also- Are you using any isolation under the CDP? Good isolation will result in much better focus/definition(separation between voices), and eliminate much of that "smearing" you mentioned. Some leads on tubes: (http://www.tubemonger.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=236) (http://www.upscaleaudio.com/view_category.asp?cat=45)
I'd like to thank all of you for your suggestions...Shadorne,I've moved the speakers much closer and Arthur, I've also toed the speakers in per your suggestion. There is already a very significant improvement in clarity. The next step will be changing the tubes in the Lector... Btw, my room is approximately 23' x 15'..Shardone, are there any panel speakers in particular you are recommending and will the Mistral LE have enough power for them? Thanks again!

Bob- After you ungrade the Lector's tubes, make the next step good isolation. For all their innate non-resonant construction, the Lectors respond really well to further isolation. On what do you have the unit resting presently?
its on herbies isocup/balls..looking for a good component shelf stand and then isolation under the amp and Lector...any suggestions?
Hi Bob- An inexpensive, but very effective, way that I've found: Purchase six Model 2 Vibrapods, six Vibrapod polymer cones and a 17" X 13" piece of Dupont Corian, 1/2" thick(or a 1/2 thick sheet of glass). Place 4 of the Vibrapods close to each corner of the Corian(cones up) and two 5 inches apart, centered on the Corian(front to back). Corian is totally non-resonant in the audio bandwidth, and extremely rigid. Place your CDP, WITH the Iso-Cups atop that. If you try it- I'd like to hear your results/reactions.