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If you have to go with one only for now, I think the used speakers are the way to go.
They will significantly improve your sound.
The amp may give a bit more 'oomph' to the sound, but it will remain pretty much the same until you get speakers.
So, go for the speakers.
I own B&W 805s (apt dweller) Forte 4 amp/Adcom pre
You will get a lot more "music for your money" by upgrading the speakers. 803s would be a nice upgrade and there are a couple pairs on Audiogon right now for around $3500. You might also consider the KEFs and Spendors if you like the British sound.
And, I would be remiss if I didn't put in a plug for the speakers I am currently using (and expect to use for the next 5-10 years): Gallo Reference 3. They are not as physically imposing as the B&Ws (a point in their favor for you), but they can sing with the best of them. Grab a gently used pair of 3.1s here on Audiogon for around $2200 - $2500, add the Gallo sub amp (typically $750), and you will have one whale of a good sounding system. And, the WAF is quite high if you leave the grills in place. My wife thinks that they sound mighty fine and look good, too.
I would suggest looking at Von Schweikert VR4jr's you will get much more bang for the buck. I started with CDM7NT's(which I still have),went to N805 Sigs, then Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Grand's and now have in my system the VR4jr's. You will get a much fuller sound and less cost going with a pair of these. If you had a choice of N803d's that would be a different story, but not just the N803.
Just my 2 cents.
There's a pair of B&W Silver Signature's listed on Audiogon right now: http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1175482531
These are supposed to be one of the two best speakers from B&W, the Nautilus (big seashells) being the other. I sold my pair of Silver Sig's last year after having them for nine years. They weren't even lacking in the bass enough to have made me want a sub.
I honestly sold them because, like a car, I just wanted something newer. I auditioned speakers for three years, trying to find something better. I even auditioned the 803D's three times trying to find them better than the Silver Sig's, but to me they weren't.
The three I found were the Magnepan 3.6R's, Thiel 2.4's and Harmonic Precision Caravelle's. I bought the Caravelle's because my listening room is only 10x12.
Check out the Silver Signature's pictures too, if you want to talk about a beautiful as well as being a fantastic, natural sounding speaker.
Thank you all for your helpful suggestions; I will definitely look to speakers rather than an amp as the next upgrade.
Jdodmead, I'm particularly intrigued by your suggestion of the Von Schweikert VR4jr's, especially since you had the CDM7NT's, as I do now. Did you consider the 804s or 803s?
How do the VR4jrs compare generally with the 803/804?
I do not care very much for the N803 or N804, in that series I really like the N802. But I like the N803D and I think they are very close to the N802, with a smaller footprint. The new diamond tweeter really makes a difference, plus I think they added another woofer. But they are a lot more money than the Von Schweikerts. The VR4jr's have a very full sound fron top to bottom and are reasonably priced, especially used. The packaging cannot be beat, they come in custom wood crates and I don't think they could be damaged in shipment, unless the truck drove over them. I had it easy though, the internet distributor is only 25 miles away from me and he allowed me to take them home and try them in my own set-up. The Beethovens went on the block the same day, with my wife's blessing. That's not normal, since I didn't own them for very long.
Do a search and you will see that there are a lot of happy Von Schweikert owners out there..
There are many places to listen to B&W, but I don't know about Von Schweikerts and buying speakers without a listen may be a mistake. I would recomend trying to audition anything you are considering, before plunking down the cash. Other components are much easier to recycle than speakers.
Your responses have been helpful in my decision-making process, which concluded this morning when I bought a pair of new B&W 804s speakers.
I was very interested in the VR4jrs, but unfortunately, the only dealer anywhere near me is in the process, he informed me, of consolidating and moving his showrooms, and is not able to audition the speakers for me until early next month. The Von Schweikerts look like they would be a good choice for me -- full-range speakers, neutral/analytic in character (apparently) and not colorizing as other speakers seem to be (e.g., Sonus F, Vienna), nice looking cabinet, a size I prefer -- but I'm not going to buy them without hearing them first, and my time-frame is this week, not a month from now.
Nothing else really appealed to me in this price-class; other speakers seem too interventionist to me, and/or visually too boxy or otherwise unappealing. And I've had a good experience for four years with the CDM 7NTs. As between the 803s and 804s, I am unconvinced the price differential is warranted, and prefer the size of the 804s in any event. All in all, I felt comfortable with the 804s, so I went ahead.
Thanks again for your feedback and suggestions.
See, now this is where I would nedisagree with everyone on the matter at hand..I have a pair of loaner 805s on a FPB 400cx and it sounds superb, more than my space necessarily needs. I think anyone here would agree that running a Full Peanut Butter (FPB) on these speakers is overkill, but....they sound great, true to form and resolute. Personally I think you can't go wrong in this lineup of speakers particularly with the new first order crossover. They all sound smooth, it is just a matter of how much bass you want, and how much mid range you want.