My current setup is a NAD 7100 (c1989 - $150) that spits out 330 Watts into two sets of speakers, JBL L830 (c2008 - $400 - 125 watts) which are set up on DJ stands and NHT Classic Two (c2010 - $500 - 150 watts) mounted on the walls behind the JBL's. The NHT are rated 6 ohms, while the JBL's are 8 ohms. There is a switch on the back of the NAD 7100 that I have selected to 4-8 ohms.
Other equipment is a new Yamaha CD-S300 ($300) and a Stanton Turntable ($200). I use a SD card which has 32 gigs of music that plays from the USB slot in the CD player. The turntable needs to be mated with something warmer. With my current setup, it is rivaled by the digital music (and the good DAC) that comes from the CD player.
The room is fairly large - 30' length x 20' width (basement) with the speakers one end and a bar on the other. This means that general listening is done some 20 feet away from the speakers. I really have found that the speakers produce enough bass and have no want for a subwoofer.
The NAD 7100 has enough power for the room. My concern is an upgrade will have to at least have that much power, probably looking at two monoblocks at 100-125 watts per channel??
I have never used a monoblock / preamp setup. I know the NAD 7100 could be used as a preamp and will do so as two mid-price-range monoblocks are gonna run me a couple grand. My budget is about 2 grand, maybe three if it makes sense or I can get something integrated and don't feel I have to purchase a new preamp later. Anyone ever used the 7100 as a preamp?? I sense integrated amps are kind of making a comeback?
Any suggestions as too what you would do? I have been leaning towards a Vincent SP-331 but would love the NAD M3 or perhaps a Parasound Halo..dunno..I honestly have NEVER heard any of them!! Unless I could get a loaner to hook up to my speakers, it seems like I will be winging it! If I walk into a high end stereo store with my credit card..fahget about it..aint gonna happen..wouldnt be prudent!!
I listen to mostly folk, adult alternative, some rock, some Top 40..have found that maybe its just me, but the harder rock stuff sounds a bit harsh on my setup..would like to soften that up..get more of a tube like sound that I was getting from a vintage Hardon Kardon 670 Twin I was using. Sadly that amp did not have enough watts to push my 4 speakers and vintage gear..well, I need a warranty!
Thank you for your comments!! Trevor