My current system is more set up for movies. I tried to buy a system years ago that could do both but it failed miserably IMO. Weak soundstage no matter what speakers I bought including B&K which I returned at the time of purchase.
My current system
Pioneer Elite VSX 99
Pioneer Elite CLD 99 (don't even get me started on a $2400 LD player that was old tech in less than a year!)
Pioneer Elite Pro 118 tv
Boston Acoustics VR40 fronts
Boston Acoustics VR12 center
Boston Acoustics VR20 rears
All of this was purchased about 8 years ago. When LD died, I was so bummed out- I swore I wouldn't buy any new gear- ever.
But now- I'm ready to buy a stereo only system- separate from my AV system. I've been to about 4 different stores to audition gear- when I leave I'm usually pissed at the salespeople who want to sell you gear thay are pushing or interconnects that come in boxes you could put a tennis braclet into instead. I realize it's been years since I shopped but are all stores this way? Most of these guys seem to be little interested in letting me listen to what I want to listen to. Seems the gear I want to hear isn't hooked up. What's the deal?
Then there's the brand names. I want this amp & this pair of speakers but I can't find 1 dealer who carries both for an audition w/ my CD.
What I like? All I can go by is what I liked 8 or so years ago. I fell in love w/ this system & it's sound.
Sunfire tube pre-amp
2-Sunfire signature 200 wpc amps
A tube CD player I can't recall it's brand
Martin Logan Quest electrostatics
For me at the time, this was my dream system but waaaay out of my league after buying nearly 9k of AV gear.
The music I listen to is Blues & some jazz. As soon as I say blues- all sales people steer me away from the stats.
So what I'm trying to find out is how you buy gear from 2 different stores when you are unable to hear what it sounds like until after the fact? This is a bunch of money for me for a crap shoot.
I would like recommendations on similar systems that I could audition- less the store sales hype. I really liked the sound of the ML/Sunfire gear & wonder how it stands up today.
I'd really like to talk to someone who owns similar stuff & their opinions after living with it on a daily basis.