I'm assembling my first high-end system. The components I think I've decided on are as follows: Monster HTUPS-3700, Oppo BDP-95 Universal Disc Player, Marantz PM-11S2 Stereo Integrated Amplifier, Bowers & Wilkins PM-1s (with stands), REL T2s (two of them), Audioquest 1.5m Columbia XLR interconnects, Audioquest Gibraltar 8ft. speaker cables, and Audioquest NRG-10 power cables (for Oppo and Marantz).
I work at a Magnolia Home Theater, and have access to discounts on these items I probably won't have again after I change jobs. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to afford these components. Obviously, for these reasons, I am limited as to what brands that Magnolia carries. The one caveat is this: I can't hear any of them without ordering them in, as there are no local dealers who have them, and I wouldn't want to waste their time, knowing that I won't be buying from them. I will have the option of returning them, but there will be shipping involved; and since these are the highest grade components that I have access to, and I've heard marantz and b&w work together in their lower lines (marantz pm8004 and b&w 600 and CM series speakers), I'm fairly confident I will be happy with them. But...I don't want to put components together that WILL NOT have good synergy, so...I am wondering if anyone can comment on their experience with any of these components individually, and their specific characters. Also, if anyone has any experience with any/all of the components working together, I would love to hear thoughts on their synergy. I know there will at least be people who have heard the components individually, and who can give me their thoughts, so I can (at least theoretically) put their individual charactes together and make sure this will be a great system. I would also love for the editors to share their thoughts on this system choice, as I greatly respect their wisdom, having reviewed audio gear for so long.
I already have all of the cables, so I'm stuck with them. The same goes for the RELs and Monster UPS (which was chosen over a Panamax mainly because RH put this exact unit in his dedicated home theater system). I love the sound of B&W's speakers, and I can only guess the PM1s will be a more refined version of the bookshelf models from the 600 and CM lines. These speakers are the ones I want. The Oppo BDP-95 is my choice for obvious reasons, as I am incorporating it in with this dedicated two-channel system as well as a home theater system. Really, I'm trying to choose an amp to go with the system, and I hate to get the Marantz if it's not going to be a good choice. Also, I want the system to be balanced, and I don't want to grossly overspend on any one component, and it far outclass the others in the system. My other options are McIntosh, Peachtree Audio, Denon, Primare, and Arcam in the 3-4K price range (or cheaper). From Marantz, I had also considered the Marantz PM-15S2B Limited, PM-8004, and the MM-7025 (stereo power amplifier with XLR ins). I am leaning toward the PM-11S2 because I want to take advantage of the balanced XLR capabilities of the Oppo.
In closing (finally, right?), I will not be putting this system in a room more than 3000 cubic feet. I like all types of music, with a preference for great soundstaging and imaging (but remember, I've never heard anything at this level of performance). I have RH's The Complete Guide to High-End Audio, and will be using it to set up my system, and eventually to build a dedicated listening room (with help from references found in his book). Also, I write and record music, and will be using this system at some point to monitor, mix, and possibly master recordings. I know this has been a lot, but I will be grateful for any and all replies/advice/knowledge/wisdom/criticisms/scolding I can get. Thanks in advance.