Amp Advice for Newbies


I am new to this whole scene but totally addicted. Unfortunately I am on a rather fixed budget, I just bought a house, the kids need braces etc. I was wondering if any of you had any advice on amps for newbies. Here's my system...

Scout VPI turntable w\ 9" JWM tonearm
Sony 5 Disc changer with DSP (not sure of the model)
YS Audio\Audio Experience Concerto Plus Phono Stage
Woo Audio 2 tube pre amp
Sonetic Amplifier (185 wpc into 8 ohms)
Tannoy LGM 10" Dual Concentric Speakers

I am generally happy with the sound I am getting here but the weak link is the amplifier. The Sonetic line was essentially a DJ amp manufactured by QSC in the 80's. It's definitely old tech. I have had a friends very nice PS Audio amp hooked up to my system and the difference was night and day. I would really like to spend 1000-1500. I listen to everything, ok so maybe not everything but my tastes are pretty diverse.

Thanks in advance for your insight.
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Most of your system is quite nice.
There are a ton of amps out there that would match nicely with your pre and speakers.
You need to ask yourself a few questions:
1-do you listen loud?
2-are you a bass fanatic-very power hungry
3-do you want tubes or solid state?
4-do you like your music "warm" sounding or do you enjoy a ton of detail. Keep in mind that some amps will get tiring on your ears because of too much detail (my opinion).
If you look at today's posts alone, there are Brystons, B&K's, Conrad Johnson and many more in your range that may even blow away the borrowed PS Audio. If you want to splurge, the Pass Labs listed for $1800 is killer in my opinion.
Check out as many amps as you can, borrow what you can, then buy used on audiogon. Keep in mind that shipping can be quite costly. Also beware of 220volt vs 110v amps-I don't know which continent you are on???
Your table and speakers should be very good,(I've never heard that model tannoy)But I've never heard of the amp.. If it is a "pro" use type amp then you should be able to easily best it, unless it is a big Crown.
Try Forte 1a or 4, Eagle 2a or 2c, Thresholds, and the aformentioned B&K, CJ, etc.
Check out Then call Frank Van Alstine and speak to him about your requirements (651-330-9871). You will become the most informed and best guided "Newbie" on your block.
I've had 3 Eagle amps, and still have one as my main amp, but be careful. They are older amps, and may need a "tune-up." B&K is a good recommendation - stay away from Adcom.
Seditious is right - the older Eagles can go "bad" with trannie hum/vibration and caps need replacement. Yeah ditto on the Adcom advice.
Thanks for all the great advice. So much for staying in budget. I bought the PS Audio GCA 250 with level 2 and level 3 + mods that was listed here. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I also added all new Silver Dragon interconnects and speaker cables. The added dynamics on the low end from more clean power and the clarity of the highs from the new interconnects are amazing. While I don't think anyone who gets into audio ever truly finds "audio nirvana", I am pretty damn close now. I think I will chill out for a while, open a nice bottle of wine and just listen all day today. The leaves are piling up in the yard but a man has to have priorities...

Thanks again gon'ers!