Finally saved 3000 what is a good setup.

After year trolling this website and saving I have finally earned 3K to spend on a system. Currently I am using some old Sony studio speakers my friend gave a few years back but now its time for a change. I am firmly in the digital camp and have been using a Squeezebox for the last few years and have transferred much of my collection onto a hard drive. What I need advice how to split 3000 between a set of speakers and an integrated amp or power amp (my setup now and use the digital volume on the SB).

To help with suggestion, my living room in going to be my main setup. The room is 18 X 14 X 10 with carpeted floors. I have room to spread these puppies at most 8 - 10 feet apart. I don't care if their monitors or floor standers but cannot be panel. I am married and my wife, who is also into music, would not like something that will dominate the household.

Heres a little about me. I am a studio musician and teacher by trade. In addition, I listen to all types of music, considering I am exposed to so much different types of music at the studio, and regularly go to live concerts to see a wide variety of music. As such, my idea deal speaker is true to the source without adding too much, makes me feel like I am actually one of those live concerts, is realistic, and just disappear. I know for many bass is key but I like honest bass not the exaggerated bass that so many speakers produce IMO.

So what you think. What would be a good combination?
I would get a nice integrated amp as the backbone of your system. Like a creek destiny or sim audio 5.3 or a krell 400ix then figure on a set of speakers that will work well with a 100 or so watts of solid state power like a Dynaudio x12 or Revel M20. Add a 500 range DA converter and your in budget.

I've had a lot of expensive cheap and mid priced systems and I have found that no matter the quality of the front end gear or speakers you can't get by with a cheap amp. A good integrated amp like the ones mentioned will work with a variety of speakers and can be left on so your system is ready to rock at any time. If you are more of the type who only likes to sit down and listen at certain times and it appeals you could consider tubes. I like to have my systems on all the time so tubes don't appeal to me. Ive had many tube amps and personally the sound wasn't worth the hassle.

You should be able to put together a fantastic system for 3k.
I also like organ music. Currently I own a pair of TSM-MXr speakers, which continue to amaze me. I have a sub for the low notes!

We all tend to like what we own. There are some great choices out there, but if tonal excellence and image/soundstage are important for you, the Merlin's are a good pick.

3k is plenty to put a nice system together. Have fun!

pre amp: usp 1
Cd: ERC 2
Amp: XPA 2
Speakers of your choice.... w/the Emotiva setup you're goanna get awesome SS setup with 5 year warranty and 30 days in home trial. They even have speakers, and the quality is great, don't let the price fool you, they're direct re seller.

Good Luck :)
Used Benchmark DAC-1 Pre or HDR + the best powered studio monitors (ie. Mackie, Dynaudio, etc.) you can afford with what's left.
Pick the PSB or Paradigm speaker that tickles your fancy and suits your needs. There is no better bargain in speaker audio today. Buy used for an even better deal. Get an integrated amp. There are any number of them under $1000 used such as Dussun, Jolida, Cambridge Audio. Set a price limit and get the best used one you can find. Now you have about $1000 left over for a source. While I hate digital and only listen to vinyl, you can pick up a decent combo player and dac such as an Oppo, Cambridge Audio etc. Worry about cables after you have all the rest together and you see how much money you have left. Or go vinyl and pick up a used VPI Sota or Rega.