Responses from loomisjohnson

How do I know if I need an amp?
given that you have a two channel set-up, i'm not sure why you need surround sound--it seems to me that you should be listening to each source in (2ch) stereo. that being said, i concur with the foregoing that you'd be better served by ditching th... 
Playing iPod thru car system?
if your car has a cassette player, by all means get a cassete adaptor w/a mini jack (less than ten bucks at walmart) and use that. the sound quality will be immeasurably better than the FM-modulated type connections. 
CD/DVD player that plays cd-rs under 300.00
if you don't need an hdmi-enabled unit, the used integra dps and denon 2800 on ebay are great values at 100 or less on ebay. for new units, check out the onkyo and marantz dvdps on accessories4less 
Extending speaker wire?
i've braided and taped speaker cables together many times with no discernible effect. (i'm sure the purists will shudder). 
very detailed bookshelf monitor around $700 used
both the proacs and the quads are very intriguing (i agree with ryder that the proacs were more detailed and quicker that the sonus fabers, which are off my list). however, from what i've gleaned, both the proacs and quads shouldn't be placed near... 
very detailed bookshelf monitor around $700 used
I've owned the VR1s (which I foolishly traded for some ht gear), and they were great, although they don't seem to pop up used as much as they used to. i had not considered the nhts--bob reynolds, have you compared them to any of the aforementioned? 
Heard any good hybrid amps lately?
Check out the Vincent--great hybrid amp, great value. 
Subs with Maggies???????
I believe more has been written on this subject than on the Civil War, the Treaty of Versailles or JFK's assassination. The prevailing, though by no means unanimous, view of these extensive musings is (a) the 3.6s definitely need a sub (or 2 or 4)... 
Looking for a Great Sounding Outdoor Speaker
ait:did you end up getting the mirages? i'm curious to know your reactions. 
Looking for a Great Sounding Outdoor Speaker
I just heard a pair of Mirage Omni outdoor speakers at a local sandwich shop and they were GREAT--they disperse over a very broad soundstage and sounded very natural. I actually found myself hanging around just to listen, the lousy food notwithsta... 
Speakers....Epos and up
monitor audio rs6 or rs8; great, small footprintalternatively, von schweikert vr1 or vr2; totem staff is always a good bet 
Speakers....Epos and up
price range? 
PC toDAC Connection
amazon has 25' digital optical cables for as little as $15; accessories4less and mycablemart should also have 'em. any well made cable should do the trick for you. 
Budget DAC vs new Player
your rotel's a well made player and should continue to serve as a good transport--i'd think adding a dac in the $300-500 range would be a more significant improvement than switching to a cdp in the same price range. the consensus rave on these pag... 
Reissue recordings with added tracks
in general, "bonus tracks" are mainly an excuse for the label to recycle/resell its catalog. i've purchased a few reissued-with-bonus-tracks cds that were actually worthwhile (uncle tupelo and traffic's john barleycorn come to mind), but typically...