The best thing about this hobby is the wide range of opinions out there, I tend to follow the "speakers are the most important component" doctrine, so it was interesting to see that both Nrchy and Warrenh believe the source is the most important component.
I currently have a speaker budget of around $1000 and I'm looking at B&W DM603 S3, and Paradigm Reference Studio 60; both of these are available at local dealers. Any other suggestions? I also have access to Tannoy, Audes, Spendor.
On a slightly different note, does anybody know anything about nOrh speakers?
Ask anyone who has been in high end audio for any length of time and they too will vote for the source (TT or CD) as the most important. The above got it right...nothing along the way will improve the signal and the sound. I have heard great front end on mediocre speakers and the sound is fantastic. The demonstrator hooked the B&W801's to some adcom stuff and it sounded terrible. Check out Laura Dearborn's book "Good Sound" as she has quotes supporting front-end most important,then pre-amp, then amp, then speakers, then cabling. If you still don't believe us, go to a dealer willing to allow you to do the mentioned demo to prove it to yourself.