I'm going to get right down to it. I have $550 to work with and I'm looking to get the best stereo setup for my needs.
Scenario: I currently have a Sony STRDG-500 receiver (please don't laugh) that has the following specs:
-10-70000Hz Response Bandwidth
-100 Watts - 8 Ohm - 20000 Hz - THD 0.09% - 6 channel surround
All of my music resides on my iMac computer and I'd like to run the iMac into a receiver. Sidenote, I'm living in a loft type of apartment and do not own a television; I'm looking for a setup that favors stereo bigtime but could work later on for basic television/DVD sound.
-Would upgrading my receiver put noticeably more punch behind a set of floorstanding speakers?
-If I were to go the Monitor 70 route, would my wussy Sony receiver render them useless without upgrading to an expensive receiver?
-Should I consider any type of external amplification outside of an iTunes equalizer and/or my current receiver?
I'm completely overwhelmed right now because I've been reading all about the Polk Monitor 70's and how they're such a steal for the price while also thinking to myself that I don't have the power needed to get the most out of them. Also, I'm not necessarily going to be cranking these babies all the time, but I would like to have some decent clarity and punch at lower volumes. Are these types of speakers similar to tube amps for electric guitars in the sense that they don't truly sound amazing until you crank them past a certain threshold?
I've read where the Monitor 60's and subwoofer combo are actually better for music/stereo purposes because they could cover a wider range. Is this true at all?
On a separate note, should I scrap the idea of floorstanders all together and look at 2 nice bookself speakers with stands that I can adequately power and accompany with a nice sub? Would a smaller version in the Monitor family sound the same as the 70's just at a lower volume or is there a substantial dropoff in sound quality?
I'm not necessarily an audiophile at this point (as you can probably tell), but I do love music. I'm certainly not married to my current receiver, but I'd rather not break the bank on a new receiver and/or amp that's going to offer more bells and whistles than I would ever use. I realize this post is completely scatterbrained, but so am I. I just want the most suitable speakers that sound great at all volumes without biting off more than I can chew. So, I'm all ears to any/every suggestion.
Thanks in advance to anyone providing more direction (I'm lost in the forest of internet information right now!). I'm going to sleep right now, but I'll be checking every post on here bright and early in the morning. Let me know if more info is needed. Thanks!